Date: May 29th, 2018

Inaugural Grants Awarded from Mineral Point Community Endowment

MPCF board member Nancy Schmit, center, presents a grant in support of the Restoration of the Governor Dodge Lodge at Water Tower Park to Kiwanis President Joelle Doye (left) and Kiwanis 50-year member Merle Freymiller.

Some may remember the early conversations – in January of 2016 – about the development of an endowment that would generate monies FOR GOOD, FOR EVER, FOR MINERAL POINT. Much has happened since the successful establishment of the Mineral Point Community Endowment fund in June of that year. In fact, through the generous contributions of many in our community, the endowment currently exceeds $150,000 (3 times the required initial amount of $50,000). The endowed monies ARE NOT EXPENDED. Rather, earnings on the endowment are made available to DO GOOD through grants to benefit the community.

Earlier this month the MPCF advisory board reviewed 8 grant requests from very well developed and written grant applications. Two awards were approved – a grant to Shake Rag Alley for the Sardeson Building Renovation Project and a grant to the Mineral Point Kiwanis for the Restoration of the Governor Dodge Lodge at Water Tower Park.

Kristin Mitchell, board chair, noted, “There are incredible organizations in our community with great people whose ideas and energy enhance life for all of us. We are extremely proud to make these grants and very appreciated of the many donors that have helped us to establish and build the MPCF endowment.

Mike Wagner, MPCF board member (right), presents a grant in support of the Sardeson Building Renovation Project to Mike Christensen, president of the board of Shake Rag Alley.

We’re looking forward to 2019 with the goal of making additional grants.”

The Mineral Point Community Endowment Fund is a component of the Community Foundation of Southern Wisconsin, a 501(c)(3) public charity. For additional information, contact Kristin Mitchell, board chair (608-987-3370 or kristin@kristinmitchelldesign.com) or CFSW Donor Services Rep Barb Daus (608-778-3344 or barb@cfsw.org). Donations may be made online at www.cfsw.org or by mail to MP Community Endowment Fund, PO Box 24, Mineral Point WI 53565.

Date: May 22nd, 2018

Iowa-Grant Educational Foundation Awards Scholarships to 16 Students

Sixteen Class of 2018 Iowa-Grant graduates were recently presented certificates and scholarship awards totaling just over $12,900 made possible through the work of the Iowa-Grant Educational Foundation and its volunteer board of directors and the donations of those that support Iowa-Grant, its programs and students.

Recipients of 2018 Iowa-Grant Educational Foundation Scholarships
Front row – left to right: Matthew Hill, Bailey Lindner, Gracelyn Silvers, Callie Rickard, Brady Peat, Fred Skaife IGEF Board. Middle row – left to right: William Spurley, Clayton Kite, Clint Havlik, Rebecca Gorsline, Hännah Lindner, Peggy Biddick IGEF Board. Back row – left to right: Easton Dobson, Blake Butteris, Brandon Graul, Carley Rider, Brandon Bickford, Garret Bingham.

Those receiving scholarships and their post-secondary education plans follow:

Brandon Bickford, studying Farm Operations/Ag Mechanics at Southwest Wisconsin Technical College;
Garret Bingham, studying Ag Business at Southwest Wisconsin Technical College;
Blake Butteris, studying Ag Business at Southwest Wisconsin Technical College;
Easton Dobson, studying Industrial Engineering at UW-Milwaukee;
Rebecca Gorsline, studying Astronomy/Physics at UW-Madison;
Brandon Graul, studying Farm Operations/Ag Mechanics at Southwest Wisconsin Technical College;
Clint Havlik, studying Business Administration at UW-Platteville;
Matthew Hill, studying Communications at Southwest Wisconsin Technical College;
Clayton Kite, studying Business at UW-La Crosse;
Bailey Lindner, studying Biology/Pre-Med at UW-Madison;
Hannah Lindner, studying Communication/Spanish at Eureka College;
Brady Peat, studying Business Finance at UW-Madison;
Callie Rickard, studying Occupational Therapy at UW-Milwaukee;
Carley Rider, studying Engineering at UW-Platteville;
Gracelyn Silvers, studying Child Psychology at Madison College; and
William Spurley, studying Microbiology at UW-Madison.

In commenting on the scholarship presentations IGEF board chair Paulette Divall said, “Without the support of our many donors these scholarships would not be possible. We are particularly grateful for the endowed scholarships that have been established by families and through bequests; these legacy scholarships will be given for ever. We are equally honored that a number of families have chosen to give the memorial monies that honor their deceased loved ones to IGEF to be used, this year, for scholarships.”

The Iowa-Grant Educational Foundation, a component of the Community Foundation of Southern Wisconsin, was established in 2000. Its mission is to build an endowment that provides private resources for the support of the Iowa-Grant School District. The Foundation’s work includes providing scholarships to graduating seniors and making grants in support of innovative and creative educational programming that is beyond the boundaries of the Iowa-Grant School District budget. For more information or to make a donation to the Foundation contact IGEF advisory board chair Paulette Divall (pdivall@yahoo.com) or CFSW Donor Services Representative Barb Daus (barb@cfsw.org or 608-778-3344). Donations may be sent to the Iowa-Grant Educational Foundation, PO Box 124, Livingston, WI 53554 or can be made online at www.cfsw.org.

Date: April 24th, 2018

Crawford County Community Fund Presents 2018 Leadership Awards

Crossing Rivers Health in Prairie du Chien was the site for the presentation of the 8th annual Crawford County Leadership Awards, hosted by the Crawford County Community Fund. Rusty Cunningham, executive editor of the La Crosse Tribune, was the keynote speaker. CCCF Board Chair Camille Smith provided an update on activities of the Crawford County Community Fund and Lori Bekkum and Bob Van Hoesen presented the awards. Music was provided by a flute ensemble from North Crawford School.
Event sponsors included BAPI; Community Development Alternatives; Driftless Development; the Kickapoo Culinary Center; the Marketplace; Mississippi Valley Printers Inc/Courier Press; Nelson True Value; Peoples State Bank; River Bank; Royal Bank; and Scenic Rivers Energy Cooperative.

Front row (from the left): the Bushnell Sisters (Tammy Otteson and Liz Bremmer); Seneca educator Diane Yager; Opportunity Center CEO Pam Ritchie. Back row: Ron Wagner & Cindy Kohles; reps of the Big River Long Rifles – Julie Rosauer and Butch & Norma Smith; Seneca principal Pat Connors; reps of Rivers & Bluffs Animal Shelter – Bev Pozega and Staci Roth.

The Community Leadership and Service Award, honoring public service that enhances the economic, cultural, or social well-being of the Crawford County community, was presented to Rivers and Bluffs Animal Shelter, with Bev Pozega as ‘driving force.’ The Shelter – located on the north edge of Prairie du Chien – is open and providing services for homeless animals to find ‘forever’ homes. Ms. Pozega invested countless hours scheduling, organizing, and staffing fundraisers that, with the help of many dedicated volunteers, raised over $750,000 for the animal shelter construction.

The Tourism Award, recognizing a commitment to the enhancement of Crawford County tourism development and promotion, was presented to Big River Long Rifles Inc for their organization and sponsorship of the Prairie Villa Rendezvous. The Rendezvous recreates life as it was in the 1840’s when Prairie du Chien was the hub of fur trading. This year celebrating its 43rd anniversary, this event brings hundreds of participants and thousands of tourists to Crawford County and Prairie du Chien, year in and year out.

Two Educational Leadership Awards were presented. Diane Yager, a teacher at Seneca, was recognized for her role as SHARE advisor. One of the longest running youth leadership programs in Wisconsin, SHARE’s activities include the annual Christmas gift basket project, which distributes some 200 baskets to persons in their community and the annual School Wellness Day which features mini-sessions on topics such as drug abuse prevention, mental health, mediation, healthy eating, and fitness as well as plenary assemblies with well-known presenters like Miss Wisconsin, renowned humorist/hypnotist Terry DaVolt, and motivational speaker Mike McGowan.

Seneca administrator and teacher Pat Connors was applauded for his role in creating the STARS (Students and Teachers Achieving Real Success) program, designed to recognize and reward those students who follow the rules and do their part to create a productive learning environment in the middle school. Pat was also cited as the driving force behind the academic probation program, which, since its implementation, has reduced the number of low/failing grades in the school.

There were two Above and Beyond Awards presented. This award recognizes an individual, business, or organization that has demonstrated “out of the box” thinking that promotes regionalism, cooperation among communities or organizations, creative strategies or innovative approaches. Sisters Liz Bremmer and Tammy Otteson, were recognized for their efforts to support and help others by raising money. Whether it be the Eagles Heart and Cancer Telethon, Wheel of Todd, the Hooking for Hope Annual Fishing Tournament & Auction, or benefits for those suffering traumatic illness or disaster, Liz and Tammy share their knowledge and experience in fund raising then pitch in, with their families, as volunteers.

Cindy Kohles and Ron Wagner, known as the ‘Above & Beyond’ volunteers in Gays Mills, are known for their modesty and their dedication to recognizing the work of and crediting others. Whether it is the 2nd Harvest mobile food pantry, the CouleeCap food pantry, the Gays Mills Public Library, the Kickapoo Exchange Natural Foods Co-op, the Kickapoo Cultural Exchange or the Kickapoo Valley Friends, you’ll find Cindy and Ron working to make Crawford County a better place to live, work, and play.

The Business Development Award recognizes an individual, business, or organization that has demonstrated a spirit of community involvement toward the improvement of business and economic development in Crawford County. Pam Ritchie, CEO of the Opportunity Center in Prairie du Chien, was recognized for her leadership in building new enterprises to fund the Opportunity Center, citing the development of the Sharing Spaces Kitchen and Greenhouse, Unity Adult Care, and – specifically – the recently opened Café Hope. Located in the building on Beaumont that formerly housed Kozelka’s Men Wear, Café Hope opened in January teaching vocational skills to clients with the ultimate goal of their locating community-based employment.

The Crawford County Community Fund has presented Leadership Awards since 2011. Nominations are solicited, county-wide, in the first quarter of the year with the annual recognition event held in April. The Crawford County Community Fund, a component of the Community Foundation of Southern Wisconsin, Inc, is a tax-exempt public charity. The mission of the Crawford County Community Fund is to create stronger communities by matching generosity with economic need. That mission is accomplished by building an endowment to fund a grants program, through the continuation of the Crawford Markets Care initiative, and through this recognition program.

For more information, contact Camille Smith, Crawford County Community Fund chairperson (camillemsmith@icloud.com), or Barb Daus, donor services representative with the Community Foundation of Southern Wisconsin, at (608)778-3344, barb@cfsw.org.

Date: April 2nd, 2018

Crawford County Leadership Awards to Be Presented April 19

Seven awards will be presented at the 8th Annual Crawford County Leadership Awards program, organized by the advisory board to the Crawford County Community Fund. The event, honoring the awardees, will be held on Thursday, April 19, 2018, in Prairie du Chien at Crossing Rivers Health Center. It will begin with an hors d’oeuvres and dessert reception at 6:30 p.m. followed by the program at 7 p.m. The public is encouraged to attend and is asked to RSVP by Friday, April 13, 2018 to Camille Smith, Crawford County Community Fund Advisory Board chair (608-769-2503 or camillemsmith@icloud.com).

Those persons, businesses and/or organizations being honored in their respective categories include:

• Business Development Award – to Pam Ritchie for her work with Café Hope and the Opportunity Center
• Above & Beyond Awards (2) – to Cindy Kohles & Ron Wagner and to Liz Bremmer & Tammy Otteson
• Tourism Award – to Big River Long Rifles Inc for their organization of the Prairie Villa Rendezvous
• Leadership and Service Award – to Rivers & Bluffs Animal Shelter with Bev Pozega as the driving force
• Educational Leadership Awards (2) – to Diane Yager and to Pat Connors

Mr. Rusty Cunningham, editor of the La Crosse Tribune, is the featured speaker. Sponsors include BAPI, Community Development Alternatives, Driftless Development, Kickapoo Culinary Center, Nelson True Value, Peoples State Bank, River Bank – Ferryville Branch, Royal Bank, Scenic Rivers Energy Cooperative and The Marketplace. If you are interested in becoming a sponsor, contact Camille Smith (608-739-2503).

The Crawford County Community Fund, a component of the Community Foundation of Southern Wisconsin, was established in 2008. The Fund currently holds an endowment of over $135,000, using the earnings to make annual grants. The CCCF also organizes and administers the Crawford Markets Care program, which provides vouchers/coupons to food pantry clients to make fresh produce purchases at Crawford County Farmer’s Markets.
Community members, organizations and businesses may donate to the Crawford County Community Fund by sending a check to Crawford County Community Fund, PO Box 13, Seneca, Wisconsin 54654-0013. Donations are tax deductible, to the limits of the law. For more information, contact Camille Smith, Crawford County Community Fund chairperson at (608) 608-739-2503 or Barb Daus, donor services representative with the Community Foundation of Southern Wisconsin, at (608)778-3344 or barb@cfsw.org.

Date: March 21st, 2018

Grants Available from Don Hawkins Community Oak Savanna Endowment

“Though I do not believe that a plant will spring up where no seed has been, I have great faith in a seed… Convince me that you have a seed there, and I am prepared to expect wonders.” Henry David Thoreau

Members of the Hawkins Family (Michelle, Lynn, Tim, and Geralyn), celebrating the establishment of the Don Hawkins Community Oak Savanna Endowment which will provide grants, in perpetuity, to ensure a user-friendly outdoor classroom that encourages students’ and others’ positive interaction with the natural environment.

That simple statement most assuredly embodies the life of the late Don Hawkins and the work that continues from the many ‘seeds’ that he nurtured. As an agriculture instructor from 1951 to 1983 at MPHS, Don Hawkins planted seeds in every student he taught. After his retirement and through his work as a community volunteer, he continued to plant seeds and care for the land. Mr. Hawkins’ work as caretaker and advocate for two pieces of school property, one by the elementary school and the other by the high school, are among his most visible projects in Mineral Point. As a result of the seeds that he planted and nurtured – literally and figuratively – Mineral Point is home to the 5-acre “Don Hawkins Community Oak Savanna” and a beautiful 20-acre tall-grass prairie.

Mr. Hawkins’ family – pictured right – have assured the continuation of their father’s legacy of ‘having faith in a seed.’ Through the establishment the Don Hawkins Community Oak Savanna Endowment Fund, monies will be generated annually and in perpetuity, for grants that:

•Encourage students and community members to spend time in the savannas experiencing nature, what Mr. Hawkins called “Vitamin N”;
•Provide opportunities for people to learn about the native plants and animals of Wisconsin;
•Emphasize the importance of conservation and responsible land stewardship;
•Provide hands-on learning activities in the savannas;
•Increase the community’s awareness of the savannas and encourage the spirit of volunteerism;
•Promote activities across age groups that capture the spirit that existed in a one-room school house;
•Encourage continuous improvement, experimentation and innovation in savanna-related programming, activities, and events.

The initial seed money to establish the Don Hawkins Community Oak Savanna Endowment Fund came from a bequest in Mr. Hawkins’ will to support educational activities in the savannas. The Hawkins family generously supplemented that bequest. Donations have also been received from those who worked with Mr. Hawkins and continue his work in the savannas.

The recently created Mineral Point Excellence in Education Advisory Board, which is affiliated with the Community Foundation of Southern Wisconsin, has been identified to receive and evaluate grant applications for the expenditure of earnings from this Endowment.

MPEIE board chair Kristin Mitchell noted, “We are proud to announce the availability of monies for initial grants from the Hawkins Endowment. Any charitable non-profit organization or local government entity (municipality or school including specific classes and/or organizations) are eligible to make application. Our ultimate goal is ensure a user-friendly outdoor classroom that encourages students’ and others’ positive interaction with the natural environment.”

The application is available at www.cfsw.org – select the grants tab and find the application in the grants available list (https://www.cfsw.org/grants/open-grant-applications/). Please download the application, complete it, and save it as a .pdf. Submit it with the other required documents via email to grants@cfsw.org. Incomplete or late applications will not be considered. The complete application must be submitted via email no later than 11:59 p.m. Sunday, April 22, 2018 – Earth Day.

The Don Hawkins Community Oak Savanna Endowment Fund is a component of the Community Foundation of Southern Wisconsin, a 501(c)(3) public charity. It is administered by the Mineral Point Excellence in Education advisory board. For additional information, contact Kristin Mitchell, board chair (608-987-3370 or kristin@kristinmitchelldesign.com) or CFSW Donor Services Rep Barb Daus (608-778-3344 or barb@cfsw.org). For those interested in supporting this endowment, donations may be made online at www.cfsw.org or by mail to CFSW/Don Hawkins Community Oak Savanna Endowment Fund, PO Box 5, Mineral Point WI 53565.