News Release: Malek named MACF Philanthropist of the Year
The Midland Area Community Foundation recently hosted its annual Ripple Effect event, where longtime Midland resident Jim Malek was recognized as its Philanthropist of the Year.
Malek has impacted the community through his volunteer efforts, most notably at the Chippewa Nature Center, Midland Center for the Arts and MCTV. Committed to postsecondary education for area students, he established six different scholarship funds at the community foundation in support of STEM related studies, which have so far awarded over $9,000.
After retiring from Dow Corning Corp. where he worked as a chemist, Malek took an avid interest in fireworks, which led him to begin volunteering with Wolverine Fireworks Co. Wolverine puts on fireworks displays at the annual Riverdays Festival in Midland, where Malek serves on the planning committee.
“Often when we think of our Philanthropist of the Year, we think about the big names that have had an incredible impact on our community,” said MACF President and CEO Sharon Mortensen. “But Jim has very quietly had an incredible impact on our community.”
A short video played during the event featured representatives from agencies he volunteers with as well as friends speaking on Malek’s behalf. The video ended with a surprise message from his daughter, Meredith, who lives in Wyoming and wasn’t able to attend. Her sister Melinda was in attendance.
“Melinda and I are so proud to have you as our dad,” Meredith said in the video message. “You have taught us how to love fully and completely, and also taught us the importance of helping others and your community.”
Malek also received recognition from Congressman John Moolenaar and State Sen. Jim Stamas.