I was at a conference on the future of Rural communities last week in Sioux Falls, where I co-hosted a session with a friend of mine. The session went pretty well, and it was in large part because my pal Jerry came up with a really powerful question for the crowd to dialogue on. He asked “What will our grandchildren praise us for having started today?”
I’ve been thinking about that question a while now, and how it relates to my own life. One of the things I hope our grandchildren are proud of one day is the Montrose Area Foundation. OK, so this sounds like a shameless plug. Because it is. But, I really feel it’s that important for our little village. Montrose has made a big turnaround over the past several years while taking part in the Horizons program. It’s made a difference because so many people have pitched in to keep the momentum and excitement going (thank you for that, y’all). What kind of excitement? People are jacked about the idea that we can create our own future here–we don’t have to sit back and let our little town and our rural way of life disappear if we don’t want to.
There are all kinds of good projects going on, and we’ve been blessed with a little funding to pay for them (thanks, Northwest Area Foundation). The Montrose Area Foundation provides a way for all of us to pitch in what we can to be sure neat little projects can take place in our community every year. Forever. It’s much like a savings account for our community. We all put in some money, that money gets invested on our behalf by the smart folks at SD Community Foundation, and we use the interest we gain to make small grants to worthy causes each year. The grants will always be selected by a group of local volunteers, and will always be used for good projects in and around Montrose. Our money, our decisions, our future.
Let me say that again: every single dollar you put in will make a difference for Montrose’s grandchildren, and their grandchildren. It’s a pretty sweet project.
So, we (I am on the founding board of the Foundation) are in the middle of a funding campaign for the Foundation. Our courageous goal is to raise $100,000. If we hit that goal, the SDCF will give us a matching grant of another $25,000. So, we’d then have $125,000 and counting in our account, which would turn into more than $6,000 in local grants every year, and grow from there.
We’ll have a booth at the Irish SpudFest this weekend. If you’re in town, please stop by and make a donation. If you won’t be here for the big community bash, that’s OK. You can send a check or make a pledge over time. You could even donate a wagon of corn, some land, a house or car, or include the Montrose Area Foundation in your will. All the usual ways to leave something behind for the next generations.
You can mail a check or make a pledge to:
Montrose Area Foundation
PO Box 182
Montrose, SD 57048
If you have any questions, just shoot me an email and I’ll get you the details. By the way, this isn’t about asking everyone for big bucks. Just give whatever you can, wether that’s twenty bucks or twenty thousand. Every dollar counts. In fact, Jaim and I have been saving up for this. We’d like to challenge you to make a donation. Every dollar that goes to the Montrose Area Foundation between now and the end of 2009 from Bartblog readers will be matched by us, up to $1000. You heard me.
So, here’s your chance to make me give away some money. It’s simple:
- Make a donation or pledge to the Foundation before December 31, 2009
- Email me to let me know how much you’ve pledged or donated
- Jaimie and I match it up to a total of $1000 (maybe more if others want to play too)