Dave and Karen Custer have been chosen to receive the Frederik Meijer Service Above Self Award, given
by the Rotary Club of Grand Rapids. The award is presented in recognition of Frederik Meijer’s philanthropic acts of
selfless service to our community, which left a lasting impact on the lives of others.
“We are pleased and excited to honor Dave and Karen Custer as the 2022 Frederik Meijer Service Above Self Award winner for
their contributions to our community. Their generous and gracious spirits embodies the true meaning of this award,” said
Hank Meijer, Fred Meijer’s son and Executive Chairman of Meijer, Inc.
Dave and Karen Custer have been involved in the GR community for many years. Their willingness to serve the community combined with their significant philanthropic generosity in many areas and organizations embodies the values and tenets of this award. The shear scope of their involvement speaks volumes to their involvement and improving lives through their generosity and commitment. But beyond that, their compassionate nature and humble actions make them an example in a wide variety/diversity of organizations. They are hands on and lead by example.
Both Dave and Karen have been involved in a number of organizations as influencers. Involved with WMU Foundation, Chairman of GRCC Foundation, Hope on the Hill Foundation, Clark Retirement Community Capital Campaign Chair and Board Trustee, these positions provided the opportunity to engage and encourage philanthropy in others. Dave is a member and past president of Grand Rapids Rotary, member and past chairman of the Grand Rapids Economic Club, member and past president of Cascade Hills Country Club, director at Irwin Seating.
Through their mission and faith driven philosophy and beliefs, Dave and Karen have put the needs of the community as a primary focus of their values and way of life. They are easily accessible and committed to the betterment of individuals, organizations and the community. The Custer organization is committed to at giving at least 10% back to charities and organizations. According to their son, Todd, is that it always goes beyond their 10% to hundreds non-profits in the greater Grand Rapids area. Their family meets once a month in consideration of requests received and it is very infrequent that they do not fulfill a need – at least in some way. It could be financial or by the works they do. They also continue these same principles when it comes to addressing and caring for their employees and staff.
“We are honored to receive an award that bears the name of Fred Meijer and believe that you should do all you can for
others when you can and while you can. We are truly humbled by this recognition which is truly an honor to us,” said Dave.
Some of Marge’s notable achievements are the establishment of the Samuel Omogo Foundation, a project designed to
foster the responsible development of clean water sources for villages in southeastern Nigeria. She received the
Inaugural Marge Wilson Community Service Leadership Award from AMBUCS and Distinguished Service Award from the
Wyoming-Kentwood Chamber of Commerce.
Previous Frederik Meijer Service Above Self Award honorees include Marge Wilson, Jackie Taylor PhD, Shelley Irwin, Rick DeVos, John
and Nancy Kennedy and the late Luis Tomatis, MD.
“The opportunity to humbly present this annual award to Marge is tri-fold in nature: it recognizes a local philanthropist
leader that mirrors the impact Frederick Meijer had and continues to make on this community, while demonstrating the
values and mission of Rotary,” said Jon Hankins, president of the Rotary Club of Grand Rapids.
The Rotary Club of Grand Rapids will honor Dave and at the Frederik Meijer Service Above Self Award Celebration on
Tuesday, May 10, 2022, beginning at 6:00pm. The celebration will take place at The Cultural Center. Proceeds of the
event will benefit the Rotary Club of Grand Rapids Charities Foundation. The Foundation exists to support the needs of
individuals, non-profit projects and/or programs aligned with its primary focus areas of health, education and youth
The community is invited to attend. Tickets are on available at Eventbrite.