What’s Happening

Posted: Tuesday, April 15, 2014 12:00 am By Mishele Wright | www.chronicle-tribune.com GAS CITY — Plans are underway to finish rebuilding the brick wall surrounding the Thompson-Ray House in Gas City. Leadership Education and Development Inc. earlier this month received a $4,000 grant from the Community Impact Fund through the Community Foundation of Grant County to put toward the project, but officials say they are still in need of additional funds. Jerry Long, chairman of LEAD, Inc., said the Community Foundation has been “tremendous” in helping make life better for people in Grant County. Last summer, work was done on one part of the wall facing Main Street by Van Buren resident Bob Sparks. The cost was between $6,500 and $7,000 and was paid for with Community Foundation grant money and a significant donation from Ann Thompson Hackett, the great-granddaughter of the man who built the home. She now lives in New Hampshire, Long said. He expects the cost to finish the wall to be about $8,000, and officials are about halfway there. He hopes to have Sparks do the work this summer, but he said it won’t start until all the money is raised. “The outside looks so nice now, and the inside does too,” he said. The home...

Marion, Ind. – Vectren Energy Delivery of Indiana-North (Vectren) recently broke ground at its new, $1.5 million operating center in Marion. The new facility will house approximately 25 employees, primarily in field operations, who serve customers in the Marion, Huntington and Gas City areas. This building, which is expected to be open in October, provides space to accommodate positions that will support the ongoing efforts by Vectren to modernize its natural gas infrastructure. “The construction of this operating center marks a special milestone for both the city of Marion and Vectren,” said Mike Roeder, vice president of government affairs and president of Vectren North. “We are proud to make the investment in bricks and mortar as well as technology to help further enhance the service our customers receive.” The construction of the 10,000-square-foot facility will allow for faster response time and reduced operating cost by way of new information technology enhancements and smart audio visual equipment for employee training. The addition of the new structure will add approximately $45,000 to the tax base Vectren pays to Marion City Center Township. The new building is being constructed adjacent to the existing facility at 3242 South Nebraska Street. The building is located on the west...

Community Foundation awards grant to school, MPO Posted: Wednesday, April 2, 2014 12:00 am  |  By Jillian Fellows  |  www.chronicle-tribune.com [caption id="attachment_2156" align="alignleft" width="300"] 1 April 2014 -- Instructor Kory Browder, third from left, talks with students during Ballet 3 class at Community School of the Arts on Tuesday. Photo/Jeff Morehead[/caption] A new grant from the Community Foundation has opened doors for the Community School of the Arts to  collaborate with other musical groups. “The grant is from the Community Foundation, which is awesome, and it’s a partnership with the Marion Philharmonic Orchestra,” said Nancy Wood, CSA marketing director. “It is to help combine CSA and the Orchestra for ‘The Nutcracker’ and to begin a new Suzuki program here at the school of the arts. We get to bring in the violins, we have a violin instructor. It’s so exciting; it’s something new and different that you can’t find just anywhere.” CSA officials said last year’s performance of “The Nutcracker” was the first CSA collaboration with MPO in many years. “Anything we can do to support other cultural music and arts in the community, whether it’s with the MPO, Civic, universities, anytime we can collaborate with them it’s a win-win for everybody,” Wood said. “This one step...

Posted: Tuesday, April 1, 2014 12:00 am  |  By Jillian Fellows  |  www.chronicle-tribune.com [caption id="attachment_2113" align="alignleft" width="300"] Photo by JEFF MOREHEADMarion High School senior Steven Ngo reacts to the news that he is one of Grant County's two Lilly scholarship winners Monday. Dawn Brown, Community Foundation executive director, second from left, and Ashley McKnight, program manager, left, were among those who delivered the news to Ngo in class.[/caption] Two Grant County students have garnered full tuition to any university in Indiana as top winners in the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship Program. Michael Riddle from Eastbrook High School and Steven Ngo from Marion High School were the scholarship recipients, chosen from among five top students in the county, one from each high school. “It’s an incredible achievement and I’m happy that I got it,” Riddle said. “Since only two people get it, that means that three other people don’t get it but it’s a great achievement for all of us to be nominated.” Riddle and Ngo were surprised during their classes on Monday morning as Community Foundation members, school officials and family members gathered to make the announcement. “We really like to surprise them but also do it in front of their peers because these are the people...

Posted: Monday, March 3, 2014 11:45 pm | Updated: 9:32 am, Wed Mar 5, 2014. by crystal franks  |  www.chronicle-tribune.com [caption id="attachment_2055" align="alignleft" width="300"] Wesley Stitt of Summitville Elementary requested a grant of $200 for the Hope Center at Monday’s Community Foundation of Grant County “Youth Grant Program.”[/caption] On Monday, one student from every elementary and middle school in the county was able to apply for a grant at the Community Foundation of Grant County’s bi-annual “Youth Grant Program,” which provided $5,750 for distribution. The program allows students to write and request a grant for a maximum of $350 and deliver a presentation about how the money would be used. After all the presentations, the students voted as a governing body and placed ballots of how much each proposal should receive. The students received the average amount of the ballots, Community Foundation of Grant County Program Manager Ashley McKnight said. Some students requested grants for local organizations. Faith Keaffaber, 10, of Riverview Elementary requested a grant for $350 for Marion Animal Care and Control. “Animals have been an obsession for me since I was a little kid,” she said. “The money is going to help buy food for the animals.” Students created presentations for grants to be used...

Move to online makes process more accessible Article by Jillian Fellows, Chronicle-Tribune |  Posted Sunday, January 19, 2014 After switching to an online application last year, the Community Foundation of Grant County is seeing more applications than ever before. The Community Foundation, an organization that seeks to connect people, resources and causes to promote the betterment of Grant County, offers a variety of different scholarships to students each year. “We have almost a half-a-million dollars that has been given to us by generous donors over the last 30 years and we have almost 130 different scholarship funds to give away,” explained executive director Dawn Brown.  “Some are academic, some are based on athletics and some are based on other things like where they live or what they plan to major in.” Brown said that they switched to an online application last  year because students are more familiar with the technology.  In the past, parents and teachers had preferred the paper version but that now the online application is much more accessible. The sheer number of students filling our applications would seem to prove Brown right.  As of Friday, 384 students had (started) the application. “We are on pace to set a record this year,” said program manager Ashley McKnight.  “Last...

Since moving to an online application, the Community Foundation of Grant County could have more scholarship applications than ever before.  As of January 13th, nearly 300 students have started scholarship applications at GiveToGrant.org/Scholarship.  Last year the Community Foundation gave away over $400,000 to Grant County students.  With 120 scholarship opportunities, students pursuing higher education at any level are eligible.  The Community Foundation scholarship application is due March 10th, 2014 at midnight.  Applications are available online only at GiveToGrant.org/scholarship....

Posted: Wednesday, October 16, 2013 4:00 am By Jillian Fellows: jfellows@chronicle-tribune.com www.chronicle-tribune.com The theme for Riverview Elementary School’s annual Family Reading Night was inspired by a special visitor to the school earlier Tuesday. The real life D.W. from the hit children’s series about Arthur the aardvark paid a visit to the school to give a presentation to students. Kim Brown, sister to author Marc Brown, talked about growing up with a budding writer and how her brother writes and illustrates stories. Brown’s visit inspired an Arthur-themed evening for parents and children at Family Reading Night on Tuesday evening. PTO president C.J. McAbee-Reher said this year’s Family Reading Night had a few differences from previous events. “We have three different guest readers this year,” said McAbee-Reher. “A lot of times we’ll have one guest reader and have the kids gather around. This year they go from room to room.” The guest readers — Community Foundation of Grant County Executive Director Dawn Brown, Grant County Sheriff’s Department Deputy Kyle Beal and Judge Warren Haas — contributed to the fun by reading “Arthur” stories to children throughout the school. “I’m thrilled to have the community guest readers,” said Riverview Elementary School Principal Michele Kelsay. “That stresses the importance of reading to have role models...

Posted: Friday, October 11, 2013 4:00 am By Karla Bowsher  |  kbowsher@chronicle-tribune.com www.chronicle-tribune.com [caption id="attachment_1255" align="alignleft" width="300"] Erika Horner, director for the Center for Success, chats with Verne Blon McCue, education liaison for the Indiana Department of Child Services, at right, during a Community Career Fair in the Conference Center at the Marion Ivy Tech Campus on Thursday. Ivy Tech Community College and Via Credit Union partnered to host the event.  Photo by Jeff Morehead.[/caption] The community college system’s Marion campus partnered with Via Credit Union for the event, which they hope to organize at least annually. While the campus has hosted career fairs in the past, Brian Sprayue, associate director of Student Support Services, said none reached the same scale. He said more than 30 employers, universities and military branches participated in the event, which was free and open to the public as part of an effort to help not only students but the community. “We definitely wanted to impact the community’s unemployment situation,” Sprayue said. Participating businesses based in Grant and Blackford counties included Carey Services, Dunham’s Sports, Manpower and Verizon. Leslie Wallace, a human resources administrator at Dollar General, said she appreciated the opportunity to speak with potential employees one-on-one. “I am excited to meet people...

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...