News

We don’t do Elf on a Shelf at our house, but we do watch a lot of Elf on television.  The popularity of this Christmas film may be even more ginormous than the toilets in New York City.  It’s mildly embarrassing that I may have seen this movie about 100 times since it was released in 2003…but that’s still not as many times as my husband has watched the first Die Hard.  So, if I measure myself using that scale, I’m still good!  One of my favorite scenes in Elf is when Buddy the Elf is trying to muster up the courage to ask a beautiful retail worker, Jovie, out on a date.  Buddy is a human, but he was raised by elves, so his dating game isn’t what the kids call ‘on point’.  Leave it to his 12-year-old half-brother, Michael, to show him the dating ropes.  The conversation goes like this: Alas, Jovie agrees to ‘eat food’ and Buddy realizes just how nice it is to meet another human being that shares his affinity for elf culture. It’s funny to me how ‘eat food’ was what a 12-year-old thought was ‘the code’ for going out on a date.  But, the more I...

The Community Foundation of Grant County has recently been re-accredited with National Standards for U.S. Community Foundations®—the highest standards for philanthropic excellence. We work to connect people who care with causes that matter. National Standards says that we meet the most rigorous standards in philanthropy and is a promise to our community that we’ll continue to do this good work together, right here in Grant County. National Standards is not mandatory. We chose to go above and beyond by affirming our commitment to excellence and accountability. Our accreditation provides assurance that we have sound policies and practices in place. In short, it means we meet the highest standards for local giving. To receive accreditation with National Standards, The Community Foundation of Grant County submitted our policies and procedures to a rigorous review of 26 National Standards in five key areas of community foundation operations, including donor services, investment management, grantmaking and administration. The National Standards for U.S. Community Foundations® program was established in 2000 in cooperation with the Council on Foundations. For more information about National Standards, visit www.cfstandards.org....

There are two kinds of people in the world—those who use the Oxford comma and those who should.  Not too long ago, I was helping one of my colleagues develop a website that connects volunteer opportunities with volunteers in our Grant County community.  The site can be found at www.ServeGrantCounty.org and it’s a great place to go if (a) you’re a non-profit who needs some extra volunteer help or (b) you’d like to volunteer and need to find the volunteer opportunities that fit the type of help you’d like to give—especially during the holidays. It’s sort of like an eHarmony for volunteers, so you can imagine the sophistication that the engine for this website must have—this is no small task.  It’s also why it’s so funny that when I did a final click-through, the only real edits I had on the site were those involving Oxford commas!  We had a few laughs as this falls under Nerd Quirk #52…good thing being a nerd is cool these days—but not as cool as collective impact. I don’t know if you’ve heard about the collective impact phenomena, but it’s trending in Grant County.  Collective Impact is essentially the commitment of a group of people...

So many historical things have happened so far in November 2016! The Chicago Cubs actually won the World Series. We have never flown the Cubs’ “W” flag this late in the year before at Rush Ranch! There was an historic U.S. election that you may have heard about, but we won’t get into that here. And the Community Foundation’s fiscal year 2015-16 audit and 990 are now complete and available for your viewing pleasure. The Foundation’s auditors reported to the Finance Committee that this was the smoothest audit ever with the Community Foundation, and they’ve been doing this a long time. After reviewing hundreds of reports and compiling the information, the auditors complimented the whole Foundation Team on cooperation and our knowledge of the industry and obvious love for the community. We believe in giving where you live, and that includes hiring awesome, local residents who love Grant County. If you are interested in reading the Foundation’s audited financial statements and/or IRS Form 990, just ask me. We are happy to provide any information about the Community Foundation, and we welcome a conversation about how we can connect you with causes that matter to you and your family!...

We Hear Those Sleigh Bells Jinglin’ with Santa Grants for Grant County Nonprofit Organizations Santa Claus is coming to Grant County Nonprofits. But he wants to hear from YOU! Write a letter to Santa’s Elves at The Community Foundation for your chance to Deck the Halls for our local 501c3 charitable organizations. Now through noon on Monday, December 12th, we invite you to write a letter to Santa about a Grant County nonprofit you believe is making a difference in our community. Be sure to tell Santa in your letter, the name of the organization, the organization’s contact information, the impact they make in our community, and why they are important to the future of Grant County. To qualify, the organization must be a 501c3 charitable organization that benefits Grant County. Letters must be received by noon on Monday, December 12th at the Community Foundation of Grant County Office, located at 505 West Third Street, Marion, Indiana 46952. Santa’s Elves will make early deliveries of Santa Grants on Friday, December 16th. Announcements will be made on the Community Foundation’s social media pages (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram), the website (www.GiveToGrant.org), and to local media outlets. If you have any questions about this grant opportunity,...

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...

For Immediate Release September 14, 2016 The Refinery Business Center announces new Director MARION, IN – The Refinery Business Center announced a new Director of Community Relations Wednesday. Marion native and Indiana Wesleyan graduate, Jess Holland is excited to get started as Director of The Refinery. "I'm looking forward to meeting Grant County entrepreneurs and small business owners,” said Holland. After graduating from Eastbrook High School and IWU, where she earned a General Studies Degree with a focus in Graphic Design, she continued to work in Marion and has become a strong advocate for Marion and is eager to get involved in building the community. “I just love this community and see so much potential and opportunity for growth,” said Holland. She hopes to serve Marion and Grant County by working with other local organizations to provide resources to create and grow jobs in the community. As she gets started in her role at The Refinery, she'd be so excited if you stopped by and introduced yourself. “Connecting with entrepreneurs and business owners will be a big focus of my role here,” she said. Coincidentally, former Director, Alexis Deirker, is leaving to devote more time to growing her photography business, Alexis Imagery. Alexis will also be supporting another successful local entrepreneur, Cathy Kerton-Johnson,...

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...