Grant Awards – Winter 2016

Foundation awards $4,959 in grants to local nonprofits

RIPON, Wis. — The Green Lake County/Ripon Foundation has awarded $4,959 to eight organizations, including Traded Treasures Thrift Boutique and Community Food Pantry.

The $1,000 grant to Traded Treasures will be used to purchase secure racks and stable shelving to help organize the Free Store, which provides household items and clothing to families in need, free of charge.

The Free Store is open every Monday from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. and the fourth Wednesday of the month from 6 – 7 p.m. There is no limit to how much people can take and they are welcome to shop every week.

Amy Pollesch, director of Traded Treasures, says many families come in routinely to get clothes for their growing children or to find household items they cannot afford.

“The goal of the Free Store is to help alleviate the financial burden of purchasing household items and clothing so families can focus on paying rent and utilities,” Pollesch says.

“Though we don’t request any personal information from those who use the Free Store, over 95 percent of shoppers use the Community Food Pantry as well, which requires financial information. We are able to track how much merchandise goes out the door in the Free Store, and in return, how much money was given away.”

In 2016, more than $20,000 in free merchandise was given to families in need. Items for the Free Store come from overstocked items in the Traded Treasure Thrift Boutique. The boutique receives its inventory from donations, mostly from the Ripon and Green Lake area, but also from visitors who believe in the mission of the boutique.

“If you have excess items, instead of selling it to make a few dollars, consider donating it to help a few people. If more people gave, we could help more families who truly need it,” says Pollesch. “Even if you don’t donate to our store, donate in your own community.”

Since 2000, more than $70,000 have been awarded from the Green Lake County/Ripon Community Foundation Fund, the Lucile M. Grams Fund, and the Herman Schultz Fund, as well as more than $34,000 from the Ripon Fund.

The following grants were awarded in December:

Berlin Community Daycare & Preschool: $750
To create a new infant playground for children under 1 year of age.

Green Lake Festival of Music: $250
To sponsor 50 $5 student tickets for the concert series.

Green Lake Greenways:  $800
To purchase helmets, stickers and T-shirts given as rewards at bike rodeo and bike safety days.

Princeton Senior Citizens Club, Inc.: $609
To replace the kitchen range at the Senior Center.

Special Olympics Wisconsin: $800
To help cover the expenses of Green Lake athletes participating in the fall 2017 State Bowling Tournament.

Thrasher Opera House Corp.: $500
To support two week-long residencies culminating in performances involving 60 children ages 5-18 from the Green Lake area.

Wisconsin American Legion Foundation: $250
To sponsor boys from Green Lake and Ripon to participate in Badger Boys State.

The Green Lake County/Ripon Community Foundation benefits charitable organizations in Green Lake County and Ripon area, including Berlin, Green Lake, Markesan and Princeton. Through charitable giving, the Community Foundation strives to make our communities thrive. An affiliate of the Oshkosh Area Community Foundation, a 501(c)3 nonprofit, donors enjoy maximum tax benefits.