Dear Partners,

“I am honored to announce Drs. Matt and Grace Mims as our 2017 Annual Fund Campaign Chairs. This year, Community Partners is focusing our priority efforts around mental and physical wellness. The Mims are a reflection of our community’s strength around mental health. Individually, they have served a variety of leadership roles for Community Partners since they arrived in our community. We also enjoyed time with their son, Griffin, as an high school intern in our office and Buffalo County Youth Board Member.
We thank this family for their commitment to mental wellness, their commitment to heal a community, their commitment to lead this year’s campaign to spread messages of hope and healing. Refresh with them in this year. Learn more about our partnership through their eyes. Invest in Building a Healthier Buffalo County.”
– Denise Zwiener, Executive Director

Matt grew up in an inner city suburb of Detroit and worked very hard to get the schooling necessary to be able to teach. Matt and Grace met in graduate school and have been working together ever since! Grace is a Licensed Independent Mental Health Practitioner and has been training counselors for 25 years. She currently serves as the Chair for the UNK Counseling and School Psychology Department. They both now work in the Counseling and School Psychology Department at UNK. Their son Griffin, is a sophomore at UNL studying communications and international studies.

“Our son, Griffin, was a member of the Youth Advisory Board for 6 years and so I learned early on that Community Partners was about promoting safe and healthy communities,” said Grace.

“I have always admired all the work that Community Partners does to help our communities grow stronger. When I was informed that for the next year many of the programs would be focused on mental health, the decision to be the campaign chairs just seemed natural. Not only do I teach mental health at UNK, I am a firm believer that communities need to promote mental health as being a natural part of any community,” said Matt.

Grace added, “There is nothing like collaboration and pulling together of resources, expertise, and effort. Community Partners does this in all of their work. They are also able to multiply efforts. Each dollar raised they multiply it by six times through grant funding.”

Mental health has become a growing need in the community. Grace says, “Even though mental health training and services have advanced tremendously there is still a stifling silence because of the terrible shame that comes with mental illness. As more teens come forward and ask for help they will see that our community is responsive and that they are not alone.”

Matt said, “Our community must continue to remember that there has always been mental health concerns, as recent events are not new to our community. We must put aside the rule by which we judge others, to be there for others in the way that is needed.”

Funds donated this year will assist Buffalo County Community Partners elevate mental health and physical wellness issues in the community, and facilitate partners to create change.

To kick off the 2017 Annual Campaign we are hosting the Annual Block Party and having a lemonade stand. Pledge to buy a lemonade to refresh your community’s mental health and physical wellness, then come refresh yourself at the block party. Help us reach our Block Party campaign goal of $40,000.

Visit and pledge to join your community in

elevating mental health by:

• offering behavioral helath coaches for schools
• offering social emotional tools to school and pre-schools
• provide messages of hope and healing to the community

and physical wellness by:

• Offering workplaces resources to engage workforce
• Researching affordability of fresh fruits and vegetables
• Changing community norms around walking and biking

Information on efforts in your community are available at or watch for the 2017 Annual Report to be released in Buffalo County newspapers on June 14.

The 2017 Annual Fund Campaign annual goal is $130,000. Every dollar donated to Buffalo County Community Partners is matched six (6) times by local, state and federal grant funding. Add Your Strengths To Our Partnership by investing in Building a Healthier Buffalo County. 

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