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Growing local foundations invaluable to the future PDF Print E-mail

By Russ Pankonin, The Imperial Republican

In less than three weeks, the people of Chase County have answered the call and a $25,000 challenge grant to the Chase County Hospital Foundation will be met. That’s awesome!!!
In early June, BWTelcom of Wauneta and Benkelman announced a $25,000 challenge grant for the hospital—raise $25,000 and they will match $25,000.
By the completion of the hospital foundation’s annual Slice For Life golf tournament on Saturday, that challenge will have been met. We can take great pride in that accomplishment but we can’t rest on our laurels.
Two of our local foundations, the Chase County Hospital Foundation and the Imperial Community Foundation have established unrestricted endowments as a way of sustaining giving through the generations.
The purpose of an unrestricted endowment is to build a nest egg for the future. The principal remains intact forever—only the proceeds from interest and investments are ever used to reinvest back into the community.
The community foundation’s unrestricted endowment fund has grown to nearly $460,000 over the last 10 years. In just the last several years since its inception, the hospital’s endowment has reached more than $34,000. Both have goals of $1 million or more.
That may sound like a big number but it pales in comparison to the endowments being built in other communities.
For instance, the town of Shickley, population 333, has endowments of more than $12 million. Aurora, population 4,417, has foundation endowments totalling more than $60 million. Granted, that money didn’t all come in at once but thanks to the vision of people who have gone before them, these two communities are well prepared for their future.
Can you imagine what the Imperial community or the hospital could do with endowments of that size?  It’s our responsibility to our kids, our grandkids and our great-grandkids to help sustain the success of our community. This can be done with charitable giving.
The $25,000 BWTelcom challenge has been met—but a much bigger challenge is before us. I’m hopeful that we will continue to build our nest eggs for the community and hospital. Their continued success and future rests with us today.