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Donor Johnson

Robert Johnson and Lynne Jarman-Johnson

Robert Johnson vividly recalls, at age four, playing with a dump truck in the driveway of his parents' Grandville home, while his mother visited with a friend. The visitor was Lynne Jarman-Johnson's mother. After the ladies said their goodbyes, Lynne's mom got in her car, and, as she backed down the driveway, she accidently ran over Rob's dump truck. "I vowed to get even with her one day, and I did—by marrying her daughter," Rob joked.

Lynne and Rob are self-described elementary school sweethearts. After graduating from Grandville High School, they attended Michigan State University. Lynne studied communication and Rob focused on criminal justice.

While Rob waited for a position to open up at the police academy, Lynne encouraged him to give law school a try. He attended Cooley Law School in Lansing and found his calling. Today he is an attorney specializing in civil litigation with Hackney, Grover, Hoover & Bean.

Lynne worked at WOOD-TV 8 through college. She served as a TV-8 news producer and as its public service director before leaving in 1989 to start Jarman-Johnson Communication.

Beyond their successful careers, Lynne and Rob beam when they talk about their family. They are proud parents of six children. "I want my kids to always be happy and to be proud of what they are doing," Lynne said. "I hope they live life with no regrets," Rob added.

Rob and Lynne also have great affection for their community and they want to give back. That's why they were excited to learn about Grand Rapids Community Foundation's Metz Society.

"With kids in college, we're not able to give back to the community in ways we otherwise could. We are investing our dollars in our children right now to help them become great community leaders," Lynne explained.

The Metz Society provides them a way to be philanthropic while still taking care of family needs. Rob and Lynne chose to include a gift for the Community Foundation in their estate plan. Lynne has specified that her eventual gift will benefit children. Rob wants his gift to be used for scholarships so that someone who couldn't otherwise afford it will receive the opportunity to attend college.

"We're part of the Metz Society for two reasons. First, we like knowing that someday our gift will have a direct impact on an individual. Second, we hope it sends a message to people like us that they can give too. You can choose the cause or organization that's most important to you, but the important thing is to give," Rob said.

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