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LaGrange County Community Foundation offers matching opportunity for ministerial associations

To celebrate and support the charitable efforts of the LaGrange and Shipshewana Ministerial associations, the LaGrange County Community Foundation is offering a matching program through April 30.

Gifts made to the Community Foundation’s Good Samaritan Fund through April 30 will be set aside for a matching grant to the LaGrange Ministerial Association and Shipshewana Ministerial Association. The Community Foundation pledges to match gifts to each association up to a total of $2000.

For example, if local donors give $2,500 for the benefit of an association, the Community Foundation will match $2,000 and grant that ministerial association a total of $4,500.

The matching grant will support the LaGrange Ministerial Association’s efforts to provide emergency support to residents who find themselves without shelter and need a place to stay.  The association assists adults whose lives have been disrupted through a change in employment, forced to find a new living situation or are seeking to rebuild their lives after imprisonment or addiction.

The matching grant also will support the efforts of the Shipshewana Ministerial Association. The churches of the association work together to provide emergency financial support to local families facing an immediate crisis. They also coordinate the Big Give program in November, providing area families with food and clothing.

Checks submitted to the LaGrange County Community Foundation during this time and for this purpose must specify on the memo line – Good Samaritan Fund – and indicate “LaGrange” or “Shipshewana.”


We Give Thanks grant awarded to area food pantries

Scott Emergency Food Pantry coordinator Eunice Gagnon, left, and Scott United Methodist Church pastor Christopher White, received a $2,000 grant from the LaGrange County Community Foundation in February to support local food distribution for families in need.

Clothes and Food Basket, Scott Emergency Food Pantry receive assistance

Thanks to the generosity of many local donors, the LaGrange County Community Foundation  awarded two organizations a total of $10,936 in February as part of the foundation’s We Give Thanks matching program to support local food distribution.

Over the holidays in 2017, the LCCF Board of Directors offered to match local donations to the We Give Thanks campaign “dollar-for-dollar” up to a maximum match of $5,000. As in past campaigns, local donors, still deeply concerned about the welfare of families stepped up to the challenge.

Organizations who received grants this year include the Clothes and Food Basket in LaGrange for $8,936 and the Scott Emergency Food Pantry at the Scott United Methodist Church in Shipshewana for $2,000.

Open two days a week, the Clothes and Food Basket provides food, clothes and hygiene products to needy individuals in LaGrange County. They also operate the Christmas Bureau which provides assistance during the holidays. During the Clothes and Food Basket’s 2017 Christmas Bureau they served 369 clients and their families, assisting a total of 1,497 individuals. During that time they provided fresh fruit, towels, sheets, hats, gloves, undergarment, children’s toys for Christmas, and a ham or turkey.

The Scott Emergency Food Pantry provides additional assistance for county residents. The congregation operates the emergency food pantry to help the needs of those who have lost a job, been laid off, on sick leave, death of a spouse, etc. They offer non-perishable items and a voucher for milk, bread, eggs and a pound of hamburger. The pantry is open on Wednesday afternoons.

Tuttle named Executive Director

Lemings retires after 15 years of dedicated service

The board of directors of the LaGrange County Community Foundation is pleased to announce the selection of Jennifer Tuttle as the next executive director of the organization.

After 15 years of service, Laura Lemings has retired from the community foundation.

A past board member, Lemings came to the foundation as the executive director in 2002 with three decades of experience in business management.

​Lemings said she had been looking for meaningful work that touched the lives of many after working as an interior designer.

During her tenure, the foundation reached assets of $14.5 million. She guided the organization in creating programs that recognize local volunteers and support local charitable organizations while serving local donors and their philanthropic interests.

By creating endowments that support community projects and programs the foundation has impact that can last forever.

Lemings led the foundation successfully through four Lilly Endowment grant opportunities: two that built organizational assets — Taking Stock and SRD (Sustaining Resource Development) as well as two that built community assets — CAPE (Community Alliances that Promote Education) and GIFT VI (Lilly’s signature program – Giving Indiana Funds for Tomorrow) which just last year increased endowed assets at the foundation by more than a million dollars.

During her service, Lemings also created a strong partnership with the LaGrange County Parks Department. The foundation helped the parks department purchase properties that expand the county’s protected natural habitats and provide spaces for all residents to enjoy.

“Laura has focused on fulfilling the foundation’s mission to inspire and sustain generosity, leadership and service. Her impact on the community foundation, and in the community as a whole is immeasurable and she will be greatly missed,” said board president George Brown.

Tuttle has worked for the community foundation since 2006 as the financial director.

Born and raised in Wolcottville, she graduated from Lakeland High School in 1994. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in accounting from Indiana University South Bend.

Before joining the foundation, Tuttle worked as an accountant for a local CPA firm. With experience in the for-profit and not-for-profit sectors, she values the transparency of a community foundation and the commitment to prudent management of institutional funds.

“We look forward to working with Jennifer Tuttle and are confident that she will carry on, and build upon, the great work Laura has done for the foundation,” Brown said.

Tuttle said the community foundation has a solid financial foundation to continue its mission.

“I am eager to continue the work of serving local donors and their philanthropic interests,” Tuttle said. “Because of our community’s generous spirit, the foundation is able meet the needs in our community today, tomorrow and forever.”

Tuttle lives in Wolcottville with her husband and two children.