Foundation awards first grants to benefit Winneconne area - November 21 2014

WINNECONNE, Wis. - Members of the Winneconne Historical Society pride themselves on carrying out an important role to preserve the unique local culture and history of Winneconne.

But staying organized in the process of doing that has been more of a challenge, says Joe Hoenecke, one of about 100 members of the volunteer organization.

"Since 1962, people have given the Historical Society anything from furniture, pictures, documents, letters, postcards and, generally, it got boxed up and put away," Hoenecke says. "Now, when we get requests for genealogy research, we try to find some of these artifacts and it's very difficult."

That's why the organization would like to organize, document and digitize its entire inventory. Society president Arline Hoenecke says it will be time consuming and costly, but thanks to a grant from the Winneconne Area Community Foundation, it will get done this winter.

"It's a big step to go out and purchase all these containers and the archival materials to properly store these items," she says. "There's no way we'd be able to do that without this grant. We are really appreciative."

The Foundation awarded $2,410 in grants this month from a total $7,043 in requests for funding from its unrestricted and basic needs competitive grant programs. It was the organization's first competitive grants to be awarded from these two funds in its history.

The Foundation also awarded $4,700 in grants from a total $16,150 requests for funding from the Winneconne Area Education Fund, including support for projects in literacy, technology education, leadership, health and Norbert Rich School Forest improvements.

"This was such a great experience for us as a new board to learn about the process of competitive granting and see the organizations that came forward to request funding," says Kate Pfaendtner, president of the Foundation's Board of Directors. "There are a lot of groups that are trying to make a difference in the Winneconne area, and we are a resource for them."

In addition to the Historical Society's preservation project, these organizations received unrestricted and basic needs grants:

Clarity Care Inc.
Support for the Help At Home Program
This grant will support a portion of the cost of care for low-income residents in the Winneconne area who are enrolled in the Help At Home program. In 2013, the program served 13 residents with supportive home care including assistance with grocery shopping, preparing meals, keeping an orderly home and other tasks that can threaten their health, safety and independence.

Miriam B White Foundation Inc.
Support for the Financial Assistance Program
This grant will provide direct financial support for basic needs to breast cancer patients in the Winneconne area. This support will help patients focus on healing by reducing the stress of unpaid rent/mortgage and utility bills, the cost of gasoline to get to doctor appointments, and the cost of food.

Charitable organizations that provide services to residents of the Winneconne Area School District, which includes the village of Winneconne and towns of Larsen, Winchester, Poygan and Buttes des Morts, were invited to apply for funding.

The Foundation awarded these grants on the heels of a successful community fundraising campaign this year which raised more than $25,000, enabling $25,000 in matching funds from the Oshkosh Area Community Foundation to be awarded.

Pfaendtner says it has been gratifying to be able to give back to the community, and she looks forward to the Foundation making an even bigger impact going forward.

"We are so grateful for the community's support. It just goes to show how many people here care deeply about the Winneconne region and understand the importance of investing in the future," she says.

The Winneconne Area Community Foundation serves the residents of Winneconne and the surrounding area as a charitable giving partner, with the mission of attracting and distributing funds to nonprofit organizations in efforts that enhance the quality of life.

Donors can make a lasting gift to the community while enjoying maximum tax benefits from the Foundation's affiliation with the Oshkosh Area Community Foundation, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization serving Winnebago County, Waushara County, Green Lake County and Ripon.

Supporting the Foundation is easy.

Simply mail a check written out to the Foundation to:

Winneconne Area Community Foundation
P.O Box 476
Winneconne, WI 54986-0476

Or, call the Foundation at 920-426-3993 for help making your donation. Online donations can be made by following this link: http://www.oshkoshareacf.org/donor_d.cfm?fid=717.

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