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Our Kids, Our Communities

Last year, as the Board of Directors and staff of the Sonora Area Foundation began to make plans to celebrate our 25th anniversary this year, we seemed to gravitate toward kids and how our plans needed to emphasize the particular needs for “our” kids.

As our plans morphed into 25 for 25 – the grant awards event that the Foundation held in March at the Sonora Opera Hall – the distribution of those grants revealed the wide spectrum of need to be addressed. The 25 for 25 grant awards touched on many areas, such as human services and education, arts and health, animals serving youth and organized youth sports.

We’re not stopping there. The Board of the Foundation recently approved our participation once again this year in our specially sponsored ride of the Polar Express for children and parents not otherwise planning to take the trip. The California State Railroad Museum and Railtown 1897 will be the beneficiary of the Foundation’s grant that makes the ride possible. It was great fun last year resulting in lasting memories for kids ages 3 – 5.

And let’s not forget the scholarships that are supported by many donors in our community that are awarded to graduating high school and continuing college students this month.

This year’s proactive grant making is in addition to the annual grant making from our donor funds and our competitive grant program, and is where we have the greatest impact on “our” communities. Already this year, we have granted to a wide range of activities that impact our communities, from community meals and senior transportation, to Sober Grad and equipment for classrooms, to community radio and recreational trails (more on that in a future blog).

As the Sonora Area Foundation continues to evolve as a community foundation, we are now able to serve the needs of our kids and our communities in ways that could only be imagined 25 years ago. I’m sure the same will be true 25 years further down the road when the Foundation looks back over 50 years.

One thing that I am sure will remain the same is the Foundation’s commitment to our kids and our communities. Community foundations build and strengthen communities in a multitude of ways, including providing the means for a wide range of donors to create permanent funds to meet critical needs. If you think that you want to play a part in the next 25 years as a donor or by establishing a fund through the Foundation, don’t hesitate to contact me.

Our kids and our communities await you.