When the Fall season rolls around, that means a couple of important activities are on the schedule at the Sonora Area Foundation. The first is that the annual conference for community foundations, presented by the Council on Foundations, will be held. This year, the conference was conducted toward the end of October in Cleveland, Ohio – the location of the first community foundation, founded 100 years ago this year.
The conference was attended by Board Vice-President Roger Francis, Board Member Carey Haughy and Program Manager Lin Freer. The report back from them is that community foundations have never been stronger. According to the Council, there are over 750 community foundations in the U.S., with at least one in every state.
Roger, Carey and Lin recently reported to the Board about the variety of topics that were discussed in break-out sessions over the three day conference. Roger spoke about one of the key speakers – James Joseph, the former U. S. Ambassador to South Africa – emphasizing that “Help Leads to Hope.” Certainly, community foundations are uniquely positioned to provide such help in their areas, including the Foundation’s mission in Tuolumne County.
The second important activity to report is that our Fall newsletter is being prepared and will be published during Thanksgiving week.
This year’s newsletter theme is kids. Many of the donor funds held by the Foundation, and grants and scholarships that we award, serve to benefit the youth of our community. That’s not surprising given the interest of our founder, Irving J. Symons, that the Foundation respond to the needs of the youth in our community.
In fact, kids will be playing a very important part in some of the activities that we will be undertaking during our own anniversary year, as 2015 marks the 25th year that the Sonora Area Foundation has served our community. More about that in my January blog.
For now, let’s take some time to enjoy the season, the annual giving back that surrounds Thanksgiving, and the opportunity to be with family and friends.
Along with thinking about the season of giving, it’s not too early to begin to think about that which provides endless opportunities for fun, hours of gazing across winter landscapes, and helps us to believe that we can escape from this drought cycle that we have been stuck in.