May 28, 2022
By David Nordby
The Brillion News
This story first appeared in the May 26, 2022 print edition of The Brillion News.
BRILLION – Between Memorial Day and the Fourth of July, Brillion area residents have the chance to donate to the city’s future and help build a display of American flags outside of Zander Press.
A fundraising campaign – Flags for Our Future – is being put toward meeting a $500,000 goal for the Brillion Area Community Endowment Fund established by Bob and Pat Endries through the Brillion Area Family of Funds (BAFF).
The Endries will match $500,000 in December 2023 when $500,000 is raised by residents.
Through the endowment fund, the community will be able to use 4.5 percent of the $1 million annually forever.
The $1 million combined goal is building for the city’s future, the group says. Endowment funds are an investment fund used by nonprofit organizations with donations invested forever.
Only the 4.5 percent earned interest will be used each year.
The work toward $500,000 reached $137,000 in February. A lot of money will still need to be raised between now and the end of 2023 over the next 18 months.
This past December, they came up with the Holiday Giving Tree, which raised $25,000. It was lit outside of Cobblestone Creek. Tom Endries matched the $25,000 to equal $50,000. The Holiday Giving Tree is scheduled to take place again this year.
The Flags for Our Future is the latest fundraising campaign to work toward the overall $500,000 goal.
An anonymous Brillion area resident is planning on a $25,000 match for the Flags for Our Future program, but if it goes over the goal, the anonymous donor will match up to $30,000.
The group believes that Brillion is a patriotic town, so flags were on their mind for Memorial Day through Independence Day.
Outside of Zander Press on West Ryan Street, is the Flags for Our Future campaign dollar board and the American flags. Each flag represents $250. Every donation given isn’t $250, but each flag represents that amount to try to work toward having 100 flags by the Fourth of July.
The first 20 flags represented the donation from the Steve and Faye Klessig Fund, another fund inside the Brillion Area Family of Funds. The Klessig Fund also jumpstarted the Holiday Giving Tree campaign.
Donations for the $500,000 Endries dollar match are accepted at any time and can be done so by visiting cffoxvalley.org/partners/ourpartner-funds/brillion-area-family-of-funds/. Donations can also be dropped off at Zander Press or by contacting a board member.
In 2021, grant awardees from the Brillion Area Community Fund were the Brillion Police Department ($1,500 to support the annual National Night Out), Tri-County Community Dental ($1,500 to support Robert Glass Focus on the Children program in Brillion Elementary School), Samaritan Counseling Center of the Fox Valley – Thrive Calumet ($1,500 to support Thrive Calumet in the Brillion schools) and Friends of the Endries Performing Arts Center ($1,500 for an Ion XE light board for the PAC). A Brillion High School student will receive a scholarship from the BAFF this week.
The Brillion Area Family of Funds began in 2013 as a group of charitable funds to ‘preserve, strength and improve the quality of life in the Brillion area.’ The fifty-plus charitable funds within the BAFF combine for a $7.8 million value and $2.2 million worth of grants have been given out.
In addition to the Holiday Giving Tree, the group is also planning a meat raffle fundraiser in the fall.
Current members of the group include Steve Klessig (chair), Don Mathiebe (treasurer) and Steve Meyer (secretary). Advisors include Larry Dietz, Aaron Kabat, Bruce Keller, Tammy Koehler, Sarah Lemke, Dennis Miller, JoAnn Mignon, George Petrie, Sarah Pielhop, Beth Wenzel and Jessica Wenzel.