FLUSHING — Over 30 state and national charities have received a big financial boost, courtesy of the Kleemann- Hopson family from Clinton Township.
Maria Kleemann, senior partner with the Flushing Valley Golf and Country Club, recently donated $1.8 million to 31 local, state and national charities. Kleemann invited representatives from each of the impacted charities to the Flushing Valley Golf & Country Club for a banquet and check presentations on May 18.
The event also paid tribute to Maria Kleemann’s late husband Eugene “Gene” Kleemann, who passed away in 2019 at the age of 95. Gene Kleemann partnered with Motor City Golf to purchase the Flushing Valley Golf and Country Club in 2016 and took up part-time residence at the golf course during the summers.
James Hopson, Maria Kleemann’s son, said that his stepfather Gene was passionate about philanthropy and always looked for an opportunity to help others.
“If people were in need, he knew that he had the means to help them,” Hopson said. “He was very frugal in his life and very fortunate, and he wanted to share that with people and help them financially. It really brought him excitement and a twinkle to his eye when he was able to give.”
Maria, who married Gene Kleemann around a decade ago, took up her husband’s philanthropic mantle and expanded the family’s donation network from seven charities to 31.
“Gene told me to never leave the house without a few $20 bills in my wallet,” she said. “He always said ‘You never know when someone will need your help.’ That’s just the kind of guy he was.”
Altogether, Maria Kleemann’s donations benefited medical organizations like Doctors Without Borders and The Mercy Ship; veterans organizations such as the Paralyzed Veterans of America and the Wounded Warrior Project; Turning Point, a domestic violence shelter located in Mount Clemens; a youth golf program in Detroit; several senior assisted living facilities in southeast Michigan and the Metro Detroit area; the Great Lakes Division Sea Cadets; and numerous churches and homeless shelters in southeast Michigan.