LIFE is a youth philanthropy group supported by the LaGrange County Community Foundation. LIFE members gain experiences in community service and charitable giving. The students also provide oversight to youth grant making funds at the Community Foundation.
During the 2022 – 2023 school year LIFE offered two grant cycles, awarding $19,676 to youth-serving organizations and school projects. We focused on after school programming and was able to award $4,000 in this area supporting LCYC after school photography program and Prairie Heights new e-sports program.
Our meetings were packed full of grant making decisions and LEAP planning. We broke into event committees to conquer and divide. LEAP is a one-day event for youth, grades 9 -12, from all three public high schools to learn about philanthropy, community service and leadership. We have guest speakers, breakout sessions, and some serious fun planned!
We began our community service projects in November with leaf pick up. We worked with LaGrange County Council and Aging to pick up leaves from local homes. In March we connected with LaGrange County Parks & Recreation to help them prepare for Maple Syrup Days. Cleaning, organizing, and setting up table and chairs for the event proved to be a very productive afternoon.
Jamelle Godlewski from Lead and Impact shared about leadership and what type of leaders there are. Rustin Krapfl of Agape Missions of LaGrange County shared the six lessons in leadership. Both guest speakers provided great insight on necessary skills for leadership.
And the last LIFE event took place at The Trading Post Outfitters. We completed one last community service project, trash pickup along the river.
As we plan for next school year, we hope to continue encouraging philanthropy in our community and peers.
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.
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.
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.