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New grant available for Calumet County libraries

A charitable fund established in memory of the owners of a cheese factory in Potter will award its first grants in April — up to $5,000 — to one or more public or school libraries from among six Calumet County communities.

Applications are due April 28 at 4 p.m.

The Violet and Ruben Laack Memorial Fund was established in 2014 to support libraries, speech, forensics and theater programs in Brillion, Chilton, Hilbert, Kiel, New Holstein and Stockbridge. The grants to be awarded will rotate among those categories each year.

Violet Laack was an enthusiastic supporter of libraries and debate competitions. A teacher, she dedicated herself to her students during a 49-year teaching career that started in a one-room schoolhouse. In retirement, she served as a substitute teacher into her 80s. Ruben, who died in 2001 at age 84, was an award-winning cheesemaker and owner of Laack Cheese Co. Violet kept the books. They sold the business in 1987, but Ruben continued to work there into his mid-70s.

The grants will come from a $1.2 million gift Violet left to the Chilton Area Community Foundation, a regional family of funds within the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region. She died Jan. 28, 2014, at age 97.

A second charitable fund, the Violet and Ruben Laack Memorial Scholarship Fund, is awarding a $3,000 scholarship annually to one graduate each from the Brillion, Chilton, Hilbert, New Holstein, Stockbridge and Kiel high schools. As a permanent endowment, the principal will remain to generate scholarships perpetually.

Grant priorities and information on how to apply can be found in our Grant Opportunities section.

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