OCCF plans annual auction for May 3rd

April 27, 2018

On Thursday, May 3rd, the Osceola County Community Foundation will hold their annual fundraising auction at the Osceola County Fairgrounds Community Building in Evart.

Doors open at 4:00 p.m. with dinner being served at 6:30 p.m. Tickets for the event can be purchased at the door for $30.
The auction is the main fundraising event for the OCCF. Money raised from the auction goes to offset any administrative costs for the organization.

“What this auction allows us to do is to raise money for administrative costs, so that we’re not takeing money out of the fund,” said OCCF board member and local businessman Ross Richards, “It’s to make sure that any money that’s donated to the fund goes directly back to the community through grants and scholarships.”

Richards said that in years past, some of the items auctioned off have included tickets to sporting events, music concerts, gift certificates to area businesses and local restaurants, as well as lodging and entertainment packages.

“There’s a lot of people who hear the term OCCF, and they go what’s that?” Richards said. “It’s really turning into a powerful asset for the county in so many ways. It’s specific for the county. The larger the fund gets, the more good you can do in these communities.”

Recently, the Osceola County Community Foundation awarded a $10,000 grant to the Marion Elementary PTO for new playground equipment and a $4770 grant to the MakerSpace Community Space in downtown Marion.

And the OCCF award season isn’t over just yet.

Soon, the OCCF will award one and two-year scholarships for students at Marion, Evart, Pine River, and Reed City schools.
“We’re right in the middle of grant and scholarship season and we’ll be awarding over $50,000 to our four county high schools,” said OCCF Board Chair Sheri Thompson recently.

“This is a busy time of the year with the grant rounds being completed, and the scholarship rounds will be coming soon,” Thompson said. “People see what we’re out there doing in the local community and they want to do that too – whether it’s through building legacy funds, or private donations.”

The Osceola County Community Foundation was established in 1990 as an affiliate of the Fremont Community Foundation. Much of the funding for the foundation comes from existing endowments set aside by families and donors who wanted to give back to their local community. The mission of the OCCF is to make Osceola County a better place to live and work by enhancing the quality of life and building a strong community spirit.

According to Foundation Vice President Todd Jacobs, the funding and resources provided by the OCCF are designed to be sustainable.

“When folks come together to build an endowment for years to come, it’s designed to be sustainable,” Jacobs said. “It’s designed to build a sustainable foundation to improve the quality of life of locals through grants and scholarships; it’s designed to provide an ongoing resource for the community for decades to come.”

Jacobs noted projects at Crittenden County Park, Susan Wheatlake Cancer Center, and Project Starburst Food Bank as some of the foundation’s most recent award recipients.

Jacobs also noted the importance of this year’s annual auction. This will be the 24th year of the event.

Richards has been encouraged by what the foundation continues to provide locally.

“The scholarship programs can benefit a lot of kids,” Richards said. “Depending on what they get – and they can receive a one or two-year scholarship – those have all been beneficial.”

But it’s not just local students who benefit from the foundation.

“The community foundation supports the food pantry, the fire department, the library,” Richards continued, “Just about every facet of the community that touches people, whether they realize it or not.”

For more information on the Osceola County Community Foundation visit the OCCF website at facommunityfoundation.org.

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