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Sirico Parables book

Spire: Volume 1, Number 2

Keeping the American Dream Alive

    As decades-long supporters of Acton Institute, Charles and Jan Stoddard are living the American Dream. Their fifty-six years of marriage have led to four children, eight grandchildren, one great-grandchild, and a cozy home by a lake in Michigan. Don’t let their modesty keep you from seeing how their extraordinary drive fuels their commitment to doing their part to keep the American Dream alive for others to achieve. There’s more to the Stoddards than meets the eye.

    Charles is something of a serial entrepreneur. Over the course of his career, he founded a bank, a private K–12 school for children with learning disabilities, and an angel investment firm. In addition to his business endeavors, Charles is also heavily involved in the community in and around Grand Rapids, Michigan. He has served as president of his local Rotary Club chapter; is a founding member of the Economic Club of Grand Rapids; and has served as a board member for Blodgett Hospital, Butterworth Hospital, Grand Rapids Foundation, Michigan State University Development Fund, and the Gerald R. Ford Council of the Boy Scouts of America.

    Given his spirit of innovation and generosity, combined with his lifelong commitment to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, it should surprise no one that Charles and his wife Jan have been supporters of the Acton Institute for more than thirty years. Since it began in 1990, the Acton Institute and its goals have simply made sense to the Stoddards. The two of them recently attended the Annual Dinner—one of their favorite events of the year—and remain passionate about the mission and direction of Acton Institute.

    The Stoddards are particularly excited about The Hong Konger, Acton Institute’s documentary about the incredible Jimmy Lai. They hope that the buzz about the film can raise the visibility of the Institute as a whole. For they see Acton’s mission to promote a free and virtuous society as central to fostering the civic republicanism needed for all to flourish.

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