CANTON, Mo. -- An anonymous couple offered a challenge grant last fall to help grow the Lewis County Endowment -- handled by the Community Foundation Serving West Central Illinois and Northeast Missouri -- by a total of $20,000.
The Lewis County Fund Council accepted that challenge but had until May 15 to secure donations from multiple donors totaling $10,000 to match the anonymous couple's gift of $10,000.
On Tuesday, the members of the fund council gathered at Martin Park in Canton to announce that it met the match, securing more than $11,000 in donations to qualify for the $10,000 gift.
Virgil Welker, chairman of the Lewis County Fund Council, thanked everyone who contributed.
"What each donor contributed will permanently benefit needs and opportunities in our community. By investing to the Lewis County Endowment, we're able to grow our grantmaking capacity now and for generations," Welker said.
A total of 19 donors contributed to the effort and 10 of them were first-time donors to the fund. These gifts from individuals, businesses and civic organizations have been pooled and invested to build the fund's grantmaking capacity.
The anonymous couple that issued the challenge gift said in a release that they were "excited and happy" that other donors contributed.
"We are so appreciative of the people, including businesses, who stepped up to the plate to match our gift and grow the Lewis County Endowment."
The Lewis County Endowment was created in April 2013 in response to the Community Foundation's invitation to the 12 counties it serves to establish charitable endowments. Citizens from Lewis County raised $15,000, the Community Foundation matched it with $15,000. Lewis is one of five counties that have established such endowments.
In all, about 32 individuals, businesses, and civic organizations have contributed to the endowment since it was created.
The first grants to nonprofit organizations in Lewis County were made in 2016 and will continue under the Community Foundation's competitive grant program.
Gifts of any amount can be made at any time to continue growing the Lewis County Endowment Fund. Gifts should be made to the Community Foundation, noting which fund or county they are to benefit. The Community Foundation accepts a variety of gifts including cash, stocks, grain, livestock, IRA distributions and other assets.
Since 1997, the Community Foundation has made more than $6 million in grants. It serves 12- counties: Adams, Brown, Hancock and Pike in Illinois and Clark, Lewis, Marion, Ralls, Pike, Knox, Shelby and Monroe in Missouri.
More information is available from Virgil Welker at 217-242-6369 or firstname.lastname@example.org or the Community Foundation at 217-222-1237 or email@example.com.