GUEST OPINION: 25 years of the Brown County Community Foundation

By LARRY PEJEAU, guest columnist

Twenty five years.

What does that mean for your Brown County Community Foundation (BCCF)?

More importantly, what does it mean for the community we call home?

For the BCCF, we celebrate 25 years of building partnerships with our nonprofit partners, our donors and our loyal volunteers who have served on our committees and as trustees.

For our community, we celebrate all of the positive impact we have collaboratively delivered though 25 years of effective grant making.

Your community foundation has been a partner in almost every major community project, including the public library, the YMCA, the History Center, the Career Resource Center, the Helping Hands building and the Playhouse.

The BCCF has funded hundreds of smaller projects you may not have heard about, including the artist cottage renovation at T.C. Steele State Historic Site, an easy-access trail project at Brown County State Park and restoration of tombstones carved by 19th century local artist Henry Cross.

We have supported Brown County residents from our preschoolers to our senior citizens through our grant support to almost every nonprofit organization. Did you know that the BCCF has granted over $10 million back to the community since 1993? We do imagine a better Brown County community by building on the spirit of philanthropy.

All of our success is due to the generous donors who have opened funds at the community foundation. We celebrate their trust in the BCCF. They were confident that we would be good stewards of their gifts, would be diligent in identifying worthy causes that needed support and would be transparent in our business activities.

We will celebrate this success throughout 2018 with a wide variety of parties, events and contests all focused on sharing the many compelling stories that are the results of our 25-year journey.

We invite you to join us at our initial open house event from 4 to 6 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 18 in the Howard Hughes Community Room, 109 N. Van Buren St. Attend this event to get the first sneak peek at our 25th anniversary calendar; meet current and emeritus trustees, staff and volunteers; and learn how we will be featuring a traveling flock of 25 flamingos to help illuminate our positive community impact.

We also will look toward the future and the next 25 years of collaboration and capacity building with our nonprofit partners.

We will be campaigning to grow our administrative endowment and secure our ability to continue to deliver on our mission, to increase available grant and scholarship dollars, and to cultivate new friends to help us be ready for whatever challenges our collective future may hold.

We will continue our efforts to create a legacy with a view of life from a generational perspective and a focus on making a difference in the life of our community by giving back.

We ask that you join us in our efforts to be collaborative leaders in the Brown County community. We encourage you to give where you live to the causes you are passionate about.

We invite you to join us in 2018 as we celebrate the first 25 years of achievements of your Brown County Community Foundation.

Larry Pejeau is CEO of the Brown County Community Foundation. He can be reached at or 812-988-4882.