Date: December 28th, 2018

Grants Awarded by Crawford County Community Fund

The Crawford County Community Fund presented its 2018 grants at the December meeting of the Crawford County Board of Supervisors.

2018 Crawford County Community Fund grant recipients:
Seated (left to right): Representing the North Crawford School District Wellness Committee, Liz Bransky; School District of Seneca SHARE Youth Leadership, Travis Zach, Diane Yager & Delaney Boland; Village of Gays Mills Tree Safety & Restoration Program, Kim Pettit.  Standing (left to right): Representing the Mississippi Valley Conservancy, Judge Jim Czajkowski & Carol Abrahamzon; CouleeCap’s Homelessness Prevention Program, Kim Cable; the Crawford County 4-H New Horse Barn Project, Margaret Davidson; the Crawford County Domestic Abuse Program, Lisa Johanningmeier; and the Prairie Du Chien Area School District Arts Midwest World Fest and Bluffview Elementary 6th grade Outdoor Education Program, Bob Smudde.

Lori Bekkum, CCCF advisory board chair, in her opening remarks noted, “This is the 10th year that grants have been presented from the earnings of this endowed fund. It is through the donations of many that the endowment, established in 2008, has grown to over $127,000. The endowment’s earnings have enabled our advisory board to grant over $44,000 to some 40 projects within Crawford County that improve organizational capacity and strengthen economic development.”

Nine grants totaling $7500 were presented as follows:

• $500 to Catholic Charities of the Diocese of La Crosse in support of the Crawford County Domestic Abuse Program;
• $500 to CouleeCap’s Homelessness Prevention Program in Crawford County;
• $500 to the Mississippi Valley Conservancy to support the MVC 2019-2020 Trail Trek Challenge and specifically to promote hiking on the trails in Crawford County;
• $500 to support the 2019-2020 Bluffview Elementary 6th grade outdoor education program;
• $1,000 for the Crawford County 4-H New Horse Barn for the County Fairgrounds Project;
• $1,000 to the Village of Gays Mills for the Village’s comprehensive public/private tree safety and restoration program;
• $1000 in support of the Prairie Du Chien Area School District Arts Midwest World Fest and specifically for the March 2019 appearance of a performing group from Norway;
• $1,200 to the North Crawford School Wellness Committee, to further the District’s Strong Bodies Initiative; and
• $1,300 the School District of Seneca SHARE Youth Leadership to assist with the 21st Annual Holiday Gift Basket Program.

Bekkum introduced her fellow board members to the Board noting the time that these volunteers invest on behalf of the residents of the county. The 2019 board members include Chad Abram, Craig Anderson, Jane Holzhauer, Pete Flesch, Jonathan French, Roni Gundlach, Michael Higgins, and Bob Van Hoesen. Bekkum also recognized ‘retiring’ board members (those completing the maximum 6 years of service).
Speaking of Joe Friar, Bekkum recounted Joe’s service on the grant review committee and the leadership awards committee. She also noted his support for Crawford Markets Care program and mentioned his new role as a volunteer with the North Crawford Community Education Foundation.

In congratulating and thanking ‘retiree’ Camille Smith, Bekkum noted that Smith had served as both chair and vice chair of the board as well as assisting with grant review and the leadership awards program. Further, she recounted Smith’s role as ‘author’ of the phrases “BY US. FOR US.” (meaning donations given to the CCCF are directed for work in Crawford County) and “WE DO 3 THINGS” (noting that the board focuses on grants, leadership recognition, and the Crawford Markets Care program).

Bekkum concluded by encouraging continuing donations to the endowment. She pointed to the $1000 donor plaque in the room saying, “I want to remind you that you’ll find the names of our donors (individuals, organizations, businesses) who have given $1000 or more on the plaque in this room. Take a look – these names represent BUILDERS of our county. Annually we add more names – maybe we’ll add yours someday!”

The Crawford County Community Fund is a component of the Community Foundation of Southern Wisconsin, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. The Community Foundation of Southern Wisconsin works with charitable donors in nine counties in southern Wisconsin. Donations to the Crawford County Community Fund are accepted at PO Box 13, Seneca WI 54654 or online at For further information, contact Lori Bekkum ([email protected]) or CFSW Donor Services Rep Barb Daus ([email protected] or 608-778-3344).