WILLIAMS - Whether it is a food holding cabinet or an organization providing animal services, the renovation of a ball field or the extension of public swimming hours, or support services for youth or seniors, nonprofit organizations continue to elevate the quality of life in the Williams area, assisted in part by the Greater Williams Community Fund (GWCF).
This year, 11 local nonprofit organizations received a total of $7,400 in Community Fund grants. The grant checks were presented during the GWCF/Chamber Mixer at Wild West Junction on June 17. The event represented a major milestone for the local philanthropic group: matching the largest grant amount ever awarded by the Fund.
According to GWCF Steering Committee Chair Kris Vasquez, the grants illustrate the breadth of the Community Fund's impact.
"It's important that we have been able to help not only longtime, tried-and-true agencies such as the Salvation Army, but also newer groups with great potential such as SAVE-Meant to Rescue," Vasquez said. "We want to be responsive to needs that are specific to the greater Williams area."
Since its inception in 2005, the GWCF has awarded $36,100 to assist local nonprofits. The 2011 GWCF grant recipients are: Yes I Can, Inc. ($300); Inspirations, Inc. ($300); SAVE-Meant to Rescue ($300); Williams Recreation Department ($500); Friends of the Williams Aquatic Center ($500); Salvation Army ($500); Parks Little League ($750), Williams Senior Center ($1,000); Camp Civitan ($1,250); and WEMS PTSA ($1,500).
A special moment in the evening was the announcement of the Kevin Twitty Award, a designation that is presented annually in memory of the son of GWCF founders Chuck and Linda Eaton. Singled out for this significant honor was the Friends of the Williams Aquatic Center, in recognition of the group's outstanding community spirit.
In awarding grants and thanking fund donors, Vasquez explained that, because the Community Fund is an endowment, the principal (donors' gifts) is never spent. This year's record-setting grants were awarded only from earnings generated by the fund, not from principal.
"That's why it is so important that we give, and keep giving," she said. "The fund will grow and grow into the future. When the fund reaches $1,000,000, we will be able to award $50,000 in grants each year. That's our goal!"
The Greater Williams Community Fund is a permanent philanthropic endowment for the enduring benefit of the Williams area community. As a component fund of the Arizona Community Foundation, the GWCF enjoys cost-effective, centralized financial management and administrative resources provided by ACF, which allows local volunteers to maximize the impact and results of donor gifts. ACF honors local grant-making decisions so that contributions given in a community can benefit that community. For more information, visit www.azfoundation.org.