Outstanding Leadership Award: Lee Brandsma
Matt Davidson

The Timothy Christian Schools Foundation was established with the intent to sustain and champion a Christian education for future generations. Since its inception through a bequest from the estate of “Aunt Tena” Huizenga (a friend of Timothy who had dedicated her life as a Christian missionary in Africa), the Foundation has provided a way for others to join in the opportunity to strengthen the future of our school. From its humble beginnings with a gift of $28,000 in 1978, The Foundation today has over $5MM in invested assets. Peter Huizenga was the only Chairman of The Foundation from 1978 until he went home to be with the Lord in 2018. His successor and the current Chairman is Lee Brandsma. 

The Foundation board is currently made up of Chairman Lee Brandsma, Ryan Brandsma, Paul Buikema, Dave DeVries, PJ Huizenga, Rob Petroelje, Joel Tameling, and me. Additionally, The Foundation advisory committee is made up of dozens of men and women in the Timothy community – influential leaders, with strong business expertise, and passionate about Timothy. I wouldn’t trade our foundation team with any other school. Personally, I view this group of nearly 40 men and women as guardians of our school.

Foundation assets have been used for tuition assistance, curricular and program development, scholarships, special funds/projects, and even the launch of new positions on campus. Gifts to the Foundation (through wills and bequests, gifts of real estate or the sale of business, or charitable trust arrangements) fund not only these immediate needs but, more importantly, help to ensure that Christian education remains affordable and that our mission remains sustainable. The Foundation is critical to Timothy’s economy.

Foundation assets have been used for tuition assistance, curricular and program development, scholarships, special funds/projects, and even the launch of new positions on campus.

The Foundation has gone through some changes recently, including new corporate documents, a renewed purpose, and a goal for increased relevance. Chairman Lee Brandsma has successfully launched this energizing vision. Today all of our assets are invested and managed by CIBC Bank. Moreover, each member makes an annual contribution to The Foundation to create additional funds for new and innovative programs emerging at our school. Teachers (or even students) are able to submit semi-annual grant requests and proposals to a small task force which works very hard researching and considering each grant request. The task force review team is made up of Pam Brandsma, Kc Hagstrom, and Tim Hoeksema. Then a final recommendation is made to the Timothy Christian Schools Foundation Board for approval. This new grant program has already funded several exciting programs and initiatives here on campus. As a matter of fact, the sum of these grant distributions is nearly $200,000 since the grant program started just a few years ago. The entire Timothy community is blessed as beneficiaries of this amazing program which is already being considered and duplicated at other Christian schools as a model of best practice.

If you would like to learn more about how you can generously support The Foundation or if you would like to have a conversation about estate planning, please reach out to our advancement office. The mission of Timothy Christian Schools is more important than ever before, and The Foundation is a fundamental key to our success in the adventures ahead.

I’m grateful for Lee’s leadership on the Timothy Foundation. He has been a great mentor to me, and I admire him. I learn a great deal from Lee about leadership, business, family, and there is depth and conviction behind his faith in God and belief in Christian education. The changes he has brought to The Foundation have positively influenced our school…and in big ways! Because of the impact he has had on all of our students during his time at the helm, he is the 2022-2023 recipient of the Outstanding Leadership Award. Lee joins Heidi Huizenga and me as the past recipients of this award, and it is my privilege to share this honor for Lee Brandsma with our entire community – Team Timothy. Thank you, Lee, and congratulations! You are a difference-maker.

—Matt Davidson

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