As they prepare to host a regional network luncheon on Wednesday, Early chamber representatives Wanda Furgason and Rebecca Mendoza attended the luncheon held at the Tye Community Center last Wednesday. The luncheon series is sponsored by Texas Midwest Community Network offering information on the topic “Capturing the Wealth of Your Community”.

An informational program was presented by Katie Alford, Executive Director of the Community Foundation of Abilene. She explained ways to establish local funding efforts for programs and specific projects. She also explained how individuals can set up a “legacy gift” to the community in the form of offering scholarships for local students or financial assistance to non-profit groups. She pointed out the importance of educating local citizens about considering their community as one of their heirs when writing wills or working with investors and notifying high school alumni of the opportunity to support hometown projects.

The difference between community foundations and endowment funds was explained. Many rural communities and individuals are tapping into administrative and investing services from regional community foundations such as the Community Foundation of Abilene (CFA) so that local efforts can focus on fund raising and where to direct the funds without the burden of administrative expense and required reporting to state and federal agencies. Some examples of partnering with CFA were the community of Coleman, Nolan County and Winters Area Foundation.

Cities represented at the luncheon included Anson, Aspermont, Abilene, Buffalo Gap, Coleman, Colorado City, Cross Plains, Early, Haskell, Merkel, Sweetwater and Tye. The meal was catered by Julian Morgan Museum members.

Texas Midwest Community Network is a one-of-a-kind regional organization founded in 1994 for economic development, tourism development, regional awareness & promotion, and legislative awareness. It is an organization of “communities working together to accomplish what one community cannot do alone.” For more information about TMCN visit www.texasmidwest.org or the Texas Midwest Facebook page.