Only A Spark
As Tuolumne County braces for another Fire season, we know that all it takes is a small spark to erupt into a major wildfire. In using this analogy, but in a positive way, it was a small spark of vision that created the Sonora Area Foundation.
There is not a day that goes by where I am not asked about the happenings going on with Sonora Area Foundation. My response, Sonora Area Foundation continues to do what it does best, and that is give back to our community. I am also reminded daily, through the generous efforts of our donors, and the responsible granting authority provided by our Board, of those positive impacts that have and continue to be made to the benefit of our community. If the late Irving J. Symons and his sister Elaine Symons Baker had not followed their philanthropic passions for Tuolumne County, we would be looking at a far different Community with far fewer resources.
I compare the birthing of Sonora Area Foundation like a spark that starts a fire. In this case, a fire that fans the desire for its people to give back to their community. What we need to do as a community is continue to fan the flames of giving. I know through my travels there are communities that are envious of Tuolumne County for having such a successful community foundation in a rural county. These communities of much greater populations would love to see a community foundation established, in order to reap the “giving back” benefits. Often, especially after a number of years have passed, we can not see the “forest through the trees” and forget how fortunate we are as a community to be blessed with such a thriving foundation.
The vision of late Irving Symons and his sister Elaine Symons Baker did indeed ignite an idea. Their creative idea of establishing a community foundation did not take long to catch fire within our community, as other key community leaders assisted with the Foundation’s early formation. When an idea that makes perfect sense hits the ground running, that idea will catch fire and grow into a full inferno.
I would ask that we as citizens of this community help fan the flames of our community foundation successes and help provide more “giving” fuel for the fire. Working together we can make a significant difference in helping our community grow and prosper through the power of giving.