Founders Annual Trophy
This annual award from THE BENTON COUNTY FOUNDATION was established by Bob and Billie Holcomb and their family to honor an outstanding Benton County youth between the ages of 10 and 20. It is called The Founders’ Trophy.
In 1953, a small group of Corvallis Club Rotarians led by Percy Locey decided that a separate organization formed from the Rotary Club of Corvallis should be created to help the children of Benton County.
In 1954, a three member committee led by Dick Hanson, then President of the Rotary Club of Corvallis, was instructed to accept the generous offer from attorney John Thomas to secure the extensive legal details to form what was to be called “The Benton County Foundation.”
That same year, the first large gifts to start the Foundation were provided by Bob Johnson, owner and publisher of the Corvallis Times for $1,000, and the Rotary Club of Corvallis which provided $1,500. Thus The Benton County Foundation was formed. That $2,500 has grown to a current balance of over $9,400,000.
Out of this small beginning has grown a significant community asset, the story of which is told in the new 2005 Edition of the Benton County Foundation book which is available on request from the Benton County Foundation office(541-753-1603).
The Foundation’s growth didn’t just happen. It took a vision and a commitment to that vision. Some think that we should not forget the founders who made this dream happen.
And we haven’t. The board of directors, through the generosity of the Bob & Billie Holcomb family, have established an annual award in the name of the Foundation’s founders.
It is to be called the Founders’ Trophy and it will combine the elements of a three legged stool.
The first leg represents that small group of Rotarians who looked to Rotary International and its ideals in considering “Service Above Self” and decided to help the youth of Benton County.
The second leg represents those people the founders secured to make the first large two donations totaling $2,500 and the others who added financially and therefore created the Foundation.
And the third leg represents youth itself. Youth by the thousands have benefited from the funds provided by the Foundation during its more than 50-year history.