Mercer Savings Bank is proud to announce November’s Giving Mission recipient, the Fort Recovery Community Foundation.
What is the Fort Recovery Community Foundation?
Founded in 1992, the Fort Recovery Community Foundation (FRCF) helps local benefactors contribute to the future of Fort Recovery, along with Fort Recovery community members in need. There are multiple funds within the foundation for specific needs, such as scholarships and private family funds.
The foundation is set up so that all community members benefit from it. Endowed scholarships, sponsorships of community events and funding for Fort Recovery parks and the library are a few ways the foundation gives back to the community.
Cathy Koesters, a trustee on the Board of Governors for the foundation, is the lead on the distribution committee, overseeing how and where the funds are distributed.
Cathy’s family personally set up a fund within the foundation after her father, a business owner in Fort Recovery, passed away. Her family established a bereavement fund specifically for those with health issues or those who are unable to work for long periods of time because of a work injury.
“There are many ways to give to this foundation,” Koesters said. “But it’s always in the spirit of giving to someone else.”
The foundation is entirely volunteer-based, with no one on payroll. All board members donate their time to ensure the foundation is a success.
How Did the Foundation Begin?
In 1991, Fort Recovery celebrated its bicentennial year, which left them with a profit of $50,000. Several community members came up with the idea to put it back into the community and established the Fort Recovery Community Foundation. Almost 30 years later, the foundation has been able to provide nearly $4 million to the community.
“In recent years, the foundation has grown exponentially,” Koesters said. “We really try hard to get the word out – not so much for fundraising efforts, but to let our community members know about the foundation, so that they can use the funds if they need it.”
In the fall, the foundation sends flyers out to all post office boxes in Fort Recovery and also uses the Fort Recovery alumni mailing list to spread the word. It also allows community members to learn more about the foundation and gives them the opportunity to donate.
How Does The Fort Recovery Community Foundation Help Others?
The H.O.P.E. Fund within the foundation is set up to provide assistance to anyone in the community. Purchasing tires for a single mother who was struggling and purchasing mattresses for a family whose home was devastated by flooding are a couple of examples of how the foundation helps community members.
“Recently, we came across a young family in our community who lost their father. He left behind a wife and young children,” Koesters explained. “The foundation paid for his funeral expenses.”
The foundation also benefits others by donating computers to the Fort Recovery library and is able to beautify the village parks thanks to anonymous donors.
“A gentleman passed away and had a life insurance policy made out to Fort Recovery. The town took the money and gave it to the foundation, and it became the seed money for a beautiful walkway in our park,” Koesters said. “This walkway is a great addition to the park. It allows families to take a walk with strollers and people to exercise on it.”
The H.O.P.E. Fund and Mercer Savings Bank
Mercer Savings Bank’s donation to the Fort Recovery Community Foundation will go toward the H.O.P.E. Fund.
“The donation will allow us to assist several families in the area in their hour of need,” says Koester.