By Jared Lindell
Every day individuals walk into the Community Foundation to make donations, to start new funds, or to simply say “hi.” While the Foundation staff is thankful for these daily visits, they happen so frequently and quickly that they become part of the daily routine. However, when thinking that these occurrences have been taking place for 30 years, then the realization sets in that these visits are hardly routine. They are at the center of what the Community Foundation has become and continues to be about.
At the core, the Foundation has become a centerpiece for charitable giving that has helped the Chautauqua region grow in so many ways. This is why the Community Foundation Board and staff is celebrating 30 years of operation in 2008…as a way to commemorate over a quarter of a century’s growth and success. Furthermore, this celebration will serve as an opportunity to thank the individuals who had the foresight to plant the seeds of growth at CRCF and to thank the community for contributing to this growth to where CRCF is now firmly rooted in the community.
It is easy to see how the Community Foundation has grown over its history. From its humble beginning 30 years ago, there was very much a question of whether a foundation of this nature could even survive in a community the size of Chautauqua County. If history has proven anything, it is that the Community Foundation has not only survived but also flourished. From dollars and cents to a size of $65 million in assets…from a few funds to nearly 500 funds…from a few grants here and there to a total of $25 million in grants awarded as it stands today. CRCF has indeed survived, which shows the belief the founders had in the charitable nature of this community and its citizens. Once again, 30 years of success is due largely to you.
As the Community Foundation looks ahead to 2008, many questions loom as they do every year. How will the organization change? What will be the most pressing needs this year? How can we work to better service students and area non-profits? Or speaking more broadly and generally, how is 2008 going to be different from the past 30 years of existence at CRCF? The simple answer is: Things will be largely the same. However, at CRCF much of the same is a great thing, because the Board and staff will continue to follow the groundwork laid by CRCF’s founders. Groundwork that equates to building and fostering relationships, to continually learning about the community and its needs, and to doing everything possible to allow charitable individuals a means of giving back to a community that they love. This was the mission 30 years ago and that mission remains much of the same today, even though times, people, and needs change. We ask that you join us in 2008 in celebrating 30 years of the Community Foundation because you, the community, are the roots of the Foundation…and these roots grow deeper and stronger every year. For that, we thank you.