History

History

Despite changes over the years, one thing remains constant: the Community Foundation of Central Wisconsin seeks to provide people of all means an opportunity to make significant and lasting gifts to their community. Philanthropy is our only business.

1982 – Stevens Point Area Foundation established by a small group of visionaries led by Mark Makholm, Gil Oelke, Jack Butler and John Holdridge. Election of officers held June 30, 1982.

1983 – First major gift to the newly formed Foundation given in memory of Heidi Evenson. The Heidi Evenson Memorial Scholarship Fund is established.

1988 – Stevens Point Area Foundation receives a large gift of stock of $103,000. Fund One is created to “feed the poor of Portage County.”

1996 –Stevens Point Area Foundation changes name to Community Foundation of Portage County and hires Ann Shannon as first Executive Director. The Foundation manages 12 funds and awards $11,000 in grants.

1997 – The Women’s Fund established a new fund as part of the Community Foundation.

1998 – The Community Fund, Green Circle Fund and Environment Funds are established growing the Foundation to 21 charitable funds. $46,000 distributed back to the community.

1999 – Seed-A-Future Funds are established giving donors a new way of giving through smaller gifts over time. Foundation assets reach $1 million with 42 funds under management.

2002 – Community Foundation establishes 11 new funds and collects $850,820 in new gifts in one year. $73,000 is awarded to the community through grants from Foundation funds.

2003 – John Jury named Executive Director. Foundation assets grow to $3 million with 85 funds under management.

2005 – Community Foundation of Portage County receives State and National recognition by meeting the National Standards for Community Foundations Documentation of Compliance.

2007 – Community Foundation assets are now over $6 million with 150+ funds under management. Looking forward to the next 25 years . . .

2008 – Terry Rothmann named Executive Director. Foundation changes its name from the Community Foundation of Portage County to the Community Foundation of Central Wisconsin to help promote our expansion into Waushara County. We also increased our Part-time staff to 4.

2009 – Gifts exceed $2 million while grants and scholarships exceed $431,000. We have changed the names of our Field of Interest Funds to Mission Funds to help better promote their growth in the future as they reflect the overall goals of our Mission Statement.  To recognize donors who include the Community Foundation of Central Wisconsin in their estate planning, the Living Legacy Circle is created.

2010 – The Community Foundation offered its first grant in Waushara County from the Geradine E. Hartford Estate. We also started the C.O.L.L.E.G.E. Scholarship Fund and have begun the process of building the fund to be able to offer scholarships in the 2011 scholarship season.

2011 – The Community Foundation grants $986,751 back to the community, the first time grants approach the Million Dollar mark.  Helen Godfrey is the first Living Legacy Circle Member to pass away, and the gift from her estate is nearly $50,000.  We receive notice that Arthur Heinz has passed away and has bequeathed nearly 4 Million Dollars to the Foundation!  In this donor’s honor, we now have the Heinz Living Legacy Circle.

2012 – The Community Foundation of Central Wisconsin celebrated it’s 30th Anniversary and has reached a yet another milestone. We now have reached over 10 MILLION in total assets!

2013 – For the first time we now have funds available with the creation of an “EMERGENCY FUND” here at the Foundation. This fund allows us to help with an “Emergency” at any time throughout the year.

2014– Yet another MILESTONE year! For the very first time we were able to “GIVE BACK” over ONE MILLION dollars to the community during the year.

Leah Lueck
Community Foundation of Central WI
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