September 6, 2013

Say it ain’t so, Joe!


Joe Madison in actionWe begged. We pleaded. We objected. In the end, the decision was already made. Long-time Foundation volunteer, past board member and past board chair, Joseph (Joe) Madison, has retired to the rolling hills of Vermont along with his wife Dr. Kristan Outwater this past June.

“It was hard to believe and accept that Joe was actually leaving,” said Reneé Johnston, SCF president and CEO. “Joe and Kristan have given and done so much for Saginaw. It’s time to share them with another community where they can extend their generosity and volunteer support.”

Joe has been a dedicated volunteer in our community ever since he relocated to Michigan 19 years ago. Over that time, Joe was a champion for the underserved populations in Saginaw County and has found many ways to give his time in support of them. This included volunteering with the READ Association, Volunteers of America, Great Lakes Bay Youth Leadership Institute, Bridge Center for Racial Harmony and many others. He also founded the Saginaw Township Community School’s Reading Buddies
program. Additionally, Joe served on the SCF board of directors for 12 years.

For the past 10 years, Joe has also served as the project leader for Spring Into Service (SIS) and Make a Difference Day (MADD) activities in Saginaw. Under Joe’s guidance and leadership during those 10 years, SIS and MADD mobilized 3,000 students to clean up 87 senior residences, 14 veteran homes, five senior citizen facilities, six Emmaus House homes, eight elementary schools and 20 public parks.

In recognition of Joe’s tireless volunteer efforts working with youth in Saginaw County, the Foundation has proudly named our youth award The Saginaw Community Foundation Joseph W. Madison Youth Award. Presented annually, the award is intended to recognize youth in our community for their efforts to make a difference via their outstanding philanthropic spirit, cooperation with others and generosity of time and talent.

At the state level, Joe was named one of five finalists for the prestigious Governor George Romney Lifetime Achievement Award this year.

Everyone at the Foundation wishes Joe the best-of-luck in his retirement and in all his future endeavors. We’ll miss you, Joe!



Online extra graphicWatch Joe deliver the opening “pep talk” to students participating in the 2013 Spring Into Service Day. Visit