GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOTV)- “You shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back.” – Maya Angelou

Bonnie Gettys, President and CEO of the Barry Community Foundation is the epitome of what it means to give back to the community and to extend a helping hand!

“Our middle name is community and if we’re not thinking about them constantly, we’re not doing it correctly.”

Bonnie Gettys

Who is Bonnie Gettys?

In 1995, Bonnie became the first employee of the Barry Community Foundation, located in Hastings, MI.

For the past 26 years, she’s dedicated her life to promoting growth within Barry County and surrounding communities and has worked tirelessly to further the mission of the foundation which focuses on, “bridging community needs with donor interests, granting dollars to programs, projects and organizations that fit the foundation’s vision, and to be a trusted resource for positive change.” – Barry Community Foundation

Creating a legacy in Barry County and beyond 

When Bonnie first joined the Foundation, she was entrusted with $350,000 to invest in the community. Through her commitment, enthusiasm and genuine desire to improve Barry County’s future in the areas of education, health and wellness, the arts, financial stability and growth for new businesses and individuals, this initial investment has grown to over $40,000,000!

“When I think about just in 26 years that we were able to pull together those assets to make the impact that we make in our community, I think that what it really speaks to is the fact that we make certain that what we do truly does help move the needle. That everybody has the ability to move forward and do a little bit better than the generation before.”

Bonnie Gettys

Bonnie’s leadership truly exemplifies the beauty of giving back and how community collaboration can foster change in unprecedented ways!

“Barry County is a great place to live and work is due in part to Bonnie Gettys leadership, nurturing, tenacity, positivity, and the willingness to think “outside of the box.”

Norma Jean Acker 

Learn more about Bonnie’s story by watching her segment on eightWest in the video player above and stay tuned for the reveal of our next Remarkable Women of West Michigan finalist on Tuesday, March 23!