Waterville Community Fund has long history of benefiting Waterville

By Karen Larsen and Phyllis Browning

Waterville depends on community organizations that run a range of projects which benefit community members of all ages. Whether these projects are organized through the school, churches, the town or community groups or clubs, many receive funding from the Waterville Community Fund.

The fund was established in 1989 and is administered and managed by the Community Foundation of North Central Washington. It has granted almost $110,000 to Waterville projects since 1989.

The fund has awarded grants to Douglas County Hospital District 2, Waterville schools, the NCW Fair, the Town of Waterville, the Waterville Main Street Association, the Waterville Players, Waterville Young Life, and other local civic and community service organizations. The grants have benefited the town as a whole and have helped to enrich the lives of residents of all ages.

For example, some of the grants awarded in recent years have helped the hospital district to streamline patient care and upgrade equipment, provided landscaping improvements at the NCW Fair, supported the Main Street Association Barn Quilt Project, helped the Waterville Players to put on its production of “Peter Pan,” provided money for battery chargers for heart defibrillators in the Waterville ambulance and provided scholarships for Young Life camp.

The fund was established when Ray Taylor, who served as the president of the Greater Wenatchee Community Foundation, approached Earle Jenkin, a longtime Waterville resident and banker, with the idea of establishing a permanent fund to benefit Waterville.

Jenkin made a donation of $5,000 in memory of his wife, Savena Jenkin, to get the fund started. Three additional longtime Waterville families gave matching gifts of $5,000 each. Genevieve Gollehon gave in memory of her husband, Robert Gollehon, a former mayor of Waterville; Hazel Dorsey, gave in memory of her husband, David T. Dorsey, a local insurance agent; and Robert and Jane Hensel donated to the fund.

A year later, Gladys Just Helmick gave $5,000 in memory of her parents, Dave and Hannah Fraser.

The five families were considered the founders of the Waterville Community Fund.

Over the years, the fund has grown to over $166,000 and continues to grow through investments, donations and memorials. Every year the fund is allowed to disburse 5 percent of the average principal balance over the past five years. In this way, the principal of the fund is not spent and it continues to grow through donations and interest. As it grows, the fund will be able to distribute more money to benefit the community.

Grants may be awarded to any nonprofit organization or government agency that serves the community of Waterville.

A committee of local citizens acts as an advisory committee to evaluate grant applications and make recommendations for awards to the Community Foundation’s Board of Trustees. Present committee members are Steve Smith, Royal DeVaney, Amanda Viebrock, Paul Katovich, Ann Whitehall and Cathi Nelson.

Steve Smith has been a committee member for about 20 years. “It’s a great asset for the town,” he said of the fund.

He added that every year the fund receives requests for about two times the amount of money it can disburse.

“It would be great to have more money to give out,” Smith said.

The grant application period is from Oct. 1 through Dec. 7, with awards announced in December. Those interested in submitting a grant application should visit the Community Fund website at cfncw.org/watervillegrant and follow the application instructions.

Those interested in donating to the Waterville Community Fund should contact the Community Foundation at 663-7716 or by email at info@cfncw.org.