"It's our turn to give."
Robert and Patricia Endries of Brillion have turned business success into successful philanthropy. As of 2016, their charitable foundation has awarded $8 million in grants in its 30-year existence, more than $3 million of that since joining with Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region in 2005.
The Robert & Patricia Endries Family Foundation concentrates its giving on the needs of the Brillion community, where Bob and Pat built their successful businesses Endries International Inc. and Professional Plating.
They formed a private family foundation in 1985 to share their business success with the community. The family foundation distributed more than $5 million in grants from 1985-2005, including fully funding the $3.6 million Endries Performing Arts Center at Brillion High School.
After the sale in 2005 of the Endries International, a supplier of a broad range of fasteners, their family foundation became a supporting organization of the Community Foundation, retaining its grant-making authority and governance by its own board of directors, but turning investment and administrative duties to the larger foundation.
Bob & Pat also established a charitable fund in the Brillion Area Family of Funds within the Community Foundation in 2014, have awarded well over $10,000 in grants through that entity, mostly in Brillion and for projects important to their employees.
“As a lifelong resident of the Brillion Area, my and I family have directly benefited from Bob and Pat’s enormous, biblical generosity,” said Steve Klessig, co-owner and vice president of architecture and engineering for Kaukauna-based Keller Inc. “I do not know anyone in the Brillion area who has not been touched positively, in some way, by two people with the largest of hearts, strategic community purpose and the greatest of giving spirits.”
“We have had successful businesses. It’s our turn to give,” Bob Endries said.
Bob Ellis, vice president development and donor services for the Community Foundation, said that converting from a private foundation to an entity within the Community Foundation allows donors greater flexibility in making gifts, while receiving the maximum tax benefit available for gifts to a public charity.
“A supporting organization is able to maintain its unique identity, while accessing the experience, resources and services of the Community Foundation in support of its administration and mission,” Ellis said.
In addition to many projects in Brillion, the Endries’ foundation also has provided major support to:
- The gymnasium at the Heart of the Valley YMCA in Kimberly
- CHAPS Academy in the Shiocton area
- The performing arts center at Silver Lake College in Manitowoc
- The New Hope Center sheltered workshop in Chilton
- Holy Family Catholic Church in Brillion
- The assisted living facility Garrow Villa
- Rawhide Boys Ranch in New London
- The Green Bay Diocese.