A Message From Dawn

Pumpkin spice latte, pumpkin spice granola, pumpkin spice cheesecake, pumpkin spice muffins, pumpkin spice pancakes, etc. Tis the season, right? It’s officially fall and we love the taste of fall! The other thing I absolutely love about this time of year is the chill in the air. Even though you see your breath in the morning and wonder why you wore that turtleneck by 3:00 each afternoon, it’s simply beautiful in Indiana right now. And, while I haven’t experienced it yet this year—emphasis on yet—I really do get so excited about finding a random $10 bucks in a coat pocket from last year. Why does is seem like a year-old $20 bill found in the jeans I haven’t worn since last winter feels more valuable than a normal $20? Technically, I could buy a pumpkin spice latte at Starbys with a new $20 in my purse but buying one with an old $20 found in a pocket just feels more special--Like that specific $20 was verified on Twitter or something! Do you all know about verifications on Twitter and other social media platforms? A blue checkmark is used to verify high profile users as authentic. So, when you see a blue checkmark next...

Our oldest son, Griffin, was studious from the womb. I recall him installing his own small software game from my lap at age 3. He has just always had a mind like that. The love of learning is just in his DNA. So, it was a huge hit to his ego when he got his first Report Card ‘B’ when he was in 3rd grade. Luckily, he recovered from that blip in the radar and ended his public school career as Valedictorian of his high school. It was a truly proud mom moment. But this story isn’t about Griffin, it’s about my friend Dave Huffman. I knew Dave since 6th grade. We spent several years of school together, and when I say together I mean we were in all the same classes. I worked hard for my grades, but Dave was naturally smart.  It just came easy to him. In fact, his mom was also a Valedictorian of our high school, so he came from good stock. Dave and I often talked about the last week of our high school careers when the Valedictorian spot was in a two-way tie. It was a dead heat between Dave and one of the twins...

I’ve never really loved celebrating my birthday. I don’t know why. It’s not about getting older at all. And it’s not about the presents. While I appreciate them, every day is gift and a chance to do something big. It might be a little bit about the cake. There are so many birthdays in my family around my birthday that I’m so tired of cake by the time my special day arrives, and much to the dismay of almost everyone I know, I’m not a big ice cream fan at all…ever. And don’t even get me started on surprises. I’m too much of a planner to appreciate surprises. But that’s when it’s my birthday. I love celebrating other people’s birthdays.  And this month, we’re celebrating a special one—the Community Foundation’s 38th.  Now if this was an anniversary, the modern gift would be tourmaline. What the heck is tourmaline you might ask? Well, that’s what I asked since I’d never heard of it in all my life! Apparently, tourmaline is a stone that is supposed to foster compassion and is said to radiate the energy that attracts money, healing, and friendship. As unappealing as the word tourmaline is, the meaning of the stone...

This story’s been told before. As they say, it’s an oldie but a goodie—and it’s true. When I was 14 I was in high school and still sharing a room with my little sister. Sharing a room also meant sharing a closet, which my sister believed also meant sharing clothes. This did not go over well with me; however, my mother had a different opinion. So, share I did, unwillingly, yet obediently…until one fateful day. I happened to be at the mall—we had one back then. And I ran into one of my sister’s friends…wearing my favorite sweater! Holy cow, I was mad. It was the kind of emotion you get at a relative-you’re-forced-to-share-a room-and-clothes-with mad. So, I found a loophole. While my mom required me to share with my sister, she did not require me to share with the world. That’s when Wardrobe Wearabouts (pun intended, of course) was born. Wardrobe Wearabouts was an organizational system that I created to track the location of my clothes at all times. It was the 80’s version of Find My Phone, only tech-free, for my best pair of jeans—probably Jordache. While I can’t recall how long it took me, I crafted this Dewey...

I sent this text to my friend Jennifer earlier this week that said, “Two words: High Drate.”  Ok, I was being a bit dramatic. But in my defense, we had just watched the penultimate episode of This is Us. And after a 6-season emotional roller coaster ride, saying our final farewells to the Pearson family (a family that somehow feels like our own family) has not been easy on our hearts, our hydration, or our mascara. Now, don’t worry, no spoilers here. But if you watch and need someone to talk it out with, let’s go to lunch! However, there is one common thread that has been sewn into the show’s tapestry since season one and that one is all about lemonade. Lemonade, that cool refreshing drink. Dr. K delivered the Pearson triplets on the show and he was credited with a quote that he passed on to the Pearson family that always resonated with me, but especially this week. It goes like this:  “Sometimes you have to take the sourest lemon life has to offer and turn it into something resembling lemonade.” That really hit home this week as a huge group of amazing, dedicated, passionate, and capable community leaders attended an...

Serving as a board member is one of the most challenging and rewarding of volunteer assignments; especially with a community foundation—we are amazingly complex. So, our team thanks you for considering a position with one of the best non-profit organizations in all of Grant County! While appointment to a board is an honor, board members also have important legal and fiduciary responsibilities. There are three things you'll need to know before you consider serving as a Board Member or Committee Member of the Community Foundation—like a TRIDENT!   [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_empty_space][/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="center" background_image_as_pattern="without_pattern" el_class="center"][vc_column width="1/3"][vc_column_text] 1. Annual Giving: Time, Talent, & Treasure [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width="1/3" el_class="center"][vc_column_text] 2. Legal Responsibilities: Duty of Care, Duty of Loyalty, Duty of Obedience [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width="1/3"][vc_column_text] 3. Business Model: Asset Development, Grantmaking, Community Leadership [/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="center" background_image_as_pattern="without_pattern" el_class="center"][vc_column width="1/3"][/vc_column][vc_column width="1/3" el_class="center"][vc_empty_space height="64px"][button size="medium" target="_self" hover_type="default" text_align="center" text="2022-23 BOARD/COMMITTEE MEMBER APPLICATION" link="https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/TNV6QRY"][vc_empty_space][/vc_column][vc_column width="1/3"][/vc_column][/vc_row]...

Michael Jackson didn’t invent the moon walk, Neil Armstrong did…literally. And when Armstrong said, “That’s one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind” in 1969, he had no idea what an understatement that would turn out to be. For that generation, fellow space travelers Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin proved that the moon wasn’t made of cheese, fulfilled the promise of deceased President John F. Kennedy to put a man on the moon, and opened a world (pun intended) of opportunities. Although rocket scientists, they didn’t realize they started a revolution. A revolution of possibilities never before imagined. If men from the planet Earth could achieve what many thought to be impossible, what was stopping us from, well, just about anything? You don’t have to look any further than the graduating class of 2022 to realize how ginormous that leap for mankind really was. They were born in 2004 on Earth, yet cyberspace is the only way of life they’ve ever known. The average high school senior has never had to fold a map, use a payphone, a phone book, or rent a video from Blockbuster and rewind it before returning to avoid a surcharge. The next millennium will lie in the hands...

The year was 1983. It was the beginning of big things to come, even though I didn’t know it yet.  That was the year that my now-husband, Jerry, and I went to prom together.  Well, technically, not together-together. We double-dated. He went with my friend Janet. I went with his friend Jimmy. And, although it was a memorable night, it wasn’t a great one. Jimmy got pulled over for speeding… and got a ticket—so it sort of ruined the mood. But that evening was just a precursor to 1984—when Jerry and I officially started dating and then later when we had our prom encore (promcore 😂) and went to prom together-together <insert all the heart eyes here>. Several hand-written letters, zip codes, and phone calls stood between that summer and July of 1993, when we finally got married. How did those years seem to move slower than dial-up internet; but somehow the last 28 years flew by quicker than a Jeff Bezos rocket to space?  We’ve traded those long-distance letters for text messages, long road trips to see each other to planting roots and making a home and family. And from selling our plasma to pay the long-distance phone bills for...

Christmas in July happens on the Hallmark Channel, but Christmas in June happens when this mama has both of her boys home and gets to say, “Brown, Party of Four” once again.  As many of you reading this know, once they leave the nest, the times when everyone is all under the same roof again are few and far between.  Our dog, Rocket, is plumb tuckered out.  He has played until he was so exhausted that he fell asleep on the hardwood floor.  We enjoyed several campfires, a few s’mores, and a big family cookout.  God bless my husband for cooking over a hot grill on one of the hottest days we’ve had yet this summer.  By the surprised look on the ‘face’ of the grill, even it was stunned that someone would be standing over a fiery Char-Broil in 90+ degree weather.  But that’s what a man who loves his family does and I love him for it. I had to laugh when I realized that the grill face resembles my own face when I ponder why, in 2021, they still sell packages of 8 hot dog buns yet packages of 10 hot dogs.  Seriously, folks, what kind of conspiracy...

I love a good rom-com.  Heck, I even love a moderately adequate rom-com—like you’d find on the Hallmark channel any given day of the week.  Sure, Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks are a quality go-to when you need a tried-and-true pick-me-up.  But you can only watch Sleepless in Seattle so many times—the actual number varies from person to person; I might be holding on at about +/-200.  LOL, please don’t judge me. And that’s why Hallmark comes in so handy.  In the winter months, it always snows at the end of a Hallmark movie…just as they kiss. The lighting is just right and it’s so romantic. Of course, it’s the big, white, fluffy snowflakes, too.  None of those snowdrifts are covered in the gray sludge that you might find on an Indiana street in December, February, or even a random April! Quick sidebar:  What the even heck is going on out there anyway?!  I wonder what April snow showers will bring?  Snow flowers? [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]   Anyway, the entire 120 minutes of self-care is the classic boy meets girl formula—it’s their hallmark, you might say. The leading lady is always missing something from her life and she’s...