2017 Grand Marshals
The Trout Lake Community Foundation
One day in spring of 1999, Coralee Warner met Cliff Bennet in the parking lot of the post office in Trout Lake. It was close to the date for the High School graduation and Coralee began to talk about how she would like to see the community come together to do scholarships for graduating seniors. Cliff agreed and spread the word. Jeff Baker expressed an interest in helping to make the idea a reality. The three of them held a meeting later in early summer. At this meeting they decided to meet again in the fall to begin organizing the Foundation. Each founder would invite a guest, who was also interested in establishing scholarships, to the fall meeting. The group of attendees at this fall meeting became the first board of the Community Foundation. Originally the board had seven members but it has been expanded to nine members to help with decision making. The board decided to invest the money they raised and use the interest paid by the investments to fund the scholarships.
The name, The Trout Lake Community Foundation, evolved from a desire to have a name that indicated that the Foundation included and served the whole community. The Foundation offers scholarships to high school seniors and college students who are or who have graduated from Trout Lake High School and adult community residents for continuing education or retraining.
The Foundation has tried many approaches to fund raising. Initially money was raised by sending out letters to graduates of the school and citizens of Trout Lake soliciting donations. This approach raised $10,000 in the first year.
Then two members of the board at that time, the Garretts, decided to do a yard sale and to donate the money raised to the Foundation. Their sale brought in between two and three thousand dollars and motivated Betty Schmid who had been doing similar sales at the Grange on Saturdays to suggested to the board that the Foundation take over the sales at the grange.
The Foundation held rummage sales at the Grange for several years, taking over more and more of the space in the Grange as the sale grew. Then in 2002, the Foundation received a donation of a whole house worth of items, and Bettina McCuiston volunteered the use of her yard for the sale of these items. This sale raised $5000. Each year since the amount raised by that year's sale has exceeded the amount raised in the previous year. Last year the rummage sale now named the Trash to Treasure Sale raised $21,397.19.
Trash to Treasure accepts donations of all sizes of items from pencils to boats. In the large item category, it has received donations of a boat, a horse, and a truck all of which were successfully sold.
The Foundation which has been quite creative in developing fund raising approaches, has raised money by selling ice cream at the Fair, holding a Penny Drive, putting on a Variety Show and Potato Feed, having an October Fest, doing a Silent Auction at the Fair and holding a wine tasting called A Taste for Knowledge. This year they had a Bingo night. And yearly, the Foundation sends out a newsletter which solicits donations.
Other money comes from donations from Amway which has had fundraisers, occasionally, for their employees, bequests in wills, and donations from town residents. At one time the Foundation could and did apply for matching funds from Washington state; unfortunately this program has been terminated.
The Foundation grants its own scholarships and administers scholarships on behalf of other organizations; the Amway scholarship is an example. The Foundation has a separate pool of scholarships established as the result of donations or bequests.
The community has been very supportive. Coralee states “it is unbelievable that our own little community can do what they do.”
Current Board members are: Jim White, President; Debbie Nelson, Vice President; Kathy White, Secretary; Coralee Warner, Treasurer; Jeff Baker, Martha Johnson, Cheryl Keller, Page Logan, and David Wickwire.
The Foundation is always looking for energetic people with new ideas and thoughts to help.
2017 Trout Lake Fair