Well, time marches on and your Decatur County Community Foundation had to bid a fond farewell to three board members at the end of 2019 and welcome three new ones in their place in 2020.
With their final meeting being held earlier in December, Dick Glaser, Mary Miers and Vince Rettig took their seats at the table for a final lunch-time meeting. Even with a full agenda, Board President Daryl Tressler took time to thank each of the outgoing members for their service. Mary Miers had served as the Marketing Chair and as a member of the Ag Committee, Vince Rettig served as Secretary-Treasurer to the Board as well as Chairman of the Investment and Finance Committee. Dick Glaser served as Board President for a term and for many years as Chairman of the Large Grants Committee. We are pleased that he plans to remain on the committee. Each of these three brought their individual personalities and skill sets to work with them and we can truly say the Foundation made great strides in many areas thanks to their guidance.
Our three incoming board members are Bill Corya, Jane Obermeyer and Rick Johnson. Knowing the involvement that these three have had out in the community, we are looking forward to hitting the floor running in 2020. Bill is already asking me hard questions about how foundations function. I guess if I don’t know the answers by now, I’d better be working on finding out! Both Bill and Rick were already serving on the Investment Committee. Jane was fun to talk to at her orientation and the different perspectives brought by these new board members will have all of us examining how we do business and our goal is to always strive to be better. Jane, Bill and Rick are joining Daryl Tressler, Stephanie Kress, Kristi Jarvis, Hank Martin, Drew Young and Steve Freeman to round out our 9 member Board of Directors.
Anyone out there considering applying for a Large Grant should be aware that the first Letter of Intent is due by Feb. 14. You can go onto our website at www.dccfound.org to find out what you need to know to apply for up to $15,000 to fund your project. As it has been for at least the last year, Small Grants can be applied for monthly. Any Small Grant request received by the 5th of any given month will be acted on by the fourth Friday of that same month. We are always trying to streamline our processes and will soon be switching our applications to our new software. Never hesitate to call or stop by if you have any problems.
DCCF stands for Decatur County Community Foundation but it could just as easily be “Decatur Countians Care Fervently”. Those who have moved into our community recognize that we have something special going on. If you’ve lived here your whole life, you just accept what happens here as what probably happens everywhere. But, outsiders who’ve moved here say differently. They are amazed at the level of giving that happens in our community. They are impressed at how the community steps up when there is a need or a great cause to support. Since starting at the Community Foundation over five years ago, I have seen firsthand what good things are going on. Often, when you get caught up in doing what you have to do on a daily basis just to get your day in, it gets easy to get into a rut. When it is gray and rainy, it is easy to become glum and let your mood reflect the weather. If you want to feel good about your community and your life, take time to volunteer to help in one of the so many good causes there are. Everyone has something to give, whether it is time, talent or treasure.
Since it began in 1992, the community foundation has worked with local people to build a fund for the community that would be able to help meet needs far into the future. As of the writing of this column, I just read a report that stated that your Community Fund has nearly $23 million in investments. Proceeds from your Community Fund have put over $12 million dollars in grants and scholarships back into your community since the foundation started giving back. With the guidance of great board members and an Investment Committee that insists on getting more knowledge about the world of foundations, we are poised to make an even bigger difference in the community. Board members volunteer their time, not just at meetings but to go to trainings to learn more about what our foundation can do for our community. If you have ideas, we want to hear them. Stop by any time Monday through Friday at the office located at Main and Broadway, call us at 812-662-6364 or track me down wherever you can find me.
Happy new year!