With a strong sense of community and a vision for the future, it was natural for the Pickerign family to fulfill the community needs of generations to come by starting an unrestricted fund at the Community Foundation of Chippewa County (CFCC).
Bill and Nancy Pickerign were married for 59 years with the majority of those years spent in Chippewa Falls. They raised their five kids to have a strong sense of community. "Community was important, so important that Dad wouldn't let us shop anywhere besides Chippewa Falls," recalls Cindy Lee, Bill and Nancy's daughter. "He always said, 'lf they don't have it in Chippewa Falls, then we don't need it.'"
Bill began his career as an agricultural teacher after graduating from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. Eventually, his career pathway brought him into banking where he became the president of Northwestern Bank and served on the Federal Reserve Board. The values of community from Northwestern Bank paired perfectly with Bill and Nancy's beliefs, leading to their first introduction of the CFCC.
"We have a field of interest fund that was started in 2007," notes Kent Pickerign, son of Bill and Nancy. "Our family faced a tragedy that prompted many donations from surrounding communities. Northwestern Bank made us aware of CFCC just in its early stages, and we decided to start our first fund, The WANE Fire Safety and Prevention Endowment Fund, in memory of our brother's wife and children." Seeing their first fund grow to impact every school across Chippewa County proved how much can be accomplished for future generations.
"It's all about the importance of community and supporting our community's needs, both current needs and ones we don't know are coming years from now," says Nancy Pickerign. "CFCC has such a wide variety of uses for the funds and we thought it would be good for the Board to decide what gifts are granted, now and in the future."
Grants are made at the discretion of the Foundations Board of Directors.