Jeff Hower Memorial Honors Life of Service and Caring

Program Officer Jeff Hower’s impact on the foundation and community didn’t end with his untimely passing in April 2019. Because Jeff oversaw scholarship administration and educational initiatives for the foundation, the board and staff offered a special scholarship in his honor.

Nebraska Christian graduate Kate Pipher received the scholarship, which emphasized community service, an area of utmost importance to Jeff.


$349,458 RAISED

to help individuals, families and businesses with flood-related needs.

Neighbors' Generosity Makes Disaster Relief Possible

Rather than isolating central Nebraska residents, the floods of March 2019 brought them closer together. Area donors responded with $349,458.94 to help individuals, families and businesses with needs such as foundation repairs, HVAC repairs and mold remediation.

The hard-hit communities of Wood River and Dannebrog received particular attention. A committee with members from the foundation, Heartland United Way and the community awarded first-round grants up to $5,000 in 2019. Second-round grants up to $15,000 will be will be offered in 2020.


Bill Marshall gave of his time and talents.

William “Bill” Marshall III was honored at our “Gift of a Legacy” dinner on Nov. 21. Bill founded Five Points Bank with his father and supported efforts that made Grand Island an even grander place. He helped establish College Park and the Heartland Events Center and helped bring the State Fair to Grand Island.

He served on the boards of the Greater Grand Island Community Foundation, Grand Island Public Schools and Grand Island Area Chamber of Commerce, as well as the State Board of Education and Hastings College Board of Trustees.



How do the scholarship winners plan to help others?

Scholarship reflects value the Hornady Family places on education.

With a lifelong love of learning woven into the fabric of their family, the grandchildren of Joyce and Marval Hornady established a scholarship in their memory in 2015. It became a multi-year endowed scholarship fund in 2019.

The scholarship benefits children, stepchildren, grandchildren and/or legal wards of full-time Hornady Manufacturing employees or retirees. Employees in good standing who have worked full time at Hornady for at least a year can also apply for the scholarship. The award is split between the first and second years of postsecondary education.

Museum organizers work to benefit children and the local economy.

Audrey Rowley brought the Grand Island Children’s Museum to the foundation’s attention and helped us see its potential to impact kids and the local economy. When it came under our umbrella in 2019 as a fiscal sponsorship, we helped the organizers pull people together and make contacts.

A small group began this grassroots effort in 2018 and formed a steering committee including local funders, nonprofit and museum professionals, and community stakeholders. In early 2019, the committee partnered with Hastings College and completed a feasibility study to garner community interest, support and input.



raised in 24 hours to benefit Hall, Hamilton, Howard and Merrick counties

Over $1 million raised for local nonprofits.

With the theme “A Million Gifts for the World We Want to Make,” Go Big Give experienced its best year yet — raising $1,065,354! This partnership with the Heartland United Way concentrates the area’s generosity into a 24-hour online giving event to benefit the residents of Hall, Hamilton, Howard and Merrick counties.

Stuhr Raised the Roof for Go Big Give!

Training and grants help protect vulnerable children.

Thanks to the Foundation’s Nonprofit Excellence Institute, the Central Nebraska Child Advocacy Center has an active and engaged board with a strategic plan to guide the agency’s continued growth. Shannon Krejci learned how to become a better executive director through NEI, as well.

Grants provided through the Foundation paid for installing soundproofing in interview rooms and trainings for law enforcement, county attorneys and family service specialists. All this support has helped the nonprofit fulfill its mission of protecting the most vulnerable members of our community.


Grant will help nurture future philanthropic leaders.

The Youth Philanthropy Board took a greater step toward impacting the community in 2019 when they received a three-year $69,000 grant from the Christopher Family Foundation to implement the Three Pillars Initiative youth curriculum. YPB members learn about creating community impact, vitalizing donor engagement, and building strategic volunteerism while granting $20,000 to local nonprofits.

The board, formed in 2018 as a partnership between the Greater Grand Island Community Foundation and Youth Leadership Tomorrow, has representatives from every high school in Hall County, plus Nebraska Christian.

What does an adult mentor think of YPB?

Stick Creek Funding Takes Caring Beyond City Limits

At the end 2019, the Foundation approved $60,000 — $20,000 per year for three years — for the Stick Creek Kids Child Development Center in Wood River. Stick Creek Kids is a new nonprofit child care center that will serve children ages 6 weeks to 12 years, up to 80 children at a time.

A division of Wood River Vision 20/20 Inc., the center will address a critical shortage of child care in Wood River for families that want to put down roots in the community.