Category Archives: News & Events

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.

Community Impact Grant program accepting applications in two cycles

The Community Impact Grant program will be offered in two funding rounds in 2023: grant applications will be due April 3 and September 1.

Applications are now open for the spring cycle. Award notifications will be made within 60 days of the application deadline.

The LaGrange Community Foundation seeks proposals for innovative or creative projects with significant impact in LaGrange County. Community Impact Grants are available to nonprofit organizations serving LaGrange County.

The grants are made possible through the generosity of donors who have supported the unrestricted and field of interest charitable funds at the Foundation.

Nonprofit organizations serving LaGrange County are eligible to apply in six areas: arts & culture, recreation, health and human services, community development, education and environment.  

Spring Cycle DeadlineFall Cycle Deadline
April 3, 2023September 1, 2023

Previous Community Impact Grants have ranged from $5,000 to $25,000 per award.  

Applications can be submitted online at

Contact Program Director Leanna Martin at with questions about the application process or call 260-463-4363.

The Outtakes – Merry Christmas!

When the office contains three people you try your very best to take that picture-perfect Christmas photo. Well, let’s just say we rotated spots, didn’t know what to do with our hands, and ended up in a different location…. enjoy our bloopers!

Kamryn Miller of Westview Jr. Sr. High School Named 2023 Lilly Scholar

Kamryn Miller of Westview Jr. Sr. High School was suprised on Dec. 5, 2022, with the announcement that she was the 2023 Lilly Endowment Scholar.

Kamryn demonstrates many of the qualities we seek in a future leader motivated, hard-working and engaged in her school and community. The selection committee was impressed by her service to her community and passion for her career goals.

Octavia Yoder, executive director of the LaGrange County Community Foundation

Kamryn plans to attend Bethel College and pursue a career as a mechanical engineer. She is the daughter of Brian and Brooke Miller of LaGrange.

This year 34 applications competed for the Lilly Endowment Scholarship. Five students were invited to the finalist round for a personal interview. After the field of applicants was narrowed down, nominees were submitted to the statewide administration of the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship program, Independent Colleges of Indiana, for the selection of scholarship recipients.

Finalists included Manisha Ramachandran of Lakeland High School; Ella Clark, Ethan Hibbs and Paige Riegsecker, all of Westview Jr.- Sr. High School. Each of the finalists will receive a $1,000 four-year renewable scholarship from the Lambright Leadership Scholarship Fund established by Kevin and Carrie Lambright in 2013.  

The Foundation is honored to nominate a LaGrange County student for this prestigious award. We are grateful Lilly Endowment continues to support future leaders and makes dreams possible for our young students.  Selecting a nominee is a difficult process based on many factors. The committee is impressed by the exceptional scholars in our community.

Octavia Yoder, executive director of LaGrange County Community Foundation

Community Foundation Awards $93,384 to area nonprofits

Community Foundation hosted a reception on Tuesday, Nov. 15, to recognize recipients of the $93,384 awarded from its Fall Community Impact Grants Cycle.

More than 25 nonprofit executives and representatives gathered along with Community Foundation board members, volunteers, and staff to celebrate.

The Community Foundation awarded grants to sixteen nonprofit organizations during the fall grant cycle. Each nonprofit organization shared a brief presentation about their upcoming project and the mission of their organization.

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.

For over 30 years, the Community Foundation has remained committed to its mission of “inspiring and sustaining generosity, leadership and service in LaGrange County.” The Community Impact Grant Program supports grants in six interest areas: arts and culture, health and human services, recreation, environment, community development and education.

Through our grantmaking program we are able to ensure a lasting legacy for our funders who have made a long-term commitment to support positive growth of our nonprofit community in LaGrange County. We are honored to support many deserving nonprofit organizations who are improving the quality of life in our community and helping meet critical and unmet community needs.

Octavia Yoder, Executive Director

The 2022 Fall Community Impact Grant recipients include:

  • Agape Child Care Ministry, Agape Professional Development and Cleaning Support, $10,000;
  • Agape Missions of LaGrange County, Agape House Ministry Recovery, $10,000;
  • Cancer Services of Northeast Indiana, Client Advocate and Client Services Program for LaGrange County, $3,500;
  • Clothes & Food Basket of LaGrange County, Hungry No More, $7,500;
  • Community Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Indiana Inc, LaGrange County Farm Wagon Mobile Pantry Program, $2,000;
  • Community Improvement League of South Milford Indiana, resurrecting/rebuilding the military memorial monument, $10,000;
  • Elijah Haven Crisis Intervention Center, Inc., Amish Domestic Violence/Sexual Abuse Education, $2,809;
  • Hoosiers Feeding the Hungry, “Meat” The Need, $2,000;
  • Junior Achievement of LaGrange County, Elementary Programs, $3,000;
  • LaGrange County Soil & Water Conservation District, SWCD Conservation Drone Program, $8,000;
  • LaGrange Night to Shine, Night to Shine, LaGrange County, $5,000;
  • Mad Anthonys Children’s Hope House, Overnight Accommodations for LaGrange Families $2,000;
  • Purdue Extension LaGrange 4-H Youth Development, Youth Programming with the Blender/Spin-Art Bike, $3,075.00;
  • Ronald McDonald House Charities of Northeast Indiana, Ronald McDonald House Programs for LaGrange County Families, $2,000;
  • Shore Church FBO Shipshewana Ministerial Association, Shipshewana Ministerial Association assistance fund, $2,500; and
  • The ARC of LaGrange County, Arc’s Summer Discovery Program, $20,000.

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 the Directors who approve the grant awards.

For more information on Community Impact Grants or to apply visit: Community Impact Grants Information.

Arts Revival

LaGrange County Arts ready to support, promote the local arts community

A new community group hopes to revive the arts in LaGrange County and establish a highly visible arts community.

LaGrange County Arts is a collective of local artists and art appreciators who believe in promoting, presenting, and supporting the literary, musical performance, visual and theatrical arts in LaGrange County.

Led by retired art teacher Mary Woodworth, the fledgling group held its first community event on July 2, an inaugural art show at the LaGrange County courthouse lawn. The event coincided with the unveiling of the Hometown Heroes banner presentation.

The art show featured photographers, painters, writers and performing artists. Bethi Lewis & The Electric Pineapple performed in the gazebo, followed by teen band Portmanteau.

LaGrange County Arts Inaugural Art Show on July 2, 2022 at the LaGrange County Courthouse.
LaGrange County Arts Inaugural Art Show on July 2, 2022 at the LaGrange County Courthouse.
Corn School Face Painting Booth

During the Corn School street festival in October, LaGrange County Arts hosted a children’s Creation Station at the Garage Community Center in LaGrange. During festival hours, children were encouraged to stop in to create works of art and enjoy cider and donuts.

LaGrange County Arts’ teen advisors also coordinated a face painting booth during Corn School and provided face painting for nearly 100 children.

As LaGrange County Arts continues to grow, the group plans on hosting more art shows and events with educational opportunities. Their goal is expand their events and increase awareness of the arts within LaGrange County.

LaGrange County Arts is fiscally sponsored by the LaGrange County Community Foundation. Donations to support the promotion of the arts in LaGrange County is tax-deductible. To donate to LaGrange County Arts, checks must be out to the LaGrange County Community Foundation, with “LaGrange County Arts” in the memo line.

For more information on LaGrange County Arts, visit the group’s Facebook page.

LaGrange County Arts showcases its parade float during the Corn School street festival in LaGrange.

Finalists selected for 2023 Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship

The top five finalists for the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship are, from left, Paige Riegsecker, Manisha Ramachandran, Ella Clarke, Kamryn Miller and Ethan Hibbs.

Five LaGrange County high school seniors have been named finalists for the 2023 Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship. The prestigious award goes to an outstanding high school senior in LaGrange County.

The 2023 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 Ella Clark of Westview High School, daughter of William and Carrie Clark; Ethan Hibbs of Westview High School, son of Cliff and Sandy Hibbs ; Kamryn Miller of Westview High School, daughter of Brian and Brooke Miller; Manisha Ramachandran of Lakeland High School, daughter of Anand and Teresa Ramachandran, and Paige Riegsecker of Westview High School, daughter of Ryan and Jodi Riegsecker.

The scholarship is awarded to one 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 2023 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.

Lake City Bank donates in celebration of the bank’s 150th anniversary

Lake City Bank supported the LaGrange County Community Foundation with an unrestricted donation of $10,000 recently. This gift is part of the bank’s 150th anniversary celebration, a year-long commemoration of the bank’s history and commitment to the communities it serves. To mark the anniversary, the bank announced a donation of $150,000 to community foundations in Indiana, in the form of $10,000 gifts to the 15 community foundations in counties where the bank operates. LaGrange County Community Foundation is grateful for the support of local businesses like Lake City Bank who support the Foundation, thus supporting the community.

(Left to right) Kim Strawbridge, Vice President, Retail Banking Regional Manager; Octavia Yoder,
Executive Director, LaGrange County Community Foundation; Mareen Barton, Retail Banking Officer;
Kourtney Jackson, Retail Banking Officer; Chad Stoltzfus, Senior Vice President, Commercial Central
Regional Manager.

Lake City Bank, a $6.3 billion bank headquartered in Warsaw, Indiana, is the seventh largest bank
headquartered in the state. Lake City Bank operates 52 branch offices in northern and central Indiana, delivering technology-driven solutions in a client-centric way to individuals and businesses. The bank is the single bank subsidiary of Lakeland Financial Corporation (Nasdaq Global Select/LKFN). For more information visit