Answering the call for their community

SETH SCHMIDT and Jeanine Vandendriessche have been working diligently over the last month to raise money for an endowment fund for a new community foundation in Tracy. Photo / Per Peterson

By Per Peterson

Jeanine Vandendriessche and Seth Schmidt might seem like just two average citizens who want nothing but the best for Tracy residents.

But when it comes to raising money, they’re so much more.

Just weeks after volunteering to reach out to community members to raise $25,000 toward an endowment fund for a new Tracy Area Community Foundation — money that will be matched by the Southwest Initiative Foundation (SWIF) — the dynamic duo raised $8,500. As of this Tuesday, that total has grown to $23,000. Not bad for two retirees, who saw a need and decided to double down on their commitment to getting a new community center built.

“It was just something that needed to be done,” Schmidt said. “We knew establishing a foundation was a good thing and felt that it would have good long-term implications for the community, and it was a necessary first step to raising money for a community center.”

Schmidt said when he signed up to raise money, he had no doubt he and Vandendriessche could raise the necessary money to trigger a SWIF match.

“I didn’t either,” Vandendriessche said. “We went into it with the attitude that we could do it. We knew that it was something that would benefit the town. We’ve got good people in Tracy and knew that they would come forward.”

See this week’s Headlight Herald for more on this article.