The spirit of giving is woven into the Grunley family. Twenty years ago, Virginia (Ginny) Grunley began volunteering with underprivileged children—and one little eight-year-old boy stole her heart. Over the years, she counseled him and offered him the same advice she shared with her own children, Lauren and Adam. She still maintains a friendship with the special boy, who overcame immense challenges to become the happy, successful man he is today.
It was through this experience that Ginny realized that, while writing a check to support worthy causes is important, fully engaging in an organization can be transformative, both for the individuals and those they help.
Ten years ago, the Grunleys founded the Kenneth and Ginny Charitable Foundation to support local and community-based organizations. With the input of Lauren and Adam, the Grunleys decide which organizations to support, and they recently chose to give a major gift in support of the Montgomery College Foundation. According to Adam, who heard Dr. Pollard speak at the home of Jeffrey Slavin, co-chair of the MC2020 Campaign,
“Dr. Pollard is an eloquent and captivating speaker, but she’s not about lip service. She speaks with real purpose, and we largely consider this contribution to be in direct support of Dr. Pollard’s mission.”
The generous donation established the Grunley Family ACES Scholarships, ensuring that the students in the community who are most in need will have access to a college education. The ACES program offers critical support services to assist these students who are most often underrepresented in college classrooms.
The Grunley family has a long history with the College. Ken Grunley, who graduated with a degree in finance and real estate from Kent State University, continued his education at the College. Years later, Adam signed up for a course at MC while home for the summer from the University of Florida. Lauren, a financial analyst at Grunley Construction, turned to the College between her freshman and sophomore years at the Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland. They say the College helped them gain the tools they needed to succeed well beyond higher education.
In addition, Grunley Construction recruits MC graduates. The College offers an associate’s degree in construction management, and graduates of the program can continue their education at the Universities of Shady Grove (USG) in pursuit of a bachelor’s in the field.
“We have discovered some tremendous talent in this program and, if anything, I see Grunley Construction enhancing our recruiting efforts with MC and USG in the coming years,” Ken Grunley says.
Although Adam recognizes the many business benefits of ensuring Montgomery County has an educated and trained workforce, the family’s decision to support the Montgomery College Foundation comes from a personal belief in extending a hand. “The fact that helping others can also help our business does not weaken the effect of giving. It’s this unique interplay that actually makes community work.”