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PCCF gives grants for near $125,000

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Banner Graphic/JAMIE BARRAND Representatives from 16 non-profit groups from throughout Putnam County received grant awards totaling nearly $125,000 in the Putnam County Community Foundation's fall grant cycle.They joined officers from the foundation and community leaders on Friday morning at a celebratory breakfast at the Inn at DePauw.
GREENCASTLE -- Sixteen non-profit groups from throughout Putnam County received grant awards totaling nearly $125,000 in the Putnam County Community Foundation's fall grant cycle.

Representatives from those groups joined officers from the foundation and community leaders on Friday morning at a celebratory breakfast at the Inn at DePauw.

"This is particularly special at this time of year," PCCF Grant Selection Committee Chair Phyllis Rokicki told the audience at the breakfast. "It is truly a privilege and honor to spend some time with you; to hear your stories and to be able to assist you monetarily with all the good works you do in Putnam County."

Grant recipients for the fall 2010 cycle were Two Fish Food Pantry, Greencastle Presbyterian Church, Indiana Special Olympics, Putnam County Council on Aging, Putnam County Hospital, Putnam County Public Library,Return-A-Gift, Fillmore Elementary School's Parent-Teacher Organization, Envision 2001: Putnam RISE, Citizens Advisory Committee for Industrial Development, Ivy Tech Community College, Putnam County Hospital Cancer Center and Putnam County Rural Transit.

Youth Philanthropy Grants were awarded to North Putnam Community School's Cougar Ambassadors, South Putnam Community School's Reelsville Elementary Student Council and the Cloverdale chapter of the Future Farmers of America.

PCCF awards grants twice a year -- once in the spring and once in the fall.

"We are looking for non-profits with strong foundations and realistic proposals," Rokicki said.

Steve Anderson of Greencastle Presbyterian Church gave a short presentation about Servants at Work (SAWs), the mission project at the church that the grant from PCCF will help support.

Those involved in the SAWs program build ramps at the homes of local disabled individuals. The projects cost anywhere from $500 to $1,000 each.

"One thing led to another, and I learned what this is all about," Anderson said. "It's about freeing people from their homes. This is something I never really thought about until I got involved."

Anderson said watching people use their ramps for the first time was always a touching experience.

"I can't describe what it feels like to see a person come down their new ramp crying tears of joy," he said. "It is such a wonderful thing."

The ramps SAWs builds are recyclable. The group installed nine ramps in 2010, and has a goal of 20 for 2011.

Reelsville Elementary officer worker Rita Latham accompanied students Ally Nichols and Danton Glover to the breakfast. The two were among a group of students who were awarded a $500 grant to go toward replacing basketball hoops on the school's playground.

"It was a new experience for the fifth-graders to be able to participate in the entire grant process," Latham said. "They were very excited to be invited to the breakfast."

Stu Fabe, who, along with his significant other Marla Helton, established the Stuart Fabe and Marla Helton Endowment at PCCF this past spring, spoke about his reasons for contributing to the foundation.

"I've been in Putnam County for five years," he said. "It's my home. I love it here. It's a great place to be."

The endowment Fabe established benefits the Community Grants Program at the foundation.

"The more I thought about it, the more I realized it was the right thing for me to do," Fabe said. "I believe in giving. I wanted to be able to step forward and do something worthwhile. We all have organizations that give color and meaning to our lives -- that's what the foundation is for me."

It was announced at the breakfast that PCCF director of community development Eric Wolfe had accepted a job at DePauw University and would be leaving the foundation at the beginning of 2011.

"Deciding on who to award grants to is always tough, but the selection committee does a great job," Wolfe said. "On average, we receive 20 applications each cycle."

PCCF executive director Elaine Peck spoke about the foundation's newly established Silver Anniversary League. The league was formed in conjunction with the foundation's 25th anniversary this past October.

The league will consist of 25 individuals or families who will each pledge a minimum of $12,500 to the foundation. The pledge is payable over a three-year period, and the foundation will match dollar-for-dollar contributions to the endowments.

So far, nine spots are filled in the league.

"Without individuals and organizations that make unrestricted gifts and start unrestricted endowments, the community foundation would not be able to have the impact on the community it does today," Peck said.

The breakfast was sponsored by Old National Bank.

To date, the Putnam County Community Foundation has awarded $2 million in unrestricted grants. Three different types of grants are available: Community Grants, Endowment Builder Grants and Youth Philanthropy Grants.

All eligible organizations are encouraged to apply for grants from the foundation. For more information, call 653-4978.

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Congratulations to all! And best wishes to Eric, he will be missed at the Foundation and at the Learning Series programs.

-- Posted by cll on Sat, Dec 4, 2010, at 2:04 AM

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