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Thu, Aug. 06

Greater Williams Community Fund launches 1881 Club
Minimum dues is $18.81

Photo/Jan Shirley
Dr. Jim and Jody Wurgler are the 1881 Club Campaign Co-chairs.

Photo/Jan Shirley Dr. Jim and Jody Wurgler are the 1881 Club Campaign Co-chairs.

WILLIAMS - In honor of the founding of Williams in 1881, the Greater Williams Community Fund has created the 1881 Club as part of its first official fundraising campaign. 1881 Club Campaign Co-chairs Dr. Jim and Jody Wurgler, well-known for their active support of local nonprofits, invite all community residents to "join the club" by contributing as little as $18.81.

"We know folks aren't always able to make a large donation," said Dr. Wurgler. "That's okay. We're all in this together. Regardless of the amount of your contribution, you can become a member of the 1881 Club."

Gifts of any amount are encouraged, but donors officially join the 1881 Club at one of four levels: Growers ($18.81), Builders ($188.10), Founders (1,881) or Visionaries ($18,810). The 1881 Club is designed to support the Greater Williams Community Fund, which provides grants to Williams' area nonprofit organizations during an annual grant cycle. Although the 1881 Club focuses on dollar investments, donations to GWCF are also accepted in the form of publicly traded and privately-held securities, real estate, business interests and other assets.

"In these difficult times, it is especially important for the private sector to assume responsibility for our quality of life," said Brad Massey, GWCF treasurer and an original member of the GWCF Steering Committee. "When we grow local dollars, we can use them locally as needed. It would be great to see classrooms or social groups join together to support this cause."

Fliers announcing the 1881 Club campaign, which also function as donation forms, are currently being distributed throughout the community and can be provided upon request from any member of the GWCF Steering Committee. Committee members include: Jean-Ellen Kegler, chair; Kris Vasquez, vice chair; Sandy Roe, secretary; Brad Massey, treasurer; Beth Britton; Donna Eastman Liddle; Chuck and Linda Eaton, GWCF founders; Linda Russell; Mike Williams; Jim Wurgler; and Karen Peters, ACF/VISTA representative. Donations should be mailed to the Greater Williams Community Fund, P.O. Box 11, Williams, AZ 86046. For further information, contact Jean-Ellen Kegler at jekegler@aol.com or 928-773-1709.

Since its inception in October 2005, the Greater Williams Community Fund has grown from less than $15,000 to more than $140,000, enabling GWCF to award $14,200 in grant funding to Williams area nonprofit organizations. As an endowed fund, GWCF's principal (individual contributions) is never spent, and the fund's earnings are used to provide grant funding to local nonprofits. In this way, the donations which comprise GWCF's principal are left untouched to continue growing, allowing the fund to provide the greater Williams community vital support now and in the future.

Grants are awarded through an annual process, which is kicked off each year with an application workshop, intended to help nonprofit representatives become familiar with the simple grant application process. All community members are invited to attend. In 2010, the information workshop will occur in March, the grant application process will run through April, and grants will be awarded in May. For more information about GWCF's upcoming grant cycle, please contact GWCF Grants Chair Sandy Roe at (928) 635-4968.

"We're already looking forward to Founders Day," said Dr. Wurgler, referring to June 14, when GWCF will recognize its 1881 Club donors and grant recipients. "We hope and believe many people will jump at this special chance to support our wonderful and caring community."

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.

(Editor's note: Jean-Ellen Kegler contributed to this article.)

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