Stories of Meaningful Change


Stories from the Community Foundation of Greater Flint.

Helping Someone Else

Their love story began in the 1970s at Flint Osteopathic Hospital (FOH) on Ballenger Highway. He was a resident physician, she a visitor to her father's hospital room. When they met, the magic was there for Mark and Genie Plucer. The young physician loved the photo of Genie's two poodles she had carefully placed by her father's bedside table. He would visit her father and bring along treats for the poodles, endearing himself to Genie forever.

For 40 years the Plucers have been engaged in community work. The couple cares about many causes and has devoted their time and expertise as volunteers. They were introduced to the Community Foundation by their professional advisor. He recommended they establish a donor advised fund using highly appreciated stock. Now the Plucers have the flexibility to recommend grants to the causes they care about most.

Genie and Mark Plucer

Dr. Plucer was raised in Detroit, Mich., the son of a local pharmacist. His parents were involved in raising money for students who wanted to attend pharmacy school, but couldn't afford it. He remembers the scholarship events his parents helped to plan, "dinner dances to raise money so that a few students could go to pharmacy school."

During his residency program at FOH, Dr. Plucer earned extra money by working for other physicians. He recalls the first time he made a gift to charity.

"One of the physicians I worked for gave me a check for $100 and I was really thrilled," said Dr. Plucer. "He said it would be nice if we could use that money as a donation to the Flint Jewish Federation. So I endorsed the check and gave it back to him. It killed me at the time, but I did it!"

Genie was a social worker and media talent, producing her own "Dr. Laura" style radio and television program. She experienced hard times during her childhood, but today that's a driver for her generosity. "There were times when I struggled terribly, and I know what that's like," Genie said. "And because of that it made me want to help other people, because I know what it's like to be on the flip side."

Now both retired, the Plucers continue to volunteer at their favorite nonprofit organizations, and focus on their philanthropy.

"Life is about helping someone else ... giving some else a leg up on life," Dr. Plucer said. "We hope to enrich other's lives."