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Jerry Hill

Jerry Hill isn’t a native of Springville, but he cares about his community just the same. A public works employee at Naval Surface Warfare Center-Crane, Hill is a firm believer in giving back to his community.

“You have to give your community something when you are doing good,” Hill said. Hill and several Springville residents renovated the old Springville High School gym. The goal was to create a community center where scout meetings, athletic activities and gatherings could take place. Hill was also actively involved on the executive council of Boy Scouts of America. When Lawrence County Community Foundation came up with the “Heritage Program” concept, Springville residents gladly jumped on the bandwagon.

The program is two-fold. One component encourages outlying communities to open permanent endowment funds and form a committee of residents to determine how the interest will be spent. The advisory board composed of Springville residents will determine which Springville organizations will receive future grant funds. A bonus, the community receives a $1,000 grant from Lawrence County Community Foundation’s unrestricted fund for community projects.

Hill donated money to establish a permanent endowment for the Springville community. “I was one of four charter donors,” Hill said. “We provided enough money to get it off the ground.” The principal is invested. When it reaches $5,000, interest earned is granted back to the community. “The foundation invests the money and it becomes a gift to the community forever,” Hill said. “I plan to add to it every year.”

Hill, who contributes significantly to community projects, said helping to establish a permanent endowment was a natural thing for him to do. “The money will stay in the community,” Hill said. “That’s the driver. Grants will be spent in the community.”

The process, Hill said, was simple. “Once you get it (the endowment fund) started, it perpetuates itself,” he said. “The Community Foundation helped a lot in getting it started. They prepare paperwork for you. They handle bookkeeping and investments. The only work for the committee is recommending where the money goes. It’s so easy,” Hill added. “I’ve got confidence that the investment will earn income and it keeps going. It’s a really good deal.”

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