About Our Foundation

The Michelle Wightman/Karrie Wieber Charitable Foundation is a permanent, non-profit, public charity established by Darlene M. Wightman Lowery in memory of her daughter, Michelle Wightman, and family friend, Karrie Wieber.

The Foundation funds grants to support programs in the areas of

  • Safety
  • Education
  • Social Welfare
  • Family Support
  • and Public Charities.

An emphasis is placed on programs that will improve railway crossing safety.

Grants are awarded to non-profit, charitable organizations which have been designated as having tax-exempt status under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenues Code: also governmental bodies (e.g. Boards of Education).


The mission of the Wightman/Wieber Foundation is to perpetuate the memory of Michelle Wightman and Karrie Wieber, who tragically lost their lives in a car-train collision on February 19, 1989, by establishing a permanent, charitable foundation for the benefit of the Sandusky/Erie County Community and the safety of all public citizens.


  • Safety
  • Education
  • Social Welfare
  • Family Support
  • Public Charities

The Foundation provides funding for programs designed

  • to meet community needs and/or to expand existing programs;
  • to create safe living environments;
  • to enable families to develop the skills needed to support and nurture;
  • to provide resources to families in need;
  • to foster the development of responsible, young people;
  • to help people achieve potential;
  • to assist other community resources with common goals.

The Board will consider funding additional requisites at their discretion.

Our Foundation co-sponsors, along with The City of Sandusky and Sandusky City Schools, The Wightman Wieber Celebration Safety Fair and Kids Fun Festival each year in May at the Sandusky Bay Pavilion. It is an event that attracts thousands of parents and children from the Sandusky area. Members of all city safety forces are present and provide instruction on safety practices, response to emergencies and other essential knowledge, which includes the equipment used by each department. In addition, many supervised fun activities are provided for children. Food vendors are present as well. The cost of admission is one item of non-perishable food per person for Care and Share of Erie County.


Darlene Lowry
Founder, Trustee

Jim Murray
President, Trustee

Kevin Lutz
Secretary, Treasurer, Trustee

Jennifer Chapman

Eugene Kidwell
Past President, Trustee

Justin Harris

Ann Murray

Tricia Patten

Rhonda Watt

Karleen Wieber
Founder, Deceased

Thank you to the Wightman Wieber Foundation

On behalf of the residents and staff of Parkvue Community we would like to thank you for your generous contribution to University Circle programs. We are very pleased to offer this to our residents and the greater community.

United Church Homes

Your contribution makes the difference, thank you for your continued support!

The Sandusky State Theatre

202o Has been such a challenging year. We are so grateful for the support of the Wightman Wieber Foundation – it means so much to us.

American Red Cross

Completed Wightman Wieber Grant Applications must be received by 5:00 p.m. on March 1 and September 1 each year.

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