Trees Forever reaches endowment drive milestone

Staff Writer
Story City Herald
Trees Forever reaches endowment drive milestone

Lead gift announced

during annual symposium in Cedar Rapids

As Trees Forever celebrates its 25th anniversary, the organization is looking toward the future for both new growth and stability.

The Marion-based nonprofit is growing its endowment to help ensure the continuation of its mission of planting trees, environmental stewardship and youth and volunteer involvement that began in 1989.

A significant lead gift in the group’s endowment drive was announced at the Trees Forever annual Our Woodland Legacy Symposium held in Cedar Rapids on Thursday, Dec. 4. Marty Andreas, vice-chairman of Trees Forever’s Board of Directors and a Foundation Trustee, pledged $100,000 as a matching challenge for other donations, said Shannon Ramsay, Trees Forever Founding President and CEO.

“Marty is a very engaged and active board member and we are extraordinarily grateful for his generous gift and foresight,” Ramsay said. “He has helped with everything from program sponsorship to market research and long-range planning, but his real focus is growing the endowment as a way for us to be around in the long-term.”

She called the gift from Andreas, along with a matching grant from the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation, “a great stepping stone toward our goal of $2.5 million.”

Andreas, of Solon, is retired from Archer Daniels Midland Company. He began his career in 1970 as Executive Vice-President of Corn Sweeteners in Cedar Rapids, a business he and his father purchased and later sold to ADM. Andreas comes from an agricultural background and recalls his great-uncle introducing him to gardening when he was just four years old. “I’ve been growing flowers and shrubs all my life and trees were another offshoot of that,” he said of his interest in Trees Forever.

He said he hopes the endowment grows to provide security for Trees Forever far into the future in support of its ongoing mission. His gift is in recognition of Trees Forever’s accomplishments over the past 25 years and as a way to inspire others. “You don’t have to be on the board to help an organization,” Andreas said, adding, “It makes you feel good when you can help.”

For more information about the Trees Forever endowment drive, contact Kecia Boysen, Director of Development, at 319-373-0650, ext.120 or

Trees Forever is a nonprofit organization nationally headquartered in Marion, IA that is dedicated to planting trees, encouraging volunteer and youth involvement and environmental stewardship. For over 25 years, we’ve been planting a better tomorrow. For more information visit or call 800-369-1269.