History

The first community foundation was established over 100 years ago in Cleveland, OH. La Crosse residents followed suit only 15 years later at the urging of the La Crosse County Bar Association. On July 21, 1930 the Board of Directors of the La Crosse Trust Company (now TrustPoint) adopted a Resolution and Declaration of Trust creating the La Crosse Community Trust.

The Trust’s first bequest was made by Alice O. Gordon in 1942. This prompted the first distribution committee to meet, including members John Felton, Henry Gund, Eva Wolf, Joseph Bartle and Harry Spence…all well-known community leaders and activists at the time.

In May of 1991, the name was officially changed to La Crosse Community Foundation. Today, the Foundation has over $60 million in assets, manages 200+ funds and grants over $2-$3 million annually.

Highlights

  • July 21, 1930: The La Crosse Community Trust, now known as La Crosse Community Foundation, was established.
  • March 1942: Alice O. Gordon became the first donor of the Trust with a $4,000 bequest.
  • June 17, 1946: The first grant was issued in the amount of $200 to help pay for the medical care of a young La Crosse girl.
  • 1950s: The Trust joined the National Council of Community Foundations to ensure accountability and transparency for its donors.
  • 1962: The La Crosse Community Trust changed its name to the La Crosse Foundation.
  • 1970s: The Foundation’s assets exceeded $500,000.
  • 1982: The Foundation’s total granting exceeded $1,000,000.
  • 1984: The first paid staff person was hired to oversee operations.
  • 1988: The Foundation’s distribution committee was transformed into a traditional nonprofit Board of Directors.
  • 1989: The Foundation’s assets top $4,000,000.
  • 1991: The Foundation changed its name to La Crosse Community Foundation.
  • 1992: Sheila Garrity was hired as the Executive Director.
  • 2000s: The Foundation’s assets top $29,500,000, with total grant distributions made since inception exceeding $15,000,000.
  • 2017: Sheila Garrity retired after serving 25 years as the Foundation’s first executive director; Jamie Schloegel serves as current executive director.

Past Board Members

From 1942 to the present, community leaders have served on the Board of Directors. The following individuals have provided generous leadership for the La Crosse Community Foundation.

Joseph Bartl1942-1957Harry Spence1942-1956
John Felton1942-1958Eva Wolf1942-1949
Henry Gund1942-1945Gunnar Gundersen1946-1977
Stella Trane Jackson1950-1965Sanders Hook1998-2002
Carl H. Iverson1957-1985Pauline Jackson, M.D.1998-2007
W. Leo Murphy1958-1972Elmer Topel1999-2001
H. Newell Holley1959-1980Peg Nolan1999-2001
Helen Hood Trane1966-1977Duane Ring, Jr.1999-2008
Albert P. Funk1972-1984Charles F. Mathy2000-2002
Elaine B. Yerly1977-1986Susan Durtsche2001-2009
Emily Hutson1978-1986Richard Swantz2002-2007
Louis Robinson, Jr.1980-1989Brad Sturm2002-2011
David Baptie1985-1990John Wettstein2003-2012
Jack Glendenning1984-1993My Mao Xiong2004
Signe Schroeder1986-1997Roger LeGrand2004-2013
Ruth M. Dalton, M.D1987-1996David Morrison2004-2013
Lindon Saline1989-1998Chip Schilling2005-2009
Roberta K. Gelatt1990-1999John Waubansee2005-2008
Mike Hutson1990-1999Randy Smith2007-2015
Richard Lommen1991-2000Moua Lee2008-2010
Norma J. Vinger1993-2002Todd Poss2010-2015
Joseph Connell1994-2003Pang Moua2011-2012
June Kjome1994-2003Larry Kirch2012-2014
Anita Froegel1995-2004Gina Yang2013-2015