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  • Writer's pictureNonprofit Learning Lab

CGSC Foundation Raises Funds with Custom Designed Ornament

Updated: Jun 9, 2023

This is a guest blog post and is being posted with permission from Beacon Design.

The Command and General Staff College Foundation and Beacon Design began their partnership back in 2006 when they started their first custom designed ornament program together.

To give you a bit of history, the CGSC Foundation is a 501 (C) (3) tax-exempt, non-profit educational foundation, located in Fort Leavenworth, KS. The Foundation provides resources and support to the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College (CGSC).  Their mission is to support the College in three areas: Scholarships, Outreach, and Soldier & Family Support. Their overall vision is to support the development of leaders of character and competence for ethical service to the nation.

The Foundation sets out to give military students the full experience of a traditional master’s program. Given that the Army and Government have fiscal priorities, the Foundation helps by providing students with classroom activities and college festivities like speakers and event nights. The Foundation also supports and funds family programming. A student’s CGSC assignment is a time in their military career when their lives slow down and they have time to prioritize their family. With this in mind, the Foundation implements support programs like the Children’s Library at the Fort Leavenworth Library.

Over the last 14 years, the CGSC Foundation has raised more than $9 million to support their mission for students and their families.

Custom Designed Ornaments

Director of Operations Lora Morgan says that in 2007, the Foundation opened a new gift store. The store is located inside of the Lewis and Clark Building on the CGSC grounds. Their hope was to create a fundraising idea for the store that would commemorate the first year’s opening and become an annual tradition. Thus began the idea of an annual ornament program.

In addition to selling as a traditional ornament, the Foundation also frames the keepsake. Both the gift shop and other local vendors sell the framed ornament as a unique alternative for the graduates. In fact, specific ornaments from the collection have become pieces in a diploma box package sold to graduates.

In effort to reach as many faculty, students and families as possible, the CGSC Foundation also sell their ornaments at the Fort Leavenworth Spouse’s luncheons and the Frontier Army Museum Gift Shop. The ornament theme is typically centered around Fort Leavenworth in order to maintain appeal to their audience. As a result, their customers enjoy purchasing the keepsake as a token of remembrance during their stay in the community.

A Fundraising Idea for the Win

On October 24, 2019, the CGSC Foundation launched the newest addition to their annual ornament collection! This year, they are introducing what they believe will be a great staple to their collection, the ceremonial U.S. Flag. This beautiful and iconic symbol of America has Fort Leavenworth, Kansas etched down the flagpole. The top of the pole includes the CGSC school crest. The ornament is 24 kt gold polished brass, screen printed with vibrant coloring, hand assembled and made in the U.S.A.

The CGSC Foundation’s idea to raise funds with a unique annual ornament has been just one of their many successful fundraising achievements.  The foundation continues to improve the college experience for so many military students and their families. A spouse of an Army officer herself, Lora shares that her favorite part of her job is talking with the soldiers at CGSC. While she says the foundation is always very busy with many responsibilities to juggle, the challenges of being a non-profit organization are worth it’s rewards.

If you would like to purchase the 2019 CGSC ornament, the Foundation can take orders on their Facebook page or by phone at 913.651.0624.



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