Departing Youth Philanthropy members leave a legacy

Thursday, June 17, 2021
Dean Gambill

In my last article, I wrote about the Putnam County Youth Philanthropy (YP) Committee and described the work in which the committee is engaged. I bragged that they are amongst the best and brightest anywhere.

For those who work alongside these exceptional students, this is both a time of celebration and sadness; five of our “kids” are graduating and leaving YP. So indulge me for a few more minutes and let me brag on them as they move on.

Aubree Branigan, Cloverdale, has served on YP for three years. Each year, Aubree has been one of the organizers of our fundraising. Two of those events with Almost Home and this year as a virtual fundraiser. She will be attending the University of Southern Indiana, pursuing her studies in physical/occupational therapy.

North Putnam graduate Grace Elmore has also served on the committee for three years. She has served as public relations officer each year and has been key in planning teambuilding activities. In addition, she has written numerous press releases and focused on the committee’s social media presence creating content for Facebook and Instagram. She is bound for Cornell University in the fall, majoring in English and law school in the future.

Paige Kaiser is a Greencastle graduate who has served two years on YP. Paige has served as treasurer this past year while previously having worked on service projects for the committee. Purdue University will be her home for the next few years as she studies linguistics, focusing on French, with the goal of teaching English abroad.

Evan Steffy will be staying close to home following graduation from South Putnam. During his three years on YP, Evan has coordinated service projects and team building. He has served as treasurer and was the youth co-chairman through the craziness of COVID-19. This physics major looks forward to being a student/athlete at DePauw University, where he will swim for the Tigers. Plans are to complete studies in engineering.

Two-year member Grace Timm is a graduate of North Putnam. She is one of the first members to know both sides of YP’s granting, first as an applicant and secondly as a YP member evaluating the applications. Grace’s Shoes for Change project received YP funding in February 2019, and she became a member later that year. Taylor University is the next step as she pursues her goal of becoming a doctor.

Each of these graduates has excelled academically and, in their desire, to serve. Each has brought their own gifts, personality and input into improving the committee and our community. Each will be greatly missed but will forever remain my “kids.”

However, there are 13 members to build upon their work. Recently selected members are Corey Branigan (C), Brock Heavin (SP), Isaac Hertenstein (G), Madelyn Landry (G) and Abigail Simonson (NP). Continuing as members of the committee in 2021-22 are Jacob Beadles (SP), Alaina Fritz (NP), Eli Hardwick (G), Caroline Hodge (SP), Catherine Hodge (SP), Maximus Kaufman (C), Jayden Simpson (NP) and Ruby Sullivan (NP).

If you are interested in supporting the YP Committee in its fundraising efforts, you can donate online at and select Putnam County Youth Philanthropy Endowment. Additionally, you can mail a check to the Putnam County Community Foundation at 2 S. Jackson St., Greencastle, IN 46135.

To learn more about the Youth Philanthropy Committee, visit

The Putnam County Community Foundation (PCCF) works alongside individuals, businesses, and nonprofit organizations to build a stronger Putnam County. PCCF is home to more than 300 charitable funds and has awarded more than $16 million in grants and scholarships since its founding in 1985. To learn more about the PCCF, visit or call 653-4978.

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