Begun in 1977 with a $7,000 grant to fund the preliminary design, engineering and survey work for a riverfront arboretum, the City of Bay City, the City and Bay city Garden Club have created a wonderful natural space along the Saginaw River. 

Subsequent grants to both organizations totaling over $230,000, have allowed the expansion of the area, enhanced the natural landscape and added an Interpretive Center which honors the life and benevolent legacy of Leopold Kantzler.

The Kantzler Foundation made a grant of $500,000 for the construction of a new YMCA in downtown Bay City. The YMCA was established in Bay city in 1885 providing opportunities health and fitness programs to youth and adults, child care and youth leadership.

The age and design of the former facility was not meeting the interest and needs of the youth, adults and families of the 21st century. The Y Board determined that replacing the facility with a new state-of-the-art facility was the best investment and in the organization’s, as well as community’s best interest. The new facility in a new location has allowed the Y to develop new programs and services necessary to carry out its mission in the Bay Area.

The State Theatre organization is committed to providing performing arts and films to enhance the cultural opportunities of all people throughout the Great Lakes Bay region and beyond. The theatre has undergone an extensive renovation to restore the building to its historic design.

Renovations began in 2000 and included the restoration of the Mayan based relief detail, replacement of the roof, stage and curtains and seating and refinishing o hardwood floors. In 2008, the theater became the first single screen theatre with a state of the art digital projection system in the United State. In that same year, the new international award winning marquee was unveiled and the Kantzler Foundation provided them with a grant to help make that happen.

They came to the Kantzler Foundation in 2014 seeking funds to upgrade their sound system. They believed that the upgrade would allow them to seek stronger performers for the community’s entertainment and enjoyment. The Kantzler Trustees provided them with a grant that helped them reach their sound system enhancement goal, and the State Theatre has been able to bring top name performers and musicians to Bay City for the town’s enrichment.

With a mission to eliminate domestic violence and sexual assault and prevent homelessness the Bay Area Women’s Center provides a temporary safe haven for women, men and children who are victims of domestic or sexual violence. The women’s center provides housing, food and counseling for area residents. The Kantzler Foundation has assisted them with grants to improve and modernize the facility.

Built in 1904, the Pere Marquette Depot was used to accommodate both passenger and freight traffic on the Pere Marquette Railroad throughout the state of Michigan. When the railroad traffic diminished, the Pere Marquette Depot became the Bay city location of the Greyhound bus company until the late 1960s, when the depot was abandoned and became the home for hundreds of pigeons.

In 2003, the Great Lakes Center Foundation purchased the Pere Marquette Depot building and began a campaign to return the historic depot to its original elegance. With the assistance of many foundations, including the Kantzler Foundation, they raised close to $7,000,000 and re-opened the building as the home of the Bay Area Community Foundation.



Community Impact

testimonial author Peg Rowley

"Kantzler started it all. In 1983 The Kantzler Foundation approached me to start up the Bay Area Community Foundation. It funded our operating expenses for several years and worked with us in partnership as we implemented a number of community involvement projects, like the Riverwalk and Pier. When I reflect on great programs and projects like the Community Foundation, Studio 23, The State Theatre, BaySail, the facilities at Wenonah Park, The Civic Arena, The Wirt Library, The Dow Family Y, Playscape at the State Park and so much more, I have to think, 'Where would we be without The Kantzler Foundation?'"

Do you have questions about our Grant Application Process? Contact Us

The Kantzler Foundation provides financial support for charitable projects and programs that directly benefit the residents of Bay County in areas such as: education, science, arts, culture, human services, conservation, beautification and recreation.

Office Location

Pere Marquette Depot

1000 Adams St., Suite 200
Bay City, MI 48708
Phone: (989) 893-4438
Email: kathy@kantzler.org