To ensure that the Wausa community thrives in the days and years ahead, the Wausa Community Foundation Fund has forged the path in the form of financial investments into our communityto the tune of nearly $80,000 over the past four years.
In 2023, The Foundation has committed $40,000 toward various community projects. Foundation president Darren Vanness said the vision of the foundation fund is to make Wausa a desirable place to live, work, and spend time—both now and in the future.
The board of directors, consisting of Carlie Johnston, Heather Carlson, Barb Strivens, Rod Banks, Debbie Vanness, Carolyn Hall, Brian Eldorado, Bob Marks, and Darren Vanness, continually talk about preserving our heritage and those who came before us while preparing for future needs of the community. “We aim to be a partner with our community to make projects happen,” Vanness said. “We have decided to invest aggressively in the past two or three years to help build our reputation as a true financial partner to our community.”
Since 2018, the Wausa Community Foundation Fund has contributed to Wausa Public Schools, The Wausa Teammates Chapter, the Village of Wausa, the Wausa Community Club andthe Lied Lincoln Township Library.
Grant money approved for 2023 is earmarked for projects such as Payne’s Playground, the Wausa Trail and a potential housing project. Vanness said the recent investments to these projectsprovide great examples of the long-term positive impact the foundation can make.
“We have been a part of some great projects where people have donated,” Vanness said. “Different people started projects to address clear needs, and the Wausa Community Foundation became a part of the solution.”
Vanness said these investments in our community would not be possible without the donations from generous benefactors to grow the endowment. Looking to the future means finding ways to grow the endowment.
Over the past 15+ years, the foundation has built an endowment that now is over $370,000. Each year the foundation canharvest the earnings from this endowment to invest back into Wausa.
“Today, we may be able to invest $25,000 a year,” Vanness said. “What if our endowment could grow to over $1 million and we could invest >$50,000 per year?”
Vanness said that the foundation and its benefactors have shown great commitment to the long-term betterment of the Wausa community. Vanness noted that a donation to the endowment will stay in the endowment forever, leaving a legacy for future Wausa generations.
“We have ambitious people in the community, and the community has ambitious needs,” Vanness said. “If we are able to do this, we hope more people will donate to our fund and increase our capacity to invest.” We would like everyone to consider investing in the Wausa Community Foundation as a way to give back to Wausa for generations to come.
The mission of the foundation has been to “enrich the quality of life in Wausa by offering flexible ways for donors to invest in the current and future needs of our community.” If you would like to help the Wausa Community Foundation continue its mission, you can visit https://www.nebcommfound.org/give/wausa-community-foundation-fund/ to donate.
Written by Kyle Stevens.