The Waupaca Area Community Foundation has awarded grants totaling a record $170,822 to 18 area nonprofit organizations from the Waupaca Area Community Foundation Fund to help enhance the quality of life in the greater Waupaca area.
“We’re grateful for the continued support from members of the Waupaca area community since their generosity allows us to award these grants, which ultimately benefit individuals, families and communities, and make Waupaca a great place to live,” says Steve Johnson, chair of the Waupaca Area Community Foundation Advisory Board.
For the last several years, the Foundation has offered annual grants of up to $7,500, as well as one special $25,000 Community Enhancement Grant, which focused this year on the topic of growth, driven by the recognition that growth is critical to Waupaca’s future. In a surprise show of generosity and commitment to the people of Waupaca, the Foundation awarded two $25,000 Community Enhancement grants, totaling $50,000.
“We normally support one program with a $25,000 grant, but we had two really great opportunities to make a significant impact which work hand-in-hand to retain and attract residents to the area, so we awarded two,” says Mary Zimmermann, chair of the Grants Committee of the Waupaca Area Community Foundation.
Prior to this year, the largest year of granting from the Waupaca Area Community Foundation Fund was just over $132,000 in 2018. Since its founding in 2003, funds from within the Waupaca Area Community Foundation have granted over $5.5 million.
The Waupaca Area Community Foundation awarded the following from its Community Enhancement Grant category:
- Waupaca Area Chamber Foundation: $25,000 to develop a marketing campaign highlighting Waupaca’s economic, cultural, and recreational assets with the goal of attracting newcomers to the greater Waupaca area.
- Waupaca Community Arts Board: $25,000 to expand the Waupaca Community Arts Hub by building staff capacity, increasing outreach programs, and adding equipment. Research shows arts-rich communities stimulate innovative thinking, recruit and retain residents, drive tourism and create an economic engine.
The Waupaca Area Community Foundation awarded the following from its annual grants category:
- Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Central Wisconsin: $3,000 to support mentoring activities for teens in the Waupaca area.
- CAP Services Inc: $7,500 to support a mental health navigation program.
- Catalpa Health: $7,500 to purchase technology and equipment to provide faster and more efficient communications to Waupaca clients and families.
- Foundations for Living: $7,500 to support a new transitional housing program for people recently released from jail to help them successfully re-enter society and the workforce.
- Friends of Hartmann Creek Cooperating Association Inc.: $7,500 to revitalize Whispering Pines Park, including making it more accessible to people with limited mobility and more attractive to families.
- Greater Waupaca Parks and Trails: $7,500 to create a family-friendly bike route from Kiwanis Park in Waupaca to Stevenson Park in Weyauwega.
Rawhide Youth Services: $7,500 to support the basic living needs of young men, including food, clothing and hygiene supplies.
- Sleep in Heavenly Peace, Inc.: $7,500 to provide supplies and equipment to build fully furnished twin beds for local underserved children.
- Waupaca Area Arts & Culture Network: $2,000 to purchase a display case to be installed in the Waupaca City Hall/Public Library lobby where the network can display promotional materials for events.
- Waupaca Area Chamber Foundation, Inc.: $7,500 to produce a series of educational videos for youth that explore the diverse and abundant career opportunities available in the Waupaca area.
- Waupaca Area Community Radio: $7,500 to purchase a weatherproof climate-controlled equipment rack to reduce maintenance and repair costs.
- Waupaca County Resources Foundation: $7,500 to maintain portions of the popular Little Wolf River Trail.
- Waupaca Community Arts Board: $6,500 to sponsor the biennial Waupaca Bach Festival.
- Waupaca County Sheriff’s Department: $7,500 to purchase an indoor unmanned aerial vehicle to enhance public safety.
- Waupaca County Suicide Prevention Coalition: $7,500 to support suicide prevention outreach to teens through a fall teen leadership summit and the distribution of mobile mental health first aid kits.
- Waupaca Historical Society: $7,500 to upgrade the audio and visual systems at the Holly History and Genealogy Center to provide greater accessibility to hearing and visually impaired.
- Weyauwega Area Historical Society: $5,500 to refurbish a personnel hauler vehicle to transport individuals for events.
- WSD — School District of Waupaca: $6,322 to build the capacity of the robotics program for students in grades six through 12.
The Waupaca Area Community Foundation was established in 2003 by and for the people of the area to improve the quality of life in Waupaca area communities. It is one of five geographic affiliates we partner with in the Fox Valley. Our other partners include Brillion Area Family of Funds, Chilton Area Community Foundation, Clintonville Area Foundation, and Shawano Area Community Foundation.