Dedicated to Improving the Quality of Life in the Miller neighborhood of Gary, Indiana

Since its inception in 2005, the Miller Community Fund has distributed over $213,000 to 40 deserving organizations, such as: 

  • Miller Little League, helping 100 kids play baseball every year
  • Dunes Learning Center, teaching environmental science classes to local students 
  • Miller Garden Club, planting and maintaining gardens at the Aquatorium, up and down Lake Street and installing trellises at the Carter G. Woodson Public Library for rare and vintage roses
  • Causes for Change, installing a kayak/canoe launch accessible to all
  • St. Mary of the Lake Food Pantry, providing 55,393 pounds of food for 1,416 families (4,636 individuals) in 2020

The Miller Community Fund is a small charity, which means it is...

Effective: We work on a local scale with a focus on beneficiaries we know. Donations to the Miller Community Fund go directly to micro-grants benefitting Miller.

Efficient: The Miller Community Fund has essentially no overhead, has no payroll and pays no honoraria to its Board members. We have no sophisticated fundraising campaigns. Every dollar donated goes directly into micro-grants for zip code 46403.

Community Based: The MCF Board of Directors and its Grant Committee live in Miller. We have resolved to contribute personally, some monthly and some annually, and we ask the members of the Miller community to join us in giving.


How You Can Help

Whether it’s a monthly or annual donation, a gift from your estate, or as the recipient of a required minimum distribution from your IRA, your contribution to the Miller Community Fund makes philanthropy work in the community you love.

Miller All-Stars

Miller Community Fund held its first annual Miller All-Stars event on December 4, 2016, honoring 10 members of the Miller community who have gone far beyond the bounds of a good citizen. These individuals have cleaned streets, picked weeds, built institutions, promoted cycling, created gardens, and have given their all to the betterment of Miller Beach. The Miller Community Fund salutes them! Thank you for all your hard work. We appreciate you!

The 2020 and 2021 All-Stars celebrations were cancelled due to Covid-19.

Leslie Beck

Leslie Beck

Her work and dedication are the inspiration for the Miller Little League.

Thomas Cera

Thomas Cera

Tom Cera volunteers everywhere in Miller.

Marcella Gregory

Marcella Gregory

Marcella gets it done, whatever it is.

Ashley Howard

Ashley Howard

Ashley does not let a cleanup opportunity go by.

Trent McCain

Trent McCain

We have asked Trent for help so many times and he has always come through for us.

Judy Ayers

Judy Ayers

Chairing or co-chairing the Miller Garden Walk for 22 years.

George Rogge

George Rogge

The ultimate Miller volunteer dedicated to serving his community.

Bill & Dorreen Carey

Bill & Dorreen Carey

Quietly working away at all times.

Gary & Elsie Goldberg

Gary & Elsie Goldberg

Always spreading good cheer and a lot of pizza.

Jack Denges

Jack Denges

A force of nature for St. Mary of the Lake and Miller

Zully JF Alvarado

Zully JF Alvarado

Never quits advocating for access for all

Karin Crane

Karin Crane

One of the hardest workers of the Miller Garden Club and she knows her plants!

Carole Barnes

Carol works tirelessly at St. Mary's of the Lake's Food Pantry.

Corya Channing

Corya is the charming whirlwind of every Miller Garden Club event.

Linda Bonner Fisher

Linda never quits weeding and maintaining the Kid's Garden in Marquette Park.

Kathy Long

Kathy insisted Miller have a Farmers Market and now we do. Thank you, Kathy!

Jennie Rudderham

Jennie has been instrumental in the success of the Farmers Market

Louis "Sarge" Stewart

Sarge has been a powerful and positive influence in our community for more years than you can imagine!


Tracy Brough’s work with Miller Little League has helped over 1000 kids play baseball.


Joyce Davis produced Gallery Gallop, a run/walk along Lake Michigan and the dunes of Miller Beach, for over 20 years and has promoted local artists in her Lake Street Gallery, instilling pride in our region.


Drew Fox chose Miller to produce the best beer in the world at 18th Street Brewery.


Michael Chirich is relentless in solving problems in the Miller community, from potholes to legislation.


Alice Pickford’s concession, Wells Street Beach, has allowed thousands to enjoy the beach for the last 90 years, and Alice has helped every community organization in existence.


Ann Rose has tirelessly supported Miller Beach Arts & Creative District.


Bernie Bonk transformed a barren piece of land at the South Shore train station into an oasis of beauty and is responsible for the proliferation of spring bulbs around Miller.


Carol Smith created the MCC Shoreline Committee and Friends of Marquette Park, ensuring the gardens around Father Marquette never fall into neglect again.


Chester Baran helped maintain Marquette Park gardens for decades.


Dawn Vanzo organizes Miller Garden Club members in maintaining gardens up and down Lake Street, at the Aquatorium and the South Shore train station.


Greg Reising spent 25 years restoring the Aquatorium and making sure Tuskegee Airmen and Octave Chanute are remembered for their places in history.


Jessie Renslow: Whatever she touches she makes better.


Ken Parr helped anyone with or without a bicycle and made time to keep Lake Street clean and free of debris.


Susan Binkley has worked in every garden in Miller and has been a horticultural advisor to many.


Tom Eaton shared his plants, his time, and his intelligence with the world around him, making Miller an even more wonderful place to live.

Grant Application Instructions

The Miller Community Fund considers grant proposals during quarterly months of March, June, September and December. Grant requests must be received by February 15, May 15, August 15 or November 15 to be considered at the next quarterly meeting.


  • Grant proposals made for lobbying or any type of political activity will not be considered.
  • Grant proposals made in the name of individuals will not be considered.
  • Grant proposals made by religious organizations must be for projects that are secular in nature. Proposals for non-secular projects will not be considered.
  • Grant proposals made for the purchase of products, tickets and/or any items specifically marketed as fundraising items will not be considered.

Parties interested in receiving a grant must complete an application.

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