‘Continually reinvesting in the community’

Foundation looks to take a more active role

THREE RIVERS — Even though the Three Rivers Area Community Foundation has been around since the mid-1970s, it’s “been one of those quiet partners,” its administrator Melissa Bliss said.
It has helped fund everything from the popcorn stand and bandshell to HarmonyFest and Christmas Around Town.
“We are continually reinvesting in the community,” Bliss said.
Now, the Foundation is transitioning to being more than just grant makers, but taking an active role in leading projects and collaborating with other organizations.
The Foundation currently has $3.76 million in total assets, which includes discretionary funds, unrestricted funds and temporary pass-through funds.
There are more than 50 funds total and this past year they awarded $41,000 in scholarships, as well as more than $88,000 in grants.
The 15-member board is now looking to identify larger projects that have a longer, more sustainable impact, such as local trails.
Their involvement with the trails project began in 2007 with development of a master plan; since then they have collected $175,000 to serve as a match to money from the J.A. Woollam Foundation and then used the total to leverage nearly $564,000 from the state so that a trail from HealthTRAC to Meyer Broadway Park can be constructed in 2018.
Gifts don’t have to be large, Bliss said, noting that whether they come from out of the area or not, they are redistributed back into the area so that everything stays here.
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