A look at the extensive impact of Marshfield Area Community Foundation
By Amber Kiggens-Leifheit
MACF Executive Director
A child giggles, a parent laughs, a soccer coach cheers. These are the sounds you hear driving by Griese Park on a fall Sunday afternoon.
Griese Park is one of our many success stories. Over 15 years ago, Dr. George and Margaret Griese donated land to the city of Marshfield to develop a new park on the south side of the city. One of the key features of the new park was going to be the development of soccer fields to address the fast growing interest in the sport of soccer.
City funding was not sufficient to fully develop the park, and that is when Marsh 21, through its Griese Park fund at the Marshfield Area Community Foundation, and others stepped forward to raise funds to partner with the city to develop Griese Park. Today Griese Park provides quality soccer fields that are used on a regular basis by more than eight community partners. Griese Park is a great example of how the Marshfield Area Community Foundation can bring together both large and small donations to make Marshfield and the surrounding area a better place for our families to live.
This story — alongside the countless others like it — demonstrates the tremendous impact and unique importance of community foundations in this country. From Nov. 12-18, we celebrated Community Foundation Week, our chance to share and reflect on these stories. Though you may not yet know your local community foundation, you have likely felt its impact.
That is because the Marshfield Area Community Foundation and more than 750 other community foundations across the country help bring donors and residents together. The community foundation unites the efforts behind the efforts that will help the places we call home continue to flourish and grow.
Our community foundation has brought together donors with many local projects: Wildwood Station; the other shelters at Wildwood Park; Weber Park; Hamus Park; Hackman Field; the youth baseball fields at Miller Park; disc golf at Braem Park; Griese Park and its soccer fields; the Marshfield Skate Park; Boson Tennis Facility; the Architectural, Construction, and Engineering Academy at Marshfield High School; the Tiny Tiger Intergenerational Center; the Marshfield Outdoor Learning Center, Hardacre Park; the J.P. Adler Family Kodiak Bear Exhibit; and the new Marshfield Public Library and Community Center.
We fund many of our local nonprofits, including the YMCA, Opportunity Development Centers, the LuCille Tack Center for the Arts, United Way, the Palm Sunday Choir, the University of Wisconsin Marshfield/Wood County chemistry department, Saint John’s Church, Youth Net, Marshfield Habitat for Humanity, and many more.
In May we gave out $93,500 in scholarships.
In total we have given back over $4.8 million to our community since we began 21 years ago.
As we enter the giving season, America’s generosity surges. Millions of people from every background will be looking to give back to the communities that have supported them. They will also look to ensure that their heartfelt giving — however they choose to give — will have the most impact. That is why so many of them will choose to give to a community foundation.
A gift to your local community foundation is really an investment in the future of your community. The funds will go to work immediately supporting vital services, but they will also provide sustained support for years to come.
We like to say that community foundations are “here for good.” At the Marshfield Area Community Foundation, we do not think about the next election or business cycle. We think about the next generation and the next after that.