Local News

Community Foundation Celebrates $1 Millionth Returned to Charity

RCACF Day 2013The Russell County Area Community Foundation (RCACF) has achieved a significant milestone, returning its $1 millionth dollar back to area communities and charities.

The event was marked by a proclamation by City of Russell Mayor Curt Mader noting July 16, 2013 as Russell County Area Community Foundation Day. CLICK HERE to read the proclamation.

Pictured with Mayor Mader are RCACF Board Members Katrina Woelk, Angela Muller (Foundation Executive Director), Dianne Farmer, John Farmer, Dennis Davidson, Rev. Roger Dennis, Marty Myers and Byrne Wood. Photo contributed.

"Because of our generous donors and their permanent endowment gifts, the Community Foundation has cumulatively returned over $1 million to a variety of causes that benefit Russell County and beyond, such as education, recreation, historic preservation, hunger relief and much more," said Angela Muller, Executive Director of the Foundation.

The Community Foundation was founded in 2001 by local citizens who saw the value of creating permanent endowments to benefit area communities. Donors to the Community Foundation provide financial gifts to the charitable causes that matter most to them. The Foundation invests those gifts and returns them to the community in the forms of grants and scholarships.

"Over the years, the Community Foundation has helped nonprofit and other organizations implement creative programs that affect all ages in Russell County, such as the adoption of emerging technology in area schools, new nature and conservation programs, scholarships for college bound students, community park development and more," said Muller.

"Small town community foundations, such as RCACF, help preserve our rural way of life, ensuring that children and adults now, and decades from now, can enjoy all the wonderful aspects of country living, such as access to good parks, a solid education, vibrant arts, theater, recreation and more," said Muller.

To help celebrate its $1 million milestone, the Foundation invites anyone who loves our community to apply for mini-grant funding. They are awarding two, $500 mini-grants to projects that demonstrate and share a love for Russell County. Examples of community love include, planting flowers, sprucing up neighborhood parks, painting a mural, honoring our history or any other impactful project. The possibilities are endless and creativity is encouraged.

The public will determine two winners based on a popular vote on the Community Foundation's Facebook page. Any non-profit organization, business, group or individual is eligible to apply and grant applications are due July 24. Voting takes place on the Foundation's Facebook page starting noon on July 29 through noon August 2. For more information, visit their website at www.rcacf.net.

The Community Foundation is an affiliate of the Greater Salina Community Foundation. For more information on how to get involved with local charitable giving, please contact Angela Muller at 785-445-3611.

Below is some brief history of the Foundation provided by Dianne Farmer:

"In 1991, I returned to Russell, (my hometown). Taking the Chamber of Commerce position, the Chamber Board and I began to set goals for the community. With my previous experience as Executive Director of Historic Ward-Meade Park in Topeka, I had the opportunity to observe the start-up of the Greater Topeka Community Foundation. I saw the donor designated fund as an insurance policy for communities and especially small towns."

"The original search committee was comprised of Dianne Farmer, Dennis Davidson, John Willson and Thurlene Ruggels. We visited a group of citizen's in Great Bend who were organizing a foundation. The commitee looked at the Salina Community Foundation and we found a partner."

"The original Board was organized on Thursday, July 16, 2001. Members included Dennis Davidson, Thurlene Ruggels, Dianne Farmer, John Willson, Hank Pohlman, Marty Myers, Nancy Holland, Pam Gudenkauf, Pat Hilger, Steve Schultz, Tonya Murphy and Morris Krug."

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