Brissman Foundation

August  19, 2013

A new foundation hopes to improve the quality of life in Milan for years to come. The Grant W. Brissman and Virginia M. Brissman Foundation will give out its first grants to nonprofit organizations in Milan starting this fall. 

Matt Mendenhall from the Community Foundation of the Great River Bend, which is administering the grants, says the couple left behind a 2.8 million dollar estate.

"The funding will go to support community development," said Mendenhall, "Youth development, cultural activities, and then really other things that raelly alleviate suffering that's related to poverty."

In 1948, Grant Brissman started Brissman's Auto Supply in Milan. His wife Virginia worked for the Illinois Bell Telephone Company. The two were active in the Milan community, and cared about helping their neighbors.

"They just loved the community and provided their own service and resources probably while they were living as well," said Mendenhall. "But when they established their foundation they determined that these four items would be the things that they would want the board of directors to focus on helping the community with."

Grant applications are now being accepted on the foundation's website (, and are due by October 15th.