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New endowment fund established to benefit Headwaters Animal Shelter

This dog and cat came from Headwaters Animal Shelter last summer. (Sarah Smith / Enterprise)

A new endowment fund has been established with the Northwest Minnesota Foundation to provide financial support for the Headwaters Animal Shelter. It is a part of the Park Rapids Area Community Fund (PRACF) family of funds that are helping to make the community a better place to live and work.

The Friends of Headwaters Animal Shelter Endowment Fund was established with the specific purpose: To provide financial support for programs, projects, activities or services that help to protect and benefit the well-being of domestic animals. Preference for this Fund shall be the Headwaters Animal Shelter, a program run through the Headwaters Humane Society, and similar activities conducted on behalf of or through the Society so long as the Society maintains a non-euthanizing shelter.

The fund began through generous gifts from friends who wanted to create a permanent source of operating and program revenue for the Headwaters Animal Shelter. "It offers donors a gifting option that allows their financial support for the Shelter to continue for the foreseeable future," said PRACF chair Mark Hewitt.  "As an endowed fund, only the earnings will be available each year to support the Shelter's mission."

The fund will be supported by a local advisory committee. Long-time Shelter volunteers David Vik, Gert Buckley and Jeanne Ingalls will be joined by PRACF advisory members Nancy Carroll, David Collins and Mark Hewitt to help promote the fund, encourage additional donations and oversee the annual financial distribution (grants) from the fund.

"One of the first things we are going to do as fund advisors is work with the Headwaters Animal Shelter to match donations to the endowment with the essential fundraising needed to operate the Shelter," said Vik. "We estimate the endowment fund will provide between $3,000 and $5,000 in annual funding these first years. That is a long way from the Shelter's annual budget of over $148,000, but we hope to increase the amount in the future to at least keep up with inflation and provide services the community has come to expect from the Shelter," he said.

Lynette Hilber, chair of the Headwaters Animal Shelter Board, welcomed the news of the fund. "We have been talking about creating an endowment for many years. We are very grateful for the generosity of our friends. We look forward to putting these funds to work at the Shelter and encouraging others to make donations."