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Rhoades Sanford extends WACF grantmaking

Posted on Oct 27, 2020, by

Tomorrow’s Children of Waupaca recently received a grant from the Waupaca Area Community Foundation, one of our affiliate partners, toward the purchase and training of a therapy dog to work with children with traumatic or difficult pasts.

The Waupaca Area Community Foundation’s grantmaking this year was extended by an extra $20,000 thanks to a new relationship with the Rhoades Sanford Foundation that resulted in 22 Waupaca-area nonprofits receiving a total of $108,500 in grants.

The Rhoades Sanford Foundation’s board wanted to quickly get resources out into the Waupaca community to help nonprofits hurt by the COVID-19 crisis and so chose to award $20,000 to the WACF.

“We wanted to get the funds into the hands of those who could use it best, and in a timely manner,” says Gary Janssen, a Rhoades Sanford board member. The Neenah-based foundation supports projects or programs in the areas of basic needs, culture, history and education in Door, Brown, Winnebago, Shawano, Waupaca and Outagamie counties. It formerly was the Albert and Mary Rhoades Foundation and Museum based in Waupaca. It is now stewarded by Charles and Lorinda Sanford and named to honor her parents.

“We are honored the Rhoades Sanford Foundation chose the WACF to assist in awarding funds to community organizations impacted by COVID-19,” says Stephen Johnson, WACF advisory committee chair.

The combination of grant money form Rhoades Sanford and WACF funded these proposals:

CAP Services: $2,000 from WACF to contribute to financial aid to low-income Waupaca residents who’ve lost income due to COVID-19.

Family Health la Clinica: $3,500 from WACF for an outreach campaign to extend health, behavioral health and dental services to Waupaca residents.

Foundations for Living: $10,000 (half from each funder) to help hire two part-time overnight staff to replace volunteers to allow the warming shelter to stay open this season.

NAMI Fox Valley: $2,000 from WACF to support virtual mental health support group services for people from Waupaca.

Project Backpack: $3,000 from Rhoades Sanford to provide bag lunches on weekends to children in need through the Lakes Community Church and the Waupaca County school districts.

Sunny Day Childcare Center: $10,000 (half from each funder) to sustain operations through reduced attendance due to COVID-19 and the resulting reduced revenues and increased costs.

Tomorrow’s Children: $3,000 from WACF toward the purchase and training of a therapy dog to work with children with traumatic or difficult pasts.

Weyauwega Arts Organization: $3,000 from Rhoades Sanford to support WEGA Arts’ 10th annual film festival, screening more than 40 national and international films with virtual audiences.

Waupaca County Senior Nutrition Program: $4,000 from Rhoades Sanford to sustain the home-delivered meal program serving more than 250 Waupaca seniors through end of 2020.

Waupaca County Suicide Coalition: $2,000 from WACF to support suicide prevention activities in Waupaca County, such as an awareness campaign, distribution of a booklet of coping tips and virtual seminars.

Prior to its joint grantmaking with the Rhoades Sanford Foundation, the WACF approved these grants from its annual competitive grant program:

Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Central Wisconsin found innovative ways to be together and have fun during the Safe At Home restrictions.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Central Wisconsin: $5,000 to continue one-to-one mentoring relationships through Waupaca Foundry Workplace Mentoring and Waupaca Area School District’s School Buddies programs.

Camp Hope Inc.: $4,000 for Weekend Bereavement Camp, which gives grieving children and their families the chance to get away and enjoy the Wisconsin Lion’s Camp in Rosholt.

CAP Services-Stevens Point: $5,000 for counseling, legal advocacy, information, referrals and education programs for victims of domestic abuse and sexual violence of all ages and genders in Waupaca County.

Catalpa Health: $5,000 to enable Catalpa’s Waupaca-based children’s mental health providers to become certified in tele-mental health, along with the technology needed to offer telehealth options to families long-term.

Foundations for Living: $5,000 to add an Americorps volunteer coordinator to recruit, interview, vet, train and schedule volunteers for the warming shelter, freeing up time for the executive director to do more fundraising and administrative work.

Girl Scouts of the Northwestern Great Lakes: $5,000 to bring the Girl Scout Leadership Experience (GSLE) to at-risk girls in grades K-12 in the Waupaca area who may not otherwise be able to participate in traditional Girl Scout troops. The goal is to empower them and promote kindness and healthy relations.

Golden Sands RC&D: $2,000 to add the Oz Natural Area and Center for Biodiversity Education in Waupaca to the Demonstration Forest Program, which allows private landowners to share information about the importance of land stewardship with other landowners, school groups and the general public.

Neighborhood Partners: $3,500 to help the program of Goodwill Industries of North Central Wisconsin increase social connectedness in neighborhoods across greater Waupaca. It would encourage all residents to appreciate and connect with one another through the Great Neighbor Shout-Out, administer microgrant funding for neighbors’ social connection ideas, and train a peer network to create their own neighborhood organizations.

Living the Waupaca Way: $5,000 to help fund a farm market manager for the Waupaca Farmers Market 2021 season.

Mission of Hope House of Wisconsin: $5,000 to support the only 24/7/365 homeless shelter in Waupaca County. It promotes self-sufficiency for families affected by poverty and homelessness by providing safe shelter, food and training in budgeting, parenting, life skills, finding gainful employment and qualifying for affordable and sustainable housing.

Opera for the Young:  $1,500 for its production of “Hansel and Gretel” in Waupaca elementary schools.

Rawhide Inc.: $5,000 to support the basic living needs of at-risk youth who come to live at Rawhide to receive residential and mental health services.

Valley Packaging Industries: $5,000 to prepare young adults with disabilities in Waupaca County to seek, obtain and maintain competitive, integrated, community employment.

Waupaca County Suicide Prevention Coalition: $5,000 to provide “Comfort Kits” to mitigate the mental health fallout from traumatic loss post-COVID-19 and HOPE Kits to help with prevention, as well as suicide prevention training and community education.

Women’s Fund for the Fox Valley Region: $5,000 to support EmpowHER and Starting Point, programs that aim to break the generational cycle of poverty by helping young women identify what is holding them back and removing barriers to education as a pathway to economic security.


The Waupaca Area Community Foundation is a geographic affiliate of the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region serving the people of the greater Waupaca area.

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