Dollars and quarters add up to sizeable donation to community
When the Base Hit Bar in Davenport was destroyed by fire last winter, Frontier Bank president Jake Voss saw a need. The bar/cafe was the only place in town where people could grab a cup of coffee and have a sit down with their neighbor. “There really wasn’t anywhere else to go,” he said, “so I opened the board room at the bank and invited everyone to use it. We had the seating and the coffee machines already, so I just opened it up.”
The bank is located diagonally across the street from where the cafe sat in downtown Davenport. Voss said several people asked area businesses if there might be a place to hold the traditional coffee vigil, to no avail, which is when he stepped in. “On Fridays, our bank employees provide rolls or doughnuts for everyone,” he added.
Voss said there are two groups who come in on a daily basis; one from 8-9:30 a.m., the second from 9:30-10:30 a.m. Most of the time, they fill the octagon-shaped table capable of seating at least a dozen coffee drinkers.
“When we first started coming here,” said one of the regular social sippers Bonnie Dumler, “we were using styrofoam cups. Then one day we arrived and found a pyramid of Frontier Bank coffee mugs in the middle of the table. Jake got them for us.”
Each mug was immediately claimed and tattooed with its new owner’s name using magic marker. Voss then provided a cupboard to store the mugs when they weren’t in use.
Dumler said the group of coffee drinkers decided right away to contribute money to a kitty to offset the cost of the morning ritual. That kitty has grown into a cool $1,000 since March, Voss said. He added that he uses the money to reimburse his employees for the Friday rolls and purchase some of the other supplies, but, for the most part, the bank buys the coffee. The group says the money is his to do whatever he wants with it.
So, he decided to donate it to the Davenport Area Community Fund as a means of creating an endowment that will benefit the Davenport community.
Voss, who is president of the local committee that oversees the community fund, said the Davenport Community Foundation partnered with the Nebraska Community Foundation (NCF) to establish the local fund. “With 205 affiliated funds, the NCF has an impressive track record of helping to build endowments and improving the quality of life in 227 Nebraska communities,” Voss said. “The goal of the Davenport fund is to grow our endowment to $500,000 by the end of 2015.”
Grants offered from this endowment can be used to benefit schools, improve ball fields, purchase needed equipment for the fire and rescue departments, community building improvements, town beautification, scholarships, and encouraging entrepreneurship, he said and added, “All of this can attract people back to Davenport and once again make it a thriving community.”
Voss, who is no stranger to donating time to his community, was recently honored by the Young Leaders of Fillmore County (YLFC) for his outstanding leadership, community service and involvement in Fillmore County. Although he lives in Geneva with his wife, Lori (Trumper), he is a Davenport Community School graduate and president of the Frontier Bank in Davenport. He and his wife have three children; Marlie (9), McKinley (7) and Madden (1).
The YLFC is a group created by young Fillmore County citizens working to ensure that Fillmore County continues to grow, thrive and be a place where people want to live. Through the eyes of his peers, Voss, who always has a great attitude, is someone they can count on to pitch in and help out.