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We award grants from charitable funds created by individuals, families, businesses and organizations to benefit nonprofit organizations doing personally meaningful work in the Fox Valley Region, statewide, nationwide and even globally. These grants that are recommended by our donors represent 90% of our total annual grants.
Neenah Parks and Recreation staff members are no longer limited to an armload of equipment when taking their programs to apartment complexes, school playgrounds and other city neighborhoods where park activities aren’t easily accessible. The Neenah Park Kart, purchased and stocked with grants totaling $2,250 from the William and Helen Burger Memorial Fund and the Schmerein Family Fund, will carry loads of toys for girls and boys this summer. “It changes the program incredibly,” Jim Kluge, Neenah recreation supervisor, said.
A program created in 2015 called Summer of Service achieved the kind of collaboration that the Community Foundation and other funders like to see, with impressive results for the young people it served.
The partnership started with Appleton police officer Sean Kuether. A native of Oshkosh, he ran similar work programs for troubled teens in Washington, D.C., and New Orleans and saw a need when he arrived back in the Fox Valley. Students in Appleton did meaningful work in local parks or at Riverview Gardens in Appleton for three weeks in August.
Partners for the project included the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Fox Valley, Appleton Truancy Court, Appleton Area School District, Esprit Counseling and Consulting, Habitat for Humanity Fox Cities, Riverview Gardens and the Appleton Parks and Recreation Department. The project also has had leadership from an Americorps National Civilian Community Corps team.
A collaboration of funding included the Mielke Family Foundation, a supporting organization of the Foundation, the Robert Dohr and Lilas Dohr Charitable Fund, Jewelers Mutual Charitable Giving Fund and donor advised funds.
For more than 20 years, the family of Charlotte Bates Fenlon has been remembering her involvement as a volunteer naturalist at Mosquito Hill Nature Center by sponsoring a nature speaker for the public to hear. It culminated with a special anniversary speaker Oct. 16, 2015 – international wildlife advocate Jack Hanna. He packed the 700-seat Kimberly High School Auditorium and delighted people with stories of his travels and live animals including a sloth, a black-footed penguin, an Asian otter and a snow leopard. The Charlotte Bates Fenlon Memorial Fund was established after the death from cancer in 1994 of the mother of five and wife of Dr. Charles “Chick” Fenlon, who died in 2010. Their children have continued the tradition.