Foundation Awards $68,000

Friday, December 19, 2008

An early morning crowd celebrated the Community Foundation's 2008 spring grant awards at the Area 30 Community Center, where more than $60,000 from the Community Foundation's unrestricted endowment was awarded to 19 charitable organizations.

Eric Wolfe, director of community development, recognized the individuals and organizations that have given unrestricted gifts to the Community Foundation.

"Without individuals and organizations such as Art Evans Family, Dave and Lynn Bohmer, Old National, and the Rob Lyon Family, the Community Foundation would not be able to have the impact that it does," he said.

Steve Setchell, chair of the Community Foundation's grants committee, also thanked donors to the unrestricted endowment, noting that due to their generosity, the Community Foundation has awarded more than $1.75 million in unrestricted grants.

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 made possible by donors to the Unrestricted Fund.

The Community Grants totaled $52,995. 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 2008 Community Grants recipients were Belle Union Youth League, Crisis Pregnancy Center of Putnam County, Greencastle Parks and Recreation, Learning Castle Preschool of First Christian Church, Mental Health Association of Putnam County, Putnam County Family Court Project, Putnam County Hospital Cancer Center, Putnam County Public Transportation/Area 10 Agency on Aging, Rebuilding Together Owen/Putnam and Sycamore Trails R.C. and D. Council Inc.

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, Narda Cotton and Phyllis Rokicki. The next deadline for preliminary grant applications is Feb. 1.

The Endowment Builder grants totaled $12,620. 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 during tough economic times and financially sustainable.

The fall 2008 Endowment Builder Grant recipients were Friends of the Park Association of Putnam County Inc., Putnam County Council on Aging & Aged Inc. and Roachdale Community Garden.

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

Youth Philanthropy Grants totaled $2,744. These grants are for youth-led community service projects up to $500 each.

A group of 10 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 (i.e. drug/alcohol abuse, suicide, pregnancy, etc.), health and wellness, respect for community and tolerance of others, and environmental issues and community beautification.

The fall 2008 Youth Philanthropy Grant recipients included A-Way Home Shelter, Best Buddies International Inc., Greencastle Chapter, Cloverdale High School, Deer Meadow Student Council, Greencastle High School and Roachdale Elementary School.

The Youth Philanthropy Committee members are Ashlyn Archer, Jenna Lewis, Logan Grzesiek, Tabitha Arnold, Laurie Robertson Hardwick, Gwen Morris, Therese Cunningham, Jim Ensley, Hilary Schroeder, Josh Hirt, Kaileigh Sparks, Grace Aker, and Amber Jones.

The next Youth Philanthropy Grants application deadline is March 1.

The Putnam County Community Foundation administers more than 170 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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