Author: Shelly Jones

[vc_row css_animation="" row_type="row" use_row_as_full_screen_section="no" type="full_width" angled_section="no" text_align="left" background_image_as_pattern="without_pattern"][vc_column][vc_column_text]Thank you to those of you that joined us for $0.35 sundaes from The Eis Wagon in celebration of the Community Foundation's 35th Birthday! If you haven't heard by now, for our 35th Birthday, we gave a gift to Grant County—an interactive mural! HERE'S THE SCOOP ON THE MURAL:  Hand-stained by the Community Foundation Team, with help from an amazing local artist, Allison Mast-Saathoff, they dreamt up this intentional, interactive street art, or in our case, alley art.  Whimsical art like this brings an added splash of color downtown, while also creating a destination for anyone seeking pictures of some fun art for their social media pages or their scrapbook. The Foundation hopes the community enjoys each vignette as much as the team enjoyed bringing the idea to fruition in six short days.[vc_empty_space height="22px"][/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row css_animation="" row_type="row" use_row_as_full_screen_section="no" type="full_width" angled_section="no" text_align="left" background_image_as_pattern="without_pattern"][vc_column width="1/6"][vc_single_image image="24452" qode_css_animation=""][vc_empty_space height="22px"][/vc_column][vc_column width="5/6"][vc_column_text]35 Daisies: 35th Birthday  The Community Foundation was established on August 20, 1984. To commemorate the Foundation’s 35th Birthday, the team painted 35 daisies, the world’s friendliest flower, to represent every year of the Foundation’s existence. Shelly Jones, Development Manager noted: “You have to stop and smell the flowers every once in...

The Community Foundation of Grant County received a $75,000 Community Leadership Planning Grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. This grant will deepen the Foundations understanding of the challenges facing Grant County due to our high rate of child poverty, the opportunity to convene key local solution-oriented stakeholders, and both the time and funding to further explore how we can effectively play a leadership role in implementing initiatives—all strategies that enhance the quality of life in Grant County. Lilly Endowment Inc. challenged 94 community foundations across the State of Indiana to become stronger community leaders. This grant will better position Indiana foundations to serve their communities and lead the charge to prioritize the issues they are best positioned to address. This grant is part of Lilly Endowment Inc.’s seventh phase of its Giving Indiana Funds for Tomorrow (GIFT) initiative.   The GIFT initiative is part of Lilly Endowment’s grantmaking to strengthen Indiana communities and has been a priority of the Endowment since the first phase of GIFT in 1990.  The initiative’s primary aim is to help Indiana community foundations develop the philanthropic capacity to identify, prioritize, and address local opportunities and challenges. The Planning Grant will give the Community Foundation both the time and money to...

The Nonprofit Leadership Consortium was designed as a cohort experience in which all 30 participants gained leadership development training and earned their Certificate in Fundraising Management (CFRM) while building strong professional relationships with others in their field. The United Way of Grant County and the Community Foundation of Grant County were proud to underwrite the Consortium as funding partners and offer career-changing curriculum through IU’s Lilly Family School of Philanthropy and Harris International. Participants examined leadership development and team building techniques while increasing their understanding of the total fundraising process through the principles and techniques taught in this program. This initiative proved firsthand the power of collaboration by bringing the Consortium directly to Grant County and to these professionals at a substantially reduced rate. Grant County is now armed with 30 trained fundraisers that know each other and are comfortable collaborating when new challenges or opportunities arise. The Consortium produced a professional network of like-minded individuals that are not only dedicated to ethical fundraising but also willing to support, encourage, and care for each other. Participants were united in the idea that they were attending the Consortium not for the sake of their organizations but for the sake of creating a thriving Grant...

I think I might be old. I don’t feel old. And no small children have pointed at me in Hobby Lobby and innocently exclaimed, “Look at that old lady, mom!” But, 2019 has flown by. Holy cow—it’s April and Spring already! My grandma always used to say that the older you get the faster time would fly. If your time is also flying, please remember this:  you are the pilot. We live this out at the Community Foundation and, as pilots of our destiny, plot our course intentionally at every turn. In fact, the new President/CEO of the Indiana Philanthropy Alliance, Claudia Cummings, visited our office recently. The first thing she said when she walked in was, “Wow, I feel like I’m at Disney World!”  We couldn’t have said it better. The look and feel of our office represents our culture, and it was designed on purpose. Sure, Disney’s marketing budget is much bigger their ours, so they can claim the title of the happiest place on earth. But in reality, the happiest place on earth is really our office; it’s just that Disney doesn’t know it yet. It’s also one reason that we’ve adopted the moniker this year of “The Happiness Laboratory”....

“We’ve got a good one for ya today!” bellows Steve Harvey nearly every weekday evening as we’re preparing dinner and decompressing from the day. Jerry and I always compete to try to outwit each other. He’s pretty good. We laugh at the answers—good and bad, theirs and ours. We laugh at Steve Harvey—he’s so much funnier than Richard Dawson used to be; he just kissed every female contestant, and that was just gross, even back then. And, we laugh at that fifth family member. You know the one; they never have good answers, but they cheer wildly for their family. No doubt, that’s part of the fun; it’s the recipe for game show gold. And, we always judge whether we think they picked the best two family members to play Fast Money. We wonder if they predetermine that decision or if they wait to see who plays the best? We don’t know for sure, but what we do know is that Steve always hits them on the shoulder with his cue card if they’ve nailed it—always. Just watch. He does it every single time. And there’s something about winning $20,000 in Fast Money that makes full grown adults jump up...

One of Marion’s most prominent and least public businessmen, gave a gift in 1981 that keeps on giving. Merlin J. Loew, who owned several major parcels of property in downtown Marion and farmland east of Marion along Ind. 18, had lived in Marion since 1944, and in later years spent several months each year in Florida. When in Grant County, he lived east of Marion on Bethlehem Road. “Merlin Loew always wanted people to think he was a curmudgeon, but he was really a sweetheart,” a friend of Loew’s said at his funeral. He had the visage of an elderly character in a classic 1940 Hollywood movie. Deep lines poured from the corners of his mouth and curved around his jawline. A full sweeping white mustache draped over his lips and gave prominence to high cheekbones. Clark Gable ears were perched on the sides of his head and accentuated the thinness of his face. But he was no Hollywood actor, he was an entrepreneur, a businessman, and some financial observers said he left one of the largest estates in Grant County history. Loew came to Marion from Chicago in 1944 on a temporary assignment as an efficiency expert with the Osborn Paper Co. Since he...

The gift that Merlin J. Loew gave to Grant County is still giving, 38 years after his death, through the Merlin J. Loew Family Trust. This Trust will make final payouts totaling over $3 Million to 19 local nonprofit organizations listed as beneficiaries. On February 21, the Community Foundation of Grant County will host a celebration to commemorate Mr. Loew’s generosity and the amazing legacy he has left with the named nonprofits, their board members, and a few individuals that helped to steward the Trust over the years. President/CEO Dawn Brown stated, “Although it’s bittersweet when our donors pass away, to know we helped them leave a legacy of generosity is amazing. Mr. Loew is a prime example of the enormous impact one can have on a community when a planned gift is designated to your favorite charities through a will or estate plan.” Board of Directors Chairwoman, Georgette Miller stated, “The impact that Mr. Loew had, and will continue to have, on the Grant County community is truly a legacy. Mr. Loew was obviously a very generous man, and by setting up his trust and naming these 19 organizations, he continues to give back, even 38 years after his death. When...

Blanket Jackson. I never understood why Michael Jackson would name his son, Blanket. Celebrities, in general, never choose ‘normal’ names like Mary or John. Gweneth Paltrow chose Apple for her daughter; yes, like the fruit. And, Penn Jillette of Penn and Teller chose the name Moxie Crimefighter. Nothing says, ‘It’s a girl!’ like Moxie Crimefighter. But, Blanket—that one’s making a bit more sense to me this winter. We just experienced a polar vortex, where boiled water thrown from a pan outside freezes in mid-air; no wonder a fuzzy blanket readily becomes your favorite accessory. With temps and wind chills, both in the negative double digits, our thermostats had a hard time keeping up…no matter where they were set. We were on a strict 68-degree limit growing up, to keep the heating bills low. Recently, we were lucky if the indoor temp stayed at 68 degrees. So, blankets were essential. I used to have a favorite blanket. It was a muted green with the softest fleece on one side. Some friends got it for me for my birthday one year—from Comforts of Home when it was still in downtown Marion. I loved that blanket. Well, technically, I still love it—although I...

I’ve been tired this week.  All in favor of blaming winter say ‘aye’.  While it’s true that it’s dark when I wake up and dark when I get home from work, ultimately, I think that re-entry is hard…even if you love your job.  The time off during the holidays spoils you.  Cuddly blankets by the fire and predictable Hallmark movies on 24/7 where Nick (his name is Nick most of the time) always wins the girls heart in the end--you know this because he finally kisses her and the most beautiful white snowflakes begin to fall.  Add all that to staying up late, sleeping in later, decadent food, and the frivolity that extra time provides for friends and family and what do you get?  You get entering 2019 tired.  Or in my husband’s case, entering 2019 re-tired. I know what you’re thinking--how can someone so young and vivacious as me possibly be married to someone old enough to retire?  LOL!  Probably the same way I’m old enough to have a son with a beard!  Somewhere along the way, we blinked, and the years caught up with us. Beware, it happens when you least expect it. As most of you know, my husband...

The Community Foundation of Grant County has received a grant of $1Million as part of Lilly Endowment Inc.’s seventh phase of its Giving Indiana Funds for Tomorrow (GIFT) initiative.   With GIFT VII, the Endowment is making up to $125 million available to help Indiana community foundations strengthen the towns, cities and counties they serve. The Community Foundation of Grant County can use this matching fund grant to build our financial assets and support our charitable activities. With this matching grant must, $700,000 will be designated to support the growth of the Community Foundation of Grant County’s unrestricted endowments, known as our Community Impact Funds, which over time will provide flexibility to help the foundation to meet community needs through grantmaking.  The Endowment will provide $2 for every $1 contributed to the Community Foundation of Grant County’s unrestricted endowments/community impact funds during the matching period, October 1, 2018, through December 31, 2020. The Community Foundation of Grant County also chose to designate $300,000 of the matching fund grant to support a charitable project that address a systemic Grant County issue: Childhood Poverty.  The Endowment will provide 50 cents for every $1 that the Community Foundation of Grant County raises during the matching period...