The Chalfonte Foundation had a humble origin. In his salad days as chaplain at Children’s Hospital of Michigan in Detroit (CHM), Fr. James L. Meyer observed that parents, most often moms with their sick children, were being “nickeled and dimed to death” for TV, meals, parking.... He noticed that it was often the cleaning ladies who would press some change into their hands: “Here dearie, you can use this.” Fr. Meyer began doing the same. Being the good “hustler” that he is, he parlayed the petty pocket cash into more substantial funding, first under the auspices of his church and then in 2000, incorporated in the State of Michigan as an IRS sanctioned 501 c.3. public charity known today as the “Chalfonte Foundation.”
In 1977 Jimeyer’s parents, Alice and Matt Meyer, retired to a Victorian house built in 1881 two blocks from the public beach in Elk Rapids, Michigan. They welcomed their son on visits, inevitably with a kid or two from the hospital. They both passed in the mid-1980s and the house now known at Chalfonte House, fell to Jimeyer. From these origins with one or two persons, Chalfonte served more than 400 children, parents and support persons in 2012.