Established in 2008, this fund is the first geographic affiliate of the Foundation. Its purpose is to provide opportunities for charitable giving to enhance the quality of life in Alma Center and surrounding area. Grants will be awarded from the annual earnings to non-profit groups and organizations for beautification projects, such as maintaining the Turtle Pond Park, social, recreational and tourism opportunities, and health and safety programs for residents.
THE ALMA CENTER AREA COMMUNITY FUND
-Kristi Hanson, Trustee and Alma Center Resident
Throughout its long and interesting history, the Alma Center area has been home to countless individuals who have benefitted from advantages offered to residents of this beautiful part of Jackson County. Some individuals and families have remained to enjoy those advantages, while others have moved on, carrying special memories with them.
The Alma Center Area Community Fund (Fund) was established in 2008 to provide opportunities for charitable giving to enhance the quality of life in Alma Center and the immediate surrounding area. As a lifelong Alma Center Resident and current Black River Area Foundation member, it is exciting to work with the Alma Center Community Fund as progress is made toward realizing the goal of awarding grants. The Fund is over halfway to its initial goal of $100,000!
Once the initial goal is met, grants will be made from the Fund to non-profit groups and organizations requesting financial support for projects aimed at benefitting the Alma Center area in the following general areas:
1.) Maintaining the Turtle Pond Park
2.) Improving the physical attributes of the area, including community beautification
3.) Increasing or improving social, recreational and tourism opportunities
4.) Improving health and safety programs for residents
5.) Supporting Alma Center-Humbird-Merrillan School District enrichment opportunities
In November of 2014 the committee initiated a fundraising capital campaign via the mail. Initially, only the interest from the Fund’s balance will be used for grants. However, as the Fund grows, both the interest and the principal will be available. Through private donations the Fund will make possible the development and support of community improvement projects not always possible through public funding.
The Fund will be governed at the local level by an Advisory Board composed of five volunteer members, residents who understand the needs of the community and who are committed to helping meet those needs through Alma Center’s own community fund. Each year local non-profit groups and organizations will be able to apply for grants for projects within the Fund’s five general areas. As an affiliate of the Black River Falls Area Foundation, the Alma Center Fund will enjoy the benefits of pooled resources, professional fund management, and tax advantages, while retaining the right to set its own purpose and goals and to be fully involved in the grant process.
Gifts to the Fund may be large or small. They may be designated for a specific use or directed to the general account. Some donors may choose to make tribute gifts, gifts made in memory or in honor of someone. The Alma Center Community Fund is hoping to become a model for other local Jackson County communities to promote and share the small town lifestyle that makes all Jackson County communities unique and special places to live, play, and work!