Local News

Donations plant seeds for future

In 2013, the Kenneth and Glenn Korff Endowment was established within the Hebron Community Foundation for the unrestricted use for local improvements, such as the hospital, parks, library, summer programs, scholarships, and leadership and economic development. 

“Glenn intentionally wanted to make his gift significant, but not so large that it would have the unintended consequence of reducing local efforts,” Ken Korff said at the time. “He believed that his endowment should serve as an incentive to bring others to the table, leveraging their gifts of time, talent and treasure.” 

Pat Kenner of HCF described it as a “tool to actively seek philanthropic activity in the community.” 

Six years later, Kenner reiterates the need for philanthropy, such as through the Baden Vocational Scholarship Term Endowment, Marie Peithmann Polished Apple Award or Hebron Secrest Library Operations Endowment, three of 22 funds and endowments under HCF, which is an affiliated fund of the Nebraska Community Foundation that leaves fundraising up to the local foundation and its committees. 

The Park Board raised $22,718 and the foundation provided $25,000 in a match and additional $5,150 to assist with extras for the new equipment in Roosevelt Park. 

“We’ve tried to follow the strategic visioning which was done and allocate funds in various areas as per the community’s input,” Kenner said. “We have partially funded the marker on Highway 81, purchased recycling containers at the school, helped with park equipment and continued to funds scholarships as per the donors intent.”

He said the foundation serves as a pass-thru mechanism for specific gifts such as a “Buddy Bench” given to the school by the Donna Harms family in her memory.

There are four endowments for the library that cover books and media, operations and the building. 

“The Library Board’s next project will be to fix the steps and replace the front door,” Kenner said. The board will be able to utilize grants from these endowments to largely accomplish the project without a significant disruption to their normal operating budget.   

Local donors are further spreading goodwill and good knowledge of the local beef industry as HCF serves the Titan Beef program.  

The educational program allows Nebraska-raised certified beef to be served to students at least twice a week in school which is made possible by the charitable gift of beef animals from producers and the monetary gifts of businesses and individuals to cover the processing. 

Kenner said the fund advisory committee, which administers the foundation, has set some goals for 2020.  

“We want to raise $25,000 to start both a park endowed fund and $25,000 to start an endowed Alumni Fund,” Kenner said. “The Alumni fund has already raised about $15,000. When these are endowed then they become nice “targets” where people can consider leaving a portion of their estates.  We know that just as people have let generous gifts to the library, and if there was an endowment for our parks that in years ahead, we might see gifts to benefit the city and its citizens forever into the future.”  

He added likewise, members of the foundation know many former alumni and former residents might like to support the ability to communicate through newsletters and alumni activities into the future by helping fund an endowment that 

would provide a reasonable budget to make sure these things continue into the future.   

The foundation’s activities have included working with other communities until they would want to start their own fund. 

Byron, Deshler, Chester, and Davenport also have affiliated funds with the Nebraska Community Foundation.  

“Byron has done a fantastic job with their community center. They updated the fire hall and continue to do a lot,” he said. “Young people have a reason to be a part of Byron,” Kenner said. 

Deshler is also very active with the opening of their library and their building of their unrestricted endowment, he said. 

A fund can start small and grow up healthy, such as the William B. Hess Athletics Endowment that is focused on athletic needs at the school.  

“It started very small,” Kenner said of the fund that has bloomed to about $62,000 through small and regular donations.  

“Our Technology Endowment has helped update cameras students use, other digital equipment for events and projects as well as are big screen used in the gymnasium. The Technology Fund was started with a generous contribution of Hebron Alumnus Todd Apley and his boss at Microsoft, Jeff Raikes. Funds come about because people have a vision to start an endowment for a cause,” Kenner said.  

All of those funds are open to additional gifts in order that we continue to build for the future.  

“We need a more charitable place in our hearts,” Kenner said. “The shade in which we sit is due to a seedling planted by someone else many years ago.”