To The Herald-Whig:
In November 1997, a small group of committed citizens invested in the future of our region with a simple vision: an accessible vehicle for local charitable giving. From that vision, the Community Foundation Serving West Central Illinois and Northeast Missouri was born, and two gifts totaling $1,050 were received that year. Twenty years later, that vision holds true, improving communities.
Under the leadership of its first executive director, Reaugh Broemmel, the foundation established its first permanently endowed fund in 1998. Quincy native and professional golfer D.A. Weibring established a fund to benefit ARC of Adams County. That fund will continue in perpetuity to support those with developmental disabilities.
A year and a few more funds later, the Community Foundation made its first grants totaling $10,000 to 11 organizations. Ten years after those initial grants were made, a $1 million grant-making milestone was announced. Now, over $4 million in grants have been awarded, and we are climbing toward granting $1 million annually. That's the power of endowment -- those gifts from 1997 continue to grow and grant forever.
While it is humbling to look back at this growth, the Community Foundation's real impact does not lie solely in numbers or dollars granted, but rather in the many stories of the donors and nonprofits who have worked and have contributed to meet the needs of the communities we serve.
Each of our more than 175 funds has its own vision for change, for stability, for betterment -- and that's the beauty of our Community Foundation. Donors can give in ways that matter to them, creating a legacy of love and generosity that will last for generations.
Our funds honor loved ones; teach families the value of philanthropy; provide permanent support to organizations close to the donors' heart; or just give back to a community that's provided opportunity, prosperity or success to a donor.
From improving the quality and quantity of child care options to supporting programs for those suffering from Alzheimer's disease, our grants improve the quality of life in West-Central Illinois and Northeast Missouri.
The success of the Community Foundation is a reflection of the generosity and spirit of the whole region. We live in a unique area where philanthropy is a part of our culture. Giving back, caring and providing for others is what we do and who we are. The more than 3,000 individuals and businesses that have made contributions to the Community Foundation are evidence of that.
William McCleery Jr.
Chairman of the board
Community Foundation Serving ?West Central Illinois and Northeast Missouri