Grant County Community Corner

Admittedly, I've never seen Kevin Bacon cut loose.  But I have seen more than one off-Broadway production of the iconic story of teenage angst, hitting the ceiling, and tearing up the town.  I’ve always liked the part in the musical where all the girls sing Holding Out for a Hero.  Ariel in her red cowboy boots, the rest of the ladies doing the “doot-doot-doot-doooo” part, dancing across the stage with no regard for the town rules.  Where’s the white knight?  Who will come and rescue the damsel in distress?  In 1984, Bonnie Tyler was holding out for a hero.  And last night, a hero was just what I needed. All I wanted to do last night was stop at my mom’s house, run in, grab some ranch dressing, and run back out.  I did all that, but in an attempt to speed up the process, I left my car running in the driveway.  Somehow, and for the life of me I can’t imagine by what means, I locked my car…with the keys in it…while it was running.  I stood there for a second, trying to process what I had done.   But, I rallied quickly.  No one was at Mom’s house but...

Okay, I’m prepared to admit it.  I don’t care if I’m too old, or should be too mature, or if it’s completely obnoxious to most adults.  I just love SpongeBob SquarePants.  I understand if some of you just lost a little respect for me.  But can you think of a more lovable kitchen sponge in the entire history of ever?  This eternal optimist, persistent friend, and hard worker is ever on a hilarious misadventure that I just can’t help but laugh about.    One of my favorite episodes is Patty Hype, which originally aired February 17, 2001.  This episode may be better known to some as the “pretty patties” episode.  SpongeBob and Patrick (his starfish best friend) have set up their own stand to sell multicolored Krabby Patties to the general public after Mr. Krabs rejects the idea to sell the pretty patties at the Krusty Krab.  To Mr. Krab’s shock and dismay, SpongeBob’s stand is extremely successful.  The colored patties prove to be a sensational idea, and SpongeBob and Patrick find themselves making more money than they know what to do with!  Cut to my favorite line in all of SpongeBob:  At first we didn't know what to do with...

The pink, the red, the little candy hearts with sweet sentiments stamped on them.  It’s that time of year, I suppose.  Time to relinquish to the romance of the season.  Around here, it’s no exception.  Love is in the air.  There’s no sense in fighting it.  No way of hiding it. Surely everyone has noticed by now.  Yep, we’re in love.  Anyone can see it.  We love our donors! As Captain Wentworth says in Jane Austen’s Persuasion, “For you alone, I think and plan.”  That’s just how we feel!  Our Fabulous Foundation Followers are the people who make this the 3rd most generous county in the state.  You make it possible to give away over $500,000 in scholarship money annually.  You make it possible to give over $200,000 in general Distribution grants.  And because of your incredible generosity over the last 30 years, you’ve made it possible for Grant County to dream up BIG IDEAS for the chance to receive up to a $150,000 grant!  What’s not to love? We’re always thinking about you.  Always planning for you.  And this Valentine’s day, we want to show our extra appreciation for our Fabulous Foundation Followers who read the Grant County Community Corner and A Message from...

I’m not sure exactly where he picked it up, but my two-year-old nephew has started a new trend in our family.  Whenever any of us does something he approves of, he gives us a big thumbs up and says, “Good finkin’!”  Usually this is followed by the name of the person he’s addressing.  “Good finkin’, Mammy!”  Good finkin’, Ashey!”  As you can imagine, this caught on quickly and now every adult in my family is quick to point out “Good finkin’!” when we see it in action around us. Last week, we saw some “Good finkin’!” right here at the Community Foundation when we invited our nine most recent grant recipients to celebrate with us.  As usual, we celebrated with milk and cookies as each shared with us some good thinking taking place in their organization.  From fixing a sinkhole at the Marion-Grant County Senior Center, to teaching children about Indiana musicians through the Gas City Concerts in the Park Indiana Artist Series, the grants for this cycle represented some of the best of Grant County. This spring, the Community Foundation is looking for more “Good finkin’!” in Grant County.  On February 2nd, the Foundation will be holding an informational meeting at...

New.  Like the year.  Like the pair of boots you got for Christmas.  Like the carpet in our office.  Like the feeling you get standing at the cusp of an opportunity.  Exciting.  Mysterious.  Irresistible. [caption id="attachment_3096" align="alignright" width="145"] Callan, age 6[/caption] New.  Like the donor who came in our office with a very significant donation last week.  It was rolled up and placed on the counter, a little shyly, but with a smile.    We discovered his original intent had been to make his donation elsewhere, someplace nationally known where he could remain more anonymous than standing in our lobby.  But once he heard about the Lilly match, he knew he wanted to give to one of the Foundation’s endowed funds.  So, thanks to Lilly match money, that $7.00 donation became $10.50 for the Cardinal Greenway Endowment Fund.  At age six, he was officially our youngest philanthropist of the year.  So much for remaining anonymous, we shared the news with the rest of the office and took this picture to celebrate the occasion!  → It was a great day for giving around here.  That afternoon some more seasoned donors, familiar with the joy of giving and making a difference, also wanted to take advantage...

The truth is, I love cheesy Christmas movies.  This time of year, give me a semi-good storyline, some cute kids, a sweet love story, a Santa costume, and perhaps a puppy, and I’m bound to find it downright riveting.  The guy always gets the girl.  The kids always discover that Santa is real.  And in the end, even the grinchiest Scrooge is compelled to tears by the true meaning of Christmas.  I can’t deny it; a little made-for-tv magic can easily make my heart aflutter and put me in the mood for decking the halls and decorating gingerbread men. And speaking of gingerbread men there’s been a contest going on here at the Foundation for the past week or so.  We each decorated a gingerbread person (in fairness, they started out ginger-neutral) and have asked our Fabulous Foundation Followers to stop in our office to vote, or to vote on Facebook for their favorite.  Each gingerbread is as unique as the people who work in this office.  And as unique as “leopard Santa”.    Are you familiar with “leopard Santa”?  To decorate the office, we exchanged the white fur on Santa’s coat and hat for a fabulous leopard print to make him the...

Intentional  (adjective) 1. done with intention or on purpose; intended. Random  (adjective) 1. proceeding, made, or occurring without definite aim, reason, or pattern. [caption id="attachment_3000" align="alignleft" width="300"] Hamish & Andy - Put Pocketing[/caption] Sometimes I like to be random.  Spontaneously take a different route home from work.  Or walk in the store and make a large purchase I hadn’t been planning.  Try a new place for dinner.  (Yes, I’m a real adventure-driven-thrill-seeker.)  And I like random acts of kindness.  My brothers and cousins used to engage in a random act of kindness called Put Pocketing.  Basically, it’s when you sneak up behind someone and instead of stealing something out of their pocket, you put something into it.  It’s generous.  It’s hilarious.  And it’s totally random.  All you’re looking for is an easy target to be the recipient of your generosity.  But true to its name, a random act of kindness has no definite aim, reason, or pattern.  And while random acts of kindness definitely have their place, it’s often better to be intentional. Intentional acts of kindness take a little more thought- and sometimes, a lot more!   To really direct one’s focus purposefully toward the betterment of a person or persons, perhaps a loved...

Eleven Degrees. And we’re not talking degrees of separation from Kevin Bacon.  We’re talking the actual outdoor temperature as I write this in Marion, Indiana, November 18th, 2014.  It was the harsh, nay despicable, reality I faced when I got out of bed this morning.  I texted my best friend to lament, who sympathized, but was incapable of true empathy because she’s a school teacher, and was on a two-hour delay.  But it’s only November!  And eleven is barely any degrees at all.  It’s certainly not enough degrees.  But with a brave face, though frozen, I confronted the bitter cold to make my way to the Foundation office, where hot coffee flows freely, and inspiration abounds to bring you, our Fabulous Foundation Followers, the world-famous eNews.  Whether it’s here on the Community Corner, sharing donor stories on the Marketplace, or imparting a Message from Dawn, my aim, my mission, is to bring you the most relevant Community Foundation information, bits of encouragement and inspiration, and a few smiles for your work week.  Am I a hero?  No.  I’m just an ordinary Program Manager/Blogger/Hoosier who hates the cold.  You are my heroes, and so it is less a sacrifice and more a privilege to be...

Well, we've done it again.  We've launched our online scholarship application and opened the opportunity for hundreds of Grant County students to apply for thousands of scholarship dollars.  Maybe I’m just excited, or an optimist, or just confident in our community of Fabulous Foundation Followers, but I anticipate this being the best scholarship season EVER. “What makes you say that, Ashley?” Well, I’m so very glad you asked.  It starts with our generous donors.  And when I say, “generous,” I mean, “incredibly generous.”  I mean, “generous to the max!”  In order to have over $500,000 to award in scholarships this year, we've received more than SEVEN MILLION DOLLARS in donations toward scholarship endowments since 1984.  (Learn how endowment works by clicking here.)  Um, can you say, “SupercalifragilisticexpialiGENEROUS!”  Even if you can’t, you get the point.  And with Lilly Endowment Gift VI, we’re adding to that number daily- by hundreds, by thousands, by up to one MILLION!  (Learn more about Gift VI by clicking here.) Secondly, we have the best students in Grant County applying.  Not only do we have students with great GPAs (over 80% of all applicants last year had a 3.0 or above), we have students that are seriously involved in...

Emerson is six-years-old.  If you ask her, “How are you?”  She will answer, “I’m six-years-old.”  She’s pretty stuck on it.  After all, turning six-years-old was a big deal.  There was a party, singing, clapping, and most importantly, presents.  She enjoyed her own birthday so much, that when my birthday came around, she felt compelled to share the news with everyone in the grocery store that day.  Each person politely misunderstood and wished her a happy birthday.  This was encouragement enough to keep telling each new stranger. It’s hard to believe that she came into our lives six years ago and made life better just by showing up. Where did the time go? This month marks the start of my fifth year here at the Community Foundation.  If you’ll meander momentarily down Memory Lane with me, you’ll recall that I came in as a receptionist and there were ten people on staff here (including Project Leadership) in 2010.  In the past four years, Project Leadership grew into their own self-sustaining organization, our executive director retired, Dawn became the new ED, our staff was reduced to four, and I was promoted to Program Manager. Where did the time go? And it just occurred to me that the...