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Miami County


Boomerang Sisterhood Awards Yearly Grants

Carla Murtha, Children's Librarian at the Peru Public Library; Vicki Draper, Indiana Bicentennial Miami County Coordinator; Debi Wallick, Executive Director of the United Way of Miami County.
Keila and Susan Slack provided the music.
Sue Morris and Anne Friend, members of the Boomerang Sisterhood.
Connie Cutler, Dir. of Development for the Miami County Community Foundation.

August 25, 2015 – Supporting children’s reading programs, providing tools for a healthy life, and celebrating the anniversary of our state are mirrored in the three community organizations selected for grants from the Boomerang Sisterhood this year.

The Boomerang Sisterhood awarded $3,500 at their annual gala on Tuesday, August 26 at the Garden Gate Greenhouse in Peru. Members of the Boomerang Sisterhood vote for their favorite programs and initiatives to receive these funds from dues and a growing endowment fund.

This year’s grant recipients were selected from a pool of eight applicants. The grant committee of the Boomerang Sisterhood reviewed all submissions and selected the United Way of Miami County, Peru Public Library, and the Miami County Indiana Bicentennial Committee, to go before the entire group for the final decision. All finalist receive grant dollars.

Each finalist made a short presentation to the audience who cast a vote for the first, second, and third place grant dollar awards.

The United Way of Miami County’s “Work2Gether Incentive” won the first place award of $1,500. Debi Wallick, Executive Director of the United Way shared the concept of this resourceful program that teaches personal finance and banking, job interview tips and instruction, and preparation of healthy home cooked meals. “In our class, we have a wide range of people,” said Wallick. “We have people with a college degree, those who do not, but all need to better understand how to manage a household budget,” she continued. Wallick shared a book of program topics and a cookbook created by classmates who became close friends during the educational process.

Vicki Draper, the coordinator of the Miami County Celebration of the Indiana Bicentennial told of upcoming bicentennial events for 2016. She was given $1,200 for second place. “The Quigley Jazz Fest will have a concert featuring the music of Indiana composers.” Draper said. “This is a first anywhere,” she added. All annual community festivals are preparing for an Indiana theme next year, including the Miami Nation of Indians: Days at the Pillars, Cole Porter, and Circus City Festivals. There will be special events around the courthouse square, historic church tours, cemetery living history, and a torch relay that will run the length of the county on the Nickel Plate Trail. The grant will help with promotion, and special event costs.

The third place recipient of $800 was the Peru Public Library and their reading programs. Children's Librarian, Carla Murtha, wowed the crowd with a rap about the joy of reading. She talked about sharing her passion for books with generations of Peru and Miami County children. Murtha answered questions about who can use the library now that the county is no longer providing funding for the facility. “Anyone can come into the library and participate in story time, use computers, and read books and materials,” noted Murtha. “You just can’t check out or take out books from the library unless you are a resident of the City of Peru, or have purchased a library card,” Carla added. Library cards are $75 per year.

“This was a wonderful night in a beautiful garden setting”, said Mary Alexander, President of the Boomerang Sisterhood. “We especially appreciated the music provided by Susan Slack and her daughter Keila Slack. They made the evening special”

The Boomerang Sisters fulfill their mission through annual dues of $120 to the Miami County Community Foundation. Half of the dues are distributed each year through grants. The remainder are put into a growing endowment fund for current and future grant cycles.

Women interested in joining the Boomerang Sisterhood, should contact Connie Cutler, Director of Development for the Miami County Community Foundation at 765-475-2859 or e-mail

The Miami County Community Foundation is an affiliate of the Northern Indiana Community Foundation, Inc., a 501 (c) (3) public trust. The mission of the Community Foundation is to improve the quality of lives in our communities by assisting donors in fulfilling their charitable wishes. We do this by building endowment funds for our communities with contributions, both large and small.

Welcome to the Miami County Community Foundation
Miami County is a wonderful community with a rich heritage, steeped in history. Since 1993, Miami County Community Foundation has brought caring people and charitable endeavors together for the good of this great community. The Community Foundation gives donors flexible and tax-effective ways to ensure their charitable giving. We work to build substantial endowment funds for our community through contributions large and small.

Miami County Community Foundation is proud to be a part of the Northern Indiana Community Foundation (NICF). The NICF allows us to maximize our investment benefits and be more cost efficient. This way Miami County donations can do more—right here in Miami County.

So far, Miami County Community Foundation has dispersed nearly 5.2 million dollars in grants and scholarships. Currently the Community Foundation holds over $7.6 million in assets and administers over 140 funds.