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Smith Foundation Offering Grants To Palo Alto Organizations

By Staff | Dec 24, 2009

Arthur and Audrey Smith gave to the community for many years. They are still giving to Emmetsburg through the Smith Foundation.

Art practiced law in Emmetsburg from the early 1920s until retiring in 1988. During their years in Emmetsburg, Art and Audrey Smith were contributors to a number local worthwhile projects, including the Chamber of Commerce, Emmetsburg Economic Development, and the Fourth of July Celebration. An avid golfer, Art was a member of Emmetsburg Country Club. He was a major benefactor of Palo Alto County Hospital and the Palo Alto County Health Care Foundation. He served on Five Island Lake dredging committees from the 1940s to the 1990s and worked to obtain funding through the state legislature. Art was a staunch supporter of Emmetsburg High School athletics. Youth and sports were of interest to the Smiths.

The Arthur and Audrey Smith Foundation offers grant funding to bona fide organizations in Palo Alto County to benefit the community. Over $900,000 has been gifted since the inception of the foundation.

“We want people to be aware that the foundation is out there,” said Jim Crane, a member of the foundation board of trustees. “We are reaching out to get more involvement.”

The Smith Foundation was the springboard for the Arthur and Audrey Smith Wellness Center in Emmetsburg with a lead gift of $350,000. Funding continued in following years to total a half-million dollars for the center.

Since the mid-1990s, a number of grant applications have been funded. Matching funds are not necessary to apply for a grant. Foundation trustees note that Smith Foundation grant monies could be applied for to use as a match for a larger grant.

In 2008, the foundation gifted $55,000 to a dozen organizations. Groups who received grants included Horizons Unlimited, the Emmetsburg School Education Foundation, Little E’Hawk Wrestling Club and Emmetsburg Little League, Chamber of Commerce, Emmetsburg Retail Association and Beautification Committee, and Upper Des Moines Opportunity.

“We welcome new oganizations to apply,” said Crane. “There are many worthwhile projects out that that need funding and we have been able to fund most applications.”

Crane pointed out that the grant funds must be used for a legitimate cause. Grants are not intended to be used as operating funds.

Applications can be submitted any time during the year. A letter of application should include details including the purpose of the grant. Forms can be obtained from Jody Leuer at Wells Fargo bank in Emmetsburg. Completed applications should be mailed to the Smith Foundation at Wells Fargo in Emmetsburg, to the attention of Jody Leuer. Grants are awarded each May.

The Smith Foundation also accepts contributions. Gifts from individuals are tax deductible and can be made as part of year-end tax planning. Those interested can contact Greg Hoyman or Doug Green in Emmetsburg.