New Richmond foundation focuses on educationThe Education Foundation of New Richmond is often confused with the New Richmond Area Community Foundation but the two actually have different focuses.
By: By Jackie Grumish, New Richmond News
The Education Foundation of New Richmond is often confused with the New Richmond Area Community Foundation but the two actually have different focuses.
In simple terms, The New Richmond Area Community Foundation is focused on the community and The Education Foundation of New Richmond is focused on education.
“We’re both serving the community but in different ways,” said Jon Haasch, foundation secretary.
“Our focus is on the educational aspect of what goes on in the community,” said Bob Goodlad, foundation president.
The Educational Foundation of New Richmond was founded as a nonprofit corporation in 1992. It’s run by a volunteer board and funded through individual giving, estate planning, class gifts, corporate giving and memorials.
The scholarships, ranging from $500-$1,500, are usually distributed to students based on certain areas of study, academic standing, etc.
For example, Kent Rebeck, foundation vice president, said New Richmond 8 Theatre gives three $500 scholarships to students planning to go into the performing arts field.
To help identify scholarship recipients, the foundation works with the high school guidance department. The number of scholarships distributed year after year depends on the money donated to the foundation; however, Haasch said an average of 30 scholarships are distributed each year.
Because the foundation is run by a volunteer board, all money donated to the organization goes toward the scholarships and grants.
In addition to the scholarships, The Education Foundation of New Richmond also offers the Jack Reckord Star Grant, a grant named after a long-time New Richmond teacher. The grant is awarded to help fund programs that would otherwise go unrealized due to financial constraints, said Haasch.
In the past, these grants have helped pay for many books, iPads, helmets, blenders, snowshoeing equipment, etc.
All told, the foundation (with the help of Adam Swanda of St. Croix Financial Services) manages about $500,000, said Goodlad.
“We would love to see it grow,” he said. “We’d love for it to be $1 million.”
In addition to helping a student’s education, donors can also receive a significant tax benefit because of the group’s nonprofit status, they said.
Typically, the foundation pays the scholarship after the recipient satisfactorily completes the first semester of school. However, in some cases scholarships have been awarded up front, particularly if there is a financial hardship. This could be for college or vocational studies.
“We’ve found there is a much higher success rate when we do it this way,” Rebeck said. “And it’s very rewarding to us when there are successes.”
Anyone interested in donating to The Education Foundation of New Richmond is encouraged to call the district offices at 715-243-7411.