Monthly Archives: June 2023

Salvation Army brings mobile food pantry to LaGrange County

The Salvation Army is bringing its mobile food pantry to LaGrange County providing a nonperishable food box and frozen items to families. One is available per household, every 30 days.

Food pantry locations:

  • July 27, Topeka Fire Department, 11a.m. to 1p.m.
  • August 31, LaGrange Town Hall, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • September 21, Howe Fire Department, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • October 26, Topeka Fire Department, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Spring 2023 Community Impact Grant recipients named

Organizations were presented with their grant at the 2023 Annual Event in June.

The LaGrange County Community Foundation awarded $71,736 to four nonprofit organizations during its 2023 Spring Community Impact Grants cycle.  

The Community Impact Grants address community needs in Arts & Culture, Health & Human Services, Recreation, Environment, Community Development, and Education.

The 2023 Spring Community Impact Grant recipients include: 

Each year, the Community Foundation seeks proposals for charitable projects and programs that help local nonprofit organizations provide services in LaGrange County. The Grants Advisory Committee reviews the submitted grant applications and makes recommendations to the Board of Directors who approve the grant awards.  

The Community Impact Grants are made possible by the generosity of donors who give to the unrestricted and field of interest funds at the Foundation.   To learn more, visit HERE.

2023 Annual Celebration: A Success!

This year’s Annual Celebration took place on Monday, June 12. It was a combination of delicious food, great information from some nonprofits, some encouragement to “take that extra step” because “we were born for such a time as this” from guest speaker Jason Schackow, and a celebration of volunteerism.

We are thrilled to have so many people who want to volunteer for the Community Foundation, whether on our board, on a committee, or other. We can’t say thanks enough or give anything that would be enough to express our gratitude for their time.

We also named our Spring Community Impact Grant recipients as well. The following organizations will receive grant funds of $71,736:  

  • LaGrange County Arts will receive $5,000 for the second annual LaGrange County Arts Festival. The June 24 event will showcase artists specializing in theatrical, literary, visual and musical arts. 
  • St. Martin’s Healthcare will receive $25,000 for its mobile health clinic. The organization provides healthcare to uninsured and underinsured people in LaGrange, Noble, Steuben and DeKalb counties. Their mobile clinic will visit LaGrange County at least once a week to see patients.
  • Community Dental Clinic in Topeka will receive $20,000 to help purchase an oral scanner helping their organization provide more effective dental care. 
  • Rainbow Years Learning Ministry will receive $21,736 to help purchase materials, furniture, equipment, toys/activities for the childcare’s upgraded facilities. Rainbow Years Expansion Project will be adding 25 more childcare seats.

We were thrilled to celebrate our 10 nominees for the Heart of Gold Award. What a unique group of people, who all do a variety of volunteerism, and a beautiful example of what the people in this county can do. See more about their stories HERE.

The highlight of the evening was naming our 2023 Heart of Gold recipient. All of the nominees could be given the award, because in their own ways they do so much for those around them.

Amy Whited of LaGrange was chosen as our Heart of Gold Award recipient. Whited, an art teacher at Lakeland Intermediate School, was nominated for the award by her mentor and friend, Mary Woodworth. Whited credited her mentor for encouraging her to pursue a creative path.

Known to serve quietly in the background, Whited is involved in volunteer activities for youth – especially in art. She is a 25-year member of Tri Kappa Mu, a local women’s sorority focused on philanthropy, and helps organize the annual Tri Kappa Art Month. A board member of LaGrange Communities Youth Centers, she leads and instructs an annual summer art camp for elementary students. She volunteers with Camp Watcha Wanna Do and LaGrange Night to Shine. This past year, she was instrumental in helping support a new arts organization – LaGrange County Arts.

Overall the evening was a success!

Thank you to the following for all you did in helping us make the 2023 Annual Celebration a night to remember!

  • George’s Taco Shack for the dinner.
  • Shawna Rae’s for the cupcake spread.
  • Braden Rogers for the music.
  • MY Events LLC, Megan Yoder for the photo backdrop.
  • Kari Lipscomb for photography.
  • Farmstead Inn & Conference Center, Andrea Boval for the facility.
  • Mariah at SRMA for the tablecloths.
  • Judy at Country Garden Center for the table flower pots.
  • Isaac Rogers at Irog Media for the Heart of Gold Nominee video.
  • Lavern at Teaberry Wood Products for donating the engraved basket given to the Heart of Gold Award recipient.
  • Action Quick Print for the printed material.
  • Carrie at Extreme Graphics LLC for the volunteer T-shirts
  • Our panel of speakers: Jared Beasley from Community Health Clinic; Portia Amstutz from Rainbow Years Learning Ministry; and Kathy Dunafin from Elijah Haven Crisis Intervention Center.
  • Our guest speaker: Jason Schackow, Lakeland Jr/Sr High School principal.
  • Speakers and presenters for the evening: Octavia Yoder, Executive Director at the Foundation; Leanna Martin, Program Director for the Foundation; and Tony Bontrager, President, LCCF Board of Directors & Renea Boots, Vice President, LCCF Board of Directors.
  • Trevor Thain and Renea Boots, LCCF Board of Directors, for helping at the registration tables.
  • Tony & Lauren Bontrager and the staff’s husbands for helping with cleanup afterward.
  • The LaGrange County Community Foundation staff for all of the behind the scenes decisions that helped make this a great event.

Written by: Sarah Hostetler, Marketing & Community Engagement Manager

$90,000 in Community Scholarships awarded

The LaGrange County Community Foundation is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2023 Community Scholarship Program, which aims to support the educational aspirations of students in LaGrange County.

Through the program, the Community Foundation awarded $93,250 in community scholarships to 19 graduating seniors. The program includes 45 donor-created scholarship funds, each with their own unique criteria. Funds are created by individuals, families and businesses and are managed by the Community Foundation.

The scholarship program is open to graduating high school seniors who are pursuing higher education at an accredited university, college, or trade school. The scholarships support a variety of career paths such as education, agriculture, health, science, nursing, and more. Awards range from $500 to $3,000 per award; several scholarships are provided for four years.

“Each year we look forward to awarding our community scholarships to high school seniors. These scholarships recognize the accomplishments the students have achieved in the last four years,” said Executive Director Octavia Yoder.

“We are grateful to the individuals, families and businesses who created these scholarship funds and have worked alongside the Community Foundation. We aspire to welcome new donors and fund more students as the program continues to grow. We are extremely appreciative of the community volunteers who take time to help read and evaluate scholarships. The process is quite an undertaking and is truly a community partnership of donors, volunteers, schools, and Community Foundation staff. It’s rewarding to help support the educational goals of students in our community,” Yoder added.

Recipients of the 2023 Community Scholarships, listed by schools, are as follows:

Lakeland High School scholarship recipients:

  • Allread-Rife Family Scholarship – Mallory Mynhier
  • Brian Evans Memorial Scholarship – Aurora Yoder
  • Bruce Brown Memorial Scholarship – Ezekiel Wachtman
  • Bulldog Spirit Scholarship – Jeremiah Combs
  • Chase Scott Memorial Football Scholarship – Owen Troyer
  • Holly Petersen Memorial Science Scholarship – Ezekiel Wachtman
  • HOPE Nursing Scholarship – Peyton Hartsough and Alivia Rasler
  • Joseph Willard Memorial Scholarship – Ezekiel Wachtman
  • Judy Gage-Keenan Scholarship – Alivia Rasler
  • Lakeland Scholarship – Ezekiel Wachtman
  • Melvin and Marjorie Bricker Memorial Scholarship – Mallory Mynhier
  • Olivia Bay Lemings Memorial Scholarship – Alivia Rasler
  • Paul and Marian Krebs Memorial Scholarship – Gabrielle Hartman
  • Ray and Ruth Culp Memorial Scholarship – Alivia Rasler
  • Terry Schmidt Memorial Basketball Scholarship – Ezekiel Wachtman
  • Schlemmer Scholarship – Jeremiah Comb
  • Virgil and Florence Hardin Memorial Scholarship – Alivia Rasler
  • Waddell Memorial Scholarship – Mallory Mynhier

Prairie Heights High School scholarship recipients:

  • Amanda Lou Crotts Memorial Scholarship – Abigail Myers
  • Beverly Todd Memorial Scholarship – Conner Keeslar
  • Craig D. and Ronda S. Neff Memorial Scholarship – Caylee James.
  • Ellsworth Fanning Memorial Scholarship – Caylee James
  • Kevin Lewis Purdue Agriculture Memorial Scholarship – Caylee James
  • J.O. Mory Company Scholarship – Alyssa Burger
  • LaGrange County Farm Bureau Co-op Scholarship – Caylee James
  • Ned Stump Memorial Scholarship – Conner Keeslar
  • Melvin and Marjorie Bricker Memorial Scholarship – Phillip Sheets
  • Mory Family Scholarship – Phillip Sheets
  • Perkins Family Scholarship – Trevyn Terry
  • Prairie Heights Student Council Scholarship – Abigail Myers
  • Prairie Heights High School Scholarship – Caylee James, Emma Wylie, Phillip Sheets and Trevyn Terry

Westview High School scholarship recipients:

  • Allread-Rife Family Scholarship – Paige Riegsecker
  • Craig D. and Ronda S. Neff Memorial Scholarship – Skye Growcock
  • Farmwald Scholarship – Ella Yoder
  • James F. Kalb Memorial Scholarship – Ella Yoder
  • Keith and Arline Davis Memorial Scholarship – Ella Yoder
  • Kerry Wilt-Spradlin Memorial Scholarship – Paige Riegsecker
  • LIFE Scholarship – Ella Yoder
  • Lyle Smith Scholarship – Ella Yoder
  • Morgan Hunter Memorial Scholarship – Skye Growcock
  • Rheinheimer Scholarship – Emily Stutzman and Skye Growcock

Congratulations to these young men and women!