Thursday, April 15, 2021, Ed Dowd, Executive Director of the Mattoon Chamber of Commerce was a guest on 101.3 WMCI.  Here is a brief description of what he covered during the interview:

Mattoon Community Trust: Since 1985, the Mattoon Chamber of Commerce has had the honor of administering the Mattoon Community Trust. The Mattoon Community Trust was established as part of the estate of Carrie Young upon her passing. Carrie Young was enamored with the city of Mattoon and wanted to develop a trust to be used “To provide funds for the betterment of the Community of the City of Mattoon, Illinois and for the benefit of its residents.” Carrie stated that the funds needed to be “invested wisely” and that 90% of the income is to be annually distributed to organizations that fall under section 501 (c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Service code, which includes not for profit organizations. Steve Ryan, the attorney who helped her create the trust, said Carrie was very interested in supporting parks and recreational activities which all members of the community of Mattoon could enjoy. She also wanted to build in flexibility so many different non-profits that help the community could benefit.

The Mattoon Chamber has worked with The First National Bank, (Now Washington Savings Bank), since the trust’s inception.  Based on the help from the bank and their investment strategies we have been able to distribute over $750,000 to sixty-five different non-profits organizations in Mattoon since 1985. This is more than triple the initial amount that Carrie Young granted in her will.

It has always been a great pleasure for the Chamber to distribute these funds to these worthy organizations throughout the last thirty-six years. The biggest recipient of the funds has been the Mattoon Area Family YMCA. Many other organizations have received funds, including Mid-Illinois Big Brothers Big Sisters, Douglas-Hart Nature Center,  Mattoon Public Library,  and the Mattoon Depot Project, just to name a few. The Mattoon Rotary Club and the Kiwanis Club of Mattoon have both received funds to help them in their support of improvements to local park renovation projects.

Fit-2-Serve was one of the fund’s newest recipients over the last few years. It received funding to help with its community kitchen and space for observation of their community garden. Another new recipient of the funding is the Mattoon Community Dog Park project headed by a volunteer committee that is working on creating a dog park for Mattoon residents.

If you know of a worthy non-profit organization that could use additional funding? Applications are now available for the Mattoon Community Trust grants on our website to download, print off and complete. You can also pick them up at the Mattoon Chamber office. It is important to note that over 75% of the funding must benefit the community of Mattoon and its residents. The deadline to complete the application is Friday September 30, 2022. The recipients of the grants will be notified and awarded the funds in December of this year. If you have any questions about the process, give us a call at 217-235-5661.

You can listen to the complete interview here: