Hiawatha Community Foundation

The Hiawatha Community Foundation is planning a Memorial Weekend event to benefit more than a dozen organizations, businesses and projects in the area.

Virginia Freese, president of the foundation board, said they have been busy raising money since the group formally announced its plan and mission last fall and have $35,000 set aside to be used as matching funds for the Memorial Weekend event.

There are currently 17 funds being overseen by the Community Foundation that include community groups and local 501c3 organizations. From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on May 29, local residents have the opportunity to come to the Fisher Community Center and from noon to 6 p.m. on May 30 at the Hiawatha Country Club to donate money to any one – or all – of these groups. The minimum donation is $100 and the Hiawatha Community Foundation will match that 50 percent – so for every $100 donated the foundation will give $50. She said there will be a cap, to ensure that the foundation’s funds for this event will be spread out over all groups participating, but that has not been determined yet.

She said the foundation created this event in order to give “everyone a piece of the pie,” and spread out the generous donations that have been collected while helping as many groups as possible.

Those groups listed so far for the event include:

Brown County Developmental Services

Brown County Genealogical Society

Brown County Historical Society

Brown County Humane Society

Friends of the Morrill Free Public Library

Grains for Hope

Hiawatha Alumni Association for Scholarships

Hiawatha Cemetery District Association

HCVB (Chamber) Hometown Pride

Hiawatha Championship Sports Complex

Hiawatha Community Foundation

Hiawatha Community Hospital

Hiawatha Community Hospital Foundation

Hiawatha USD 415 Educational Foundation

Highland Community College Foundation

Jingle Bell Ride

Kanza Mental Health Foundation

Little Hands Daycare

NEK- CAP – Hiawatha Urgent Need Funds

Northeast Kansas Area Agency on Aging

Redhawk Trap Club

Ruby Slipper Goat Rescue

Wolf River Quail Forever Ch 3143

A couple organizations are not 501c3 groups, but Freese said there is a fiscal sponsorship form for those that aren’t and that will make any donations tax deductible.

Freese said any donations collected for the Hiawatha Community Foundation fund from this specific event will go toward supporting Little Hands Daycare. She said that, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Little Hands is below capacity and enrollment is only half of what it was in 2019.

“As businesses are beginning to open up again, enrollment is slow to recover,” she said.

The foundation is hoping to help Little Hands pay off a loan that was taken out when the building was constructed – with a remaining balance of approximately $148,000, or $14,000 in payments per year. Little Hands recently kicked off a Capital Campaign – with a target on playground improvements.

Freese said people can come to the Fisher Center at the event – which was set for Memorial Weekend to draw in alumni crowds back for reunions – and write one check and request where the money be spread to.

“We want people connected to Hiawatha to find out about us and help get the word out,” she said.

Again, the donation days are from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on May 29 at the Fisher Center and from noon to 6 p.m. on May 30 at the Hiawatha Country Club. To donate online during the match days go to the following website: givebacktomoveforward.com.

The Hiawatha Community Foundation, which is an affiliation of the Greater Manhattan Community Foundation, hopes to make this an annual event. Contact the Hiawatha Community Foundation at (785) 740-4428 or by email at info@hiawathacf.org for more information or go to the HCF website at hiawathacf.org.

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