As the Westchase District celebrates its 25th anniversary, a 10-year anniversary celebration is also underway for the Westchase District Community Fund. Founded in 2010, the WDCF was created to address community needs outside the governmental scope of Westchase District.
“As a government agency, we can’t give assessment dollars to community organizations,” noted Dave Gilkeson, Westchase District’s chief operating officer and former WDCF treasurer. “Even though there are a lot of great causes and great organizations helping those in need here in our backyard, the Westchase District cannot offer financial help to those organizations. The WDCF was created to bridge that gap.”
Led by a team of volunteer board members, the WDCF exists to organize resources to produce or support local projects, programs or events which create a positive impact on the quality of life in Westchase. As a 501(c)(3) organization, the WDCF can receive tax-deductible contributions from area businesses and make donations to other area non-profits.
Raising money and collecting resources
The Westchase District’s annual Corporate Challenge was moved under the umbrella of the WDCF and it continues to be the organization’s largest annual fundraiser. Annual breakfast fundraisers featuring governmental leaders also generate funds for WDCF. And the nonprofit is currently leading the effort to raise funds for the completion of Wilcrest Park.
“It’s not all about money though,” noted WDCF Board Chair Craig Eichhorn. “Sometimes it’s a matter of collecting and distributing donations or generating the volunteer manpower to make an event happen.”
For four years, WDCF has conducted a school supply drive to collect much needed school supplies for local public schools. Its two office supply drives, held in conjunction with the Corporate Challenge awards lunch, have generated office supplies for other local nonprofit organizations.
In its first 10 years of existence, the WDCF has raised and distributed $400,000 to local charities, including Alief ISD Auto Tech Program, Greater Houston Police Activities League, MAM’s Literacy Advance, Making It Better, Playworks, Quillian Center, Sneed Elementary School and West Houston Assistance Ministries (WHAM).
Changing needs in 2020
The organization typically supports and sponsors various local events including Westchase District’s Tales on the Trail and WHAM’s fun run. “I will really miss hosting our annual Fall Festival at Paul Revere Middle School,” said Blair Johnson, who organizes the event on behalf of WDCF. “But community needs are different this year and we’ve really focused on bringing resources to the community where those resources are needed most. We’ll bring back the Fall Festival next year.”
The WDCF board meets monthly to plan events and consider fundraising requests. For more information about the WDCF or becoming active on the board of directors, visit wdcfund.org.