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Starke County


Community Foundation Celebrates Fund Founders and Awards Grants to Area Charities

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Jay Albright, NICF Ex. Dir., Marilyn Swanson, Charles Hardesty, and Sarah Origer.
Michael Booth, Librarian at the North Judson-Wayne Township Public Library.

The Starke County Community Foundation (SCCF) celebrated with donors and charitable organizations at a fund founder celebration and grant reception held Tuesday, November 17, 2015 at the Nancy J. Dembowski Community Center in Knox.

Founders of Community Foundation funds were present to celebrate the accomplishments of 2015, during which more than $221,000 was awarded in grants and scholarships to local organizations and students.  

Marilyn and Mathew Swanson of Bass Lake were also named the as recipients of the James R. Hardesty Leadership in Philanthropy Award.

Marilyn and Mat, who passed away on January 11 of this year, were honored for their great generosity and many years of commitment to many organizations that serve Starke County. The award will given by Charles Hardesty, nephew of the late James Hardesty and administer of The Hardesty Memorial Endowment Fund.

This is the first year the James R. Hardesty Leadership in Philanthropy Award was given, and is named in honor of Jim Hardesty, a late founder of the SCCF from Hamlet, Ind., who was one of the SCCF’s most ardent supporters.

More than $24,000 grant dollars were awarded from the SCCF’s Community Funds. The endowed funds that made the grants possible were: The Freedom Fund, the Ann R. and Orville Nichols Memorial Fund, the Schuyler Family Endowment Fund, the Stewart Lain Memorial Fund, the Starke County Community Fund, and the Arlowa S. Vorm Memorial Fund.

So far this year, the Community Foundation has welcomed eight new funds: the Awald Family Community Fund, North Judson Kiwanis Club Community Fund, The Knachel Orkis Family Community Fund, Starke United Community Fund, McLaughlin-Leonard Family Community Fund, Origer Family Community Fund, Jane Gappa Community Fund, Ladd, Gene and Nancy Community Fund.

“This is a recognition of the organizations that do great things in our community,” said Sarah Origer, SCCF Director of Development. “Sharing the evening with our donors who make these grants possible only enhances the celebration.”

Left to right: Linda Lewandowski, Dir. Kids Closet Ministries; Kitty Meyer, Center of Workforce Innovations; Joe Kingsbury, Hoosier Valley Railroad Museum; Joyce Anderson, teacher at Oregon-Davis Comm. Schools; April Max, teacher at Oregon-Davis Comm. Schools; Gerald Smelser, Salvation Army Major; Annette Vanschoyck, Coalition Against Domestic Abuse; Mollie Dollahan, JAG Specialist at Knox High School; Terri Schmidt, Guidance Counselor at Knox High School; Irene Szakonyi, Starke County Youth Club; Steve Carson, teacher at North Judson-San Pierre Middle School.

Grants were awarded to various organizations that provide services throughout the county. Those grants are as follows:

  • Coalition Against Domestic Abuse, Inc. received $1,000.00 to create a website to reach those people who need their help.
  • Healthy Families of Family Focus, Inc. will purchase books for the families they serve with a grant of $1,180.00.
  • Hoosier Valley Railroad Museum will purchase shingles for new roof for the depot with a grant of $1,600.00.
  • North Judson United Methodist Church Kids Closet Ministries will purchase new coats and boots for Starke County Children with a grant of $1,000.00
  • North Judson-Wayne Twp Public Library $1,920.00 for a Smart Board for meeting room.
  • The Center of Workforce Innovations, Inc., Adult Learning Program Scholarships $2,700.00
  • Salvation Army, Emergency Assistance for Starke County $2,000.00.
  • Starke County Historical Society, Historical marker for Lincoln Train stop in San Pierre $1,100.00.
  • Starke County Youth Club, Afterschool Program expenses $3,000.00.
  • Oregon-Davis School Corp., Portable piano keyboards $500.00.
  • Knox High School, Curriculum for at risk children $500.00.
  • Henry F. Schricker Library, Grant Station software license $400.00.
  • Preschool Scholarship Program, scholarships for Starke County 4 yr. olds   $7,500.00.
  • Hardesty Philanthropy award Mat and Marilyn Swanson, to charity of her choice $500.00

The Robert 'Boom Boom' Baker Alternative Ag Grant is for projects that encourage or support alternative agriculture within Starke County. The Starke County Youth Club received this $750 grant for “Planting the Seeds of a Brighter Tomorrow” programming, and North Judson-San Pierre School Corp. also received $750 for the Blue Jay Community Garden project.

Indiana History grants are given through the Maude Brown and Henry F. Schricker Endowment Fund. Oregon-Davis Elementary 4th grade student will bring quilting into the classroom.

Since 1996 more than 5.6 million dollars have been provided to Starke County through the Community Foundation.