Cleo M. Purdy

Cleo M. Purdy (September 1933 – January 2013) was born and raised in Central Lake on her family’s farm. She was a keen and savvy business woman with a strong belief in supporting early childhood experiences and opportunities as a way to prevent poverty and enrich lives.

Cleo began giving to the Community Foundation in 2003 and over the course of 10 years she gave more than $500,000 to the Community Foundation, which supported grants to support the Central Lake Preschool Program.

In 2008, Cleo made plans for an irrevocable gift to the Community Foundation for the benefit of Central Lake’s young children and their families. At the end of her life, the gift from her charitable trust, the single largest ever made to the Community Foundation, created the more than $14 million Cleo M. Purdy Endowment.

The Endowment creates a permanent resource to benefit young children and families; on an annual basis, several hundred thousand dollars will be available for the Community Foundation to consider granting for early childhood opportunities, programs, and services.


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