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Legacy grants keep youth on the go

The Neenah youth drop-in center YouthGo has done what a lot of families do when they run out of household storage space – they’ve taken over the garage.

In YouthGo’s case, first they had to build the garage. They accomplished that with help from the Fox Cities Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s Leadership Fox Cities participants and a total of $5,000 in grants from three charitable funds within the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region. The three-car garage cost $9,000 to build. It will be used to store supplies for crafts and other activities, that no longer fit in the main program building at 213 Nicolet Boulevard. They’ll also use it to store two program minivans.

“We’ve had a lot of growth over the past couple of years, and with that comes a lot of supplies for programs,” Kelly Hicks, executive director at YouthGo, said. YouthGo events drew 1,200 young people last year.

The grants included $3,000 from the Robert Dohr and Lilas Dohr Current Community Needs Fund and $1,000 each from the William and Helen Burger Memorial Fund and the Leland O. and Leone F. Skowen Charitable Fund. The funds are managed by staff at the Community Foundation, following the wishes of the donors when they established the funds.

All of the donors are deceased, but their charitable giving lives on through the funds in their names that make grants to local nonprofit organizations. Brother and sister Robert and Lilas Dohr favored youth programs, the Burgers wanted to support Neenah causes and the Skowens left decisions in the hands of the Foundation, making each fund a good source of grant dollars for the Go Go Garage.

“This is going allow us to take a lot of that stuff that we only use for part of the year, and just put it in the storage area of the garage,” Hicks said.

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