Gifts of all sizes come in to the Community Foundation throughout the year to support our work, endowments for local organizations, students, and impactful local programs. Behind those gifts are wonderful donors who believe in supporting charitable causes near and dear to their hearts.
Mark and Holly Thomas are one such couple, generous donors whose tie to the Community Foundation started with their daughters, Jennifer and Kimberly. The girls were recipients of the John and Rose Marie Wismer Scholarship. Jennifer attended Michigan and Kimberly attended Duke University.
Forever grateful for the scholarships provided, Mark and Holly recently wrote us to say, “… I can say in confidence that John and Rose would be thrilled at how Jenny and Kim have honored their generosity, and the spirit of their scholarship.”
Mark and Holly now reside in St. Louis, Jennifer in Washington DC and Kimberly in Chicago, but their reciprocal generosity and the spirit in which John and Rose Marie Wismer established the scholarship lives on and continues to touch the Community Foundation today. The awards provided made Jennifer and Kimberly’s higher education possible and they are now paying it forward.
The Wismers started their scholarship fund with the Community Foundation in 1994. Rose Marie in particular wanted to recognize the best and the brightest students from any of our local high schools in St. Clair County. This is one of our most prestigious scholarship awards.
In closing of the letter, Mark and Holly wrote, “We pray for the continued success and philanthropy of the Foundation, which is making such a difference in both individual lives, like those of my daughters, and also in the greater Blue Water area.”
Each Community Foundation donor has a story unique to them, something that drives the giving that they do and why they want to impact the lives of others. It is our privilege to get to know these donors and all of their stories, as that is the base upon which our successful Community Foundation has been built. We appreciate every story told and love to hear how philanthropy intertwines generations and spans our country, all from a local starting point here in St. Clair County.