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McConnell Fund


The McConnell Fund at the Shasta Regional Community Foundation was established in 2001. The McConnell Foundation directors chose the Community Foundation as a funding partner because of its connection and widespread involvement in the communities they serve. The McConnell Fund accepts grant requests up to $50,000 from eligible organizations in Shasta, Siskiyou, and Tehama counties and up to $30,000 in Trinity and Modoc counties. This fund is another way The McConnell Foundation furthers its mission of helping building better communities through philanthropy. 

Grantmaking History

With a grant from The McConnell Fund, The State Theatre in Red Bluff has successfully restored the historic blade and marquee.  They celebrated the lighting of both the blade and the marquee on May 31, 2014.  The Community Foundation is honored to help The State Theatre for The Arts to further its mission to develop the theatre as a vibrant community center for innovative cultural arts programming and popular events that foster the cultural enrichment and economic sustainability of historic downtown Red Bluff. 

Tehama County Museum "cements" a $40,000 grant from The McConnell Fund of the Shasta Regional Community Foundation.  With the grant the Tehama County Museum is re-pointing the exterior bricks of the third oldest building in continuous use in Tehama County.

"We are excited to see the progress being made through this project," Hutchings said. "The Tehama County Museum put together a well thought out, integrated three part project with a multi-sourced funding plan to bring new life to an important piece of Tehama County history, and we are pleased to be able to support this effort through The McConnell Fund of the Shasta Regional Community Foundation."

"The board room of the museum was electrically charged as board President Chris Bauer announced that the museum's project to re-point the bricks was funded,"said Vice President Darrell Mullins. "That building was built in 1859-60 as a school house and Masonic Lodge, and is very important to the education component of our mission in the community. One might say that this is a very concrete expression of support for the museum, and we are very grateful to the Shasta Regional Community Foundation and The McConnell Fund."

"I like the garden because it gets me outta my room. It also reminds me of when I was little and I helped my grandpa with our garden. I love fresh fruits and veggies. It's just cool that we have something to do while we are in here." This is what Barbara, a 14 year old detainee of the Charlie Byrd Youth Corrections Center in Yreka, said of the garden constructed on the grounds of the facility.

This attitude is common amongst the youth at the Center. On average CBYCC holds about 16 minors per day. These young people range in age, ethnicity and socio-economic background but a common need is that of learning and healthy interaction. Thus the idea of a therapeutic garden came about.

A garden is a powerful experiential tool that can connect people with science, nutrition, food production, ecological responsibility and community beautification. Realizing all these positive benefits the educational team at J. Everett Barr School (the school associated with CBYCC) worked with their partners at the University of California Agricultural Extension, to bring a specific curriculum called Teams with Intergenerational Support to their students. TWIGS focuses on hands-on learning through the use of senior citizen advisors. This interaction between the generations not only proved to produce good plant life but it produced healthy interaction for the students. Bethany, age 17, remarked "What really amazed me was how well my peers were able to get along. We were able to use teamwork and we were able to build up our relationships through working on projects together. "

Stacey Jackson, CBYCC Superintendent, spoke about the garden "The garden project is special because it gives the youth the ability to see things grow and connect with the earth. It gives them a sense of life. Through a garden, the whole life cycle is shown to them." Stacey told an especially poignant story about a group of minors who planted some Morning Glories in the hard soil by the fence. The students were sure the flowers would not thrive in the unfriendly soil. Yet, sure enough, the flowers bloomed and filled the garden with color. The students were amazed at the idea that things can grow even in the hardest of circumstances.

Today, with the help of an $11,000 grant from The McConnell Fund at the Community Foundation, the Charlie Byrd Youth Corrections Center has a fenced in garden area with raised fruit, vegetable and flower beds, and a greenhouse equipped with electricity and plumbing. Because of this program youth who have ended up on the tougher side of life have been given a thing of beauty. Often, students who spend a great deal of time with the garden get to take a plant home with them as a reminder of the patience and persistence it takes to make something beautiful where there was once nothing before.

Members, patrons and friends of the Yreka Preservation Corporation in Yreka are grateful for a dry and safe patio gazebo venue available again in their community. Built in 1972 as a community feature in the City of Yreka Historic District, it had fallen to disrepair and was no longer building code compliant, eliminating the opportunity for safe use during community events. 

Having a waterproof roof on the gazebo in Preservation Square made possible by a grant from The McConnell Fund has been an important step in a community that steps up to honor its history at every turn.

In 1988 when Shasta County faced major budget cuts, Fall River Valley was left without a library. A group of committed citizens took it upon themselves to call every name in the phone book to ask for donations of books, time and money. This effort worked and the Fall River Library emerged again. Over the years the library was housed in various locations that were both small and remote. Yet that changed in 2005 when a generous citizen donated a large building situated ideally on Highway 299. This building was a blessing but it was also in desperate need of repair. People from age 4 to 94 volunteered labor and businesses donated building supplies. The Community Foundation was proud to partner with the remodel of the new library through a $30,000 grant from the Community Foundation’s McConnell Fund.

Today the library is busier than ever with patronage jumping from around eight people a day to over thirty! A recent addition of an outdoor reading garden and a beautiful mural painted by Patricia Carlson and provided through grants from the Community Foundation enhance the library even more. The mural weaves its way arounding the outside of the library with the words "Libraries are for reading, gardens are for growing, grow and learn with us!"

The Community Foundation has awarded over $46,000 in grants to the library find it a privilege to join with the library to bring the joy of reading and art to East Shasta County.

A grant from The McConnell Fund at the Community Foundation made it possible for Metteer Elementary to build a new playground for their students.  Students and teachers alike were grateful for the new equipment and playground that provides a great place to exercise, develop motor skills and most of all - have fun! 

The Northern California Veterans Support Group honor Shasta County Servicemen killed in action in the Vietnam war with a sculpture and pedestal installed at the Northern California Veterans Cemetery. The project, made possible by a grant from The McConnell Fund was celebrated by over 700 attendees during the 2016 Veterans Day ceremony.



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