Heritage Fund donates $40,000 to fund

Foundation’s grant aids drug abuse prevention

A $40,000 grant from the Heritage Fund — The Community Foundation of Bartholomew County has boosted a fund created to provide substance abuse prevention programming.

Columbus couple Mark and Wendy Elwood are offering up to $500,000 in matching funds to support educational programming that prevents substance abuse among children and young adults.

The Heritage Fund’s donation leaves $123,257 left to be raised by the community for the full match, which would result in $1 million designated to the educational effort, said Tracy Souza, Heritage Fund president and CEO.

The Elwoods hope to have the dollar-for-dollar commitment, which began last October, completed by the end of March.

Souza said the foundation had set aside money in 2017 for various areas of innovation it wished to fund, and money was earmarked specifically for some sort of response to the opioid crisis.

The Alliance for Substance Abuse Progress in Bartholomew County, formed last year, is working to create a substance abuse support system and treatment strategy for county residents.

When the Elwoods began the challenge grant in October, it became obvious that the Heritage Fund could take the $40,000 it had designated for ASAP and turn it into $80,000 by donating through the matching effort, Souza said.

“Matches are a wonderful way to raise money in this community,” Souza said.

Jeff Jones, executive lead for ASAP, said he is feeling very positive about how the Elwoods’ matching fund effort has gone so far.

“The Elwood fund creates this amazing opportunity for our community to help establish a community culture of prevention,” Jones said.

Wendy Elwood, a Heritage Fund board member, said she and her husband, who is chairman and CEO of Columbus-based Elwood Staffing, feel strongly that efforts to educate and prevent children from using drugs is the best way to combat the growing epidemic in the community.

More Heritage Fund grants

Also receiving Heritage Fund — The Community Foundation of Bartholomew County grants were:

  • Advocates for Children, $30,400 to pay for a consultant to evaluate the organization’s development, governance and volunteer management.
  • The Columbus Park Foundation, up to $50,000 grant that will match dollar for dollar any funds raised for the Jolie Crider Memorial Skate Park renovation project.
  • Columbus Indiana Philharmonic, $10,000 to purchase a cloud-based customer relationship management software.
  • Thrive Alliance, $10,000 to seek accreditation from two nationally recognized organizations.
  • Sans Souci, $7,817 to cover the cost of a new server.
  • Mill Race Center, $3,000 for Foundation Search software.
  • Bartholomew County Public Library, $1,995 for an online foundation directory.

How to help

To donate to the matching grant program for the Mark and Wendy Elwood Substance Abuse Prevention Fund, drop off or mail checks at the Heritage Fund office, 538 Franklin St., Columbus, IN 47201.

Donations may also be made online at heritagefundbc.org/donate/.

Contributors are asked to type “Mark & Wendy Elwood Substance Abuse Prevention Fund” in the “Name” field when donating online.

For more information, call 812-376-7772.

For more information

For more about the Heritage Fund — The Community Foundation of Bartholomew County, visit heritagefundbc.org.

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Julie McClure is assistant managing editor of The Republic. She can be reached at jmcclure@therepublic.com or (812) 379-5631.