Five community organizations took home presentation checks totalling $2500 from the inaugural grant-making session of the Valley Community Foundation at the Akron Community Center on May 7.
Forty-one Valley graduates who responded to an invitation to attend listened to presentations from the five charitable causes, then decided in small groups around five tables how to distribute the funds.
The recipients were the Boomerang Backpack Program, represented by Valley principal Kirk Doehrmann, $350;
Akron Youth League, represented by Lisa Fear, $440;
the Little Free Libraries project, represented by Kristin Horrell, $450;
the Helping Hands food bank, represented by Jerry Secrist, $550;
and the Pioneer Days/Prill School visits program pairing high school History classes with Akron and Mentone 4th graders, $710. The program was presented by faculty members Jeff Shriver and June Yazel, and students Mitch Randall and Kortney Mayorga (pictured above).
You can read full coverage of the event from the Warsaw Times Union here, or the Rochester Sentinel's page one coverage here.
The Valley Community Foundation is a fund within the Fulton County Community Foundation. Its first grants were made from early contributions made by a number of Valley alumni, many of whom no longer live in the community.
After awarding the grants, many participants in the meeting joined a Valley Community "Giving Circle," by which friends and graduates of the Valley communities make contributions of $120 a year, half of which will be re-granted each spring for similar educational and community-development projects, and the other half of which will begin to build a growing endowment fund, interest from which will add to the funds to be granted each year.
Make sure you are at next year's event! You can join the Giving Circle -- or make a tax-deductible gift of any amount -- by mailing a contribution to the Fulton County Community Foundation, 715 Main Street, Rochester IN 46975, or giving online here. Just identify "Valley Community Foundation" as the fund.