Letter to Donors

Dear Friends,

On Feb. 14, 1928, it became official. A Foundation was formed for the common good and betterment of the residents of Oshkosh. What better way could our founders have to show their love of Oshkosh than to create a philanthropic tool to ensure the city's wellbeing long into the future? (Read More)

  Celebrating our 85th Anniversary: History of Oshkosh Area Community Foundation

Organization and Leadership

Jan. 13, 1928 - Oshkosh Foundation established by Declaration of Trust by First Trust Co. in Oshkosh, formally adopted Feb. 14, 1928. (Read More)

  Our Roles: Catalyst. Mediator. Convener.

Revitalization of Downtown Oshkosh Hotel
In the fall of 2000, a downtown Oshkosh revitalization plan was adopted and over the next decade led to major developments - the Leach Amphitheater, a revitalized Convention Center, a rejuvenated Grand Opera House, renovated storefront facades, new street configuration and beautification. A revitalized downtown hotel was vital to the success of that vision. And it was not easily won. (Read More)

  Our Roles: Community Organizer

Launch of Oshkosh4Education
Oshkosh has long been a community chock full of educational opportunities with good public schools, a state-run university, technical college and other specialty schools. In recent years, a disconnect between the community and the K-12 public schools became apparent. (Read More)

  Our Roles: Grantmaker. Coalition Builder.

Build Capacity of Community-based Organizations
In 2012, nonprofit World Relief assisted in placing more than 85 refugees in the Oshkosh area. They came from places such as Myanmar, Iraq, Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Somalia and Kyrgyzstan. As the saying goes, "it takes a village." When it comes to the ways in which the comprehensive needs of these strangers are met, it took a village of organizations, encouraged and supported by the Oshkosh Area Community Foundation, to help them assimilate to their new home and become self-sufficient. (Read More)

  Our Roles: Initiative Manager. Finder of Funding.

Launch of Public Access AED Campaign
When someone has a brush with death, they become keenly aware of the tools that brought them back to life. An Automated External Defibrillator (AED) is a life-saving device that administers a controlled electric shock to the heart of a person suffering sudden cardiac arrest, which is one of the leading causes of death in the United States. (Read More)

  Community Impact: Christine Ann Domestic Abuse Services Success Built by Strong Support

Community Rallies to Fulfill a Need: Community support comes to a nonprofit organization in all shapes and sizes. From a civic club's bake sale proceeds, to students' and retirees' volunteer time, to $10,000-plus donations, mixed together it paints a picture of support that can be overwhelming. (Read More)

  Community Impact: Horace M. Foulk Fund

Horace M. Foulk was a well-traveled man. After he retired as superintendent of carriage maker J.L. Clark Manufacturing in Oshkosh, he traveled all over the United States. According to media accounts, Mr. Clark had been in every city of the continent that had population of more than 2,000 people. (Read More)

  Community Impact: John and Helen Schuster Fund

Helen Schuster was an outgoing lady who loved selling real estate. "You have to be outgoing if you're going to show houses to people," her sister Lucille Binner says. (Read More)

  Community Impact: E.B. Williams Fund

Caring. Compassionate. Community-minded. Words used to describe Dr. E. B. "Ben" Williams during his lifetime continue to describe his legacy. (Read More)

  Education: Lourdes Academy Builds Community of Support to Carry its Mission Forward

Bringing the Message to Life: Bob Biebel knows the power of a positive message. As president of Lourdes Academy of Oshkosh, he delivers one every day as he carries out the mission of the Catholic school system: Within a safe Christ centered environment, Lourdes Academy prepares students for life, college and a continued relationship with God. (Read More)

  Education: Education Foundation of Ripon

Students in Ripon do not shy away from hard work. Year after year, they pound the pavement to knock on doors in this small Fond du Lac County community for two days to raise money for scholarships. In spring 2013, the Education Foundation of Ripon awarded $13,400 in scholarships, thanks in large part to the sweat equity of the students. (Read More)

  Education: Neenah Joint School District

The Neenah Joint School District is part of the fabric of this small Winnebago County community. The district is fortunate, says Jon Joch, that generous donors and partners have strengthened the community's capacity to provide exceptional educational opportunities. Providing scholarships for post-high school education is just one of those opportunities. In 2013, 40 Neenah High School students received a total of $57,000 in scholarships. (Read More)

  Education: Omro Area Scholarship & Education Foundation

The chances for high school seniors to get help paying for post-high school education are pretty high. In 2013, 30 seniors from a class of 80 students received a total of $38,720 in scholarships. That's a scholarship for every 1 in 2.67 students. (Read More)

  Education: Oshkosh Area School District Education Foundation

If anyone has the resources to come up with good trivia questions and answers, it would be a group of educators. A trivia contest created by such knowledge experts at the Oshkosh Area School District (OASD) just might be the ticket for a big launch to the OASD Education Foundation. (Read More)

  Education: Winneconne Area Education Foundation

When opportunity knocks, the Winneconne Area Education Foundation is ready to plant the seeds for the future of the community's children, says Foundation President Mary Koeck. (Read More)

  Scholarships: Former Oshkosh music man Fred Leist Continues to Inspire Dreams with Scholarship Fund

Making His Mark in Music: Some people have a gift for sharing their passion with others in such a way that they leave a lasting impression on their lives. (Read More)

  Scholarships: Brandon J. Backus Scholarship Fund

Each June since Brandon Backus' life ended too soon, people have gathered at a local golf course to tee off in memory of him. (Read More)

  Scholarships: Dr. Robert E. ‘Doc’ Herman Scholarship Fund

Dr. Robert E. Herman, known to many as "Doc" Herman, was passionate about American Legion Baseball in Oshkosh. (Read More)

  Scholarships: David and Connie Paulick Scholarship Fund

David and Connie Paulick understand the value of education.

Connie, currently a teacher at Washington Elementary School for more than 20 years, wanted to help students from her school earn a college degree. She and her husband made the decision to start a Scholarship Fund. (Read More)

  Field of Interest: Paine Art Center and Gardens Fulfills Founders’ Vision with Vibrant Programs and Enhanced Facilities that Serve the Community

When Form Follow Function: When a community is given a tremendous gift, such as the Paine Art Center and Gardens, there is an awesome responsibility that comes with it. (Read More)

  Field of Interest: Carl W. Ives Fund

Carl Ives was a private, reserved man who showed few signs of his wealth.

Mr. Ives operated the F.B. Ives Co., a wholesale grocery supplier that he inherited from his father. He eventually sold off the business and invested the proceeds. (Read More)

  Field of Interest: U.S. Venture Fund for Basic Needs

The U.S. Venture Fund for Basic Needs exemplifies the power of working together.

From raising $16.3 million for the fund since it began in 1986, to leveraging regional efforts with the Basic Needs Giving Partnership, which distributed $1.6 million in grants in 2013 alone, U.S. Venture has built a network of collaborators to address the root causes of poverty throughout the Fox Valley. (Read More)

  Field of Interest: Zmolek Family Education Fund

Dr. Ernest J. Zmolek was a selfless, loving man.

A surgeon at Mercy Medical Center in Oshkosh for 34 years, Dr. Zmolek came from a modest background as part of an Iowa farm family. (Read More)

  Donor Advised: Oshkosh Northwestern Do It Community Challenges Show the Power of a Dollar

Community Steps Up to the Challenge: Oshkosh North High School was teaming with children, and school wasn't even in session on this warm August day. (Read More)

  Donor Advised: Driftwood Fund

Elli Wollangk's family celebrates certain traditions.

One of those is a holiday tradition in which generations of her extended family contribute to a gift box for charity. (Read More)

  Donor Advised: Monnett Family Fund

The Monnett family has a drive to give back.

From mom and dad, John and Betty, their three boys, Jeremy, John and Jason, and on down the lineage, each family member is passionate about community service. (Read More)

  Donor Advised: Provident Financial Consultants Fund

Mary Wiedenmeier and Bonnie Graff know a good thing when they see it.

The two are partners at Provident Financial Consultants, LLC in Oshkosh. (Read More)

  Designated: Lutheran Homes of Oshkosh and the Bethel Foundation of Oshkosh Work to Enrich Lives of Community Senior Population

Putting Faith into Action: Fifty years ago, the community came together and put their faith into action by establishing Lutheran Homes of Oshkosh. (Read More)

  Designated: Oshkosh FIRST Wave Robotics Fund

Those who work in science and technology are geeked - so to speak - about their career paths.

And they understand the field needs to grow for the benefit of our local, national and international economies. (Read More)

  Designated: Pollock Pool Endowment Fund

Pollock Community Water Park is a jewel in the heart of Oshkosh.

The facility draws residents and visitors alike for the kind of waterpark fun most would drive hours to find, but at a fraction of the cost. (Read More)

  Designated: ROXEE Fund

Ron and Marion Bell have a love for animals, especially cats.

It was this love, and a concern for conditions at the local shelter, that led them more than 20 years ago to get involved with the startup of the Oshkosh Area Humane Society (OAHS). (Read More)

  Acorn: Andy Beiser Looks Forward to New Funds Benefitting Winneconne

Giving Back to the Community: Andy Beiser pulls out a note card from his desk drawer from a woman he does not know and begins to tell the story of how their paths crossed. (Read More)

  Acorn: Genal-Fenrich Fund

Carol Fenrich believes the rich history of Oshkosh is an asset that we must nurture.

That's why when she and her husband, William Sr., in 2006 decided to plant a seed for the future preservation of local history with an Acorn Fund. (Read More)

  Acorn: Christian Jensen Fund

Christian Jensen is a young man who likes to give back.

From his freshman year of high school to as a 20-year-old University of Wisconsin student today, giving to the Oshkosh community has been a huge part of Christian's lifestyle. (Read More)

  Special Project: Webster Stanley PTO Celebrates Completion of First Phase of Project, Sets Sights on Next $30,000 Goal

Leveling the Playing Field: Aug. 3, 2013, was a monumental day for the Webster Stanley Elementary School PTO. (Read More)

  Special Project: Lucas Heart Fund

The Altrusa International Club of Oshkosh wants to save lives.

The Club's effort to outfit the Oshkosh Fire Department with a medical device called the LUCAS Chest Compression machine is their latest effort to seek a positive outcome when tragedy strikes. (Read More)

  Special Project: Oshkosh Farmers Market Fund

Dennis and Karlene Leatherman are task masters.

When the couple became involved with the Oshkosh Saturday Farmers Market in 2005, it wasn't for any other purpose than to entertain. "We started out doing line-dancing in the street," says Karlene. (Read More)

  Special Project: Otter Exhibit Fund

Jim Ryan enjoyed visiting the Menominee Park Zoo in Oshkosh, and thought it was a special place.
(Read More)

  Women's Fund: Women’s Fund Fights to End Destructive Effects of Isolation

Rallying the Community's Awareness: The summer sun was blazing, the downtown was busy with people coming and going, and 23-year-old graduate student Kate Salter stood still within the narrow walls of a clear box. A 7-foot tall by 3-foot wide isolation booth, to be exact. (Read More)

  Women's Fund: A Cut Above Fund

The staff at A Cut Above Salon & Day Spa like to share, and have fun.

The walls at the salon constantly promote a cause the staff has adopted, notifying clients of some meaningful event. More often than not, they're selling baked goods or holding silent auctions to support a variety of local charities. Mary Kohlbeck, who owns the salon with her sister Deb Kohlbeck, and the A Cut Above staff give their time to children at the Boys and Girls Club of Oshkosh, providing free haircuts. (Read More)

  Women's Fund: The Service League Fund

The Service League of Oshkosh is steeped in history, dating back 85 years.

The organization was started in 1928 by a group of women who sought assist during wartime efforts. A mainstay in downtown Oshkosh for more than 70 years, the Service League's thrift shop was its primary means of raising funds, in addition to an annual auction. (Read More)

  Green Lake/Ripon Foundation: Downtown Green Lake Renewal Project Proves a New Organization Can Make Big Things Happen

Putting a Project on the Fast Track: Mary-Jo Johnson knows a good thing when she sees it.
(Read More)

  Green Lake/Ripon Foundation: Green Lake Rotary Red Geranium Veterans Fund

Folks in Green Lake County are proud of their veterans.

For the past seven years, donors and volunteers have helped put on a strong display of support in two county cemeteries. More than 450 red geraniums and American Flags are placed at each veteran's gravestone. Local Boy and Girl Scouts water them regularly, and keep the display looking nice. (Read More)

  Green Lake/Ripon Foundation: Ripon Public Library Fund

The Ripon Public Library is rooted in the community.

Technology is bringing about changes, but library director Desiree Bongers sees only a growing need for the future. (Read More)

  Green Lake/Ripon Foundation: Thrasher Opera House Endowment Fund

Thrasher Opera House is a hub for social and cultural activity.

Preserving and supporting this historic Green Lake building is made possible by the Thrasher Opera House Endowment Fund, which got its start in 2011 with funds from a donor's house party collection. (Read More)


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