Grant County Community Corner

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!  That’s right- Scholarship Season! We just launched our new scholarship software on December 1st, and we’ve already had over 100 applicants log in and start the application process. Last week I had two high school seniors visit my office to walk through the application process.  They were a little intimidated at the thought of applying, but after a 10 minute tutorial, they felt reassured and empowered.   “That’s easier than I thought it would be,” one relieved student told me.  And though students will need to be prepared to write two 300 word essays, provide a high school or college transcript, and have some basic income information on hand, the process is very straightforward.  If you can start a Facebook page, you can start a scholarship application. During scholarship season, I’ll be visiting several local high schools to show students the application process and answer any questions.  I’m kinda like Santa Claus, spreading cheer wherever I go.  Only instead of presents, I’ll be bringing information- information that could be worth up to $10,000 for college-bound Grant County students.  And instead of stopping when Christmas is over, I’ll be making rounds until March 10th, 2014, the...

My family is a rather musical bunch.  We’ve all grown up signing around the house, singing in choir, and of course, singing in church.  It really wasn’t ever an option.  If you were a McKnight, you were expected to sing…up front…on demand.  It didn’t really matter how you felt about your own skill or ability to sing well, when Uncle Paul asked you sing, you sang. Now, in my adult life, there have been times when I’ve succumbed to stubborn pride, or fear of embarrassment, and I’ve refused to sing when asked.  I’m self-aware.  I know what my limitations are.  But that’s when I have to remember Dad’s philosophy on the whole matter:  Never return an insult for a compliment.  That is, if someone compliments you by asking you to sing, never insult their taste by telling them you don’t sing well.  If they like the way you sing, shut up get up and sing.  Though it may be a sacrifice to you, albeit a sacrifice of pride, you have the ability to bring joy to those around you. Pride is a funny thing.  Sometimes it’s rooted in confidence, other times rooted in fear.  The enemy of vulnerability, it can inhibit our...

We’ve all heard the saying, “Dress for the job you want, not the job you have.”  It’s a great philosophy on how to present yourself in a way that makes you feel your best.  After all, “being well dressed is a beautiful form of politeness.”   But I love this little cartoon because the guy down in front has taken the idea of dressing for the job he wants to a whole new level.  Perfect, right?  My goddaughter even dressed up for “Favorite Character Day” at Kindergarten this week.  Have you ever seen a more adorable Snow White?  Who doesn’t want to be a princess? I have a feeling we’ll see a lot of that today.  People running around, going door-to-door, dressing up like the thing they want to be.  I met up with Iron Man and Iron Patriot last night.  I also saw Rosie the Riveter, a cat, and a cowgirl princess.  Ah, Halloween.  You can be whatever it is you want to be. Mahatma Gandhi once said, “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”  Wow.  Talk about being whatever you want.  If you want to see good in the world, be good.  If you want to...

  Okay, I know it’s not a nationally recognized holiday or anything, but around here, it’s every bit as good.  Even better, because no matter what the government shuts down next, they have no power over Apple Week at the Foundation.  And for that, we are thankful. Making yummy stuff out of apples is an American tradition as old as Old Glory.  It’s more than a fruit, it’s a style, a statement, and in its pie form, a standard by which all things “American” are judged. Apple Week is a designated week in October when each member of the Community Foundation team brings in an apple themed treat.  It’s okay to be jealous.  So far we’ve had apple butterscotch bars and apple blondies with walnuts.  With only two days left, I can’t wait to see what’s going to walk in the door next.   Last year someone brought in caramel apples and all the fixin’s, and the rumor is that apple crisp will be here on Friday…a la mode.  And, earlier this afternoon, a giant chocolate and caramel dipped apple arrived via FedEx.  It said “DeBrand” on the box, but I’m pretty sure it’s actually from the Heavenlies.  Just when you think you can’t...

If you have an iPad, an iPod Touch, or an iPhone you probably got a notice this past weekend that you needed a “Software Update”.   My brother and I were comparing notes on how we felt about all this Appley new-ness.  It is more fun to swipe your unused pages away- no more trembling icons, but it’s also somewhat more difficult if you want to listen to your Pandora or play Chess with Friends.  I’m sure we’ll all adapt quickly. My BFF had a personal Software Update last week.  She’s one of those super-cool-ultra-trendy-proud new owners of an iPhone 5s.  She unlocks it with her fingerprint.  Apparently it’s said to be 40 times faster than the original iPhone.  Can human beings even blink that fast? To my left sits a brand new computer still in its wrapping, just waiting to be set up and used this week.  I’ve put a lot of mileage on the computer I’m using and I’m certainly due for a Software Update here in my office. Over the past year, the Community Foundation has given a couple of grants for Software Updates.  The Pregnancy Help Center has a brand new website thanks to the grant they received last fall,...

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text] He’s probably the most intentional person in the family.  Every move he makes seems to have a decided purpose.  He never gets bored because he’s heartily engaged in whatever task his hands find to do.  In the moment he decides that something must be done, everything else become unimportant by comparison.  And yet, he’s as easily distracted as he is single-mindedly employed.  As soon as another whim catches his fancy, he quickly leaves behind the once important chore and sets to a new one.  He will often set down one object to take up another and then another in rapid succession.  Never casual, often random.  But after all, he’s only 14 months old.   Though he never seems to have an idle moment, at the end of the day, sometimes all he’s accomplished is getting all the mixing bowls out, stacked, un-stacked, restacked, and left behind.   I have days like that.  It’s not mixing bowls, but paperwork that sits in haphazard stacks around my office.  Everything is equally important, equally prioritized, and equally impossible to do all at once.  Some days I feel like I have to get a running start just to dive into my office and get stuff done. ...

It’s not just a classic Eaglesalbum with a well-known title track.  It’s a perspective, a lens for viewing a process, a circumstance, a trial. I know something about a “long run”.  Literally.  Every Saturday, I go on a long distance run in preparation for a marathon I’m scheduled to run in October.  Talk about a long run!  And I’ve learned a few lessons along the way.  Such as, you don’t just wake up one morning and decide to go out for a 26 mile run.  And if you’re anything like me, you don’t just wake up one morning and decide to go out for a 2.6 mile run.  It takes a long time to build up to the long run.   We’re talkin’ months of preparation. Also, you have to do the distance in your mind before you ever do the distance on your feet.  If you don’t believe you can make it in the long run, guess what, you can’t.  You have to (have to, have to) believe before you achieve.  It’s like Steve Emtman says in Little Giants, “Just remember, football is 80% mental and 40% physical.”  Close enough. And, before you cross the start line, you better want to cross...

It’s that time of year again.  The dreaded, the hated, the end of summer vacation.  Time for backpacks and pencils (and iPads apparently).  Time for librarians and lunch ladies, and crossing guards.  No more sleeping in on a random Tuesday.  No more Spaghetti Os for lunch.  No more forgetting what day it is because you stayed up until 3:00 am the night before watching an entire season of your favorite show on Netflix.  No matter how much you feel like kicking and screaming, it’s time to get back to the classroom.  After all, the students are watching and you’ve got to make a good first impression.  (See what I did there, teachers?  Teehee!) My best friend is a teacher in one of our local schools.  She’s been preparing all summer for a busy year with 6th graders.  She takes great pains to make sure her classroom is a hub of learning.  She’s passionate about teaching language arts and encouraging her students to read as much as possible.  After all, readers are leaders.  Reading is the key that opens the door to information, to endless possibilities.   She totally gets that, and that’s why her classroom shelves are full of all kinds of...

Dad grew up in south Marion.  He remembers the bustling traffic of South Adams Street, the many shops and eateries on Washington Street, the general busyness of what was once known as “downtown.”  (Before “uptown” –ie. the court house square- became “downtown.”)  He also remembers the old CSX railroad, or the Cardinal Line, that used to run through town, along the river.  As a child, he was familiar with the tracks, playing near them and using them as a route to get from one side of town to the other.  Now that route is known as the Cardinal Greenway, the longest rail-trail in Indiana and spans 62 miles from Marion through Muncie to Richmond in East Central Indiana. We’re big fans of the Cardinal Greenway.  It’s certainly one of the best assets Grant County residents have.  I often use it when I’m running long distances and Dad likes to use it to bike to work.  When he started biking to work, several years ago, it was because gas prices were high and he was cheap...

Tradition.  Tevye taught us in the iconic musical, Fiddler of the Roof, that it’s how we keep our balance.  We do things the way we’ve always done things.  It’s the tried way, the tested way, the way that we like it.  In the movie, we see Tevye (as played by Topol) in different situations trying to discern if the traditional way is the best way, or if it’s time to find a new way.   I like the movie.  But it’s absolutely worth noting that the best rendition of Tevye ever performed was by a freshman Clayton Soultz in the Mississinewa High School 2010 production of Fiddler on the Roof.  Hands down.  But Topol makes the point well:  tradition is a valuable part of our culture. Our family has a Fourth of July tradition that we’ve kept lo these many years.  It’s not a celebration or a recipe or a game.  It’s a spot.  A spot in the Gas City Park where we’ve staked down a tarp for at least 18 years.  It’s a good view of the ground display, right next to the street, across from the girls’ softball field and adjacent to the sewage treatment plant.  Everybody knows where we...