Category Archives: News & Events

Heart of Gold Nominees Named

The Heart of Gold Award honors everyday LaGrange County residents who go above and beyond and embrace the call to volunteer service. We are excited to announce that we received 10 nominations for the award during the month of April.

The 2023 Heart of Gold nominees include:

  • Alexis Grossman of Wolcottville. Alexis is the president of Tri Kappa Mu and a member of the LaGrange County 4-H Fair Board.
  • Alice Bremer of LaGrange. Alice runs the Boomerang Backpacks program at Prairie Heights Schools. She volunteers with the Mongo Lions Club and serves as a Leo Club sponsor.
  • Amy Whited of LaGrange. Amy has been a member of Tri Kappa Mu for the past 25 years and volunteers in several art programs. She volunteers with LaGrange County Arts, Night to Shine, and serves on the board of LaGrange Communities Youth Centers.
  • Heather Evenson of Wolcottville. Heather donates her time and is an active board member with LaGrange County Miracle Tree.
  • John Schmidt of LaGrange. John donates his time and energy to helping people in his neighborhood, and serves at his church, Brighton Chapel.
  • Keith James of Howe. Keith is an active board member of The Farm Place, helping raise funds and create awareness. He uses his photography to help promote LaGrange County. Keith, along with another individual, launched the Hometown Heroes banner project in LaGrange County, honoring military and first responders from LaGrange County. Keith is a LaGrange County Chamber board member. He also serves as an Elder at his church, Brighton Chapel.
  • Kevin Myers of LaGrange. Kevin serves on the LaGrange County 4-H Fair Board, LaGrange County Farm Bureau, and he is an active member on the board for the LaGrange County Council on Aging.
  • Mike Brudney of LaGrange. Mike donates his time to running the LaGrange Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, taking every Saturday night away from his family and his own interests to help people in LaGrange County.
  • Randy Merrifield of LaGrange. Randy is a mentor through the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI) program, spending quality time with troubled kids, and getting them involved in activities to keep them out of trouble. He also volunteers with Agape Missions of LaGrange.
  • Samantha Davis-Kania of LaGrange. Samantha donates her time to LaGrange County Habitat for Humanity, serving on the board for the last 8 years. She also serves on the LaGrange United Methodist Church Outreach Committee.

In selecting the award recipient, the award committee considers nominees who share their time for the sake for others, render a service that changes lives, work to create positive change, inspire others to volunteer and more.

All nominees are eligible to make a $500 grant to the LaGrange County nonprofit of their choice in their name; the award recipient is eligible to make a $1,000 grant.

We will be announcing the recipient of the 2023 Heart of Gold Award at our Annual Celebration on Monday, June 12. The deadline to register for our celebration is Monday, May 29. If you are interested in attending, please go HERE.

Image by Irog Media

LaGrange Partners Meeting Coming Up!

LaGrange Partners is an interagency meeting for nonprofit organizations and entities providing services to LaGrange County residents. Partners provides a forum for learning about resources, discussing current issues, networking, and keeping up to date on existing services.

The meeting is open to nonprofit staff, board members, volunteers and interested community members who want to connect and learn more about the nonprofit sector in LaGrange County.

LaGrange Partners meets every other month in various locations, from 11:30am-1pm. The meeting format includes time for lunch, agency announcements, networking, and a featured presentation on a focus topic. Each of the focus topics are scheduled for the year. You can find that schedule HERE.

LaGrange Partners is facilitated by the LaGrange County Community Foundation.

If you’d like to find out more information, or to sign up for the next meeting on Tuesday, June 13, go HERE. You can also see past minutes, resources, and agendas at that link as well.

April 2023 Partners Meeting

Natalie Kauffman Memorial Nursing Scholarship Accepting Applications

The Natalie Kauffman Memorial Nursing Scholarship honors the life and legacy of Natalie Kauffman, a lifetime resident of Wolcottville.

Natalie graduated from Lakeland High School in 2010 and attended the nursing program at IPFW. She had 14 months left in her education when she passed away on October 18, 2013.

Natalie demonstrated love, respect, and compassion for others, and carried the belief that people are on earth to help each other. The Kauffman family established the scholarship to promote those ideals and support aspiring nurses and continue Natalie’s legacy of helping others.

This is a $1,000 scholarship that supports college students and non-traditional students pursuing a degree in nursing. And is available to students who have graduated from a LaGrange County high school or adults currently working in the healthcare field in LaGrange County.

This is a great opportunity to get some extra financial help. Be sure to share this information with someone who would have the above qualifications and would be able to use this scholarship money for their degree.

Applications will be accepted until June 15, 2023.

GO HERE to find out more!

Back to Basics: What is a Community Foundation?

When I started working for the LaGrange County Community Foundation, I heard a familiar question: “What is a Community Foundation?” 

In my many years in the workforce, I have had a variety of jobs. Many that I do today as the Marketing & Community Engagement Manager. But working for a nonprofit in this capacity was new for me. So, this was a great question to answer for myself as well.  

A community foundation is a tax-exempt, nonprofit organization composed, primarily, of permanent funds created by many separate donors for the long-term benefit of the residents of a specific geographic area. Our geographic focus is LaGrange County, Indiana. 

Three things set us apart from other charities:  

  • Permanent Endowment Building 
  • Broad, Flexible Grantmaking; and  
  • Community Leadership.  

Through Permanent Endowment Building we develop and maintain relationships with our donors, investing and protecting the principal of our donor’s gifts, and distributing the earnings from these gifts based on the charitable intent of the donor. 

Broad and Flexible Grantmaking is understanding our community’s needs, re-directing charitable dollars over time and as community needs change. We offer grant opportunities to local nonprofits and make investments in community needs.   

Community Leadership can encompass many things. Our organization seeks to be proactive, connecting people and ideas for the purpose of solving problems, to educate, and to find ways to better serve our community. 

We are led by a volunteer Board of Directors, who represent the communities of LaGrange County. They direct our strategic vision and make decisions regarding investment of assets, charitable distributions, donor relationships, new donor funds and growing assets.  

The LaGrange County Community Foundation manages more than 140 unique funds, each created for a specific charitable purpose. The Community Foundation works with each donor to identify the purpose and goal of their fund and manages the fund long-term on behalf of the donor. Some funds provide annual grant support to local nonprofits, while others provide scholarships for graduating seniors. 

There are several ways to give and support community needs through the Community Foundation. You can add money to an existing fund or create a new fund, your choice! You can donate to an organization or give to a specific cause or interest.  

Click here to see a list of the Foundation’s charitable funds. 

I hope this helps clarify things a little more! If you have ANY questions about the Community Foundation, how to give, about grants or scholarships, or even how you can volunteer, contact us HERE. We would love to assist you! 

The writer of this post, Sarah Hostetler, starting working for the LaGrange County Community Foundation at the end of March 2023.

It’s National Volunteer Week! Fun Statistics!

This week (April 16th- 22nd) is National Volunteer Week, and we thought it would be interesting to share some Volunteer statistics with you. These are from an article on Volunteer Hub.

  • One out of four American’s volunteer, two out of three American’s help their neighbor.
  • Individuals between the ages of 35 and 54 are the most likely to volunteer their time.
  • Volunteers are worth on average $28.54 an hour.
  • Volunteerism has a value of over $184 billion dollars.
  • Volunteerism improves health by strengthening the body, improving mood, and lessening stress.
  • Those who volunteer regularly have a 27% better chance of gaining employment.
  • 60% of hiring managers see the act of volunteerism as a valuable asset when making recruiting decisions.
  • Volunteers under the age of 24 accounts for 22.6% of all volunteers.
  • Volunteers, on average, spend 50 hours per year donating their time to the greater good.
  • 67% of people found volunteer opportunities online in 2014 vs 34% in 2006.
  • There are more than 1.8 billion active nonprofits in the United States alone.
  • 66% of volunteers give their time to improve their community, 83% do so to contribute to a cause they care about.
  • People who volunteer over 100 hours a year are some of the healthiest people in the US.
  • 28.2% of Millennials volunteer each year.
  • 30.7% of Baby Boomers volunteer each year.
  • 24.8% of Silent Generation Americans volunteer each year.
  • 39.9% of parents volunteer each each.
  • Utah has the highest rate of volunteers in America (51%).
  • Volunteering decreases the likelihood of high blood pressure development by 40%.
  • 96% of volunteers reported the action enriched their sense of purpose in life.

Every person who has helped another, with no expectation or payment in return, is a volunteer. We, in LaGrange County, count these volunteers as blessings. And it’s one of the many reasons our county is such a special place to live.

“Volunteering is at the very core of being a human.  No one has made it through life without someone else’s help.” – Heather French Henry

Don’t forget, now through May 1st, we at LCCF are accepting applications of this county’s exemplary volunteers for the Heart of Gold Award. For more details and the application, go HERE.

VolunteerHub Link

We are Now Taking Applications for Nonprofit Assistance Grants!

Nonprofit Assistance Grants help LaGrange County nonprofits with needs in technology, training, operations, emergency, and awareness events. Last year (2023) was our first year of opening this grant program.

Nonprofit Assistance Grants are available to LaGrange County nonprofit organizations. These grants are made possible through the generosity of donors who have supported the unrestricted and field of interest charitable funds at the Foundation.

LaGrange County nonprofit organizations are eligible to apply for up to $2,500 in assistance in the following categories, but not limited to:

  • awareness events
  • emergency needs
  • operations
  • technology (includes software)
  • training/development

Fundraising projects, utilities, general operating expenses, or your organization’s regular programing are NOT eligible for Nonprofit Assistance Grants. Government agencies, public schools, and churches are not eligible for Nonprofit Assistance grants. 

If you are unsure if your assistance project qualifies, please contact Program Director, Leanna Martin at or by calling 260-463-4363.

Grant Deadlines: Applications accepted on a rolling basis

Award notification will be made within 30 days of the application submission. Grants are awarded as funds are available. One grant award per organization. Applications will be accepted until October 31, 2023.

Want to Find Out More?

Go HERE to the Nonprofit Assistance Grants Page, for more information. To apply, scroll to the bottom of the page, and click “APPLY NOW“.

2023 Heart of Gold Award Nominations are Now Being Accepted!

Heart of Gold Awards 2023, LaGrange County, Indiana

The importance of volunteerism cannot be overestimated. Volunteers are what keeps non-profits ticking. They are the hands, feet and hearts.

Starting April 1st through May 1st, 2023, we are accepting nominations for outstanding volunteers in our community. The Heart of Gold award was created to recognize these outstanding volunteers whose unselfish and dedicated service has made significant contributions to LaGrange County.

2022 Heart of Gold Nominees
2022 Heart of Gold Nominees: Carolyn Hostetler, Allisa Brown and Kailie Snyder-Farnsworth (Not pictured: Chad Miller)

Some of the hard work and service in our county may go unnoticed, but we would love to encourage you to look around and see what others are doing around you!

If you know of anyone who deserves to be recognized, please let us know by filling out the nomination form on our website. It’s an easy form, and not only will the volunteers be recognized, but they also have a chance at getting a donation to the non-profit of their choice! Well worth it!

Check out the nomination form HERE!

Learn how to apply for a Community Foundation grant

The LaGrange County Community Foundation will host a grant workshop on Thursday, Feb. 23, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the Community Foundation.

The Community Foundation encourages nonprofit organizations considering submitting an application for a Community Impact Grant in 2023 to attend the workshop. The spring funding cycle is open and applications are due April 3.

Topics at the workshop will include an overview of the Community Impact Grant program, the online application portal, funding opportunities, and tips to tailor a strong story.

Nonprofit organizations serving LaGrange County are eligible to apply in six areas: arts & culture, community development, recreation, health and human services, education and environment. Awards range from $5,000 to $25,000.

“We are thrilled to offer a grant workshop that will provide information about the Foundation’s grant program. We encourage nonprofits who are considering applying or who want to learn more about seeking funds from the Foundation to attend. We will be sharing helpful tips on putting together a budget and how to tailor your story.”

Leanna Martin, Program Director

The Community Foundation aims to support nonprofit needs and provide innovative programs and services for local residents through its grantmaking program. The grants are made possible through the generosity of donors who have supported the unrestricted charitable funds at the Community Foundation.

To RSVP for the grant workshop click here. Those who register and attend will have a chance to win a gift card at $50.

Network with nonprofits at LaGrange Partners

Connect with LaGrange County nonprofit organizations at the bi-monthly LaGrange Partners meeting. The first meeting for 2023 takes place February 14, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Linder’s Tavern on Main in LaGrange.

LaGrange Partners, an interagency meeting for nonprofit organizations and entities providing services for LaGrange County residents, will meet February 14, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Linder’s Tavern on Main in LaGrange.

Partners provides a forum for learning about resources, discussing current issues, networking, and keeping up to date on existing services in LaGrange County.

The meeting is open to nonprofit staff, board members, volunteers and interested community members who want to connect and learn more about the nonprofit sector in LaGrange County.

2023 LaGrange Partners Schedule
February 14
April 11
June 13
August 8
October 10
December 12

Meetings are on the second Tuesday of every other month, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Locations vary. The meeting format includes time for lunch, agency announcements, networking, and a featured presentation on a focus topic.

To register for the February LaGrange Partners meeting, click here.

Guests will be able to pre-select a meal. Payment will need to be made directly to Linder’s on the day of the meeting.

To learn more about LaGrange Partners, visit

Application deadline approaching for Community Scholarships

Graduating LaGrange County high school seniors who are planning to apply for a Community Scholarship offered through the LaGrange County Community Foundation have until February 15, 2023 at 5 p.m. to submit their applications.  

The Foundation manages more than 45 community scholarship funds. Scholarship opportunities vary according to residency, career fields, current high school attendance, anticipated college enrollment, extracurricular involvement, and academic performance.

Scholarships are available for students who are planning to pursue a full-time education at a college, university, technical or trade school. Students can apply online at

Applicants should read the criteria carefully, as each scholarship is unique. Awards range from $500 to $3,000 per scholarship and may be used for educational expenses.

A full list of scholarships, criteria, and their award amounts is available online.

Questions about a scholarship opportunity? Contact Scholarship Manager Laurie Sherck at or call 260-463-4363.