Your Generosity Will Help Make 2014 Outstanding!

Editor's note: If you are interested in making a contribution to the Center for Rural Affairs or Granary Foundation, or have any questions, contact Nick Bergin, Development Director, at 402.687.2100 ext. 1035 or

In the last three months, we completed two big fundraising pushes. Thanks to you, they were both major successes! 

We challenged supporters to raise $24,150 during the month of December to match $24,150 raised by a small group of dedicated donors. Not only did you help us meet our goal, you helped us beat it! 

Our December email push was also a resounding success. In total, you helped us raise $54,945.50. Great job! We featured stories from individual staff about their favorite holiday memory. Here's a sample from a story by Casey Francis.

Snow Mountain

When I was a kid in the town of Lyons, Nebraska, the scraping sound of snowplows began before I woke up. I would watch as the snow plows rumbled down my street, feeling the cold as I leaned my forehead against the window, anxiously waiting for that mountain of snow to form in the corner lot at South Third and Main Street.

You see, the city crew used that empty lot to hold snow pushed off the streets of town. It didn’t matter whether two inches or two feet fell, they piled as much as they could to form a wintery playground for the kids, even it was just a small mound.

A time or two each winter, the forecasted blizzard delivered on its promise, and the city workers did too. The pile would become Snow Mountain, eastern Nebraska’s own Chimney Rock. We’d burrow tunnels, launch snowballs, and play King of the Mountain until our fingers ached with cold. I’m sure you know the feeling.

Snow Mountain probably doesn’t exist anymore. Today, it’d be considered a hazardous liability. While that pile of winter’s waste was a welcome sight for us, it served as a somber reminder that a once successful business was no longer there. That’s where McMonie’s Grocery once stood.

In small towns though, changes create valuable opportunities. Today, the lot on the corner of South Third and Main is not McMonie’s Grocery, nor is it the location of Snow Mountain. Instead, that location is the home of the Lyons town library, which houses the McMonie’s Reading Center.

Rural America is a changing landscape. The Center for Rural Affairs works to shape that change for small towns, businesses, and family farms and ranches. We’re glad you’re along with us for the ride.

We still have a ways to go to reach our goal of $175,000 by next September. So far we’ve raised $102,000 from individual donors, so only $73,000 more to go. Thank you for being part of our team. There’s a lot to accomplish, and, thanks to you, this promises to be an exciting year!

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