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GRCF Presents Philanthropy Award to Allan and Claudia Carlson

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Each year Grand Rapids Community Foundation awards the Jack Chaille Community Philanthropy Award to a Community Foundation donor(s) who exemplifies the spirit of community philanthropy. The award was established as tribute to William Jackson “Jack” Chaille, a long time Community Foundation supporter. Chaille was the first recipient. 

This year’s Jack Chaille Award for Community Philanthropy was given to long-time donors Allan and Claudia Carlson on October 28. The Carlsons have been donors to the foundation since 1997 when they established a donor advised fund.

Allan and Claudia are owners of Engineered Protection Systems or EPS, the local security company, which they bought in 1970. The business they built prospered and now has more than 150 employees. “The prosperity of the company didn’t change them very much. We know Allan and Claudia as unassuming, generous and kind people. They have a special place in their hearts for children and causes that support childrens' needs,” said Diana Sieger, president of Grand Rapids Community Foundation.

In 2005, Allan and Claudia made Grand Rapids Community Foundation history with a $1 million gift to create the Allan and Claudia Carlson Family Unrestricted Fund. It is the largest unrestricted gift from living donors the Foundation has ever received. The Carlsons also supported the Community Foundation’s building campaign last year and through their donor advised fund earlier, they have made nearly 80 grants totaling almost $400,000.

“Allan and Claudia are active grant makers, meeting throughout the year with Community Foundation staff for guidance and advice to ensure their gifts do the most good in the community. We enjoy working with them and having their trust and confidence means the world to us,” said Sieger.

Past recipients of the Chaille Award for Community Philanthropy include:

  • James Carpenter
  • Dirk C. Hoffius
  • Sam Kravitz
  • Patricia “Pat” Edison
  • Richard Gillett, Sr.
  • Shirley Daniels
  • Chuck and Stella Royce
  • David G. Frey
  • Fred and Lena Meijer
  • Tom and Mickie Fox

To learn more about Grand Rapids Community Foundation, please visit

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