Holiday wish comes true for foundation
Cash donations, pledges surpasses all expectations
A holiday wish for donations and pledges of $13,500 was all the steering committee of the Greater Williams Community Foundation was seeking. The money came in and now committee members are rejoicing ‹ to date, $14,350 in cash donations and $9,850 in pledges have been sent to the GWCF.
"We are just thrilled. The magnitude is mind-boggling. The air of excitement increases with each donation," said Linda Eaton, co-organizer of the GWCF.
In early December, the GWCF had received $61,500 in contributions. The additional $13,500 was necessary to reach $75,000 to qualify for a second $25,000 match from Mike Morgan, chairman of the board of Grand Canyon-Northland Amusements & Entertainment, LLC. With Morgan's $25,000 match, the foundation's total contributions would have reached $100,000. Now combined with the second match, the GWCF will have a balance slightly more than $107,000.
"This paves the way for a future investment in our community that is going to pay off in the long run. You're not just donating to one thing, you are giving to the entire community," said Donna Eastman, president and chief executive officer of the Williams-Grand Canyon Chamber of Commerce.
The GWCF will create an endowment fund that will benefit a variety of nonprofit organizations that typically support youth, education, social services, healthcare, senior services, the arts and other community needs. The fund is perpetual since the principal is never touched.
Less than one year ago, the GWCF Steering Committee began planning for the cause and began setting goals for the foundation's beginning. Now committee members are amazed with the success.
Officials with the Arizona Community Foundation ‹ which manages the funds of the GWCF ‹ have stated that the GWCF has raised funds more rapidly than other foundations and is more organized, said co-organizer Chuck Eaton.
"The Arizona Community Foundation is established and has a proven record for investments," Eastman said.
The Eatons are quick to credit members of the local steering committee with the success of the GWCF. Steering committee members include Jack Hadley, Jim and Phyllis Johnson, Dr. James Wurgler, Brad Massey, Sandy Roe, Karen Peters, Beth Britton, Sally Davison, Eastman and the Eatons.
The steering committee is currently making plans to establish an advisory board. The committee will be seeking sponsorships within the next few weeks.
The first grants ‹ consisting of 5 percent of the fund ‹ will be approximately $5,000. One grant will honor the memory of Kevin Twitty, Linda Eaton's son.
"This (Kevin Twitty Grant) is our reward for getting this together," said Linda Eaton.
All pledges made prior to Dec. 31 are due June 30.
The GWCF's steering committee is also encouraging contributors to pledge now to qualify as a GWCF founder. Several founder levels are offered including Platinum for those contributing $10,000 or more; Gold for those contributing at least $5,000; Silver for those contributing $1,000 or more; and Bronze for those that contribute $500 or more. The GWCF is managed by the Arizona Community Foundation. Contributors will receive a gift receipt for the tax deductible gift from the ACF.
The names of all founders will be listed on a plaque that will be displayed in a prominent location in Williams. Currently 24 founders have donated $500 or more.
To donate or for more information contact Chuck and Linda Eaton at (928) 635-2472 or Phyllis Johnson at (928) 635-2569. Pledge forms can be obtained at the Williams-Forest Service Visitors' Center. Donations can be mailed to the GWCF, P.O. Box 11, Williams, AZ 86046.
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