The Fremont Area Community Foundation (FACF) acknowledged and honored the philanthropic work done by members of the organization throughout the past year at their annual dinner on Tuesday night.
“It seem fitting that we gather together as a community before we gather together as family to celebrate Thanksgiving and consider our blessings and freedoms,” Melissa Diers, executive director of FACF, said at the event.
At the event, held at Fremont Golf Club, Diers spoke about many of the causes that the foundation has championed throughout the year.
“Through grant making, collaboration and non-profit leadership the FACF continues its work to build and strengthen the Fremont area,” she said. “FACF invites everyday people with a vision and passion for community to come together to create something good. We translate collective giving into big local impact. We give everyone access to the power of endowment and we are devoted to the people and the places that you love.”
According to Diers, in the past year the FACF reached $24 million in community assets, established 11 new funds to improve life in the Fremont area bringing the total number of funds administered by the foundation to 173. The foundation also granted over $310,000 to organizations and causes in the community like homelessness, school readiness, and generational poverty.
The foundation also provided a record number 86 scholarships totaling more than $76,000 to Fremont area students pursuing post-secondary education.
“As many in our community grapple with limited resources and a growing need for services we are more determined than ever to bring our community partners together to find innovative and effective solutions to some of our most challenging social challenges,” Diers said.
At the dinner, the FACF honored Loren Nothwehr with the Betsy Mulliken Award for Philanthropy for his many years of service to the community, as well as Paul Johnson with the Professional Advisor of the Year award.
“If philanthropy means giving of your time, talents, and treasures there is no better example than Loren, the man has meant so much to so many organizations here in Fremont and it is just incredible the things he has done,” Greg Haskins, who presented both awards, said.
Nothwehr helped establish the Fremont Area Habitat for Humanity and served six years as its volunteer director. He also helped rehabilitate the old Downtown Motel to create the homeless shelter now called Care Corps Family Services, and also served two terms as the Care Corps Board President. He was also played an integral part of creating Rebuilding Together-Platte Valley East.
“I want to thank God especially for providing me the time, ability and resources so that we have been able to accomplish a lot of different things in Fremont,” Nothwehr said. “I encourage you to continue to support the non-profits and the FACF here in Fremont.”
The dinner was capped off with a keynote address from current U.S. Senator Ben Sasse, who is also the former president of Midland University and graduate of Fremont High School.
“When it comes to happiness, statistically work matters, family matters, friends matter and worldview anchoring matters,” he said. “Turns out all of those things are tied to place, social media can do all sorts of wonderful things, but it can’t replace all the hollowness of not having place.”
“It turns out places like Fremont are really the center of the world, things that you are investing in at the community foundation are really the things that are going to bring joy to known neighbors that you can know. Not people that you can scream at or think you are taking joy because you think you are on the same tribal side on something that is happening on distance on politics on TV, its actually people you break bread with. It turns out it’s a way to really love your neighbor and really get self-satisfaction out of what you are doing.”