Couple honored for creating Holland/Zeeland Promise scholarship program

Bob and Colette DeNooyer understand the power of education for transforming lives. 

In 2010, they led a group of business and community leaders to come together to create Holland/Zeeland Promise Scholarship program. This last-dollar scholarship is awarded to local highly motivated students who are often the first in their families to go to college. 

The DeNooyers were recently honored for that vision with the Community Foundation of the Holland/Zeeland Area (CFHZ) 2022 Marvin C. Lindeman Distinguished Service Award. The award recognizes their contributions to the community through the foundation.

Bob and Colette DeNooyer react to receiving their award

The Holland/Zeeland Promise was created for local students with high financial need, proven academic success, and motivation to achieve the goal of a college or technical degree. 

‘Commitment, heart, and passion’

The award was presented during the foundation’s annual luncheon event on May 26 at the Holland Civic Center. 

“It’s appropriate to recognize what Bob and Colette did with their vision of how to make our community a better place,” says Mike Goorhouse, CFHZ president and CEO. “It takes a certain kind of commitment, heart, and passion to take that vision and turn it into what the Promise program has become. They took an idea and transformed it into something that has impacted many lives already, and it’s set up to impact many, many more lives for years to come.”

Mike Goorhouse, Yah-Hanna Jenkins Leys, Elizabeth Kidd, and Colleen Hill present at CFHZ Annual Luncheon.

The Marvin C. Lindeman Distinguished Service Award was established in 2005 and is given to past board members or key volunteers to recognize and thank them for their meritorious service to CFZH. 

The award is named for a dedicated volunteer and fundraiser in Holland/Zeeland. Lindeman was instrumental in securing funding for the Herrick District Library, and his efforts helped grow many nonprofit organizations, including the Century Club and the Holland Museum. He was one of the founders of the Holland Community Foundation and served as both a trustee and president of the board for a number of years until his death in 1972. 

Past Lindeman Award recipients include Ann Query (2019), Char Amante (2016), Peter Neydon (2015), Grace Piersma (2012), Jeffrey Helder (2010), Harvey Buter (2009), John Nordstrom (2008), James M. Watt (2007), Ronald Dalman (2006), and James Townsend (2005). 

“We are thrilled with the ongoing success of the Promise. That would not be happening without the financial support of this community that has stepped up to help deserving students achieve their dreams for over 10 years now,” the DeNooyers say after accepting the award. “There are many people to thank for their support, and included in that list is the Community Foundation and especially Stacy Timmerman, CFHZ director of scholarships. The side-by-side support services the foundation helped coordinate are crucial in helping these talented young people succeed. We are so grateful for this recognition.”


Read more articles by Shandra Martinez.