Whether it was goat cheese, Parmesan, or chardonnay wine, people could find it at the Hettinger Granary last week. The Adams County Community Foundation (ACCF) hosted a wine and cheese tasting event to raise awareness for Adams County’s community foundation fund and celebrate their first grant.
According to ACCF board member Cody Jorgenson, the ultimate goal of the foundation is to help all aspects of the Adams County community.
“This is something for the community, not just one specific entity,” said Jorgenson.
The Adams County Community Foundation fund started in 2015 with a $10,000 donation from ALLETE Clean Energy. Nearly four years later, the balance has grown by over $2,000 and now the committee has begun to allocate a small percentage of the interest generated from the foundation to the community.
“Our first grant was giving $333 to the Drug and alcohol coalition,” said Jorgenson, “They used the money to help fund the party they had during New Year’s Eve.”
Because the foundation is relatively new in Adams County, Jorgenson said that the foundation’s biggest goal right now is to get more exposure and raise awareness about the possibilities of future grants.
“Right now there hasn’t been much name recognition. People don’t know about it and it has a great potential,” said Jorgenson. “In one community, they were able to provide a wheelchair access service van for transporting elderly and the handicapped to local businesses.”
According to Jorgenson, the money gained through the foundation can help any qualifying 501(c)(3) or governmental entity or subdivision like Parks & Rec, Social Services, Food Pantry, EMS, Hospitals, or similar economic development projects.
Although the application of the money seems broad, the money follows a specific grant process through the North Dakota Community Foundation. To be eligible for grant funding, a local Adams County organization has to apply.
In the granting process, the local Adams County Community Foundation committee recommendations are taken into account.
Ultimately, the local committee members are supposed to be knowledgeable on what the local priorities are in Adams County with local people making local recommendations.
So far, the members on the local Adams County Community Foundation are Cheryl Dix, Kyle Kennedy, Allen Wickstrom, Denise Andress, Cody Jorgenson, Dorothy Becker, Pam Burch, Andy Roehl, and Jasmin Fosheim.
Over fifty communities in North Dakota, big and small, have their own community foundations through the North Dakota Community Foundation.
Bowman County started their community foundation a couple of years before Adams County and already they are close to $150,000, according to Jorgenson.
Jorgenson said that he was excited for the potential of the foundation.
“Last year we helped the kids and, moving forward, who know what we can do in the future and what projects we can help out with. This is a community project.
“It’s for the community and the future of Hettinger and the communities in Adams County. It’s not just Hettinger, it can be Reeder, Bucyrus, or whoever applies for these funds that has a worthy cause that this money can go to.