Monthly Archives: October 2021

National Standards Accreditation Affirms Our Commitment to Excellence

LaGrange County Community Foundation is pleased to announce that we have recently received accreditation with National Standards for U.S. Community Foundations®. This accreditation, signified by the Seal shown here, indicates that LaGrange County Community Foundation meets the highest standards for philanthropic excellence.

This is a significant accomplishment. When people trust LaGrange County Community Foundation with a charitable bequest, to establish a fund, or set up an annuity, they do it knowing that we have met rigorous standards for donor services, investment management, grantmaking and administration.

Octavia Yoder, Executive Director

We’ve always worked hard to do good, right here in LaGrange County. And we’ll continue to work with you to achieve your charitable goals. National Standards ensures that we have policies in place for financial stability and longevity, affirming our continued commitment to our donors, grantees, and community.

In short: We are a proven place to give.

The process of earning National Standards accreditation is arduous. The program requires community foundations to document our policies for donor services, investments, grantmaking, and administration. Our documentation was reviewed by a community foundation expert from a panel appointed by the Community Foundations National Standards Board, a supporting organization of the Council on Foundations in Washington, D.C.

The National Standards accreditation says this house is in order. It is excellent validation of the work we do on behalf of our donors and our community.

Octavia Yoder, Executive Director

With your help, LaGrange County Community Foundation has become a more effective partner for impacting the causes you care about. Thanks for working with us.

LaGrange County Community Foundation was accredited with National Standards in September of 2021.

The Next 30 Years, Donation Matching Program

Since 1991, the LaGrange County Community Foundation has been a charitable partner in LaGrange County, helping connect donors to their charitable dreams and building permanent community funds.

In celebration of the Community Foundation’s 30 years, the Next 30 Years donation matching program will match one-for-one up to $30,000. The time is now, time to be intentional and compassionate, time to invest in your community for the next generation. The Next 30 Years donation matching program will run through December 31, 2021. Gifts of no more than $3,000 will be matched $1 for $1 to existing endowed funds.

A community foundation is a tax-exempt public charity serving thousands of people who share a common interest – improving the quality of life in a geographic region. Individuals, families, businesses and organizations create charitable funds that help meet those local challenges.

Our responsibility is to be a wise steward of the assets entrusted in our care. The Foundation works on behalf of donors who want to do charitable good in LaGrange County

Octavia Yoder, Executive Director

It is simple, choose from the endowment fund list that supports a passion you are interested in. If you are not sure give us a call we love to chat about what our funds support, 260-463-4363.

Domer, Staton receive 2021 Heart of Gold Award

Each year, we are honored to shine the spotlight on volunteerism in LaGrange County. We ask the community to share the stories of people making a difference in our community and honor the volunteers through the Heart of Gold Award.

We received nine nominations for our 12th annual Heart of Gold Award. For the first time in the award’s history, the Community Foundation selected two individuals for the top volunteerism honor: Dean Domer of Wolcottville, and Shanan Staton of Mongo.

We made the surprise announcement at our Annual Meeting on August 31 at the Blue Gate Garden Inn in Shipshewana.

For the past 30 years, Dean has been volunteering for the Little League as a baseball coach, the Lion’s Club Egg Hunt, BBQ, and numerous fundraisers and events. He has served on the LaGrange County Economic Development board, Wolcottville Town Board, the Lakeland School Board, and is a member of the Wolcottville Lions Club. Dean is recognized by youth as he has served as a sports official for decades.

Shanan is an active volunteer in the Mongo and Prairie Heights community. She volunteers for the Mongo Community Development Association, summer parks programs, Stroh Little League, H.O.B.O., the Community Harvest Food Bank, Reason 4 Hope, Mongo UMC Youth Group, NELCC car show, Mongo UMC Food Pantry, and Prairie Heights Athletics and Student Council.

From left are the 2021 Heart of Gold nominees: Lauri Couture, Matt Gingerich, Melissa Bateman, Shanan Staton, Dean Domer, Jamelle Godlewski, Linda Simmons, and Carolyn Hostetler. Not pictured is Brett Bateman.

All nine community volunteers were honored at the Annual Meeting, though, they deserve more than recognition. The time, energy, and commitment each of the nominees put into their volunteer efforts is beyond measurable. We are truly blessed to have such kind-hearted volunteers serving our community.

2021 Heart of Gold Nominees

  • Brett Bateman, Howe
  • Carolyn Hostetler, LaGrange
  • Dean Domer, Wolcottville
  • Jamelle Godlewski, LaGrange
  • Lauri Couture, Shipshewana
  • Linda Simmons, Howe
  • Matt Gingerich, Shipshewana
  • Melissa Bateman, Howe
  • Shanan Staton, Mongo

Each nominee was able to direct a $500 grant to the favorite LaGrange County charity of their choice. The Heart of Gold recipients were given the honor of directing a $1,000 grant toward their favorite charity.

Previous Heart of Gold recipients are Erica Cook, 2020; Richard Yoder, 2019; Larry Strayer, 2018; Kevin Lambright, 2017; Steve Sherck, 2016; Sue Keenan, 2015; Jack Miller, 2014; Randy Packer, 2013; Colton Strawser, 2012; Rhonda Bartlett, 2011; and Dave Clark, 2010.

Finalists announced for LaGrange County’s 2022 Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship

Five LaGrange County high school seniors have been named finalists for the 2022 Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship. The prestigious award goes to an outstanding high school senior in LaGrange County. The 2022 Lilly Endowment Community Scholar will be awarded a full-tuition scholarship including a $900 book stipend per year, for four years to any accredited college or university in Indiana.

Finalists for the award are Lillian Eash of Westview High School, daughter of Cory and Vanessa Eash; Kaylyn Gates of Westview High School, daughter of Marty and Lora Gates; Jackson Minix of Westview High School, son of Douglas and Mary Minix; Isaac Rogers of Westview High School, son of Jeremiah and Elizabeth Rogers, and Lillian Schackow of Lakeland High School, daughter of Jason and Elisa Schackow.

The scholarship is awarded to a well-rounded LaGrange County graduating senior who exemplifies service and leadership in their community, while maintaining a commitment to academics.

The scholarship program is offered each year by the LaGrange County Community Foundation, and other Indiana community foundations across the state to help raise the level of educational attainment in Indiana; to increase awareness of the beneficial roles Indiana community foundations can play in their communities; and to encourage and support the efforts of current and past Lilly Endowment Community Scholars to engage with each other and with Indiana business, governmental, educational, nonprofit and civic leaders to improve the quality of life in Indiana generally and in local communities throughout the state.

After a competitive application process that evaluates academics, community and school activities, leadership, and written essays, the finalists are interviewed by the Foundation’s Lilly Scholarship Advisory Committee. The results of the interview round are combined with the application round to determine the 2022 nominees who will be submitted to Independent Colleges of Indiana for final selection of the LaGrange County recipient.

Announcement of the recipient will be made in mid-December. The four remaining finalists will each receive a $1,000 renewable four-year scholarship from the Lambright Leadership Scholarship Fund, established by Kevin and Carrie Lambright in 2013.

To help students with the cost of tuition, donate to a local school’s scholarship fund.