GLADSTONE — A local foundation gifted a large sum of money to it’s city today.

After months of planning and consideration, the John and Melissa Besse Foundation donated $1 million dollars today to the city of Gladstone. The donation money will go towards things that the city needs that could not have been taken care of right away with tax money.

President of the John and Melissa Besse Foundation Greg Besse says, “Gladstone and the area gave a lot to, in a sense, to my parents and my parents wanted always, you know, to give back. I think it all comes around. So I guess, you know, if people could help other people it just makes the place a better place to live.”

The million dollar donation includes $500,000 to purchase a new state-of-the-art fire truck and other safety equipment – like breathing apparatuses. The rest of the funds are divided among different update projects at the city’s sports complex.

$260,000 will go towards the a new pavilion with a picnic area and restrooms, and $200,000 will got towards building a new playground on the north end of the complex.

City officials and foundation staff both agree that the best part about this was that the money will go towards projects that will benefit the entire community.

Gladstone City Manager Darla Falcon says, “A huge thank-you to the Besse Foundation for thinking of our community in this way, to give us a gift of a million dollars , We are so grateful, it’s going to benefit so many people locally and across Michigan.”

The remaining $40,000 will be used for operational expenses at the ski hill. In appreciation of the donation the complex will be renamed this fall to the “John and Melissa Besse Sports Complex.”

The fire truck is scheduled to arrive next March, the playground is scheduled to be completed this fall and constructions projects at the sports complex are scheduled to begin next summer.

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