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Starke County

 

SCCF Announces Campaign, Honors Hardesty, Celebrates Grants of Nearly $250,000 in 2014

Irene Szakonyi, Executive Director of the Starke County Youth Club with Jay Albright, Executive Director of the NICF.

Knox, Ind. – The Starke County Community Foundation (SCCF) made some big announcements and celebrated with donors and nonprofits at the 2014 Community Impact Reception and Celebration of Giving, held Tuesday, November 18, 2014 at the Nancy Dembowski Community Center in Knox and hosted by Jennifer Gappa, SCCF Board President.

The Celebration of Giving kicked off with an update from SCCF Director of Development Sarah Origer. “2014 has been a truly incredible year. And we are so grateful to our donors for all that they’ve done this year,” Origer said. “They’ve enabled us to award nearly $250,000 in grants and scholarships just this year.”

She noted that since this time last year, 12 new donors and organizations have started funds, and 107 named funds now benefit Starke County. More than $2.79 million has been awarded in grants and scholarships since 1996, when the SCCF began.

Single Largest Bequest To Be Received

James Hardesty, friend of Starke County and the Community Foundation.

Origer also shared news of the single largest bequest ever received in Starke County. James Hardesty, a dedicated SCCF founder, long-time donor, and volunteer “chose to give to his community, both in life and in death,” Origer said.

He left a bequest of $1 million in his will to The Hardesty Memorial Endowment Fund at the SCCF. In addition, the Fund will be a recipient for seven years of a charitable lead trust being established in Hardesty’s estate plan. Over the next decade, this gift will likely come close to doubling the yearly granting capacity of the SCCF.

James R. Hardesty Leadership in Philanthropy Award Announced

The James R. Hardesty Leadership in Philanthropy Award was announced by Jay Albright, the Executive Director of the Northern Indiana Community Foundation (NICF), of which the SCCF is an affiliate. “Jim Hardesty was a man who cared deeply for his community,” Albright said. “He never wanted much recognition for all that he gave, but he did want to lead by example.”

To honor Hardesty, the example he set, and the life he lived, the SCCF established the new James R. Hardesty Leadership in Philanthropy Award.
It will be awarded each year at the Community Impact Reception, and it will alternate between honoring a philanthropist who has had a great impact in Starke County and honoring a nonprofit who has done outstanding work in Starke County.

Community Fund Matching Campaign

2014 Grant Recipients

SCCF Vice President Jerry Gurrado updated attendees about the new Community Fund Matching Campaign, a matching opportunity being offered to the SCCF by the Lilly Endowment, Inc.

He explained that now through March 2016, all gifts made to Community Funds will be matched $1 for $1, up to $250,000. Gifts of any size will help the SCCF meet the match. New named Community Funds can also be started with a gift of only $2,500. “This is a great opportunity to honor a loved one or start a family fund,” Gurrado said.

When the Community Fund Campaign goal is achieved, it will enable an additional $20,000 annually in Community Fund grantmaking dollars.

Grants previously made possible by Community Funds were highlighted throughout the event. The Community Funds currently held by the SCCF include: The Starke County Community Fund, the Ann R. and Orville Nichols Memorial Fund, the Schuyler Family Endowment Fund, The Arlowa S. Vorm Memorial Fund, and the Stewart Lain Memorial Fund.

Community Fund Grants Awarded

Courtney Gant, Jesse Johnston, and Emily Johnston accept the grant for The Crossing, Starke County’s new alternative school.

The grants awarded during the evening program—the culmination of nearly $250,000 in grants this year—were all made possible by existing Community Funds.

Origer and SCCF Grant Chairman Dave Altman presented eight charitable organizations with more than $27,800 in year-end grants to benefit all of Starke County.

Of the year-end grants, educational programming received the largest portion of the funds. The SCCF Preschool Scholarship Program was awarded $5,000 to help four-year-old children from low-income families attend one year of preschool, the Starke County Youth Club received $2,500 for their after school programming, and The Crossing alternative school was granted $2,500 for a job training program. The Knox Community Elementary School will use their grant of $500 for a swing set project for children with special needs.

Human services were supported with a $3,500 grant to Community Services of Starke County for their elderly service programs, Salvation Army accepted a grant of $1,500 for emergency assistance to Starke County citizens, Kids Closet Ministry will purchase new boots and coats for Starke County children with their award of $2,000, and the Coalition Against Domestic Abuse will use their grant of $1,500 for domestic violence awareness educational programming.

New for 2014 was the creation of the Sustainability Award. The competitive award was given to a Starke County nonprofit that demonstrates leadership, management, programming, and a desire to encourage donations to their own permanent endowment fund. The first recipient of this award was the Starke County Youth Club, which received $5,000 for an endowment fund, which will benefit their organization forever.