Clark County Community Foundation Inc.                     46-4242715 301 N Main St  PO Box 116  Loyal WI  54446                              WI Charitable Org No. 15617-800 Ph:  715-937-6167         A 501(c)(3) tax-exempt nonprofit organization
Updated January 25, 2019
Copyright 2013-2019 Clark County Community Foundation Inc.  -  All Rights Reserved
President’s Message - 2017 Annual Report  - Steven W. Hemersbach
Perhaps invoking the promise of the upcoming spring is a good place to begin.  It is this seasonal change that brings new life, not only to nature, the land, but even more importantly to humankind.  We are invariably uplifted as the days warm and the cold nights recede.  Likewise, our Foundation will continue to thrive if we transfer a portion of that newfound energy to it. I read somewhere that Presidents are to provide inspiration, leadership if you will, and look forward to the future.  I am pleased to once again, add my thoughts and comments to this 2018 Annual Report and hope that those reading this, might find a measure of creativity or sustaining energy from the information you are about to read.  So, while it is tempting for me to share with you this past year’s accomplishments, I invite you to read the various Committee Reports that follow.   I would like to begin my comments by reminding ourselves of our Foundation’s Statement of Purpose that states in part …. for the broad based charitable benefit of the communities and citizens of Clark County, Wisconsin and to enhance their quality of life through endowment and grant giving. What is a Community? Many of you know my fondness for quotes, especially those that speak to the importance and significance of community.  Here are two for us to consider: “I am of the opinion, that my life belongs to the whole community as long as I live.  It is my privilege to do whatever I can.  I want to be thoroughly used up when I die for the harder I work, the more I live.”            - George Bernard Shaw (Playwright & Critic) “The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members.”           - Coretta Scott King (Civil Rights icon) I am confident both Mr. Shaw and Mrs. King would be pleased and approve the words we chose in our Foundation’s Statement of Purpose and the efforts we as a Foundation make in our attempt to enhance the quality of life for the citizens and communities of Clark County.  Memorable Moments in 2017 If our Statement of Purpose was seen only as “lofty words” then you would miss the best part of what the Foundation is all about.  This past year, several Board Members and I were able to witness first hand, the impact our Scholarship Programs have by attending various scholarship award ceremonies held at Clark County High Schools.  What a profound experience it was to stand at a podium and announce an educational scholarship to an achieving and deserving student on behalf of the generous donors of the Clark County Community Foundation.  In that brief yet memorable exchange between donor and recipient, the numerous volunteer hours committed to the work of the Foundation were validated and reinforced. It is a challenge to quantify into words the wonderful feeling of knowing (hoping) these scholarships might make in the life of these young people.  Exhilarating is not too strong a word.  Additionally, to observe other organizations and Foundations participating in these same award ceremonies, many with more generous scholarship amounts, serves to reinforce our resolve to be able to offer more (and larger) scholarship opportunities.   As I referenced earlier, I believe we are in the seasonal spring of our commitment; our long winter of tedious, but necessary development of guiding principles and policy is within reach. I am confident we can embrace the coming summer and future with great optimism. Where to Focus our Efforts Moving Forward As your president I feel an obligation to offer some thoughts and ideas on where we should concentrate our efforts to turn that optimism into reality.  Notwithstanding favorable press received from our grant giving and scholarship programs, our presence at community functions, mail solicitations, and our website, it is apparent – many citizens are still not aware of the Foundation’s existence.   
My conclusion was validated in recent efforts to fill a vacant position on the Board of Directors. Several of the prospective persons I contacted were not aware of the Foundation.  We are making some progress though as the number of grant applications received this past fall was double the amount we received in 2016.   Our Development and Fundraising Committee has several projects planned for 2018.  One of the more visible efforts is the establishment of a Speaker’s Bureau, so if you know of a group or organization in need of a speaker, please let us know!   Our website and literature does indicate that we are available to speak to organizations, and we will take a more pro-active approach by contacting area organizations to make them aware of this opportunity, as well. Growing the Foundation’s Assets Two new scholarship funds were created this past year in memory of area loved ones.      -Erik Pentz Memorial Scholarship Fund (Greenwood HS)       -The Harry & Esther King Memorial Scholarship Fund            (Neillsville HS) We are grateful these families have chosen to be a part of our Foundation Family and we look forward to working with each of them for many years to come.   And, we recently entered into a fiscal sponsorship agreement with Clark County’s Forestry and Parks Department to assist them with a fund-raising effort to make needed improvements at the Clark County Fairgrounds.  You will be hearing more details regarding this effort in the weeks and months to come and we look forward to working with the County and others to see what we can accomplish by working together.  While making steady progress in growing our Foundation’s monetary assets is a major focus, we also need to “grow” our list of volunteers.  Without resources to hire staff, all of the activities that go with the operation of an organization are done by our volunteers.  Whether it is a clerical activity or efforts in support of each Committee’s duties, to date all of these activities are done by board members and a few community volunteers.  As we grow, each new Foundation activity comes with a layer of additional responsibility that requires a certain amount of time and effort.  These tasks need to be done if we are going to maintain the standard of professionalism established for this Foundation at its initial organizing.  So, while we are excited about being able to provide additional benefits and services to meet the full potential of our mission, we need volunteers to assist us in accomplishing these goals.   One of our board members said it best.  “We need worker bees.”  Each hour spent on routine tasks is an hour less that we can spend on steps to help move the Foundation forward.  Accordingly, I am requesting that each of you make a concerted effort to assist in finding volunteers. No doubt there are additional things we can and will do.  I am however convinced that doing a few things, and doing them well, is preferable to setting unrealistic goals and failing to achieve them. I am grateful to the generous donors, your selfless commitment, the professionalism and the expertise all of you bring to this endeavor. I also wish to acknowledge the cities of Greenwood and Loyal for generously offering their meeting facilities. I continue to be honored to serve as your President.  Great progress has been made since those first organizational meetings.  It is like the continuous small waves on the oceans that eventually become a rising tide. Thank you for all that you do and for being a part of our Foundation’s story.    Steven W. Hemersbach, President April 5, 2018