Green Lake kindergarten teacher Marianne Reininger helps student Gus Alvord thank the Webster Foundation for a grant given to the class.
Green Lake kindergarten teacher Marianne Reininger helps student Gus Alvord thank the Webster Foundation for a grant given to the class.

   For an hour and a half, community member after community member strolled up to the podium at Royal Ridges with smiles on their faces, and sometimes tears in their eyes.

   One by one, each gratefully received a check and explained how they’d use the money.

   “We’re going to buy fabric with our grant and make blankets that we in turn will share with local hospitals and police departments ...,” Marianne Reininger said of her Green Lake kindergarten students.

   “This award is going to help fund our Dolly Parton Imagination Library at the Rosendale-Brandon School District,” Pamela Mumm said. “We don’t have a library in Rosendale, so this really is going to help us.”

   “This is going to go a long ways for Peace Lutheran School ... to help with Chromebooks for the school,” school treasurer David Knapp said. “It will be impactful for years to come.”

   The uses for the dollars, the grant recipients shared, are wide-ranging, affecting residents in multiple communities around the Ripon area.

   And it’s a footprint that only seems to grow as the Webster Foundation holds its annual grant presentation.

   Each year, the numbers become more staggering. Giving has grown 16% over the last five years, from $57,000 in 2015 to $66,000 this year, while the number of groups benefitting grew more than 30% (50 groups to 66).

Read the full story and see the full list of recipients in the Feb. 27, 2020 edition of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.