Members of the Goessel Community Foundation Board awarded four grants between varsity basketball games Friday evening.
Board chair Cindy Wiens said the presentation was the beginning of a great future for Goessel. She talked about how pleased she and members of the board were to award these first grants.
“The Goessel Community Foundation is your legacy,” Wiens said. “It is your vision for Goessel, and your gift stays right here in the community and lasts forever.”
Three local organizations received a $200 award.
Kinder Haus Preschool’s money will be used for tuition scholarships to the preschool.
Mennonite Heritage & Agricultural Museum and Goessel Public Library each will use the money where it is needed most.
Meanwhile, $500 though the Goessel Community Seniors Fund was awarded to Bethesda Home.
“This check is to pick up where the Agape Center left off in providing meals to centers,” Wiens said.
On behalf of the board, Wiens highlighted the generosity of Joyful Noise and Agape Senior Center.
“Both of these organizations closed their doors this past year and we share in their sadness,” she said.
Wiens said she was overwhelmed by their trust and faith in the community’s new foundation and its mutual support.
Wiens asked residents to watch for other new funds as the GCF works toward its goal of $117,000 by 2017.
“The current foundation assets now total $56,000, so we are well on our way,” she said.
Anyone who would like to donate can choose various ways to do so, Wiens said.
“We accept donations of all sizes and all kinds, including donations in honor of named individuals or families or anonymous donations,” she said.
“Think about your dreams for Goessel and consider giving back to your community through your estate planning,” Wiens said.
With rural Kansas communities struggling for financial resources to maintain an attractive quality of life, many are establishing a community foundation as a vehicle for keeping local wealth working at home now and into the future.
Goessel became the fourth city in Marion County to take that step when local board members signed documents March 21, 2011, establishing an affiliation with the Central Kansas Community Foundation, based in Newton.
“The signing of the documents really was the beginning of it,” Wiens said in an earlier interview. “The only thing left for us at this point is completing our own internal policies, which I expect will be done at our next meeting.”
CKCF sees part of its mission as helping communities such as Goessel establish foundations. In Marion County, Peabody, Hillsboro and Florence had already done so.
Statewide, more than 70 community foundations have been created in the CKCF target area of Butler, Harvey, Marion, McPherson and Sedgwick counties.
Sandra Fruit, CKCF executive director, she said she is optimistic about the potential these cities have for creating lasting endowments to help preserve their vitality for years to come.
“Helping to strengthen the smaller communities like Goessel by teaching them how to build local endowments is an essential part of our mission,” Fruit said. “There is something to be said for the value of keeping their money in their home community.”
Educating the public about the potential good that could result through the Goessel Community Foundation is on the board’s agenda, and quietly has already begun.
“There were a couple of community school meetings (in August) where we tried to introduce the concept to the community because the community was already gathered to talk about school issues,” Wiens said.
“I know word is getting out there because we have a couple of checks waiting for an account to be officially opened with a local bank,” she added. “Things can really start accelerating as people realize the foundation is here to stay and estate planning takes place.”
Anyone interested in learning more about the Goessel Community Foundation can write, or send checks, to P.O. Box 244, Goessel, or call Wiens at 620-367-2540 or Myron Schmidt, vice-chairman, at 620-367-2696.