Sandhills Area Foundation guardian of gifts, memorials and other contributions, established in Valentine, Nebraska Heart of the Sandhills


Sandhills Area Foundation Current News


2014                                                       Archives 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008


"BEEF IT UP"with the SAF Dinner & Auction set for March 1st, 2014
with the Sandhills Area Foundation Dinner and Auction
Saturday, March 1, 2014 - Social hour 5:30 p.m. Dinner 7:00 p.m.
Cherry County 4-H Building, Valentine, Nebraska.
Tickets available at Sandhills State Bank, Wells Fargo, Young’s Western Wear, Security First Bank or any director. Purchase a ticket to Win! Kubota BX2660 diesel tractor
All new memberships welcome.



2013
                                                    


SAF Annual Scholarship Dinner honoring winners.
SAF Annual Dinner & Auction set for February 23rd, 2013

SAF Annual Scholarship Dinner held at the Curtis Hoover Event Center on August 6th
Sandhills Area Foundation cordially invites the general public & all members to this 'Must Attend Event'.
Gourmet Dinner served by Peppermill, Live & Silent Auction “Celebrating 15 Years of
Community Support”
2013 Auction Items Brochure
Click here to see all of the items with photos and descriptions.

Sandhills Area Foundation Dinner and Auction
Saturday, February 23, 2013
Social hour 5:30 p.m. Dinner 7:00 p.m.
Cherry County 4-H Building, Valentine, Dinner & Kubota tickets available at Sandhills State Bank
Wells Fargo, Young’s Western Wear or any director
2 additional surprise activities will be held.
Purchase a ticket to Win!
Kubota RTV 500 Utility Vehicle
limited to 500 tickets
Drawing to be held at close of banquet-value $10,400
All new memberships welcome.

Click on the brochure thumbnail to print.

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2012


SAF donates to Valentine Players

Valentine Rural Fire Protection District receives grant from Conner family through SAF

Building Leaders

SAF makes a grant to Mid-Plains Community College

SAF supports Valentine High School Band

SAF donates to Cherry County Ambulance Service

SAF Annual Scholarship Dinner held at the Curtis Hoover Event Center on August 6th

Sandhills Area Foundation raises $24,000+ during annual dinner and auction

“The Gifts of Giving” SAF Dinner and Auction.  

2011


SAF provides grant for VPD Drug Dog  

Sandhills Area Foundation Annual Meeting, Dinner, Auction Held February 26, 2011


A word from our president

SAF donates to marker for fatal Air Crash southeast of Wood Lake

TeamMates Program working for VMS students

SAF provides grant for Nursing Assistant Class

Millard Grateful for Scholarship


Investment Committee formed

Young's donation to help create Valentine Youth 

Padded Football program


Sparks Cemetery Board grateful for grant

2010


SAF awards cash grant to Sparks Old Settlers Reunion

Western Edge receives grant from SAF


SAF Annual Meeting that was held January 15, 2010

A word from our president 

Phyllis Rothleutner steps down as long-time director of the Sandhills Area Foundation

Western Edge receives grant from SAF

2009


SAF Annual Summer Meeting that was held August 3, 2009

Sparks Cemetery Association receives grant


Valentine Senior Center receives Grant


SAF Annual Meeting


John Carter, keynote speaker at Sandhills Area Foundation 2008 Annual Meeting, January 18


A word from our president

Moreland, Ravenscroft resign as Sandhills Area Foundation Directors

2008

Sandhills Area Foundation, Year in Review

Investment Committee formed

Dreams become reality with SAF


Badger Boosers' receives grant for marquee


Grant promotes TeamMates Mentoring Program

SAF Summer Meeting

Recipients appreciate scholarship opportunities

Grant purchases wrestling mat


Annual meeting Highlights

Blackledge to speak at annual meeting

Giving back to your community

Foundation offers grants to community


2012

SAF Annual Scholarship Dinner held at the Curtis Hoover Event Center on August 6th

Over 120 people attended the Sandhills Area Foundation Annual Scholarship Dinner held at the Curtis Hoover Event Center on August 6th, with 41 scholarship recipients receiving $37,500.00 presented by Mary Young, Treasurer and Marian Davenport, President. Recipients spoke of their educational goals and guest speakers were Karen Keller and Titus Utecht. This annual event recognizes area Non-Traditional, College and High School SAF recipients.

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Sandhills Area Foundation donates to Valentine Players

Over 120 people attended the Sandhills Area Foundation Annual Scholarship Dinner held at the Curtis Hoover Event Center on August 6th, with 41 scholarship recipients receiving $37,500.00 presented by Mary Young, Treasurer and Marian Davenport, President. Recipients spoke of their educational goals and guest speakers were Karen Keller and Titus Utecht. This annual event recognizes area Non-Traditional, College and High School SAF recipients.

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Valentine Rural Fire Protection District receives grant from Conner family through SAF

     The Conner Family, including: Gary Conner, Diana Ostrander, and Keith Conner, dba Penbrook Partnership,recently made a donation to the Sandhills Area Foundation to provide a grant to the Valentine
Rural Fire Protection District.
     Gary, Diana and Keith, all realize what an important service this is. The Conner place along the Niobrara River, south of Sparks, NE, was threatened by the Fairfield Creek Fire. If it had not been for the firefighters the property certainly would have been at a very high risk for loss.
     The Conner place was homesteaded in 1886 and has been in the family ever since. The Conner family appreciates the Sandhills Area Foundation for making it possible to make a 501-(c)3 tax-deductible donation directly to the Rural Fire Protection District from Penbrook Partnership.

Pictured are from L to R: Gary Conner, Keith Conner, Gary Weaver, representing the Valentine Rural Fire Protection District; Sandhills Area Foundation Director and Grants Chairman Dave Major, Sandhills Area Foundation Treasurer Mary Young, and Diana Ostrander.

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Building Leaders

Pictured are from L to R: Sue Pearman, UNL Extension Educator focused in 4-H and Youth Development; Dave Major, SAF Director; Mary Young, SAF Treasurer; Marian Davenport, SAF
President.


Who will take over the leadership roles in your rural area? We need commissioners, school board members, and teamwork in fire and emergency services in our towns. A need for rural youth to expand their leadership skills resulted in the formation of Sandhills Area Foundation 16 years ago by UNL Extension and area schools.
Small rural communities need youth to return and have the skills to fill leadership voids in our communities. The goals for Sandhills Area Foundation are to: 1) increase leadership skills, knowledge, and abilities of youth, 2) gain knowledge of community and government functions, 3) strengthen relationships within and between communities, 4) focus on the future of family, economics, and community stability in the Sandhills, 5) motivate and encourage participants to assume leadership roles in their communities, and 6) support and encourage the development of entrepreneurial skills. In 2012-2013, over 35 students from Cody-Kilgore, Dunning, Thedford, Mullen, and Hyannis are participating in Sandhills Area Foundation. This year’s students Haley Schneider, Kylee Stoner, Tessa Gale, Jae Lynn Logterman, Katie Compton, and Gillian Cheney represented Cody-Kilgore. Participants are usually sophomores or higher in high school that are committed to be involved in the community, concerned with community issues, and have a desire for personal growth. Guidance counselors and teachers at the Building Leaders schools nominate the students to participate. The sessions of Sandhills Leadership are hosted by a different school. Sessions include activities that develop leadership, hands-on team building activities, panels of local leaders, and tours of local businesses. Students also build entrepreneurship skills, as they create a business they can run from their hometown or on the Web.
The sessions run from October to May. At Cody-Kilgore in October, the students hosted the group at Nenzel Community Building, then toured the new grocery store in Cody and George Paul Vinegar. Sandhills Leadership is a youth development program led by UNL Extension Educators, Bethany Johnston and Sue Pearman, from the Central Sandhills Area Extension in partnership with the five Sandhills area schools. To keep the cost free or minimal to the students, area grants are applied for. Sandhills Leadership has received grants from the Sandhills Area Community Foundation, Mullen Turner Youth Foundation, Thedford Community Foundation, Hyannis Area Community Foundation, and GSL Excellence Fund. Sandhills Leadership will continue to build leaders, thanks to the generous support of these organizations.

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SAF makes a grant to Mid-Plains Community College

     The Board of The Sandhills Area Foundation recently made a grant to Mid-Plains Community College (MPCC) to assist in purchasing and developing distance learning equipment at the Valentine Extended Campus.
     These funds will be used by the college to aid in the purchase of equipment that will enable instructors in the Valentine area to originate classes at the Valentine Campus and send them over a distance learning system to other MPCC campuses and students.
     The benefit of this type of equipment is that it will create an opportunity for other communities to join in on the array of classes offered in Valentine. To date, technology has only allowed the Valentine Campus to receive classes from other MPCC sites.
     The grant from The Sandhills Area Foundation will aid MPCC in their goal of providing quality distance education opportunities to Valentine and the surrounding area.

Pictured are from L to R: SAF Director Susan Beel, SAF Director/Secretary Lisa Mathis, Campus Coordinator Wendy Murphy, SAF Director Sharon Bryant, SAF Director/Treasurer Mary Young, SAF Director/Grants Chairman Dave Major, Administrative Assistant Cheryl Sims, SAF Director Monty Neiffer.

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Sandhills Area Foundation supports Valentine
High School Band


     Valentine High School purchased new band uniforms for the 2011-2012 school year. These new uniforms replace the 17-year-old marching uniforms. The new uniforms are machine washable! The new uniforms were purchased from FJM uniform company. The Valentine High School and Middle School students did several fund raisers and concession stands as well as received numerous donations from the community.
     Mrs. Russell is very appreciative of Sandhills Area Foundation for their donation! She’s also appreciative to everyone who helped raise money for the new uniforms and all those who gave donations and added, “The new uniforms are beautiful!”

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Sandhills Area Foundation donates to Cherry
County Ambulance Service


     The Board of Directors of The Sandhills Area Foundation granted the Cherry County Hospital Ambulance Service (CCHAS) $800.00 to purchase a 12-Lead Defibrillator ECG Simulator Trainer.
     This simulator will be an integral part of the continual training and competency testing and preparedness of the CCHAS personnel. The new 12- Lead Defibrillator ECG Simulator Training machine that was purchased by the hospital requires specific knowledge and competency to operate the
machine along with specialized training on how to place the electrode leads and then read the outgoing data accurately. To do this, the squad needs to have an electronic trainer that can simulate real-world, in-field cardiac emergencies that personnel can practice with.
     The benefits of using a training simulator are that personnel will become more comfortable with the equipment in the field and will be able to provide the highest standard of patient care during a cardiac emergency.
    The Sandhills Area Foundation recognizes that the community is in need of fast and accurate medical care during cardiac emergencies. This simulator provides quick review capabilities that will be utilized for quality assurance and trainings. 
Community members will benefit from the advanced patient care and abilities of the emergency personnel on scene.
     The CCHAS is a volunteer emergency medical service that serves the entire Cherry County area. The CCHAS is always seeking individuals interested in becoming EMTs or Ambulance Drivers that want to give back to their community and assist in providing high quality emergency care to its residents and visitors.
     People interested in becoming part of the Cherry County Hospital Ambulance Service should contact a squad member or the Cherry County Hospital at 402-376-2525.

Pictured are from L to R: SAF Director Susan Beel; SAF Director-Secretary Lisa Mathis; SAF Director Sharon Bryant; EMT-1 Gary Jackson; EMT-Secretary, Wendy Murphy; EMT-Driver Zach Dean; EMT Jocille Brinda; SAF Director-Treasurer Mary Young; SAF Director-Grants Chairman
Dave Major; EMT Kim Shaul; SAF Director Ralph Eatinger.

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Sandhills Area Foundation raises $24,000+ during annual dinner and auction

  
     Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
Luke 6:38
         It was all about the Gifts of Giving at the Sandhills Area Foundations annual meeting, dinner, and auction held Saturday, February 25, 2012. 
         There were gifts lining the back wall of the 4-H Building where people could mark their bids in a silent auction. Everyone was encouraged to check them often to make sure their bids werent overridden. 
         Sandhills Area Foundation President Monty Neiffer welcomed the group and introduced Frank Sibert who, along with his wife Shirley, were recently awarded the 2011 Outstanding Philanthropist award. Sibert gave a brief history of how the foundation began...with three individuals each donating $2,000, in 1996. Those individuals were Cork Young, Kay Wells, and Bob Gustafson, who also happened to be first president.
Gustafson has been on the board of directors ever since, with this being his last year. Befitting such a lengthy tenure, Neiffer presented Gus a certificate. With a big smile and confessing that he was blindsided, Gustafson did say thanks and keep giving and lets spend a lot of money tonight.
         Frank Bruning of Bruning State Bank, Bruning, NE, was recognized as they hold some of the foundations endowment of more than $1 million. 
         Neiffer also introduced the auctioneers, Greg Arendt, Dennis Connot, and Mike Baxter. Briefly, the following individuals were re-elected to the Board of Directors, Katie OKief, Dave Major, and Sharon Bryant. Steve Brown was elected to fill Gustafsons vacancy. Marian Davenport was elected President as Monty stepped down to a standing ovation. 
        Dave Sandoz recognized Suzie Beel, Lisa Mathis, Katie OKief, and Allison Longcor, women who all have jobs, families, and still find time to help with the Foundation. 
        Sandoz said the Foundation grew when Jr. Bloom made a $500,000 contribution. It was his hope that every student could go to school for nothing. But were a long way from that. 
         Pastor Utecht gave the blessing for a gourmet dinner created by Robert Joseph and the Peppermill staff of spring salad, Chateaubriand, crab cake, herb mashed potatoes and vegetable and carrot cake for dessert.
Let the bidding begin! And so the evening went with bidding on the fabulous donations to the Foundation to help raise money that will be granted to Cherry County communities as well as their students education. Davenport said well over $24,000 was raised.
         May he grant you your hearts desire and fulfill all your plans!


Joanna Utecht was the winner of the Lucky Gold Bracelet. The package was worth more than a six pack and less than a car. Joanna won four tickets to the Southern Miss\Nebraska game, a tailgate party, a gas card and a few other Husker items and a 12 pack. Winning the 55 flat screen TV was Nadeane Allard.
Advisor and stellar philanthropist Frank Sibert gave a brief history on what $2,000 each from three people can ultimately grow into.
President Monty Neiffer recognizes departing member Bob Gustafson, a founder and the first Sandhills Area Foundation President. 

Here we have auctioneers Mike Baxter and Greg Arendt. Not pictured was Dennis Connot.

L to R: Kirk Sharp, Mary Kay and Bob Gustafson.

Silent Auction



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Sandhills Area Foundation Annual View -
View Banquet Flier

“The Gifts of Giving” Sandhills Area Foundation Dinner and Auction. The Sandhills Area Foundation cordially invites the general public & all members to this 'Must Attend Event' complete with Valet Parking, February 25, 2012 at 4-H Building, Social Hour 5:30-7:00 followed by Gourmet Dinner served by Peppermill, Live & Silent Auction & New Surprise Raffle Drawing. There will be additional chances to win a large screen TV and another "Surprise" item(s)! Short meeting to follow-Silent and Live Auction.
2012 Auction Items Brochure
Click here to see all of the items with photos and descriptions.

Tickets will be available February 1, 2012 through February 21, 2012 at Youngs, Sandhills State Bank, Wells Fargo Bank, Dave Major State Farm or any Director.
Ticket prices are: Single 75.00, table for 2: $125.00; Table for 4: $250.00; and Table for 8: $400.00 


2011


Sandhills Area Foundation provides grant for VPD Drug Dog

  
     Valentine Police Department for Drug Dog $500; Sandhills Youth Leadership/Educational Camp $250; Valentine Youth Activities/Disc Golf Course $1000; Boys Scouts Camp $300.

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Millard grateful for scholarship

  
     I am a thankful recipient of the Sandhills Area Foundation Scholarship. I received $1,000 from the foundation, which helped me pay for my first year of tuition at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln. I am still at UNL, majoring in Elementary Education.
Sincerely,
Sam Millard

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Investment Committee formed

  
     The Sandhills Area Foundation Investment Committee consisting of four Directors: Gerald Keech, Dave Major, Ralph Eatinger, and Monty Neiffer. 
With over $1,000,000 in the Sandhills Area Foundation Treasury, it requires careful study and prudent investing to realize the maximum interest for the granting of scholarships, grants, and to insure the safety of these funds.
Below is a brief summary of guidelines the new committee has established:
A. Establish a reasonable expectation, objectives, and guidelines in the investment of the portfolio assets.
B. Create the framework for a well-diversified asset mix that can be expected to generate good returns at a suitable level of risk.
C. This investment policy statement is extended to be a summary of an investment philosophy and procedures that provide guidance for boards and managers.
D. To diversify the investment of assets of the funds under supervision of the board, so as to minimize the risk of losses, the funds shall be invested in the following proportions: Cash 0-10%; Fixed Income 60%; Equity 40%
E. Rebalancing on a regular basis. Market conditions may cause the investment in various asset classes, to vary from the established allocations.
F. Investment restrictions. Fixed income investments shall be limited to those issued by the United States Treasury Agencies of the U.S. Government, or Corporate Bonds rated investment grade by Moody’s Investor Service or Standard and Poors.
G. Supervision. The Investment Committee will maintain and review the Investment Policies and Objectives of the Board.
H. Contact. Trust Company will provide quarterly statements to this board and internet access to the account, if desired.
This is a short review of the inner workings of the investment policy. The committee is well aware of their responsibilities and will continue to invest your membership monies and donations with serious fiscal prudence.
We thank each of you for your past, present and future support.

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Young's donation to help create Valentine Youth Padded Football program

  
     The Cork and Mary Young Family Trust donated a sum of $5,000 to the Sandhills Area Foundation. The donation is earmarked for the creation of Valentine Youth Padded Football, a program that will provide 5th and 6th grade students with football pads during a season of tackle football. The donation for the Youth Padded Football program was announced at the Annual Cork Young Memorial Golf Tournament, held at the end of every July.
      Cork Young, quarterback of the 1946 undefeated and un-scored upon Valentine Badger Football team, was an avid fan of both regional and statewide sports. 
The Cork and Mary Young Family Trust has been donating to Sandhills area charities for the last 15 years, including the Valentine Public Library, Pine View Good Samaritan Center, the Valentine Senior Center, and the Sandhills Area Foundation.

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Sparks Cemetery Board grateful for grant

  
     The Sparks Cemetery Board extends a big “thank you” to the Sandhills Area Foundation. We have been struggling to save enough money to improve some of the oldest memorial stones in our cemetery. There were at least 43 stones that were leaning, wobbly or both. Most of our money goes to pay for mowing five or six times a summer season. We have had several quilt raffles to raise money, and private donations, but receiving two grants from the Sandhills Foundation definitely gave us a “boost” monetarily and emotionally. This fall we were able to complete our renovation project of all the memorial stones needing repair.
Respectfully, 
Sparks Cemetery Board: George & Sylvia Grooms, 
Carolyn Graham, Ida Rose Shelbourn, Hazel Brown, 
Betty Copeland, Ron Brown, Anthony Brown, 
Arvella Foster and Sheila McLeod, correspondent


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Sandhills Area Foundation Annual Meeting, Dinner, Auction Held February 26, 2011

 
     The Sandhills Area Foundation held their Annual Meeting, Dinner and Auction on February 26, 2011. The annual event was termed “very successful” with over 200 members and guests in attendance. The Peppermill and centerpieces from Hesse’s were responsible for the beautifully decorated 4-H Building, carrying out the theme “Philanthropy from the Heart”. President, Monty Neiffer welcomed everyone and thanked them for their support. Directors, Suzy Beel, Dave Sandoz and Gerald Keech were re-elected for a 3 year term. The Benediction was offered by Pastor Utecht and a gourmet dinner was served by Robert Joseph from the Peppermill Restaurant. Following the dinner a Silent and Live Auction was conducted with Jon Davenport as Master of Ceremonies, Auctioneers Greg Arendt, Mike Baxter and Dennis Connot made the evening fun, entertaining—and profitable. Net proceeds from this successful event post at over $22,000. The Sandhills Area Foundation Officers and Board of Directors extend a grateful appreciation for the generosity of the area resident’s support of this successful endeavor.

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A word from our president

 
     The Sandhills Area Foundation, now beginning it’s 15th year in existence, had a very successful 2010. Our mission statement includes “provide funding for scholarships for area youth”, and “financially support area development”. The Foundation was able to do that by awarding $25,000 in scholarships and about $5,000 in community grants in the past year. The continued success of the Foundation can be attributed to a number of dedicated volunteers serving on the Board putting in many hours of work along with those people who served on the Board before and laid the foundation for this area to be blessed with such a successful Sandhills Area Foundation. Of course, one of the main reasons for the Foundation’s success is the folks in the area who have shown their support by becoming members of the Foundation.
Our year began with the annual meeting in January, 2010. It was different than any annual meetings before. It was a grand event held at Jordan’s Fine Dining and included a great dinner, a very successful auction, entertainment by Bree DeNaeyer and the Haywaddies, and a lot of fun. Suzy Beel, the past President, did a great job of organizing and leading this successful annual meeting. There were over 180 members and guests in attendance. The area people and businesses were very supportive of the event. I want to thank all who attended the event, those who generously donated items for the auction and all who generously bid and purchased items. This event raised nearly $15,000 which will help the Foundation continue it’s scholarship program. 
The Foundation’s scholarship program is one of our largest projects each year. It begins with receiving applications early in the year and a group of dedicated individuals volunteering a lot of time reviewing all of the applications and making tough decisions regarding who to award the scholarships to. Board member, Katie O’Kief, is the head of this committee and is commended for all of her work in coordinating this effort and in improving the process. I would also like to thank the other board members and community members who serve on this committee. Treasurer, Mary Young, also deserves a thank you for all of the time she spends drafting checks and coordinating with the recipient’s schools.
One of the highlights of the past year was finally reaching a milestone of one million dollars in our Foundation. Whether a member contributes $100 per year or a larger sum as some have, the area folks who understand the importance and purpose of the Foundation need to be commended for helping to reach this high achievement. Lower interest rates and a volatile stock market have not helped our cause in reaching this goal. All membership dues are endowed funds and will not be spent. Only the earnings from these investments are used for our scholarship and grant programs. I would like to thank the investment committee headed by Dave Major and Gerald Keech for helping to watch over our investments to make sure that our funds are safe yet continuing to earn money for us.
The Foundation needs and appreciates all donations it receives - whether it is the $100 annual dues donation, larger donations or donations in the form of memorials. Please keep the Foundation in mind when a loved one passes on, when doing your estate planning and when doing end of the year tax planning. Your contribution is 100% tax deductible. 
I want to thank past President, Suzy Beel, who served as the Foundation’s President in 2008 and 2009. She did a great job of leading and moving the Foundation forward. I also want to thank the current board members who volunteer a lot of time serving the Foundation: Marian Davenport, Vice President; Mary Young, Treasurer; Lisa Mathis, Secretary; Suzy Beel; Gerald Keech; Dave Major; Dave Sandoz; Ralph Eatinger; Sharon Bryant; Katie O’Kief; and Bob Gustafson. Lisa Mathis is our newest board member filling the vacancy left when Phyllis Rothleutner, a long time board member, stepped down. A special thank you to Marian for all of her work in putting together this annual publication. 
I have enjoyed my first year as President. I hope you will make it even better by getting involved with the Foundation. If you are already a member, thank you and please remember to attend our annual banquet/auction on February 26 and bring a guest so that more may learn what the Sandhills Area Foundation is all about. You can check out our auctions items for this event as well as a lot of other information about the Foundation on our website: www.sandhillsareafoundatioin.com. 
Your President,
Monty Neiffer

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Sandhills Area Foundation donates to marker for fatal Air Crash southeast of Wood Lake

        After months of preparation, it all came together on July 31, 2010, in Wood Lake, NE. American Legion Post 202 was instrumental in getting a Nebraska State Historical marker dedicated to two pilots killed in the area during World War II. As the marker indicates, the two young pilots were killed during a training flight SE of Wood Lake. The ceremony was well attended by all and the ceremony was heartfelt and emotional. Two nephews of the deceased pilot, 2nd Lt Earnest Fanslau were in attendance for the event. The nephews journeyed from New Jersey and spent a couple of days enjoying the sights and hospitality of the Sandhills. 
On Friday evening a ceremony was held at the Cherry County Historical Society to receive the artifacts that were donated to the museum. There were several WW II veterans in attendance and each stood and shared their name, date of service and branch of military. It was such a blessing to have the opportunity to thank those who serve. The artifacts are on display now at the museum for all to enjoy.
Saturday morning found us on the Morris Ranch with the nephews. We took our metal detector and began searching the crash sites for debris. The adventure was productive and enjoyable, but most of all memorable for the nephews. After the searching was through, we ventured back to our place for a wonderful home cooked meal by Arlene Ries. 
The excitement continued for the nephew that is the name sake of his uncle, Earnest Fanslau. Ernie got to fly out of the Ainsworth Airport in a two seater airplane similar to the configuration of the P-47s. They followed the course that the P-47s would have taken and flew over the crash sites. Bob Kilmer was wonderful to work with us in making this possible. 
Saturday evening arrived with much excitement. The ceremony was held in collaboration with the annual Wood Lake Firefighters BBQ, so we all enjoyed a wonderful meal while visiting with those in attendance. The official ceremony took place between the dinner and the dance, so we had plenty of time to show our respect and gratitude. There were over 350 people in attendance.
The ceremony itself was filled with community involvement, as well as state and national contributions. The nephews unveiled the marker through tear-filled eyes. Each nephew shared a bit about their uncle as they remembered him. Commander Ries did an excellent job conducting the ceremony in a military manner. The support received for this project was monumental and we continue to thank those who gave so freely to make this a reality.
Wording on the marker reads as follows:
Midair Collision of P-47 Thunderbolt Fighter Planes 1944
At 10:45 a.m. on February 5, 1944, 1st Lt. John B. Beatty of Sandusky, OH and 2nd Lt Ernest W. Fanslau of Mantua, NJ, took to the air from the Ainsworth Army Air Field in two P-47 Thunderbolt fighter planes for an instrument training flight. Lt. Fanslaus canopy was covered so he could fly solely by instruments, while Lt Beatty flew nearby as Fanslaus observer. During the flight Lt. Fanslau made an unexpected right turn that Lt. Beatty could not avoid. Rancher Everett Morris did not see the P-47s collide but he heard the impact and observed the planes falling from the sky southeast of his ranch buildings.
Lt. Beattys P-47 went into a flat spin, fell almost straight down and landed on its back with very little scattering of the wreckage. Lt. Fanslaus P-47 caught fire and exploded in midair, spreading debris over a considerable area. Both pilots were killed. The two crash sites are within half a mile of each other in the Nebraska Sandhills, approximately 15 miles south of Wood Lake near Cherry Countys eastern border.
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TeamMates Program working for VMS students

  
     The TeamMates Program began in 1991 with the vision of University of Nebraska Head Football Coach Tom Osborne and his wife Nancy. Twenty-two football players met with middle school students in the Lincoln Public Schools. Coach Osborne felt that the athletes in his program could make an impact on the middle school students. 
In 1997, the program was expanded to include 160 volunteer mentors from the Lincoln community who met with a student for one hour a week in the school setting. It was believed that these students could benefit from another caring adult in their life.
The TeamMates Mentoring Program was formalized as a statewide program in 1998 with 12 chapters and 441 mentor/mentee matches. Today, TeamMates includes over eighty-five in 115 communities serving over 4,000 students in grades 4-12. TeamMates successfully partners with local school districts from the largest urban schools to some of the smallest and most isolated rural schools. The program matches a student with an adult volunteer mentor to provide one hour of individual mentoring each week during the school year. Activities during the mentoring hour range from homework assignments to sharing common interests to simply engaging in conversation.
The TeamMates mission is to positively impact the world by inspiring youth to reach their full potential through mentoring. The core values of TeamMates are the commitment to youth, safety, integrity, trust, and inclusion. 
The Valentine Chapter was created in the fall of 2008 at the middle school with the help of grants from the Sandhills Area Foundation, the Youth Planning Commission and support from the Valentine Community Schools. This is the third year for the Valentine Chapter and they are up to twenty-eight matches ranging from grades 5-10.
Is TeamMates working? Valentine Middle School has seen a 70% decrease in disciplinary referrals, 90% fewer unexcused absences, and a 45% increase in academic performance. The goal is to have in place forty-five matches by December of 2013. If you think you have what it takes to work with a child please feel free to call and visit about the TeamMates organization. You can contact Jeff Sayer at (402) 376-3367.

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Sandhills Area Foundation provides grant for Nursing Assistant Class

 
     Pioneer Memorial Community Hospital Outreach Education Program of Mullen was the recent recipient of a $1,000 grant from the Sandhills Area Foundation. David Major notified the administrator Dawn Mallory that the grant request had been accepted to help support the Nursing Assistant class scheduled to be held in Mullen May 23rd- June 23rd. The grant funds will be used to purchase the books needed for the class, and will provide a projector to be used during this class and many more to come. 

Dawn Mallory stated that “we feel it is very important to have this nursing assistant class in our community to give opportunities for Full time/Part time/or On-call employment year-round for males or females. Dawn says “ Thanks to the SAF for supporting our educational efforts here in the Sandhills.”

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2010


SAF Annual Meeting was held January 15th, 2010


     The Sandhills Area Foundation held their annual meeting on Friday evening, January 15, 2010 at Jordan’s Fine Dining with approximately 180 people in attendance. The Social started at 6:00 P.M. during wDSC03129.jpg (20041 bytes)hich attendees could socialize and place bids on thirty Silent Auction items. A short business meeting followed, conducted by President, Suzy Beel. She recognized past Directors Phyllis Rothleutner and Bob Stetter for their leadership, commitment and generosity. Monty Neiffer, Marian Davenport and Lisa Mathis were voted in as new Directors. Suzy Beel thanked everyone for their attendance, generous donations and continued membership in the Sandhills Area Foundation. She extended an invitation to non-members in attendance to consider becoming a member. President, Monty Neiffer thanked Suzy Beel for her years of service as a Director and the past 2 years as President. He presented Suzy with a monetary gift to the foundation in her honor from the other directors and a Certificate of Appreciation.
     Rev. Tim Oleksy offered the invocation, after which a lovely 3 course meal was served. The tables were appropriately appointed with laser-cut windmills crafted by Craig and Katie O’Kief and funded by BDSC03124.jpg (25899 bytes)runing State Bank. Their efforts and support are certainly appreciated.
     The Live Auction followed with Jon Davenport as Master of Ceremonies. He thanked everyone for their attendance and introduced volunteer auctioneer, Riley Sargent. Others assisting Riley were Justin Hammond, Joe Nutter, Monty Neiffer, Tammy and Baley Sargent. The Live Auction consisted of 31 items, and there was definitely “something for everyone”. Alison Longcor was instrumental in organizing the auction items and programs. Thank you so much, Alison. The evening netted nearly $15,600 for the Sandhills Area Foundation, making the Million Dollar Goal a very near reality.
     The gala evening concluded with Bree DeNaeyer and the Haywaddies for entertainment. Their music is varied and most enjoyable. We recognize Ralph Eatinger for funding the excellent fiddle player. Thank you, Ralph.
     The Board of Directors of the Sandhills Area Foundation encourage area graduating seniors, college students and non-traditional students to complete a short Scholarship Application Form in its entirety and correctly, remembering the deadline is March 1, 2010. It can be accessed online here or by obtaining a copy from Mary Young at Young’s Western Wear or Suzy Beel at her Law Office or any other director. 
 VIEW 2010 AUCTION ITEMS   

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A word from our president

 
     It is that time of year again-time to reflect on what the Foundation has been doing and where it is going in the future. The beginning of the year always kicks off with scholarship applications coming in and a group of dedicated individuals volunteering several hours of their time reviewing all of the materials and making tough decisions regarding recipients. The Board very much appreciates the time put in by these individuals. Monty Neiffer headed up this committee this year and he deserves a big thank you for all of the time he spent coordinating this effort. Mary Young also deserves a thank you for all of the time she spends drafting checks and coordinating with the recipients schools.
      The Foundation continues to work on increasing our membership. The upcoming annual meeting is a membership drive as well as a fund raiser for scholarship funds. We are encouraging all members to bring a guest with them to the annual meeting. This experience allows the guest to learn firsthand what the Foundation is all about. This years annual meeting should be a great time for all who attend. The exceptional meal at Jordans Fine Dining, the entertainment by Bree DeNaeyer and the Haywaddies and the live auction will provide a night to remember. Be sure to purchase your tickets early!
      The Board created an investment committee to develop written guidelines regarding the investment of funds and the foundations expectations of fiduciary responsibilities. I am pleased to report that after a lot of time reviewing, studying, drafting and redrafting, the Board adopted an Investment Policy, Guidelines and Procedures for the Foundation. The policy includes investment objectives for the investment manager, annual spending rate distribution guidelines and an annual audit procedure.
     The Foundation has been trying to break the one million mark for some time. The bear market and low interest rates have not helped our cause. I am confident that we will hit this mark during Monty Neiffers upcoming Presidency. The Foundation needs and appreciates all of the donations it receives-whether it be the $100.00 annual dues donation, larger donations or donations in the form of memorials. Please keep the Foundation in mind when a loved one passes on, when doing your estate planning and when doing end of the year tax planning. Your contribution is 100% tax deductible.
      I have enjoyed serving as President of your Foundation for the past two years. I am hoping to go out on a high mark with the blockbuster annual meeting scheduled for January 15, 2010 at Jordans Fine Dining. This will be a night you do not want to miss. We have received many generous donations of items to be auctioned off as well as many businesses purchasing tables to attend this event. You do not need to be a member to attend this event. This will be entertaining for our current members and ultimately raise more money for the Foundation. Check out our website for a listing of the auction items: www.sandhillsareafoundation.com.
      I want to thank all of the current board members who volunteer a lot of time serving the foundation: Monty Neiffer, Vice-President, Marian Davenport, Secretary, Mary Young, Treasurer, Gerald Keech, David Sandoz, David Major, Ralph Eatinger, Phyllis Rothluetner, Gus Gustafson, Katie OKief, and Sharon Bryant. Frank Sibert and Bob Stetter have served as advisors to the Board as well. Phyllis, thank you again for your many years of service to the foundation, we will miss you. Bob-thank you for your support and wise advice regarding the foundation. Your leadership has provided a strong base for the foundation. We will miss you. Monty, I wish you the best in your service to the Foundation. Marian, thank you so very much for all of your work in putting together the annual publication. It goes way beyond the simple thank you for all that you do for the foundation. I also want to thank our current members for their donations and their continued support of the foundation. Here is to a blockbuster year in 2010.

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Phyllis Rothleutner steps down as long-time director of the Sandhills Area Foundation

 
     Phyllis Rothleutner knows Sandhills Area Foundation and what it represents. Phyllis was approached by Dave Major in the late 1990s to join as a member, and following the second meeting she attended, was appointed Director. She served along-side Mary Young, Gus Gustafson, Dave Major, Kay Wells and Dave Sandoz in various capacities, following the death of her beloved husband, Wes. Her very favorite part of the foundation is granting the scholarships to our area youth.
      Phyllis and Wes met at Nebraska Wesleyan University, received degrees and married in 1948. Wes had served four and one half years in the Coast Guard, after which they moved to Kilgore in 1949, joining Wes’ uncle on the family ranch. Phyllis said she questioned how she would stay busy moving to Kilgore, but soon realized becoming involved in: President of American National Cattlewomen, President of Nebraska Cowbelles, United Methodist Women’s Association, AAUW, Eastern Star, Sandhills Hospital and Cherry County Hospital Board of Directors and a significant number of other organizations, she never had time to contemplate her “work” in life. Husband, Wes served for 37 years on the Kilgore and Cody-Kilgore Unified School Boards, along with full time ranch work.
      Phyllis related that both she and Wes were passionate about excellent educational opportunities, and Phyllis served on the Scholarship committee at Cody-Kilgore schools, then chose to support the same goals through the Sandhills Area Foundation. She said if youth are not given encouragement and opportunities to attain higher educations or life-skills, our communities, states and nation will suffer.
      Phyllis and Wes are proud of their children and grandchildren’s work and accomplishments. Son, Todd is managing the family ranch, daughter, Elise Douglas graduated from NE Wesleyan and received a Masters Degree from East Texas State as a Licensed Practical Counselor and son, Ralph, an engineer, resides in Florida.
      Phyllis’s voice lifted a bit as she spoke of her grandchildren: Chris Douglas, a graduate of East Texas State with a degree in Engineering and Mathematics, is operating Welker Manufacturing in Kilgore. Greg Douglas graduated from Kansas State and studying for his Masters Degree in Counseling and Tim Douglas is in his 3rd year at Colorado School of Mines, majoring in Electrical Engineering. April Rothleutner graduated from Hastings College in Piano Performance and is teaching 150 private students in Longmont, CO, Lee Rothleutner graduated from Colorado School of Mines and is studying for his Masters Degree in Metallurgical Engineering. Thomasin Rothleutner is a Freshman in High School at Titusville, Florida.
      We sincerely appreciate Phyllis Rothleutner’s many years of service to the Sandhills Area Foundation and the gift of the Memorial Book in memory of her husband, Wes. This book is on display at area Valentine Banks and bears the names of those that have passed and contributors in their memory. Well done, Phyllis!

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2009

Annual Summer Meeting that was held August 3, 2009


Pictured at left: Past Scholarship Recipients Speakers, Caitlin Jacquot and Mary-Ann Madison.

The Annual Summer Sandhills Area Foundation Dinner and Meeting were held on August 3, 2009 at the Curtis Hoover Event Center with approximately 115 members and guests in attendance. President, Susan Beel opened the meeting with a warm welcome and sincere thank you to all in attendance and sincere appreciation for each members’ financial support . She extended an invitation for anyone wishing to join this worthy foundation. She recognized the officers and directors for their continued support.
     The Benediction was given by Pastor Tim Oleksy, followed by a catered meal. The tables were appropriately decorated for the “Picnic” theme by Katie O’Kief.
     The Memorial Book was on display and will be available, along with the 2009 Memberships at Wells Fargo Bank. 
     President, Susan Beel introduced the Past Recipient Speakers, Caitlin Jacquot and Mary-Ann Madison. Both presentations were inspiring and grateful for the Sandhills Area Foundation’s support. Caitlin attends University of NE-Kearney, NE and has been accepted into the Dental College. Mary-Ann has completed her LPN and is working at Pine View Good Samaritan, she will continue her college towards an Associate Degree in Nursing (R.N.).
     Treasurer, Mary Young and Suzy Beel introduced the Scholarship Recipients for 2009 and each student told the group of their educational goals and school that they will be or are attending. The Sandhills Area Foundation awarded $27,000 in scholarships this year to area high school graduates, college students, and non-traditional students.   View scholarship recipients

Annual SAF Meeting 

The Sandhills Area Foundation held its Annual Meeting on Sunday evening, January 18, 2009 at Cedar Canyon Steak House with approximately 80 members and guests in attendance. A short Business Meeting IMG_8525.jpg (16460 bytes) was conducted by President, Susan Beel. She thanked her officers, directors past and present and new director nominees: Dave Major, Bob Gustafson, Katy O’Kief and Sharon Bryant were approved unanimously. She stated Vice-president, Monty Neiffer has volunteered to be the new Scholarship Chairman, with thanks, and a reminder scholarship applications are due by March 1, 2009. Susan Beel told the group that the Annual Publication is a good source of information about SAF as well as our web site. She thanked the newly formed Investment Committee for their willingness to research IMG_8517.jpg (20171 bytes) and present their recommendations on the fiduciary matters of the SAF. Susan also thanked the past and future volunteers of reviewing and recommending the scholarship recipients. John Carter, our keynote speaker was then introduced. He began with “there is magic in the soil of Nebraska, this is where I want to be—community matters, foundations matter”. He suggested that when you contribute to the foundation, you are spending it on yourself and the next generations. His presentation was an historical accounting of the “roots” of the cattle in Cherry County. Another quote Mr. Carter said, “I am not happy until I return to the inventory of dirt”. He stated such inventions as windmills and fencing help create the best beef in the world. He expressed his appreciation for the invitation to speak to the foundation members and guests.
The meeting was adjourned.
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John Carter, keynote speaker at Sandhills Area Foundation 2008 Annual Meeting, January 18

John Carter, Senior Research Folklorist at the Nebraska State Historical Society, will be the Sandhills Area Foundation’s speaker for their Annual Meeting, Sunday evening, January 18, 2009 at Cedar Canyon Steakhouse in Valentine, Nebraska. The Social Hour will begin at 6:30 p.m. with Dinner at 7:00 p.m. Tickets may be purchased from any Director, Young’s Western Wear, The Consignment Shop, Suzy Beel Law Office or Dave Major’s State Farm Insurance Office.
      John Carter has told Nebraska’s stories for over thirty years. He has published two books, Solomon D. Butcher: Photographing the American Dream and Eyewitness at Wounded Knee. He has also authored countless articles and essays for both the popular and scholarly audiences. He has appeared in over two dozen state and national television documentaries, and was consultant and co-producer of the recent NET documentary, “Beef State,” an in depth look at Nebraska’s most important industry. John is a well known speaker who blends history and humor to explore the amazing place that is Nebraska. You will find him at the Nebraska State Historical Society, where he is Senior Research Folklorist and Associate Editor of Nebraska History magazine.  

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A word from our president

by Suzy Beel
     It is that time of year again-time to reflect on what the Foundation has been doing and where it is going in the future. 
     The beginning of the year always kicks off with scholarship applications coming in and a group of dedicated individuals volunteering several hours of their time reviewing all of the materials and making tough decisions regarding recipients. The Board very much appreciates the time put in by these individuals. Cheryl Ravenscroft has headed up this committee for the past several years and she deserves a big thank you for all of the time she spent revising the scholarship application, developing guidelines and score sheets along with organizing the committee, etc. Cheryl is stepping down from the Board and will be greatly missed. 
      The Foundation continues to work on increasing our membership. Board members hosted small mixers at their homes a couple of times this year to invite potential members to learn about the foundation. Several members were gained by this process and we will look at continuing this endeavor. If anyone is interested in hosting a small group social mixer in 2009 or has any other ideas on recruiting new members, please let me know and the Board will assist. The Board is also encouraging all members to bring a guest with them to the annual meeting. This experience allows the guest to learn firsthand what the Foundation is all about.
      The Board has created an investment committee to develop written guidelines regarding the investment of funds and the foundation’s expectations of fiduciary responsibilities. In the wake of the bear market and all of the stories of funds being embezzled and failed banks we thought it only timely to develop written policies regarding how funds are to be invested taking into account FDIC limits along with requiring annual audits of foundation funds. We have complete trust in our Treasurer, Mary Young, however we think it only prudent to have policies in place that will stand the test of time.
      The Foundation has been trying to break the one million mark for some time. Past President Gerald Keech did an excellent job during his reign cultivating larger donations. He may be called on again to seek out and find those generous donors. We need and appreciate all of the donations we receive-whether it be the $100.00 annual dues donation, larger donations or donations in the form of memorials. Please keep the foundation in mind when a loved one passes on, when doing your estate planning and when doing end of the year tax planning. Your contribution is 100% tax deductible.
      I have made several goals for 2009. The first one is to have a headliner for the annual meeting in 2010. We will need to start on this goal right away so if anyone has any connections or suggestions for the speaker/entertainment for the annual meeting, please let me know. My second goal is to break that ever elusive one million dollar barrier. I hope to accomplish this through the use of small group mixers, inviting non-member guests to our signature events and engaging our current members. My third goal is to arrange a blockbuster silent auction event to be held at the annual meeting in 2010. This will be entertaining for our current members and ultimately raise more money for the foundation. 
      I will not be able to accomplish these goals without the assistance of my board and the generosity of our current members. I want to thank all of the current board members who volunteer a lot of time serving the foundation: Monty Neiffer, Vice-President; Marian Davenport, Secretary; Mary Young, Treasurer; Gerald Keech, David Sandoz, David Major, Ralph Eatinger, Phyllis Rothluetner, Gus Gustafson, Steve Moreland and Cheryl Ravenscroft. 
      Steve and Cheryl, thank you again for your service to the foundation, we will miss you. I also want to thank our current members for their donations and their continued support of the foundation. Here is to a blockbuster year in 2009.  


Moreland, Ravenscroft resign as Sandhills Area Foundation Directors

 
     Steve Moreland lives eight miles east of Merriman and five miles north. He and his wife, Carol, own and operate the Spearhead Ranch, raising commercial Angus cattle. They have three children. Their oldest son, Will, and his wife, Desiree, live in Merriman. Will has a welding and repair shop, and Desiree is a pharmacist at the Chadron hospital. Steve and Carol's daughter, Tiffany, is currently helping them on the ranch. Their youngest son, Brock, is attending his second year of college in Sheridan, Wyoming. He plans to graduate with an associate degree in May, get married in June to Chelsie Zenner from Culdesac, Idaho, and the couple intends to come back to Nebraska and become involved with the ranch.
      Steve has been a director of the Sandhills Area Foundation for the past three years and has enjoyed this duty very much. He believes strongly that the Sandhills Area Foundation is a fine organization which greatly benefits local youth and other worthy local causes. Membership in the Sandhills Area Foundation is an investment in the future, and joining should be a serious consideration for all area residents.
      Cheryl Ravenscroft has graciously served as Director and Scholarship Chairman of the Sandhills Area Foundation. She did an excellent job of re-vamping the entire Scholarship Application Form as well as defining fair and equitable standards of choosing recipients, using the interest monies the Foundation can award each year.
      Cheryl will be sorely missed, but we wish her success in her future endeavors and especially well deserved family time.
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2008

Sandhills Area Foundation, Year in Review

Sandhills Area Foundation held its annual meeting on Monday, January 28, 2008 at Jordan’s Fine Dining with approximately 95 members in attendance. Kevin Keech produced a continuous screen display of members and officers from past meetings.
      President, Gerald Keech welcomed the attendees and the invocation was given by Rev. Timothy Oleksy. The brief business meeting was opened for the purpose of electing four director’s positions. Nominations were: Suzy Beel, Mary Young, Dave Sandoz, and Gerald Keech. There were no nominations from the floor. The motion to elect the four directors passed unanimously.
      Dave Sandoz presented an inspiring and informative introduction about giving back to our communities. He stated that giving in the Midwest is relatively new, that there is money for gifting now that was not available 40 years ago. He introduced Brenda Robinson, the late Cal Robinson’s wife and he noted Cal’s profound influence in assisting our foundation’s beginning and continuation. Our keynote speaker, Keith Blackledge, a long-time editor of the North Platte Telegraph was then introduced by Dave Sandoz. Mr. Blackledge spoke of his working with the late Cal Robinson in many community and area philanthropic projects. His presentation included developing component funds, and stressed the importance of giving in any amount. He stated that Mr. Bloom’s substantial gifting lended credibility to the “new” foundation, and sets a precedence for others who want to become a part of the Sandhills Area Foundation.
      Kevin Keech demonstrated the simplicity of accessing our web site and encouraged people to use it on a regular basis. Mr. Blackledge complimented the group on the web site.
      Outgoing President, Gerald Keech spoke to the members, thanking the larger contributors for their donations as well as all members and stated we have approximately $977,000 in assets. He presented the gavel to incoming President, Suzy Beel. Suzy expressed great appreciation for Gerald’s years of hard work and service, and he was presented with a plaque of appreciation. Suzy encouraged members to “talk about” the Sandhills Area Foundation and mentioned the new Stepping Up ladder of giving. 
      The evening concluded with the presentation of a Dream Catcher to Brenda Robinson from the Sandhills Area Foundation in memory of Cal.
      The summer Annual Recipients Meeting was held at Jordan’s on August 4, 2008 with approximately 100 in attendance. A total of $35,000 was awarded to five Non-traditional students, 22 high school graduates and 21 college student scholarships. This year set a record of 92 applications, a significant increase from 5 applications a short 10 years ago. The recipients and their families were invited to attend this time of recognition. The attendees heard from two past recipients, Natalie Dunn and Jean Vackiner. Both excellent speakers emphasized the importance of their scholarship monies in pursuing their educational goals and expressed their appreciation for the Sandhills Area Foundation. They emphasized the need to give back to their communities. 
      Please read the separate article on our Grants awarded in 2008, submitted by Dave Major.
The Annual meeting will be held on Sunday evening, January 18, 2009 at Cedar Canyon Steakhouse, all members are encouraged to attend and bring a guest. 
      Please keep updated by accessing the web site at www.sandhillsareafoundation.com.
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Investment Committee formed

by Gerald Keech
      The Sandhills Area Foundation has recently formed a new Investment Committee consisting of four Directors: Gerald Keech, Dave Major, Ralph Eatinger, and Monty Neiffer. 
With nearly $1,000,000 in the Sandhills Area Foundation Treasury, it requires careful study and prudent investing to realize the maximum interest for the granting of scholarships, grants, and to insure the safety of these funds.
Below is a brief summary of guidelines the new committee has established:

A. Establish a reasonable expectation, objectives, and guidelines in the investment of the portfolio assets.
B. Create the framework for a well-diversified asset mix that can be expected to generate good returns at a suitable level of risk.
C. This investment policy statement is extended to be a summary of an investment philosophy and procedures that provide guidance for boards and managers.
D. To diversify the investment of assets of the funds under supervision of the board, so as to minimize the risk of losses, the funds shall be invested in the following proportions: Cash 0-10%; Fixed Income 60%; Equity 40%
E. Rebalancing on a regular basis. Market conditions may cause the investment in various asset classes, to vary from the established allocations.
F. Investment restrictions. Fixed income investments shall be limited to those issued by the United States Treasury Agencies of the U.S. Government, or Corporate Bonds rated investment grade by Moody’s Investor Service or Standard and Poors.
G. Supervision. The Investment Committee will maintain and review the Investment Policies and Objectives of the Board.
H. Contact. Trust Company will provide quarterly statements to this board and internet access to the account, if desired.

This is a short review of the inner workings of the investment policy. The committee is well aware of their responsibilities and will continue to invest your membership monies and donations with serious fiscal prudence.
We thank each of you for your past, present and future support.
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Dreams become reality with SAF

by Dave Major
   
   While your Sandhills Area Foundation is most often associated with scholarships awarded to the deserving students, we’re making dreams become reality in other ways. Your Foundation has awarded numerous grants over the years, and 2008 was no exception.
      Last year, Valentine’s Junior Wrestling group received $1,000 toward purchase of a new wrestling mat. 
A grant for $500 was awarded to assist a local group form a TeamMates chapter in Valentine, to provide valuable mentoring to youth in our area. 
      Assistance for the Badger Boosters’ construction of a new sign at the high school was aided with $500 from Sandhills Area Foundation.
      Valentine’s youth baseball program plans to build an automated batting cage, and construction began in 2008, in part with a grant for $1,000 from your foundation.
      Over the years, your Foundation has played a valuable role in the construction of a new fire hall in Kilgore, purchase of new equipment for Valentine’s fire and EMT departments, and assistance to many local and area projects. 
      Grant requests can be made any time during the year. Applications are available at our web site, www.sandhillsareafoundation.com/saf_community_grants_donations.htm 
      The Foundation is able to provide funds to local and area organizations for a variety of needs and projects. Funding of these grants is primarily from earnings on endowed gifts. 
      However, you may consider a directed gift, to fund a Cub Scout outing, improvements to a local park, or building a community center in the name of your choosing. 
      Ask any Foundation director for information on making a dream come true!

SAF Summer Meeting

  
   The Sandhills Area Foundation’s Annual Scholarship Recipient’s Dinner was held on August 4, 2008 at Jordan’s with approximately 170 in attendance. President, Suzy Beel presided. Two past scholarship recipients’, Natalie Dunn and Jean Vackiner were key note speakers, with their messages reflecting the appreciation of the SAF and its philanthropy and giving back to the communities where we reside. The event is a special time to recognize the recipients and hear of their educational goals. A record $35,000 was awarded for 2008 to graduating seniors, college students and non-traditional students in the area. Monies are invested and only the interest can be spent, to continue a strong financial foundation. The Sandhills Area Foundation Board of Directors extend a special invitation to area residents to become members for a minimum of $100. per year. Please feel free to contact any of the Sandhills Area Foundation Officers or Directors: President, Suzy Beel, Vice President, Monty Neiffer, Secretary, Marian Davenport, Treasurer, Mary Young, Directors: Ralph Eatinger, Gus Gustafson, Gerald Keech, Dave Major, Steve Moreland, Cheryl Ravenscorft, Phyllis Rothleutner, Dave Sandoz, Frank Sibert, Bob Stetter, The web site is www.sandhillsareafoundation.com for history and additional information.

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Recipients appreciate scholarship opportunities

   
   I have been a recipient of the Sandhills Area Foundation Scholarship two different times. Being a non-traditional student and trying to balance home, work and school is a challenge so the scholarship money helped me in many ways, not only with school and books but with traveling expenses also.
I have appreciated the foundation taking time to review my applications and also being so supportive of the non-traditional students. Your support for the non-traditional students is appreciated and is an encouragement for other non-traditional students to have an opportunity to further their education. 
      I am currently enrolled at Mid-Plains Community College in North Platte, NE in the Associate Degree Nursing Program (Registered Nurse). After graduation I plan on staying in the Valentine area to practice my nursing and in the future will be a supporter of the Sandhills Area Foundation. 
Kim Shaul


   
   The last two years have been filled with many joyful and trying times. However, I’ve learned that even past the speed bumps and road blocks, the college road doesn’t lead to just a degree...it directed me to my true future. I received a scholarship my senior year from the Sandhills Area Foundation which benefited me greatly and led me west on Highway 20 to Chadron State College to study business. While the year was something new and interesting, I realized that the particular “path” I had chosen wasn’t what I was looking for as far as my education was concerned. 
      This past fall I took a different route headed south on Highway 83 and now call the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture in Curtis, NE my new college road destination. Everyone has to find their own exit in the future and I definitely have finally found mine. I love the campus and stay very active by serving as the current NCTA Student Senate President as well as an NCTA Student Ambassador, and participating in Women in Ag, Business Club, Cowboy Fellowship, Collegiate FFA and 4-H, and was even a ‘cheerleader’ for the “Hereford” flag football team! I enjoy all of my classes and will be graduating from NCTA in December 2009 with an Associates Degree in Agribusiness Management Systems. After graduating I plan on becoming an Agriculture Administrative Assistant. 
      When life throws you a detour, you have to do your best to follow and trust that it will lead you where you want to go. While I don’t regret my start at CSC, I am very thankful for all the support and advice I received to accelerate towards the path on my college road that makes me successful and satisfied. 
Nichole Rae Leonard


   
   Not only does the Sandhills Area Foundation give one of the most generous scholarships in our area, its scholarship committee is also one of the most patient. My name is Veronica Graham. I am a senior at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and probably one of the most indecisive people you'll ever meet.
The Sandhills Area Foundation supported me patiently while I journeyed through my first two years of college without a major. Last year, I finally declared Family Science as my major and Gerontology as my minor. I have Cherry Hills Assisted Living to thank for this decision for it was there that I learned how much fun it is to be with the elderly.
      I spent last summer in Lincoln as a practicum student with AseraCare Hospice where I continued to find my path in life. It's a little ironic that working with the dying makes me come alive, but hospice care truly sparks a passion in me. My motivation for doing hospice work is my desire for people to know the dignity they have as humans, especially at one of the most vulnerable moments in life: death. I am also fascinated by the spiritual reality that accompanies death, and I anxiously anticipate learning from my patients the art of living and dying well.
      Yes, I have found my purpose in life. And I thank the Sandhills Area Foundation for four years of patience, monetary support, and the confidence they had in me to discover my true passion.
Roni Graham


   
   Eighteen months ago we took the plunge and returned to school to pursue a career in nursing. We graduated as Licensed Practical Nurses in September of 2008. Currently we are both employed at Pine View Good Samaritan Center. We get immense satisfaction from working with the residents in our care knowing that we are making a positive impact on their lives.
      We are very grateful to the Sandhills Area Foundation for the financial support that they have given us because without it we would not have been able to continue with our goal of becoming registered nurses. We are continuing our education via distance learning. This last semester was challenging. We took two classes, anatomy and chemistry, both very interesting courses. We plan to complete all the prerequisite classes and enroll in the RN bridge program in 2010. 
      Thank you to all who have made it possible for us to follow our dream.
      Todd and Mary-Ann Madison

Annual Meeting Highlights

Pictured above L to R: Maryann Blackledge, Brenda Robinson, Keith Blackledge,
Suzy Beel, Gerald Keech

      Ninety five (95) Sandhills Area Foundation members met for their 10th Annual Meeting on January 28, 2008 at Jordan’s Fine Dining. Brenda Robinson, wife of the late Cal Robinson was in attendance, as the evening was dedicated to Cal’s profound influence on the Sandhills Area Foundation’s beginnings and continuation. Mr. Keith Blackledge, a longtime editor of the North Platte Telegraph was the keynote speaker. He has a long history of working with Mr. Robinson in several philanthropic entities. Suzy Beel will serve as the foundation’s President for the next two years, succeeding Gerald Keech.
     The Sandhills Area Foundation’s assets have grown to over $975,000 and the interest generated is gifted to area students in the form of scholarships and grants to area non-profit entities. Scholarship applications are available by clicking here on our website, or at area high schools. The deadline for the application is March 1, 2008. The Directors encourage graduating seniors and college students, as well as non-traditional students to apply, if you have any questions, please contact Cheryl Ravenscroft, Scholarship Chairman 402-376-1718. 

Photo below left: Gerald Keech, Past President presents the gavel to incoming Sandhills Area Foundation President, Susy Beel

 

Photo above right: Blackledge addresses the Sandhills Area Foundation members at their annual meeting, January 28, 2008

Keith Blackledge to speak at 2008 Annual Meeting to be held January 28, 2008


The annual meeting of the Sandhills Area Foundation will be held at the Jordan's Fine Dining on Monday, January 28, 2008. The social will begin at 6:30 p.m. CST and a buffet will be served at 7:00 p.m. A short business meeting will follow. 

Tickets are $15 and can be purchased at Young’s Western Wear, Susan Beel Law Office, First National Bank or any Director until January 28, 2008. 




Keith Blackledge, a long time editor and vice-president of The Telegraph in North Platte, NE and since 1992 has served as contributing editor and free-lance writer, will be the Sandhills Area Foundation's 10th Anniversary Keynote Speaker at their annual meeting being held on Monday, January 28, 2008 at Jordan's in Valentine at 6:30 p.m.


    
Keith Blackledge grew up in Scottsbluff, NE. He served in the Army and after WWII, attended the University of Missouri School of Journalism, and was an administrative officer during the Korean conflict.
     He spent seven years at the North Platte Telegraph Bulletin from 1952-1959, worked at the Dayton (Ohio) Journal, the Miami (Florida) Herald, taught journalism at UNL and came to the North Platte Telegraph as editor in 1967. He continues to write a weekly column for the newspaper called "Your Town and Mine". He has been inducted into the Nebraska Newspaper Hall of Fame.
     It was his desire in 1990 to make the fledgling Nebraska Public Radio Network happen that connected Blackledge with public broadcasting in the first place. He says that he wanted to see the radio grassroots effort succeed both on a personal level and as a newspaper editor, so he got involved. The initial involvement grew into a six year term on the Public Radio Nebraska Foundation (PRNF) board and eight years on the Nebraska Educational Telecommunications Commission (NETC), including serving as PRNF president and NETC chair and vice chair.
     A few of Blackledge's other contributions include acting as a founding member and two term chair of the Nebraska Humanities Council and a founding board member of what is now the Federation of State Humanities Councils. He has also served on the State Colleges Board of Trustees, Nebraska State Historical Society, The Mid-Nebraska Community Foundation and North Platte Area Habitat for Humanity.
     In recognition of all these contributions, as well as for his generous support as a longtime member of both PRNF and NPTV, Blackledge was awarded the NET Partner Award at the recent Canteen Spirit premiere in North Platte.
     Keith Blackledge has a long history of "making things happen," as did one of the Sandhills Area Foundation's original founders, the late Cal Robinson. Those who "make things happen" may disturb people once in a while, but the things they make happen can add up to a lifetime of admirable achievement. Such is the case with Keith Blackledge.
(Excerpts from NETV2 membership news article 2000-2001)  

Giving back to your community
by Suzy Beel


    
I will soon have the privilege and responsibility of serving as your foundation board president for the next two years. I have been pondering what I should be doing to continue the wonderful progress made by my predecessors. The biggest thing that I can do is to invite each and every one of you to become a member of this progressive organization. I was born and raised in Valentine and I can’t imagine a better place to live and raise a family. We need to encourage our youth to return to the area and raise their families or at least to continue to remember and maintain the beautiful place where they grew up. Granting scholarships to our youth and giving to worthwhile projects in the Sandhills community will help maintain our way of life. The Sandhills Area Foundation is able to give scholarships and grants to the area projects with the interest earned on the investment of your membership dues and gifts. We are approaching the 1 million dollar mark! It is an exciting time and a great opportunity to give back to your Sandhills community.
     There are many ways to join and give to the Sandhills Area Foundation. You can start by contributing $100.00 per year. After 20 years of $100.00 annual contributions, you will become a lifetime member. You can start out as a lifetime member, giving $2,000.00. There are higher levels of giving: $5,000.00; $10,000.00 etc. The Foundation is happy to accept any dollar amount.
     There are other tax planning vehicles that can be used to give to this foundation. The Pension Protection Act of 2006 allows a person who is at least 70 1/2 years old to roll up to $100,000 of their IRA over to the foundation tax free. You may want to transfer the required minimum distribution from your IRA that you don’t need but have to draw out because of IRS tax regulations. You can avoid paying taxes on the portion given to the foundation. This is available for the 2007 tax year and is pending approval for the 2008 tax year.
     Charitable gift annuities are also another way to give to the foundation. A charitable gift annuity is the transfer by you of cash, marketable securities or highly appreciated real estate to the foundation who then issues the gift annuity in exchange for a current income tax deduction and the foundation’s promise to pay you fixed annual payments for life. An example of a charitable gift annuity would be Jill Smith who is an 84 year old widow. She owns a ranch that is worth $600,000 and her basis in the property is $50,000. She has two children that have good jobs and no desire to return to the ranch. She can transfer the ranch to the foundation and in return the foundation will pay Jill annual payments for her life. She will have more annual income than continuing to ranch or lease the ranch. In addition, she will get enough money to purchase life insurance policies for the benefit of her children so that they will receive their inheritance tax free. She avoids a large portion of the capital gain tax. She receives a federal tax deduction and a Nebraska charitable endowment tax credit for her contribution. She provides a tax free inheritance tax for her children and she receives an annual stream of income.
     You can also think of the Sandhills Area Foundation when making your will. You can give a certain dollar amount or a percentage of your estate to the foundation. It is a nice way to be remembered and provide for your community. Memorials to the Sandhills Area Foundation in the name of your loved one are also a great way to honor and remember your loved one.
     As you can see there are many ways to join and give to the Sandhills Area Foundation. If you need more information about joining the Foundation or are interested in using some of the tax planning strategies highlighted in this article, please contact your tax advisor or any foundation board member and we will point you in the right direction. I wholeheartedly encourage you to join this worthwhile organization. Archives - 2007, 2006, 2005, & 2004 Articles 

 


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