Judith Loiselle Rubenzer has been tracing her family history for nearly 15 years- and she's found a walth of information in the library of the Chippewa County Genealogical Society.
It's there that the Hammond woman has been able to review marriage records, city directories, yearbooks, plat maps and even some of her ancestors' photos.
"And yet, as much as I've been up there, there's still so much I haven't even had time to look at," Rubenzer said. "I've been going there since about 2000, and there's still a lot that I have to do there."
Knowing the Chippewa County Genealogical Society is a volunteer-run group, Rubenzer - a Chippewa Falls native - wanted to see that an organization offering such vital information would be safe and secure for years to come.
With that goal in mind, she started a fund through the Community Foundation of Chippewa County.
"I've had the benefit of being able to use all of their records, and I just thought, well, if the membership falls off or something and they need additional money to keep operating, at least there'll be something there."
Rubenzer opened a seedling fund for the organization with a $1,000 donation and intends to contribute additional money each year until the fund reaches the endowed level.
Chippewa Falls resident Anne Keller, the Genealogical Society's newsletter editor and a longtime volunteer, is appreciative of Rubenzer's generous gesture and noted that their financial support typically comes from memberships, gifts and donations. Keller hopes others will contribute to the fund too and envisions distributions ultimately supporting ongoing projects.
Collectively, the donated dollars will help Keller and other volunteers "assure the organization an ongoing presence in the community and be able to help people recognize the impact their families have had, not only on the community but on their own lives," she said.
The fund "will ensure our viability in the future," added volunteer Marcy Ruff of Boyd. "Thanks to Judith's generosity, we can be more than what we are now."
Distributions support operations of the Genealogical Society.