The Highland Area Community Foundation awarded more than $77,000 in grants at its 23rd annual Grants Banquet Tuesday, Oct. 9, at the Knights of Columbus Hall.
Fifty-one grants, totaling $77,087, were awarded by the foundation’s grant committee at this year’s banquet, sponsored by The Bank of Edwardsville. This year’s grants bring the total amount awarded in the last 23 years to $998,943, which have been given to more than 100 different area organizations.
Pastor Will VerDuin, Evangelical United Church of Christ, served as master of ceremonies for the evening.
Of the 51 grants awarded, $33,362 went to 21 community groups and schools from the Foundation’s unrestricted funds, while $43,725 went to various community organizations and schools, the city of Highland and local scholarships from 30 specified funds.
Grants Committee Chairman Don Johannes announced the grant recipients during the banquet.
Grants also were awarded to a variety of Highland area organizations serving the less fortunate, senior citizens, youths, the arts, animals, sports and other community needs.
Funds will provide needed equipment and services to several area organizations.
Foundation President Mark Rosen also spoke at the event. He said he often wondered what Highland would be like without the foundation.
“It’s evident to me that the selfless acts by our founding donors have passed on a trait that continues today, and hopefully, will continue to our future generations,” he said. “This leads me to wonder, what if the people weren’t part of our community?”
Rosen recognized retiring foundation board members Jerry Rehkemper, Mandy Ringwald and Laurie Frank. All three served two terms on the board and each received a plaque in appreciation of their service.
In the last 23 years, $3 million has passed through the foundation to the community through grants, scholarships and pass-through funds. This, along with the $5 million that the foundation manages, totals $8 million which the community has entrusted to the foundation.