HURON – With rapidly expanding annual funds available for distribution, Huron Community Foundation board members have reached out to the public to seek ideas for projects to improve the quality of life in Huron in the coming years.
The initiative – “Huron Rising: Re-imagine Our Future” – got off to a successful start Wednesday evening when 60 members of the community came together at a town hall to brainstorm ideas.
Foundation President Steve Gohn said the annual distribution of funds two years ago was $40,000. That doubled in 2018 and next year is expected to reach about $125,000.
“Because of this growth, we’ve been discussing a town hall concept to help us identify projects to be funded with other organizations or maybe make it happen by ourselves,” he said at the start of the Huron Rising session.
To lead the discussion, the foundation called on native son Dr. Bill Anderson Jr. of Vermillion, chief experience officer for the First National Bank in Sioux Falls.
The 60 participants, seated around a number of tables in a room at the Campus Center, spent three hours in a series of exercises designed to imagine what Huron will look like in five years after conquering two or three significant challenges.
They identified the most pressing problems and significant issues that stood in the way of getting to that future, and examined what the significant barriers will be as the city continues to move forward into the future.
“We couldn’t have been more pleased with the Huron Rising meeting,” Gohn said. “Dr. Anderson did a wonderful job facilitating the event and we had great participation.
“I was so impressed with the participants’ genuine concern on how we can build on Huron’s recent success and make it a better place to live,” he said.
An executive summary of the Huron Rising session will be presented at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Campus Center.
“We would like to encourage everyone to attend the next Huron Rising meeting, which will focus on the results of the discussion and be open to the public,” Gohn said. No preregistration is required.
Foundation board members stressed going into the town hall that they had no preconceived ideas or agenda regarding the outcome of the exercises, but that they wanted to hear the thoughts of people who participated.
Those who were unable to attend can submit ideas to [email protected]
Huron Community Foundation was formed in 2004 as a nonprofit organization to create a community savings account.