Friends, Michelle Wightman and Karrie Wieber, died in a car-train collision in 1989.  With the help of attorney Tom Murray, Michelle’s mother, Darlene Lowery, created a foundation inspired to benefit Sandusky/Erie County. 

The Wightman/Wieber Charitable Foundation not only is a perpetual memorial to the two girls, but it has proven to be a generous resource to help the community, families, and children since conception in 2000.

Wightman Wieber Foundation Grant Guidelines

The grant making program of the Wightman/Wieber Foundation covers a wide variety of needs throughout Erie County. These include, but are not limited to, Arts and Humanities, Community Development, Education, Environment, Health and Social Services and Youth Services. We encourage proposals for projects that:

  • Enhance cooperation and collaboration among Erie County organizations, thereby eliminating duplication of services.
  • Strengthen the organization’s capacity to serve the community.
  • Have potential for leveraging other resources and demonstrate sustainability through additional funding from a broad base of supporters.
  • Yield substantial community benefits and serve a broad segment of the community, particularly the underserved.

Range of Grants

Minimum grant awards are $1,000, with a general range of $1,000-$20,000,  Grants are typically awarded for one year only.


Geographic Limitations

Grant projects must serve Erie County residents.


  • Organizations must be determined to be tax exempt by the IRS under Section 501(c)3.
  • Churches, schools, governmental or other entities covered by a group exemption are eligible for funding but must provide a copy of the group exemption letter and documentation of the organization’s inclusion within the group.
  • Generally, grants are not made for advertising or sponsorships; annual campaigns; debt reduction; individuals; medical or other research organizations; political purposes or lobbying activities; routine operating expenses for ongoing programs, salaries/benefits of organization staff; sectarian religious purposes; tickets or advertising for fundraising events.

Application Information

Applications are available for download below.

Completed applications must be received by 5:00 p.m. on March 1 and September 1. 

Please Mail Application to

The Wightman/Wieber Charitable Foundation
ATTN:  Stephanie M. Lawrence, Administrative Assistant
Civista Wealth Management
100 E. Water Street, Sandusky, OH  44870

Incomplete applications, faxed applications, or applications submitted after the deadline will not be considered.

Applicant organizations may be contacted for further information or documentation regarding the grant application. However, it is the policy of the Wightman/Wieber Foundation Distribution Committee not to engage in discussion regarding outcomes of pending grant proposals.

Contact Information

Please call 419-625-8424 or email for assistance or questions regarding the Wightman/Wieber grant making program.

Erie County Community Foundation

Click here to learn more about the Erie County Community Foundation

Policy Change Information

A recent change in our funding policy will not permit us to grant funding request made off-cycle or without a completed Grant Application. Future funding requests will only be considered at our regularly scheduled distribution meetings.

Thank you to the Wightman Wieber Foundation

The staff, students and volunteers of Boots to Grasses want to thank you for your donation for a multi-purpose tractor that will make caring for our grounds simpler and much less expensive. Your very generous gift truly makes a difference in how much we can offer to meet the needs of those who face challenges beyond the norm.

Boots to Grasses - Therapeutic Horsemanship Program

We thank you for your generous donation to Grace’s Table. We appreciate your support and without You there is no Us to serve our communities’ needs. Thanks again! You are such a blessing to so many.

Grace's Table Food Pantry

Grace Lutheran Church - Castalia, Ohio

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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