A Message From Dawn

Mr. Irrelevant of 2012 is Chandler Harnish.  Now, for all of you out there that aren’t uber-sporty (like me), the prestigious title of Mr. Irrelevant is bequeathed upon the very last player picked in the NFL draft each year. This year, Mr. Irrelevant officially became an Indianapolis Colt; so Hoosiers definitely haven’t heard the last of this Northern Illinois quarterback. But, all of this talk about being irrelevant got me to thinking.  Is it really irrelevant to be the last one picked?  Seems like the very last one picked in the draft would be knighted Mr. Lucky or Mr. Getting-a-fat-paycheck.  Maybe even Mr. ThankGoodness, but not Mr. Irrelevant.  That title should be saved for the first one not picked, right? Well, maybe not.  In the recently published 2011 Indiana Civic  Health Index, it states that Indiana ranked 48th in voter turnout among citizens (age 18+) in 2010, with a turnout rate of 39.4%, six percentage points lower than the national average of 45.5%.  Just so I’m clear here…Out of 50 states, Indiana ranks 48th in voter turnout.  48th!  The last I heard, Indiana is still part of the land of the free and the home of the brave. ...

The Community Foundation had the first board meeting of our new fiscal year last week.  Since we had some new board members joining us, we decided to do a new icebreaker activity to get to know each other a little bit better. However, the icebreaker itself wasn’t new at all.  In fact, we have all probably read about this specific icebreaker at least once a year for many, many years! The question was, “If you could have dinner with anyone living or dead, who would that be and why?”  Sound familiar?  If it does, it’s because the Chronicle-Tribune has highlighted this question annually when we celebrate our Academic Excellence Award winners.   We ask our best and brightest students this question every year.  But personally, I had never answered the question myself…neither had many of our board members, until last Thursday.Some of the answers were funny.  Some were noteworthy.  Others were along the lines of, “Hey, why didn’t I think if that one?”  All were intriguing. Perhaps the most do-able, yet hilarious, was that of one of our CPA’s.  After just surviving another tax season, she was hoping to simply have dinner with her husband and daughter!  Do...

They say 5 out of 4 people have a problem understanding jokes about math.  (Think about it for a minute and then insert gratuitous laughter here.) Seriously though, some math is really hard to comprehend.  But, I’m not talking about algebra, geometry, trigonometry, or even calculus.  I’m talking about that kind of math that you witness in great communities like Grant County.  This is the kind of math that involves the cooperation of many to make one truly great thing happen.  In his book, Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Covey calls this Synergy.  Synergy is the act of combining energies to accomplish a goal -- working together and making use of all available resources. This week, the Foundation is announcing two examples of this math on steroids concept:  the Synergy 2012 Coach’s Meeting and the Garfield Gardens Groundbreaking.  You’ll find more information about these events in this edition of the eNews.  Both are examples of the huge projects that could never have been done without extreme collaboration of multiple community leaders / community organizations. Synergy 2012 needs coaches, so I hope to you’ll check your calendars to see if you can make the meeting Thursday at 4:30 at...

No doubt many of you have seen The Hunger Games and have heard those famous words spoken by Katniss Everdeen, “I volunteer as tribute.”  (I saw it on opening day and thought it was great, by the way!) However, I wouldn’t recommend the playing of any real Hunger Games in Grant County, nor would I advise anyone to actually volunteer as tribute.  That kind of crazy talk can be left to the movie-makers!   But, making a tribute and volunteering as tribute are two very different things. All this to say that the Foundation Team has been working hard this past week to give our Honorary and Memorial Tributes a much-needed facelift.  After all, the concept of donors making a tribute in honor or in memory of special people in their lives has been around for quite some time.  We’ve received donations to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, honor roll, and various holidays.  Often we’ll receive donations in lieu of flowers to memorialize the loss of a loved that has passed away.  You name it; we’ve probably received a Tribute to commemorate it! But, why make a Tribute?  Well, more often than not, you just know that another gift will just be one more thing to...

A mission is a: a specific task with which a person or a group is charged, b: a pre-established, and often self-imposed, objective or purpose. Theever-present mission statement. Every organization has one.  Maybe even every organization needs one.  But, why?  Because mission statements guide.  They inspire.  They advertise what an organization stands for.  And, they differentiate one organization from every other. Target But, most importantly, mission statements serve as a target.  Yes, a target, as in a bulls-eye. They provide a direction in which you aim for, shoot for, try to hit directly.  Targets are important.  Why?  Because without them you’ll never know if you’re making progress or how accurate the progress is that you’re making.  John Collin’s, in his book Good to Great, refers to the real target in his Hedgehog Concept. Each April the Community Foundation begins a new fiscal year.  Thus, our target for the new year is crucial.  The team here at the Community Foundation is deeply passionate about Grant County.  We believe we can be the best in the world at improving the quality of life right here where we live.  We know that the more our economic engine is primed, the more impact we...