Huron Community Foundation marks 20th anniversary

By Curt Nettinga of the Plainsman
Posted 6/22/24

Community support foundation celebrates anniversary

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Huron Community Foundation marks 20th anniversary


HURON — From its humble beginnings 20 years ago, the Huron Community Foundation has become a primary factor in supporting groups and organizations in the area, who are seeking to make a difference in people’s lives.

“The Huron Community Foundation is a fund that is beneath the umbrella of the South Dakota Community Foundation,” said HCF council chairman Steve Gohn. “The foundation began in 2004 and has continued to grow through generous donations and investment growth.”

In addition to the Huron Community Foundation, there are nine family funds - 10 with the addition of the Bill and Judy Bartholow Family Fund (See accompanying story) that has just been established. Families, who see the benefit to the community of establishing a fund see those donations grow in the same manner of the HCF and can participate in filling grant requests each year.

“When we receive applications each spring, those requests are forwarded to the families who have established funds first. They have the opportunity to fund the requests in part or in full. Our council then decides to partner on funding the grant request or look at other grant requests” Gohn said,

The Huron Community Foundation received 30 grant applications in 2024, underscoring the need to keep making in impact in Huron. “The HCF council and are partner funds are looking to make a positive impact in Huron,” Gohn said. “I think we have been successful!”

The HCF fund, The Craig Matthesen Fund and the William K. Kingdon Charitable Fund, are overseen by the HCF council when it comes to fulfilling grant requests.

Donated funds - including the various family funds - must be established and funds invested for a full year, before interest from the fund is available for distribution. Next year, at the current rate of return, the HCF and eligible family funds, should have over $150,000 available for distribution.

The donation made by the Bartholows comes at a time that is advantageous for the HCF, as the organization is partnering in a challenge from the S.D. Community Foundation.

“The challenge is that if we are able to bring in $200,000 in donations over the next three years,” Gohn said, “The South Dakota Community Foundation will add $25,000 to our fund. We are grateful, as the establishment of the Bartholow Family Fund gets us halfway there!”

Projects or organizations are funded based on requests and past funding. “HCF and the Craig Matthesen funds policy allow funding no more than two consecutive years and then have them take a year off from funding,” Gohn said. “We are a community foundation and want to have as broad of an approach as we can to filling requests.”

Gohn said that the HCF council invests considerable time, discussing each application request.

“I truly admire our council for the work that they put in, they understand the time it takes to apply for a grant and the potential impact on our community” Gohn said. “They invest a considerable amount of time on each grant request before they arrive at a decision.”

Where the funds go

In the 2024 grant application period, 30 applications requested $239,044, with $133,556 awarded or designated thus far.

Here is how that breaks down:

Huron Community Foundation
Beadle County Dive Team $3,220
Hope House $1,227

Huron Area Senior Center $2,000
Nordby Center for Rec. $10,000
People’s Transit $9,733
S.D S.F. Foundation-The SHED $17,500

Craig Matthesen Family Fund
City of Huron - Parks Dept. $2,691
Cornerstones Career Center $1,300
Dakotaland Museum $1,000
Heartland Backpack Program $5,000
Hitchcock Comm. Fire Dept $1,000
HRMC Foundation - Dialysis $25,000
Huron HOSA Chapter $2,000
Huron Junior Athletics $5,000
Leadership Huron 2024 Class $10,000
SD CEO WBC/BHSU Found. $1,200
S.D S.F. Foundation-The SH $15,000

Terry and Nancy Schiltz Family Fund
Connecting Cultures $150

Heartland Backpack Program $2,000
Nordby Center for Recreation $2,535

Jerry and Sandy Mencke Fund
Connecting Cultures $500
Huron Area Senior Center $2,000
Huron HOSA Chapter $1,000
Jan Manolis Family Safe Cent. $1,500

Wheeler Family Fund
Dakotaland Museum $1,000
Heartland Backpack Program $1,000
Huron Destination Imagination $1,000
Nordby Center for Rec. $1,000
Huron School Foundation $2,000

Emily & Robert Entwisle Fund
Huron School Foundation $2,000
Huron Hockey $1,000
People’s Transit $2,000