Author: Shelly Jones

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...

158 KAY Confidence Code by Katty Kay 158 SAN Fred Factor by Mark Sanborn 158.1 CAR How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie 158.1 DUC Grit by Angela Duckworth 158.4 SAN You Don’t Need A Title to Be a Leader by Mark Sanborn 179.9 CLO Integrity by Henry Cloud 205.677 LUP Toxic Charity by Robert Lupton 302 GLA Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell 302.13HEA Made to Stick by Chip & Dan Heath 646.78 COV Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Steven Covey 650.14 ACU Quitter by Jon Acuff 658 COL Built to Last by Jim Collins 658.18 COL Audio Disc How the Mighty Fall by John Collins 658.4 BUC First Break All the Rules by Marcus Buckingham 658.4 CAT Creativity by Ed Catmull 658.4 COY Culture Code by Daniel Coyle 658.406 KRA What the Best CEO’s Know by Jeffrey A. Krames 658.4092 HOR Trust Edge by David Horsager 658.4092 SIN Start with Why by Simon Sinek Hoopla Digital Be Our Guest by Ted Kinni Hoopla Digital E-Myth Revisited by Michael E Gerber Hoopla Digital Art of Productivity by Jim Stovall Hoopla Digital Focus by Al Reis Hoopla Digital Good to Great by Jim Collins Hoopla Digital Influencer by Kerry Patterson Hoopla Digital Leadership Challenge by James M Kouzes Hoopla Digital Principle Centered Leadership by Stephen Covey Hoopla Digital Principle of The Path by Andy Stanley Hoopla Digital Ultimate Life by Jim Stovall Daring Greatly by Brene Brown Toy Box Leadership by Ron Hunter   MARION PUBLIC LIBRARY 600 S WASHINGTON, MARION IN 46953 765-668-2900...

The pain was fierce. Not fierce like when your husband has a cold, but still awful.  😊 Although I came to work that Halloween day several years ago, I ended up urgently seeking a doctor’s attention before the day was done.  I’m obviously still here, so it wasn’t anything life-threatening.  But, he did write me a prescription which I had filled before I went home.  Once I arrived back to the Brown Bungalow, I headed straight to bed leaving it up to my husband to distribute the Halloween candy that I had already placed in a bright orange trick-or-treat container on the table next to the door.  Once I took my meds, I was down for the count and really don’t recall much until the very next day.  That was when we became ‘those neighbors’. Technically, the problem started much earlier in my life when I discovered that I liked to organize things.  And, I must admit that I do have an affinity for a good label maker.  Who doesn’t?  Yes, I’m one of those people who makes a label that says ‘label maker’ just so I can stick it on the label maker.  So, when I was organizing the pantry...

Remember that scene in Elf where Buddy is in the mail room?  He said, “This place reminds me of Santa’s Workshop, except it smells like mushrooms and everyone looks like they want to hurt me.” I laughed out loud when he was sticking mail through the tube and declaring it was ‘very sucky’? Well, we haven’t exactly replicated that at our house, although having a son in Afghanistan is pretty sucky. But, we have set up a  mini-post office in our kitchen. If you’ve been reading this blog, you know my son has been in Afghanistan for the past five months.  Five months that felt more like five minutes—under water.  So, to help the time slip away a bit quicker, for us and him, we send care packages…every week.  So, at all times, we have a couple of corrugated boxes that we’ve snagged from anyone who has recently got an Amazon shipment and we fill them up a bit each day.  Since he’s at a base camp, and not an actual base, there are no grocery stores or amenities like we enjoy.  So, if he’s craving some Oreos, he can’t just drive down to a convenience store or up to...