“I came here for a job,” said Woody Bowman, who became manager of Independent Bank’s White Cloud branch in 1990. “But I was willing to come here because of all the outdoor activities.”

“He was never a fisherman or hunter until he came here,” agreed Sue Bowman, Woody’s wife.

Now, 25 years later, Woody is still with the bank and loves spending time on local rivers and lakes. But he’s also come to realize that the warmth of the community and its people are one of the area’s biggest selling points.

“This is a close knit community where people truly do care about each other,” said Woody.

From Sue’s work as a teacher to Woody’s involvement in Rotary and his previous service on the Community Foundation’s board, the Bowmans are always on the lookout for ways they can get involved and make a difference in Newaygo County.

“We’re trying to meet community needs in our own small way,” said Sue.

“I think what motivates us is a sense of ownership and responsibility,” continued Woody. “This is our home. It’s a person’s responsibility to give back to the place that has supported them.”

One way the Bowmans give back is through their donor advised fund at the Community Foundation. Through their fund, they can recommend grants to support causes and organizations that are important to them and beneficial to the community.

“We’re not rich but we’ve been blessed,” said Woody. “That requires that you try to give back.”