While Hermann didn’t quite make that leap — it has about 2,500 residents today compared with Philadelphia’s 1.5 million — parts of its past have contributed to the present.
The unexpectedly ideal conditions for grape-growing planted the early seeds for today’s wine industry, which attracts visitors from across the region — especially St. Louis, which is just about 90 minutes to the east — to sample the area’s distinctive drinkability.
But there are others who call the town home year-round, and it’s for them that the Community Foundation of the Hermann Area exists.
Since 2005, the foundation — which is an affiliate of the Community Foundation of the Ozarks — has worked to meet local needs both of individuals and community causes. As a result, it has distributed more than $3.3 million in grants to the community. The foundation also holds assets totaling $3,729,984 as of June 2023.
The genesis of the CFHA is tied to fundraising for cancer patients. Before the creation of the foundation, the community was collectively raising funds for a nonprofit that didn’t directly benefit local individuals.
“They generated a fairly good amount of money, but it never came back to the community,” says Kraettli, who also serves as president of the CFHA. “They said, ‘Why are we generating all this to send it off someplace, and we don’t have any benefit from the community?’”