Heritage Fund — The Community Foundation of Bartholomew County plays a special role locally with its ability to promote philanthropy and have a hand in making positive impacts by administering financial gifts.

That’s accomplished, for example, by a variety of grants that were started by individuals and groups, which it oversees. Those support, among other things, education, children, the arts and diversity.

Heritage Fund also supports several programs, such as Engage Columbus, which connects newcomers and even longtime residents to people, activities and organizations.

At this time of year, though, the end of the school year, another key role of the Heritage Fund also is apparent. That is scholarships that are awarded to local students.

Heritage Fund administers more than 75 scholarships created by individuals, families, businesses and organizations. They cover a wide range of educational fields and schools, and providing local students great assistance in paying for their college educations.

This school year, Heritage Fund has awarded $705,038 to 133 students — including 2017 Lilly Endowment Community Scholarships. That’s a lot of help toward the cost of higher education.

Kudos to the Heritage Fund for filling such an important role and connecting generous gifts to people in the community who can benefit. The assistance students received this year illustrates that perfectly.