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Memories of Future Fund's Early Days

Apr 08, 2019

by Carolyn and John Beckham, Founding Future Fund Members

Vision for Future Fund when formed:

Future Fund began as a group of friends, all of us in our 30’s, with a goal of hosting fun get-togethers that would be focused around a great cause for the benefit of our community. The idea was to make it open to all and affordable for “our age group” to participate, younger people who share a common interest in making Abilene a better place to live.

We hoped to learn more about the needs in Abilene, and encourage other like-minded people to get involved and give back. Along with that goal, was the desire to introduce the Community Foundation to younger Abilenians realizing that our community can not excel without participation of all ages.

CFA President Nancy Jones was intent on finding a new way to get younger folks involved. She asked us, along with Jackie and Bart Cox, to get together to brainstorm ways to do that in a relaxed and fun setting. The goal was to encourage new friendships and shared philanthropy. Out of these conversations, Future Fund was born!

Photo from 1996 CFA annual report. Former Valley View Elementary School Principal Ladessa White poses with Future Fund member Carolyn Beckham. Future Fund made its first grant in 1996 to fund playground equipment at Valley View Elementary.

The first party was at the beautiful home of Dian Owen on Elmwood on a warm summer day. The food was great, the music fun, the setting spectacular. Best of all, the pitch to our new friends was short! After we formed the first board, we decided to focus this new group on children’s needs. This is because all of us felt strongly that our children are truly the future of Abilene. Plus, all of us had growing families! Thus the name Future Fund!

How wonderful that this model remains much the same today— fun get-togethers to meet new people gathering for a great cause! Open to all, easy to join!

Impact of FF over the years:

Our first grant was given to just one organization –the PTA of a local elementary school in a more economically challenged area of Abilene. They were trying to raise money to build the school’s first outdoor playground for the children. As I recall, board members joined in to help construct this playground after it was purchased. Such a fun project! Since then, so many different groups and wonderful causes have been supported.

Congratulations to all of the members a Future Fund, and to the next million dollars that will bless our community!


Other News

Future Fund Awards $92k During 2024 Grant Cycle

Nonprofits serving children and youth in the Abilene community awarded Future Fund grants.

Open Road Concert Proceeds Provide Grant for Abilene Heritage Square

$50,000 grant to support the Abilene Heritage Square capital project.

More than $114k in grants awarded to Coleman County nonprofits for 2023

See the list of Coleman County nonprofits awarded.