Riedel Foundation Trustees Award $337,000 in Grants to Hannibal Non-profits in 2023

 The Riedel Foundation hosted a reception to honor 28 non-profit organizations who received grant awards in 2023.  Those grants totaled $337,381.

Though some service categories overlap, in a broad sense, the Riedel Foundation awarded 15 grants that specifically helped children. Four grants benefited the arts. Three grants addressed food insecurity and six grants targeted poverty, addiction, housing, and healthcare.

In the past year, trustees awarded $74,000 in matching grants to seven organizations.

“Matching grants don’t work for every situation, but when it’s applied right, these grants can double the amount of money an organization receives.  That’s why we really like to award them when we can,” said Lead Trustee Michael Bukstein. “It’s a real incentive for people to donate to the causes they believe in.”

For example, a matching grant to Hannibal LaGrange University’s Scarlet and Gold Auction was particularly effective. HLGU was able to raise just over $25,000 at the fundraiser, and the Riedel Foundation matched it, bringing in more than $50,000 in donations.

The largest grant award of the year went to the YMCA of Hannibal. It received $100,000 to supply scholarships so that the Y and its programs are available to anyone, regardless of income. The YMCA also got $7,500 for swim safety lessons for Hannibal third graders.

“People often ask why such a significant portion of our available grant money goes to the Y,” said Riedel Foundation Administrator Sarah Deien. “There’s a good reason for that. When the trust was drawn up, it was originally called the George H. Riedel Trust to Benefit the Hannibal YMCA. It was a cause that was very dear to Mr. Riedel. However, the trust also provided for any non-profit that serves Hannibal residents. The Trustees changed the name to reflect the broader mission of the Riedel Foundation, but they still want to honor Mr. Riedel’s legacy by substantially supporting the YMCA.”

The Riedel Foundation has five Trustees who volunteer their time. The Trustees are Bukstein, Bill Craigmiles, Paul Richards, April Baldwin, and Michael Gaines.

At the reception, Deien noted the amount preparation the Trustees put into deciding how to award grants. “It’s not unusual for our board packets to run 75 pages,” Deien said. “The Trustees come totally prepared for each meeting. They know the backgrounds of the organizations that apply. They’ve reviewed the proposals, the budgets, and all the financial information. They talk each application over respectfully, not always agreeing at first, but always coming to a consensus.”

Education was a major focus of Riedel grants in 2023. Riedel funding brought the Junior Achievement program to Hannibal students. It established a scholarship fund that provides five $1,000 scholarships to Hannibal High School seniors. The foundation supported HLGU in its mission. It funded grants that provided bike safety education, swim safety education, and sexual education for older students. It awarded money to make playground upgrades and provide pre-K curriculum at St. John’s School. Hannibal children learned puppetry and dance through the Juneteenth organization. The Riedel Foundation also brought music and theater into the school districts through a number of grant awards. It was also instrumental in bringing the CEO Program into the Hannibal school district. The program trains the next generation of entrepreneurs, and its first class of students will graduate this year.

The reception also recognized an organization called Faith Bridge, which is headquartered in Moberly. The group expanded to offer a new program in Hannibal called Carry On. It helps out children who are aging out of the foster care system. Faith Bridge partners with nationwide businesses with excess inventory. They used a $5,000 grant award to purchase $185,000 worth of furnishings for foster children to start a new, independent life.

The George H. Riedel Foundation was established in 2000. Mr. Riedel and his father served as Directors of F&M Bank for more than 90 years. To date, the Riedel Foundation has awarded approximately six million dollars in grants to non-profit organizations that serve Hannibal.

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