June Newsletter


Endowed Gifts Keep Giving

Community Foundation Announces Grants

Understanding the power of endowed giving, some made a gift when the Foundation opened its doors in 1991; others made a gift as recently as this week. Thanks to the generosity of local residents past and present, the Community Foundation of Whitley County, Inc. awarded over $100,000 in grants to worthy projects and non-profit organizations during its first funding session of 2018.  The list of recipients includes:
  • The Center for Whitley County Youth, $17,000, a portion of which will be used to expand programming to reach South Whitley youth, made possible by a grant from the Andy & Toni More Community Fund

  • The Whitley County YMCA, $15,000 to provide day camp scholarships to local youth, made possible in part by The Jerry Busche Community Fund; the Tim & Beth Bloom Community Fund; and the Don & Jane Langeloh Community Fund

  • Mission 25, $15,000 to assist with costs of opening a new prevention center made possible in part by a grant from the Don & Sharlene Berkshire Community Fund

  • TROY School, $12,000 to assist with transportation costs made possible by grants from the Donna K. Harl Fund and the Gary & Ann Dillon Community Fund

  • Whitley County 4-H, $10,000 as matching funds toward construction of a handicapped accessible ramp and sidewalk made possible in part by the Greg & Ann Fahl Community Fund and the William & Barbara Overdeer Community Fund

  • Whitley County Corrections, $10,000 to help provide mental health assessments to criminal offenders, made possible in part with a grant from The Women’s Giving Circle for Women’s’ Health

  • Camp STEAM Ahead, $7,500 to help local youth engage in learning about Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics this summer made possible in part by a grant from the Don Armstrong Community Fund

  • Community Harvest Food Bank, $5,000 to support the Farm Wagon Program in Whitley County, made possible in part by grants from The Jean & Roger Long Fund and the Ferber Family Fund

  • South Whitley Youth League, $5,000 toward the cost of sports equipment made possible by a grant from the Jack & Judy Moore Community Fund

  • Giving Gardens of Indiana, $3,000 toward the cost of materials for children’s gardening programs made possible by the Greater Good Fund
  • Fort Wayne Philharmonic, $2,000 to support the annual Holiday Pops Concert in Columbia City made possible in part with a grant from the Rosemary Steiner Community Fund
  • Lutheran Outdoor Ministries Summer Reading Camp, $2,250 for up to six local students to attend this camp designed for reading remediation made possible by The Greater Good Fund

  • Royal Family Kids Camp, $2,000 toward the cost of items and supplies for a summer camp for foster children from Whitley County, made possible in part with funding from the Walter & Dorothy Weick Memorial Fund

  • Camp Whitley, $1,000 toward scholarships for Whitley County youth, made possible in part with funding from the Walter & Dorothy Weick Memorial Fund

  • Churubusco Public Library, $1,000 for outdoor concerts, made possible in part with a grant from the Art’s Alive! Fund

  • Columbia City Main Street, $1,000 for a movie on the courthouse square made possible by the Greater Good Fund

  • Whitko High School Band, $1,000 toward the cost of new uniforms from the Alan Fox Community Fund
Last summer’s campers (pictured below) had plenty of fun at Camp Whitley. A recent grant from the Community Foundation will provide scholarships for children in foster care to attend Camp this summer.

ISMS 8th Grade Charitable Champions Award Grants

After weeks of learning about civic responsibility, volunteerism, and non-profit organizations, several students at ISMS had the opportunity to make a real difference in their community.  The 8th grade class participated in a series of weekly lessons followed by a five-week final project. Based on a project based learning model, groups of 4-6 students had the opportunity to select a non-profit organization to study. They learned about the organization’s mission and discovered the work they do to carry out that mission. They also researched how the organization is supported. Students then identified a need for their non-profit, developed a budget and ultimately wrote a grant application to H.A.N.D.S. (Helping Achieve New Directions through Students; a youth component of the Community Foundation of Whitley County). Finalists presented their work to H.A.N.D.S. for funding consideration and H.A.N.D.S. awarded grants to the projects best meeting criteria and with the most merit. In addition to the Camp STEAM Ahead award shown below, the following grants were also awarded:
  • The Impact Center, $555 made possible thanks to the work of Elizabeth Clark and Brock Williamson

  • The Humane Society of Whitley County, $220 for vaccinations made possible thanks to the work of Gus Stender, Matthew Hoskins, Peyton Pope and Noah Frinefrock

  • The Center for Whitley County Youth, $450 for a projector and an icemaker made possible thanks to the work of Karisa Randazzo, Hannah Hoffman and Taylor Ellis

  • The Humane Society of Whitley County, $880 for heartworm treatments made possible thanks to the work of Jacob Straub

  • The Whitley County Salvation Army, $500 for supplies made possible by the work of Abby Shroam, Jada Cofelt, and Davin VenHolt

  • Mission 25, $906 for a dining set, made possible by the work of Davin Harman, Austin Hall, Maddox Faust, Addi Jordan, Tabitha Barcus, and Lilly Lane
Tara Kumichel accepts an $800 grant for Camp STEAM Ahead from 8th grade Charitable Champions Hailey Whiteleather, Kayla Lee, Seth Mills and Jack Mills. 

Bob Smith

The Community Foundation lost a true friend and leader with the passing of R. Alston “Bob” Smith on April 26th of this year. He was a member of the founding board of directors and for years served as chairman of our Finance and Investment Committee. The epitome of a good steward, he guided the Foundation’s business decisions and cared for the organization’s financial interests as though they were his own. He was trustworthy, kind-hearted and in many ways, a good moral compass for all who knew him. We extend our sympathy to his wife Kaye, daughter Laura, son Lane and their families. Years ago, Bob took responsibility for initiating an endowment fund to benefit Stepping Stones Preschool at the First Church of God. To honor his many contributions to the Foundation and his church, the Community Foundation matched all memorial gifts made to the Stepping Stones Endowment Fund in Bob’s name. We were blessed to have him in our corner.
Bob Smith, far right, pictured with Greg Fahl, David Smith, and Rob Marr. Each of the four gentlemen served as President of the Community Foundation for two years.
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Camp Lend a Hand

This summer several local high school students have been selected to take part in a unique, week-long learning experience that promises to enhance their understanding of philanthropy and the roles non-profit organizations play in our community. Chosen for their leadership aspirations, desire to give back to their community and volunteer experience, the students will get behind-the-scenes tours of local non-profits, learn about their operating challenges and have the opportunity to lend a hand through service projects. This is the first year for the Camp which is offered by the Community Foundation and will be led by Brooks Walker, a sophomore at Huntington University who is employed at the Foundation as a Lilly Intern this summer. Brooks brings a wealth of philanthropy experience with him having been a five-year member of our H.A.N.D.S. Foundation during high school. Our gratitude extends to the Dekko Foundation, a longtime partner in youth philanthropy initiatives, for the grant they provided to allow us to pilot this program this summer.

Board of Directors

Don Armstrong
Sharlene Berkshire
Tim Bloom
Gary Dillon
Greg Fahl
Carl Jacquay
Rhonda Jones
Marcia McNagny
Andy More
George Schrumpf
Gloria Smith
Jacie Worrick

Staff & Consultants

September McConnell, CEO
Vanessa Bills, COO
John Lefever, Development
Sheena Stewart, Business Manager
Andrew Thompson, H.A.N.D.S.
John Slavich, A.C.T.S.
Chelsey Barrell, Communications Coordinator
Brooks Walker, Lilly Intern
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