2019 Building Community Award

Continuing the Legacy of Giving

In partnership with the Opus Foundation®, in 2015 we launched the Gerry Rauenhorst Building Community Award to honor our founder's legacy of giving and celebrate our history. Fueled by unwavering optimism, Gerry demonstrated an entrepreneurial spirit, creativity and a commitment to finding a better way to build a business, community and value-centered life. With an enduring belief that business has a responsibility to strengthen society, Gerry ensured giving back was a cornerstone of our organization.

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2019 Building Community Award Winner

St. Mary’s Child Center

Representing Indianapolis, IN

We're proud to name St. Mary's Child Center (SMCC) the 5th annual Gerry Rauenhorst Building Community Award winner!

Early childhood education matters! SMCC knows this and offers two initiatives to educate children, prepare them for kindergarten and mitigate the negative outcomes of poverty on their lives. SMCC's Preschool and Educational Outreach Programs provide a comprehensive scope of resources to help children developmentally in all aspects.

Over 90% of SMCC's three to five-year-old students live in poverty. Children in poverty hear 30,000,000 fewer words than their middle-class peers and are read to only 25 hours before entering kindergarten. SMCC's mission is to provide the highest quality early education program to benefit their 228 students throughout five Indianapolis locations.

SMCC uses the Reggio Emilia approach to emphasize the idea that children are strong, competent and capable. Their low adult-to-child ratio ensures that children are given quality care and attention. 80% of SMCC'​s students advance to kindergarten at a five-year-old developmental level.

For over 50 years, SMCC has worked with children to create a more successful future!

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2019 Finalists

Recognizing the important contributions of all the finalists, the remaining seven each received a $5,000 grant from the Opus Foundation®.

Cradles to Crayons

Representing Chicago, IL

Cradles to Crayons provides children with the essential items they need to thrive at home, at school and at play.

Denver Kids

Representing Denver, CO

Denver Kids helps Denver Public School students facing adversity to complete high school, pursue post-secondary options and empower their futures.

Anawim Housing

Representing Des Moines, IA

Anawim develops stable homes and strengthens communities by providing access to safe, affordable housing for households who need it most.


Representing Kansas City, MO

PREP-KC provides students attending Kansas City’s urban schools with opportunities that prepare them to succeed in college and the workplace.

Special Olympics MN

Representing Minneapolis, MN

Special Olympics Minnesota provides year-round programming that empowers individuals with intellectual disabilities to transform themselves, their communities and the world.

Homeless Youth Connection

Representing Phoenix, AZ

HYC eliminates barriers to graduation for homeless youth by providing basic needs, case management, housing and plans for the future.

JJK Foundation

Representing St. Louis, MO

The vision of the Jackie Joyner-Kersee Foundation is to become nationally recognized for empowering youth for Winning In Life™.