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.
- 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 and Petra Roter, PhD was hired as 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 Bartl||1942-1957||Harry Spence||1942-1956|
|John Felton||1942-1958||Eva Wolf||1942-1949|
|Henry Gund||1942-1945||Gunnar Gundersen||1946-1977|
|Stella Trane Jackson||1950-1965||Sanders Hook||1998-2002|
|Carl H. Iverson||1957-1985||Pauline Jackson, M.D.||1998-2007|
|W. Leo Murphy||1958-1972||Elmer Topel||1999-2001|
|H. Newell Holley||1959-1980||Peg Nolan||1999-2001|
|Helen Hood Trane||1966-1977||Duane Ring, Jr.||1999-2008|
|Albert P. Funk||1972-1984||Charles F. Mathy||2000-2002|
|Elaine B. Yerly||1977-1986||Susan Durtsche||2001-2009|
|Emily Hutson||1978-1986||Richard Swantz||2002-2007|
|Louis Robinson, Jr.||1980-1989||Brad Sturm||2002-2011|
|David Baptie||1985-1990||John Wettstein||2003-2012|
|Jack Glendenning||1984-1993||My Mao Xiong||2004|
|Signe Schroeder||1986-1997||Roger LeGrand||2004-2013|
|Ruth M. Dalton, M.D||1987-1996||David Morrison||2004-2013|
|Lindon Saline||1989-1998||Chip Schilling||2005-2009|
|Roberta K. Gelatt||1990-1999||John Waubansee||2005-2008|
|Mike Hutson||1990-1999||Randy Smith||2007-2015|
|Richard Lommen||1991-2000||Moua Lee||2008-2010|
|Norma J. Vinger||1993-2002||Todd Poss||2010-2015|
|Joseph Connell||1994-2003||Pang Moua||2011-2012|
|June Kjome||1994-2003||Larry Kirch||2012-2014|
|Anita Froegel||1995-2004||Gina Yang||2013-2015|