Boone County gets noticed

(This column was initially published in the Albion News)

By Jim Dickerson

I’m glad to report Boone County again received great publicity during one of our sessions at the annual Nebraska Press Association Convention last weekend in Kearney.

Nebraska Community Foundation presented the program at our Saturday lunch on the transfer of wealth now taking place in our state and how it can make a difference in the future of communities.

Readers may recall a story we published in March by Flatwater Free Press about the successes that Albion and Boone County have had in building new community facilities in recent years.

That story has been published in many newspapers across the state, and it was again featured in the presentation by Jeff Yost, president and CEO of NCF, and Carrie Malek-Madani, director of marketing and communications.

There was also a video presentation on the efforts of Albion and Boone County to invest in themselves through philanthropy. Some 100 journalists from across Nebraska were on hand to see and hear this presentation, and the hand-outs at each table included a full copy of the story.

Of course, several other success stories were shared from around the state, including McCook, Red Cloud and Valley County.

Several of our newspaper friends stopped by after the lunch just to say: “Wow! There’s a lot happening in Boone County.” And, while we don’t take credit for the success of these projects, we do like to think we helped with them.

Main purpose of this presentation was to kick off the statewide “Five to Thrive” campaign by NCF, which aims to get people thinking about enriching the future of their home communities.

A recent study shows that Nebraska’s current and future generations have a tremendous opportunity coming up in the next 10 years, when some $100 billion will transfer from one generation to the next.

The simple concept is this: If the current generation leaves just five percent of their assets to their community, area or NCF, it will ensure your family’s legacy and also help your hometown, area and state thrive.

In Boone County itself, some $600 million will transfer to the next generation during the coming decade. If local foundations can capture just five percent of that wealth transfer, it would be an investment of $30 million back to this area.

This is huge for the future generations of Boone County residents. It goes a long way toward bringing back the next generation of farmers, ranchers and business people, and in making our area more attractive to new residents.

We have already seen what philanthropy can accomplish. Gifts have helped bring improvements like the Boone County Ag & Education Center, Boone Beginnings, a walking trail, new facilities at the GSS Albion Wolf Home and much more.

We’ve seen this work in impressive fashion, but there is more to do. I’ve mentioned the need for more “affordable” housing in this space several times before, and I know the AEDC and other organizations and individuals are working to fill this need. This is one area that will take time to accomplish, especially with the current inflation taking a toll—but it will get done!

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