Community Foundation hits milestone 85-year anniversary - February 14 2013

OSHKOSH, WI - Valentine's Day marks an important milestone for the Oshkosh Area Community Foundation: 85 years since its founding.

The Community Foundation was established in Oshkosh by 10 forward-thinking and innovative local business people on Jan. 13, 1928. The Declaration of Trust was officially adopted on Feb. 14, 1928, thus making Valentine's Day the official anniversary of the Foundation.

Those 10 original founders created the Foundation with the purpose of providing a source "Under perpetual trusteeship and sound public spirited administration, for charitable gifts, bequests and devices in the City of Oshkosh," the original trust documents stated.

"The Community Foundation is sustaining the founders' vision and creating a legacy that will benefit the Oshkosh area now and for generations to come," said Bill Wyman, interim president. "We really feel that even after 85 years in the community, we are just getting started."

In the past 85 years, the Foundation has granted about $70 million back to the community, and several notable changes have taken place, including:
  • In 1992, the Oshkosh Foundation changed from a private foundation to a community foundation.
  • The Foundation's service area has grown to include all of Winnebago, Green Lake and Waushara counties and the City of Ripon, and its name changed to reflect that region, from the former Oshkosh Foundation to the Oshkosh Area Community Foundation.
  • Several affiliated organizations have developed including The Women's Fund and the Green Lake County/Ripon Community Foundation, as well as educational foundations: Education Foundation of Ripon, Lourdes Academy Foundation, Neenah Joint School District, Omro Area Scholarship & Education Foundation, Oshkosh Area School District Education Foundation and the Winneconne Area Education Foundation.

The Community Foundation will mark its anniversary at several regularly scheduled public events throughout the remainder of this year, in addition to special events at Pollack Community Water Park and Menominee Park Zoo, and during an Oshkosh Chamber of Commerce Business After Hours event.

A special 85th anniversary logo and seal unveiled today will help commemorate the milestone as well.

On a day like Valentine's Day when messages of love surround us, Wyman offers this reminder: "Don't forget to love your community, too! Continued support with gifts to the Community Impact Fund will allow the Foundation to play a role, as it has in the past, in the amazing projects that make Oshkosh such a great place to live."

The Community Impact Fund has supported projects like the renovation of the former City Center Hotel, the Taking Root Campaign, downtown district facade restoration and revitalization, Pollock Community Water Park, Leach Amphitheater, Paine Art Center and Gardens, the Oshkosh Area Humane Society, Grand Opera House, Alberta Kimball Auditorium, Mercy Medical Center, YMCAs and community parks.

Gifts to the Community Impact Fund can be made online, 24/7, 365 days a year.

The Oshkosh Area Community Foundation is a nonprofit charitable organization created by and for the people of Winnebago County, Waushara County, Green Lake County and Ripon. Through charitable giving, the Community Foundation strives to make our communities thrive. For more information, please call 920-426-3993.


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