2022-2023 Report to the Community

From Our Leaders

For over 30 years, Unity Foundation of La Porte County has remained dedicated to our mission of enriching lives and Strengthening La Porte County Now and Forever.

Through the leadership and generosity of visionary donors, Unity’s assets have grown to more than $40 million. Through the power of endowment, the fruits of these funds will be invested in La Porte County year after year…forever.

Our work is complex, but our vision is clear: to be a vibrant collection of unique communities that invest in their diverse people, grow their economic and health vitality, and promote innovative leadership through talented citizens for a rich quality of life for all.

In this report, we hope you enjoy stories of community impact and demonstrated ideas to build your philanthropic legacy alongside Unity Foundation of La Porte County. We are inspired by our donors, teachers, scholarship students, nonprofit organizations, businesses, and citizens addressing complex issues in our diverse communities.

We’re grateful for your trust and privileged to realize the potential our founders envisioned when our community foundation was formed in 1992. That potential continues to build, and Unity remains a ‘Power for Good’ in our communities. We invite you to join us.


Maggi Spartz


Jon A. Gilmore


Gifts to Unity’s Community Funds can be matched $2 for each $1 by Lilly Endowment Inc.


Ways to Give

We provide flexible, efficient, and tax effective options to ensure your charitable giving achieves the greatest possible impact. Give to Unity Foundation, your favorite fund or start a new fund!

We are grateful for all gifts received, no matter the size, and welcome gifts in many different forms, including:

  • One-Time Cash, Check, Credit Card or ACH Donations
  • Recurring Monthly, Quarterly, or Yearly Gifts
  • Securities or Stocks
  • Grain
  • Real Estate
  • Mention Unity or Your Favorite Fund in Your Will
  • Life Insurance or Retirement Funds – Designate Unity as a Beneficiary
  • Charitable Gift Annuities

To discuss your giving ideas or learn more about starting your own fund or building funds for your favorite cause or organization, contact our Development Officer, Jamie Miller, at 219-879-0327.

Giving Made Easier

Fund Advisor Portal

Unity Foundation recently launched a new portal for fund advisors to access their fund information 24/7. Click on the Fund Advisor Login Button to get started.

The Impact of a Family: The Ludington Scholarship Fund

The Robert L. Ludington & Anita Huppenthal Ludington Scholarship Fund is an innovative Unity fund established in 2016 through the vision and generosity of Robert and Anita Ludington who believed that learning was the greatest gift you could give or receive. Since its inception the fund has granted nearly 500 awards to La Porte County students totaling $673,000.

Robert and Anita embodied the “American Dream.” After his first tour with the U.S Navy, Robert obtained a two-year degree that led to a job at Pullman- Standard where he filed his first patent in 1958 for a simplified process to replace rail car brakes. Robert never stopped being curious and learning. He continued his education at multiple schools including Notre Dame and Purdue University. When Anita decided to return to school for an education degree after twelve years’ absence, Robert was her biggest cheerleader.

In addition to helping traditional students earn post- secondary degrees, the scholarship fund supports non-traditional students – like Robert and Anita— including veterans and adults returning to school or transitioning to new career paths attain certificates, credits, and degrees.

Ordinary People, Extraordinary Vision

Unity Visionaries see beyond today to enrich our community
far into the future. They were inspired to start a permanent fund; name Unity as a beneficiary of their will, insurance policy or IRA; or to create a charitable gift annuity. By doing one or more of these acts, they are meeting their goals today, while making a lasting expression of their family values.

We love our Visionaries and they love what Unity does to help them strengthen La Porte County now and forever! We are grateful for their trust and their commitment to our future.

Unity Visionaries are listed on page 18 of the printed report. Contact us to request a copy.

Visionaries and former board members Leigh Morris and Marti Swanson were named Honorary Board Members in recognition of their substantial and ongoing commitments and contributions. Pictured with Jon Gilmore, Board Chair, and Maggi Spartz, President.

(Clockwise) Ann Feltz and Matt Noll, 1st Source Wealth Advisory Services; Patrick Spence, Edward Jones; Tim Gartland, Edward Jones; Jamie Miller, Unity Foundation, and William Maar, Thrivent Financial

Gold Key Society

We appreciate those who help foster gifts to or through Unity Foundation as they assist their clients in attaining their philanthropic and financial planning goals. Whether it is tax savings, the desire to fund a special cause or the importance of leaving a future legacy, Unity has vehicles to help everyone!

Gift Planning Resources

Plan your estate and charitable giving in a way that benefits you, your family and your community. Visit our refreshed Gift Planning Website, uflc.giftlegacy.com, and discover a plan that works best for you. Find out what to give and learn about the best assets to make a planned gift. Learn how to give and about gift options that provide tax and income benefits. While you’re there, check our estate planning resources and sign up for our newsletter.

“I am enthusiastic about collaborating one-on-one with our donors and community partners to ensure the best philanthropic solutions for their needs. I have the
best job on the planet! Every day I plant seeds of trees under which I will never sit. Remember that your donations to Unity or a specific fund last forever. Contact me and together we can make La Porte County a better place to live!”

Jamie Miller

Development Officer

Unity Foundation helps people like you invest in our community’s future.

Educating the Next Generation


Unity Foundation awarded 310,000 in scholarships to 172 students for the 2023-2024 academic year. The recipients are attending 50 colleges and universities across the United States and Canada. Since 1992, Unity has awarded more than $3.5 million from sixty scholarship funds to help area students advance their education.

Kayla Campbell

2023 Lilly Endowment Community Scholar

Kayla Campbell, a Michigan City High School graduate, has demonstrated outstanding leadership in her school and community through participation in a variety of extracurricular and volunteer activities She wants to ignite and inspire youth, and use her future career platform as a broadcast journalist to make a lasting and positive impact in the world. Kayla is attending Butler University.

Paloma Valdes

2023 Lilly Endowment Community Scholar

Paloma Valdes, a Marquette Catholic High School graduate, is deeply involved in her community and uses her time, talent and opportunities to improve the quality of life of others. Her future career goals include being a part of the solution in making the technology industry more inclusive, and to leverage technology to improve societal issues in education, healthcare and the environment. Paloma is attending Saint Mary’s College.

View A Full List of 2023 Scholarship Recipients

Supporting the Community


Through our Power for Good Community Grants, Small Grants for Teachers, Scholarships, and Fund Distributions Unity granted $1,672,472 in 2022.

Power for Good Community Grants

“Community organizations are doing incredible work throughout La Porte County, and Unity is proud to support their efforts.”

– Shannon Walker, Unity Foundation Vice President

Grants for Michigan City Area Teachers

Three grant programs established by caring donors from Michigan City who believed in teachers as the critical factor for learning, annually support creative and innovative projects in Michigan City public and private school classrooms.

“This grant made it possible to purchase materials to make phonics learning engaging and meaningful. Many students have surpassed district, classroom, and personal goals. I would highly recommend educators continue to apply for this grant to enhance their teaching. The grant process is easy to navigate and provides educators with resources that they may not normally have.”
– Elizabeth Law, Lake Hills Elementary teacher and 2022-2023 Michigan City Education Foundation grant recipient

Learn more about our programs.

Building Community


Unity Foundation manages more than $40 million in assets. We are accredited with Community Foundations National Standards®—the highest standards for philanthropic excellence.


Grants & Scholarships Awarded Since 1992


Total Funds


Total Assets

A power for good

Community Betterment Projects

One way Unity Foundation works to strengthen La Porte County Now and Forever is through community betterment projects. We are fully committed to the projects we take on because we believe in the positive impact they will have. Learn more about the Vibrant Communities of La Porte County initiative and NWI BizHub by clicking the buttons below.

Meet Our Team & Board of Directors

Thank you to our 2023 Sponsors!

Request Printed Annual Report