Foundation awards $243,300 in grants

Friday, December 7, 2007
Many area organizations benefit from the grants awarded by the Putnam County Community Foundation.

Putnam County Community Foundation Awards $243,200.61 in Grants

Young people who want to improve the lives of families without homes, a healthcare provider offering services to the community, and educational leaders planning to expand local college opportunities.

Those groups were among the many who thanked the Putnam County Community Foundation Friday morning for financial grants to make their projects happen.

Tyler Kidd and Barbara Briggs told about their project with the Indianapolis Institute for Families Leadership Program. They will use their grant money to conduct a clean-up project at the A-Way Home Shelter and purchase necessary items for its residents.

Linda Mann, nurse manager of the Putnam County Hospital Cancer Center, shared how a grant will help screen area residents for cancer in order to head off the disease.

And Jeff Pittman of Ivy Tech Community College noted that 86 percent of the students enrolled in Ivy Tech have some type of financial assistance, so the Community Foundation's grant will make a big difference for many people trying to further their education.

In the fall 2007 grant cycle, the Board of Directors for the Community Foundation awarded $243,200.61 30 community organizations.

Each year the Community Foundation awards grants in two grant cycles to charitable organizations that seek to improve the lives of Putnam County citizens. The three different types of grants awarded by the Community Foundation are Community Grants, Endowment Builder Grants and Youth Philanthropy Grants, which all are possible by donors to the Unrestricted Fund.

The Community Grants totaled $90,800.61. The six grant priority areas set by the Community Foundation in this grant category are economic development, transportation, educational attainment and literacy, improving lives of senior citizens, non-profit capacity building, and combating obesity; though grant applications supporting other worthy causes are considered and often successfully funded, as well.

The fall 2007 Community Grants recipients are:

A-Way Home Shelter -- $874.31 from the Goff-Welch Fund for the Hungry and Homeless for general support of the shelter's mission and services to families most in need.

Citizens' Advisory Committee For Industrial Development (CACFID) -- $16,250 to support the economic development efforts of the Development Center, which recently led an effort to construct a shell building just east of Greencastle.

Cloverdale Community School Corporation -- $5,000 to support phase two of a Nature and Fitness Trail used by classrooms and Cloverdale residents, which includes installing outdoor tables, bridges and observation areas along the trail.

College Mentors for Kids -- $5,000 to expand their mentoring services beyond their Cloverdale schools into the Greencastle school system, which will provide more elementary school students with a college-aged mentor to encourage academic and lifelong success.

Greencastle Rotary Club -- $500 to bring the Harlem Ambassador Basketball Team to Greencastle, providing a safe family event and raising money for local charities.

Heritage Preservation Society of Putnam County -- $950 to complete the renovation of a historically significant log cabin and move it to the Cloverdale Park.

Humane Society of Putnam County -- $1,000 to fund the Canine Caboose, a program that transports Putnam County's surplus stray dog population to communities on the east coast.

Ivy Tech Community College -- $20,000 from the Mary Lou Miller Philanthropic Fund to provide matching dollars for contributions to the new Ivy Tech Greencastle campus. This gift is a part of a three-year gift from the Community Foundation that totals $375,000.00.

Knoy Resource Center- $1,232.21 with $732 of this total granted from the Robert Farber Endowment for Education to pay for the expenses of refurbishing more than 80 computers that were given to 21st Century Scholars after they completed a technology course.

Mental Health America of Putnam County -- $500 to cover the costs of counseling for 15 teens in the court-mandated Children and Divorce class.

National Philanthropy Week Essay Contest -- $675 for this program, administered by the Community Foundation, which provides $25 and $50 grants to the finalist and grand prize winners of an essay contest during National Philanthropy Week, as well as a $500 grant to the grand prize winner's school.

Opportunity Housing of Putnam County -- $10,000 to repair, maintain and secure the maintenance building that houses materials used in refurbishing Opportunity Housing homes.

Putnam County Comprehensive Services -- $300 to match funds raised by DePauw's student radio station WGRE to benefit Comprehensive Services' mission.

Putnam County Family Support Services -- $500 to match funds raised by DePauw's Bonner Scholar program that will benefit Family Support Services program that provides hats and gloves to children during the winter months.

Putnam County Hospital Cancer Center -- $22,269.09 from the Putnam County Hospice Fund to support the creation and operations of the new state-of-the-art Putnam County Hospital Cancer Center.

United Way of Putnam County -- $5,000 to provide operational support to the United Way, so it may better serve the health and human service organizations in Putnam County.

WTIU-PBS -- $750 to underwrite some of the costs of the recent program, "Our Town Greencastle," which currently airs on our local PBS station, WTIU.

Organizations seeking Community Grants funding first complete a simple preliminary grant application and then may be invited by the grants committee to submit a full grant application. The Community Foundation's grants committee is a volunteer group composed of Putnam County citizens. Currently, the grants committee includes Beth Flint, Tom Graffis, Keith Landry, Brent McColgin, Gwen Morris, Max Nichols, Susan Price, Steve Setchell and Darrell Wiatt. The next deadline for preliminary grant applications is Feb. 1.

The Endowment Builder grants totaled $150,000. These awards are matching grants to a charity's endowment, where the Community Foundation contributes one dollar for every two dollars contributed by the public over one year. Eligible organizations include any 501(c)(3) non-profit, church or unit of government, and must show the willingness and ability to build an endowment. An endowment enables an organization to be more financially stable and sustainable. The fall 2007 Endowment Builder Grant recipients are:

A-Way Home Shelter -- $2,500

Bainbridge Improvement Society -- $7,500

Cloverdale Community School Corporation -- $11,000

Gobin Memorial United Methodist Church -- $16,500

Heritage Preservation Society -- $5,000

Ivy Tech Community Colleg -- $95,000

Putnam County Museum -- $10,000

Roachdale Community Garden -- $2,500

Any organization wishing to apply for an Endowment Builder Grant should contact Eric Wolfe at 653-4978. The next application deadline for Endowment Builder Grants is March 1.

Youth Philanthropy Grants totaled $2,400. These grants are for youth-led community service projects up to $500 each. A group of 11 youth and four adults in Putnam County serve as the evaluators for these grant awards, and they have established six granting priority areas, which include increasing literacy and educational attainment for youth, extra-curricular activities for youth, teen crisis issues (such as drug/alcohol abuse, suicide, pregnancy), health and wellness, respect for community and tolerance of others, and environmental issues and community beautification.

The fall 2007 Youth Philanthropy Grant recipients include:

Boy Scout Troop 93 -- $500 to build a handicap ramp on one or more of the buildings at Hope's Way, a retreat Center in northern Putnam County where mentally and physically challenged children and their families visit the facilities for recreation.

Cloverdale Community High School VOICE -- $400 to fund presents of the TAR WARS anti-tobacco awareness program to school aged children by the high school students.

Indianapolis Institute for Families Leadership Program -- $500 to conduct a clean-up project at the A-Way Home Shelter and purchase necessary items for its residents. The Institute hafs youth involved in its programs from several Central Indiana counties, including Putnam County and this group of youth chose our community to conduct their service project within.

Putnam Pride 4-H Club -- $500 with $100 to be used to purchase and produce promotional materials for their change drive to benefit the CareNet Pregnancy Center of Putnam County. The other $400 will be used to match the money raised by the club. They are collecting change in their community by distributing empty baby bottles and asking members to return them full of change for the charity.

Reelsville Walkers -- $500 to provide incentives to Reelsville Elementary school students and teachers who walk on the walking trail during recess, as well as make some improvements to the walking trail, located in the Reelsville Park, such as installing benches and putting down more gravel.

The Youth Philanthropy Committee members are Tyler Archer, Alice Hlidkova, Sue Murray, Ashlyn Archer, Shannon Egold, Jenna Lewis, Logan Grzesiek, Tabitha Arnold, Daniele Thompson, Kristin Schroer, Laurie Robertson Hardwick, Chris Krag, Gwen Morris, Darrel Thomas, and Kayleen Human. The next Youth Philanthropy Grants application deadline is March 1.

For more information about the Community Foundation grants programs or to acquire a grant application, contact Eric Wolfe at 653-4978 or visit

The Putnam County Community Foundation administers more than 150 funds and has issued more than $1.75 million in grants, since inception. It is a public charity established in 1985 to serve donors, award grants, and conduct community development to enrich the quality of life in Putnam County.

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