A Message From Dawn

I have a terrible memory.  I hate it, but it’s true.  My entire family makes fun of me for it.  But, what’s a girl to do?  In fact, my brother and I were joking on Halloween about how I don’t remember even one costume I wore as a kid.  I do have a vague recollection of wearing plastic masks with the elastic bands that wrapped around your head.  That image is etched in my brain because I can almost feel the moist condensation that would collect inside the mask after a chilly night trick-or-treating in Indiana.  Gross. I used to think I had to push some stuff out of my brain only to stuff more knowledge in as I learned and read more.  But, that doesn’t explain why I know all the words to American Pie and vividly remember Mrs. Hall pinning a tail on the back of Lee Adrianson’s blue jeans in third grade to detour him from being a tattletale.  (In a crazy plot twist, Lee’s is an amazing elementary school teacher now!) One detail I probably would never have remembered was the exact section I was in for 6th Grade Social Studies.  Every time I see Mike Burchette, he...

This year marks two years in a row that one of my nieces aced the 3rd Indiana iRead test. Aced it. As in 100% on a state test. Pretty remarkable. Or perhaps I think it’s remarkable because I could never have aced the iRead test when I was in 3rd grade. Why? Because I was a Red Devil. Maybe they still do it, but back in the day, Reading Groups were all the rage. It made sense. Give the students a pre- test, find out what reading level they were on, and group them accordingly. This is where theory and practice wreak havoc. In theory, it had some educational legs to stand on and seemed relatively efficient. In practice, I was in the low reading group and everyone knew it. I was in a group with a bunch of cootie-ridden boys. As the sole girl in the group, when it came time to vote on our reading group name, they all thought the Red Devils would be amazing. Me, not so much. I was outvoted.   Later in my school career, I watched friends excel in art and music, some were Spelling Bee champs, others were trophy-winning athletes.  There were many standard ways the...

It was as if FedEx had made a special delivery straight from the Olympic pool in Rio.  We found ourselves staring at the most wicked green water to ever jettison out of a decorative fountain.  Or should I say Wicked green water?  That’s right, a few friends and I went to see the emerald-green Elphaba befriend the bubbly-blonde, Galinda (pronounced Glinda, the Ga is silent) in the Broadway production of Wicked this past weekend.  And, outside of the Morris Performing Arts Center on the loveliest September day in South Bend, Indiana was a beautiful water fountain spewing water the color of the Wicked Witch of the West.  I loved that special touch.  A little splash of green added to the water made a beautiful backdrop for pictures and memories. Because experiences like this will change you for the better.  Sharing them with others will change you for good. The Land of Oz is full of much innuendo and , as you will quickly discover.  The music is  and the dichotomy of Glinda and Elphaba was so cleverly written.  Seriously, the genius behind this Wonderful Wizard of Oz prequel  my own creativity and reminds me that things aren’t always what they seem.  We’re...

THE COMMUNITY FOUNDATION AWARDS A PROACTIVE GRANT TO THE MARION POLICE DEPARTMENT FOR PROTECTIVE BODY ARMOR The Community Foundation of Grant County, Indiana, Inc. will award a proactive grant for $13,600 tonight at Marion’s Concert in the Park event to the Marion Police Department for the purchase of protective body armor (rifle plates and carriers) for their 68 police officers. Executive Director Dawn Brown stated, “After a few conversations with Chief Haley and Deputy Chief Kenworthy, I learned of MPD’s need to upgrade their current body armor.  Essentially, soft body armor vests are excellent for fragmentation and pistol protection but will not stop rifle bullets; therefore there was a pressing need to provide iron rifle plates and the carriers or vests that have the necessary pockets for such plates.  Police work is growing increasingly dangerous in times such as this.  Therefore, as a demonstration of confidence and support in our local law enforcement agencies, the Community Foundation utilized the entire balance of the Law Enforcement Safety Fund as well as an additional grant from the Irving Family Fund to fulfil the current need of the Marion Police Department.” Thankfully, in 1993, donor Bill Jackson established the Law Enforcement Safety Fund for the sole purpose...

Lather, Rinse, Repeat.  We’ve all heard this. We’ve all read this.  Though, for the life of me, I do not know why we all read the back of the shampoo bottle.  Are we that bored while taking a shower?  I guess it’s our desire to quench our thirst for knowledge.  Like when one of my sons asked as a child if shampoo as a compound word.  Or maybe it just stems from growing up reading cereal boxes—back in the good ole days when you didn’t need to take out a short-term loan to buy cereal.  Nonetheless, you can imagine my surprise when I recently read an article that undermined a lifelong beauty ritual of mine and advocated to condition your hair before the lather, rinse, repeat loop.  BEFORE!  I think even Elle Woods would object to such blasphemy since she taught us all that “The rules of hair care are simple and finite. Any Cosmo girl would have known.”  Alas, I did not.  But, I do read more Seth Godin than Cosmo these days, so I’ll blame Seth.  (Bald may be beautiful, but I think we can all agree that it doesn’t make you a haircare expert.)  This is an...

Historians know the significance of the Monroe Doctrine well. Passed in 1823 by the fifth President of the United States and the doctrine’s namesake, President James Monroe, this judgment was issued at a time when most Latin American colonies had declared themselves independent. The goal of the Monroe Doctrine was to maintain that independence—to ensure the free American continents would never be subjected to colonization of the European powers again. The boldness of such a declaration at that time put the USA on the map as a definitive world superpower. While I’m no expert on politics, we certainly have spent a great deal of time this past year ‘studying’ superheroes and their superpowers. Around here superheroes are ordinary people who happen to do extraordinary things. Think Clark Kent. Think Superman. Grant County has so many leaders, donors, and volunteers who humbly fall into the superhero category—you know them, you love them, you may even be one of them! What you may not know is that Indiana community foundations have a superhero like that, too. Although you’d never find it in any history books, she’s made much ado about philanthropy with her very own Monroe Doctrine…the Helen Monroe Doctrine. Everyone in the...

Grant County gives generously; thank you.  Continue to do so; please.  We live in the 3rd most generous county in the state of Indiana.  I recall the pride I felt when this announcement was made just two short years ago.  Grant County—a county that gives abundantly, selflessly, and lovingly to help our neighbors in need.  Without a doubt, we’re still that same county today. At the Community Foundation of Grant County we witness this generosity every week.  We are blessed to be able to work daily with the most generous people and make grants to the most worthy organizations—all right here in our hometown. Without a doubt, this abundant generosity must continue. Grant County gives generously; thank you.  Continue to do so; please.  But, heed the following first. As a donor, you have rights.  It’s true.  In fact, these rights, adopted in 1993, have been written into what’s called The Donor Bill of Rights developed by the Association of Fundraising Professionals, the Association for Healthcare Philanthropy, the Council for Advancement and Support of Education, and the Giving Institute: Leading Consultants to Non-Profits.  These Rights have been endorsed by numerous organizations, including the Community Foundation of Grant County and many other non-profits in our...

I feel pretty confident that Hoosiers appreciate spring more than any other season…and more than any other state in the union for that matter!  We have such long, frigid winters that we long for the first signs of spring which bring about feelings of pure, unadulterated joy.  We hear birds chirping, we see trees blossoming, we notice tractors plowing the fields, and we realize that B & K is finally open for the season—Ah, yes, spring has sprung! Spring!  It’s this new life, new hope, new beginning that we experience this time each year that makes me wonder whether (pun intended) to feel sorry for weathermen or not.  I mean honestly, they are wrong A LOT…maybe more than any other career.  What if doctors got it wrong as much as weathermen?  Yikes!  But, weather is fickle.  Even the best tools and education can show you one thing and then the wind blows, literally, and it’s a whole new ball game—or a cancelled ball game if we’re being honest.  But, then I saw a weatherman on then news this week saying, ‘You’re welcome!’ in regard to this beauteous maximus weather we’ve been experiencing as of late.  And, I thought….’REALLY!?  Seriously!?’  Actually...

    If you’re never around kids you need to change that.  Kids are insightful.  Kids are truthful.  Kids are downright funny.  My son and I were having a lazy Saturday conversation with my niece, Katie, who was telling us all about how she knows algebra.  Uh, she’s 8.  We asked how she could possibly know algebra as a 3rd grader and she said, “Easy, y = 25.”  Well, there you have it folks.  All of you who may have struggled with algebra in school just needed to know the super-secret formula y=25.  Upon further questioning, to better understood the logic of the 8-year-old mind, we discovered that (1) apparently you only solve for y and nothing else and (2) y is the 25th letter of the alphabet; thus, y=25.  After the explanation, the look she gave us was clearly face language for “Duh!”.   Flash forward a few weeks and I’m helping my 10-year-old niece, Kamryn, with math homework.  She’s exasperated.  She’s brilliant and even aced the iRead test last year, but doesn’t think math is her thing.  So, there is sighing and erasing and clock-watching.  After a brief 15 minutes of changing fractions to percentages and a celebratory fist-bump, we are done. ...