Harmony Area Community Foundation striving to build stronger community
Wednesday, June 12, 2013 6:43 AM
On May 31, 2012, a group of interested individuals first met to discuss the creation of a community fund through Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation (SMIF). By August of 2012, the local SMIF agreement was finalized and the Harmony Area Community Foundation (HACF) was created with a mission "To serve the Harmony area by supporting projects which improve the quality of life and build a stronger community!"
HACF provides a vehicle for donors to make charitable contributions for improving the community's quality of life. Its focus areas include parks, trails, Fillmore Central Schools, public library, arts and history, health and the environment, community support and growth.
HACF's initial $26,500 seed money was received from the former Trust For a Better Harmony, which had been instrumental in bike trail development and other community projects.
The Selvig Park playground equipment upgrade became HACF's first special project. HACF's $5,000 donation was eligible for a $5,000 matching grant from SMIF totaling $10,000 for the project. In addition, total contributions of approximately $6,000 have been deposited into the Selvig Park's Special Project Fund.
Most recently, the Fillmore Central Schools has received a $2,000 grant for its computer laptop Initiative which will enhance our students' learning through the use of the latest technological tools.
Presently, the Harmony Area Community Foundation is seeking proposals for future focus area projects or programs.
The advisory board's marketing and fundraising efforts have been ongoing with brochure development, website development and more recently the Founders Club fundraising appeal. Becoming a Founders Club member requires a minimum $1,000 investment. Pledges that are met within a 10-year timeframe are acceptable.
SMIF has provided technical assistance with training, fundraising and marketing. SMIF has provided HACF with a $500 grant for printing/marketing, along with the $5,000 Selvig Park grant and a $2,000 Fillmore Central Schools grant. SMIF has also promised a $1 match for every $2 donated challenge, with a maximum $1,250 match for $2,500 or more single contributions made locally. This grant is dedicated for the endowment fund contributions up to $5,000. A total of 4.5 percent of the endowment fund balance will be used annually for approved HACF's projects.
"It is now time for the community to become actively involved in the Harmony Area Community Foundation. The Founders Club is one of the first steps in creating awareness and raising funds for HACF's endowment fund as well as providing grant monies to be used toward approved projects," said HACF charter board president, Vicky Tribon.
Contributions are tax deductible due to SMIF's 501(c)3 status.
"The advisory board members are passionate about their desire to make Harmony the best it can be," said board member and Harmony mayor, Steve Donney. "Many of us may not be around in 10-15-20 years, but this endowment fund can and will be growing to help improve Harmony's quality of life for future generations."
HACF's current advisory board members are President Vicky Tribon, Umbelina Cremer, Paula Michel, Vice-President Eileen Schansberg, Tina Peters, Steve Donney, Secretary/Treasurer Tim Samuelson, Vanessa Aggen and Jessie Powell.