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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Longtime Mary Allison Board member retires

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Longtime Mary Allison Trust Fund Board Member Jim Poor (left) accepts his honorary plaque from fellow member Joe Ferguson at Tuesday's luncheon.
No one can say for sure how long Jim Poor has been a board member for the Mary Allison Trust Fund.

"Nobody really knows how many years he served, but it is over 40," said Jim Jackson, board president.

Board members and local educators and administrators gathered for a luncheon Tuesday to honor Poor, who is stepping down from his seat on the board, and to hear stories of what the Mary Allison fund, which is dedicated to assisting the children of Putnam County's low income families, has done for local youth.

Poor was presented with a plaque for his service.

"I figured they were going to make a big deal out of this," he said. "Even though I told them not to."

For Poor, watching the Mary Allison Fund grow and thrive has been rewarding.

"We've had our ups and downs," he said. "I've really enjoyed my years with it. Thank-you."

Poor will be replaced on the board by Darren Hughes, a Cloverdale High School and DePauw University graduate who works for Dixie Chopper.

"I told him it's a 40-year term," Jackson joked. "We are really pleased to have Darren with us. He'll be a great addition."

Students in all of Putnam County's districts receive assistance from the fund, which was established on June 20, 1896.

"When we're here, it gives us a chance to see things from the other side," said Jackson. "We don't know what's going to happen with these little guys we're helping; we don't even know who they are. But it's good to know we're planting the seeds of something good."

Kirstie McClamroch, counselor at Bainbridge Elementary, has seen that goodness firsthand.

"A family was going to have to choose between a hearing aid and glasses, both of which the student desperately needed," she said.

Through the fund, the student was able to get both.

Gwen Morris, principal of Deer Meadow Elementary in Greencastle, said she saw Mary Allison funding be used in a different way this past year.

"We have a student who has a young mother… she's single and has a 3-year-old and a 5-year-old," Morris said. "They had no gas in their house, and this child told his teacher he had been taking cold showers for four months. We paid the deposit so they could get their gas turned on … now they have warm water."

After hearing several stories of how money from the fund had been utilized, Jackson was optimistic about the future.

"I feel energized to go out and have another great year," he said.

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