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Canton Foundation Celebrates $100,000 Community Grant Milestone, Recognizes 2020 Local Grantees

Canton community grant recipients
Members of the Jim and Caroline Deinema Canton Community Foundation Board join the 2020 grant recipients.

Last week, the Jim and Caroline Deinema Canton Community Foundation, an affiliate of the Sioux Falls Area Community Foundation, marked an important new milestone: following the presentation of its 2020 grant awards, the organization officially surpassed more than $100,000 in grants to Canton-area nonprofits and causes since its founding.

The milestone was announced during the annual meeting of the Canton Chamber of Commerce, held on Friday, Jan. 24, at the Canton Depot. At the event, Foundation officials also presented the organization's 2020 grants to five Canton-area nonprofits.

The 2020 grant recipients are:

  • Canton Senior Citizen’s Center: The grant will support the addition of a certified fitness trainer whose main focus will be to help seniors stay active. Research has shown that active seniors maintain the independence necessary to stay in their own homes longer.
  • Canton High School: The grant will support the Strength and Conditioning Program.
  • Carnagie Center for Arts, Culture and Education: The grant will support a traveling musical production by the Missoula Children’s Theatre. The production will be held in the Canton High School Theatre this coming summer.
  • Rural School Historical Society: The grant will support ongoing maintenance and upkeep on the Grand Valley Historical Living History Museum.
  • Boy Scouts of America Troop 60: This grant will support the purchase of paint and supplies to update the new Scout Room inside Canton's Carnagie Library.

Karla Lems is chair of the Board of Directors for the Foundation. She says it’s exciting to see what can happen when a community unites together for the common good.

"It’s exciting to support our community through organizations that bring growth through individuals and groups who have the ability and grit to make things happen. We just provide the boost," she said.

Gifts to the Foundation grow over time thanks to the benefit of a pooled investment that generates long-term asset growth. The annual returns enable the Foundation to invest in the community through grants — otherwise known as “charitable capital for our local nonprofits,” Lems said.

“A lot of these organizations don’t have the resources to do these projects on their own,” Lems said. “The grants the Foundation is able to provide help support programs and projects for the young, the old and everyone in between, creating more opportunities for everyone and impacting our entire community.”

The Foundation’s History

In 1997, Caroline Deinema enlisted the support of community members, including longtime Canton resident and local banking executive Mike Broderick, to establish the Foundation following the death of her husband, Jim. Her hope was to honor his life and his legacy of care by helping to improve the quality of life for the Canton community — for good, for ever.

Since then, Broderick has continued to serve on the Foundation’s Board of Directors. Following Caroline's death last year, Broderick has helped Lems transition into the role of Chair.

At Friday’s event, Jim and Caroline’s sons, Steve Deinema and Mark Deinema, spoke about their parents’ legacies, and about the many ways the Foundation will stand to support the community of Canton for generations to come.

Building Community

As Lems sees it, the Foundation is not only giving back to the Canton community, it’s also bringing the community together.

“If you can get people to come together to pool their resources and their ideas, you end up bringing people together and building relationships – that’s what builds businesses and leadership; it’s what drives education and creates a pathway for the future,” she said.

Looking ahead, Lems said the Foundation is committed to growing donor support in order to provide even more support for local nonprofits and causes.

“Our role is to educate others about the Foundation and inspire more members of the community to give – to create more charitable capital for our community. Hopefully we can continue to grow the Foundation for years to come.”