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  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...

As a mother of teenagers, I can’t be cool.  I try to be.  I want to be.  Alas, I am not.  A prime example would be how my crew of boys randomly starts beatboxing.  This usually happens while we’re in the car driving, although it’s been known to interrupt dinner.  In case you’re as uncool as me, beatboxing is defined as a form of vocal percussion primarily involving the art of producing drum beats, rhythm, and musical sounds using one's mouth, lips, tongue, and voice.  Master beatboxer, Mike Thompkins, literally has millions of views of his phenomenal talent on YouTube.  Here is what his incredible beatboxing sounds like.  Yeah, I can’t do that…not even close.  So, my kids tried to help me this past weekend, with my first elementary beatboxing lesson, “Boots and Cats”.  I tried it.  It’s fun.  I’ve been practicing all week.  But, I realized last night that the Community Foundation is much more like boots and tights than boots and cats…and as it turns out, that’s pretty cool. You see, our office is full of women.  Autumn-loving fashionistas.  And, nothing says autumn fashion more than boots and tights.  The combo is stylish.  It’s warm.  It’s got personality.  And,...

Chronicle-Tribune  |  chronicle-tribune.com Posted: Monday, October 7, 2013 4:00 am By Karla Bowsher  |  kbowsher@chronicle-tribune.com [caption id="attachment_1156" align="alignleft" width="300"] Dawn speaks with Kelly Levensky at a Give me Five Celebration where Swing of Faith received a $10,000 grant.[/caption] Handicapped-accessible swings could soon sway at several parks and schools across Grant County. An informal grassroots organization called Swing of Faith, led in part by local nurse Bob Michael, put the plan in motion earlier this summer. With the swings now set up in Gas City’s Eugene “Beaner” Linn Memorial Park, Upland is next in line to install a set and schools may not be far behind. Michael, who used to work with handicapped children at Vernon Manor Children’s Home in Wabash, said conversations with friends about his pet peeve over a lack of local handicapped-accessible playground equipment led him to research the equipment. Assuming cost was the reason most playgrounds lacked wheelchair-friendly options, Michael said he was shocked to learn that less than $5,000 could purchase a five-swing set that included three different types of handicapped-accessible swings and two regular swings. He then started fundraising on a whim. In August, the nonprofit Community Foundation of Grant County gave Swing of Faith a $10,000 grant as part of its quarterly...

26 South.  That’s what the police call it.  26 meaning car wash; south meaning the car wash on the south end of town.  It used to be Rich’s Car Wash.  I loved 26 South.  I’d get the Gold Package.  They would not only send my car through the maze of long hanging damp strips of cloth, but they also detailed the entire inside.  They even found and discarded all of the lost McDonald’s French fries.  It was a beautiful thing.  But, my favorite part was the end.  Right before they’d open my car door for me to get inside, they’d ask me what scent I would like sprayed in my car.  From memory I know they had cherry, vanilla, piña colada, and, of course, new car smell.   (Who even knew that you could bottle the smell of a new car?  But apparently someone did it and is selling it to car washes around the world.  Good for that guy.)  I know I got each one of those flavors spayed in my nice, clean car at least once.  But, there was one scent that I never got, nor would I ever get.  It was called “I don’t care”.  I’m not kidding. ...

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. ...

Whether you know him as Johnny Cougar (my personal fav), John Cougar Mellencamp, or John Mellencamp, he had it right about small towns. Well, I was born in a small town. And I live in a small town. Probably die in a small town. Oh, those small communities. I think most Grant Countians can relate.  There is definitely something special about a small town.  For example, just last week I had lunch with a friend from elementary school who collected lunch trays with me in the cafeteria in 2nd grade.  And, I also caught up with some friends at a place I’ve frequented more times than I can count on two hands…the funeral home. A visit to the funeral home in a small town is almost like a class reunion.   The place is familiar to everyone with lots of pictures depicting the years, chatter recalling happy memories, and friends.  Always lots of friends. Death is a part of life, it’s true.  But when your community is small, the impact of any one person is great.  And much to my surprise, in spite of all the really amazing work we get to do at the Community Foundation, we actually have to deal with death...

Posted: Sunday, September 1, 2013 4:00 am By Karla Bowsher | kbowsher@chronicle-tribune.com www.chronicle-tribune.com UPLAND — More than a dozen dogs, from Dachshunds to Danes, attended the grand opening of the county’s second dog park Saturday despite the rain. Upland Pupland, a free dog park located in the Upland Softball and Baseball Complex, has been a year in the making. Volunteer members of the ad hoc Upland Dog Park Committee funded the project by seeking donations and grants from the Moorehead Family Donation and, most recently, the Community Foundation of Grant County. [caption id="attachment_815" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Karla Bowsher / kbowsher@chronicle-tribune.comNew dog park: Dogs line up Saturday in hopes of being names king or queen of Upland Pupland, a new dog park located in the Upland Softball and Baseball Complex on West Washington St.[/caption]   “It was better than I thought, even with the rain,” Chair Diann Wellman said of the turnout. “That was awesome.” The park, which follows Sweetser’s Pawadise Park, drew a combination of residents from Upland and surrounding areas.   “People kind of do the dog park circuit to give their dogs some variety,” Wellman said. Lindsay Cunningham of Sweetser said she visits Pawadise Park at least three times a week but is excited for a new location to socialize her...