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Heritage Fund gets millions in cash gifts


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The Heritage Fund — the Community Foundation of Bartholomew County received $2.73 million in new cash gifts, plus an additional $4 million in estate and other noncash gifts in the past year.

Development Committee Chair Tony Gambaiani shared that information with stakeholders at the foundation’s annual meeting Thursday at Mill Race Center.

Bartholomew County’s largest community foundation reported its assets at $61.6 million in 2013.

The Heritage Fund provides gifts and grants to nonprofit organizations in Bartholomew County that are funded by community donations and fundraising.

Joseph Matthews, the foundation’s grant committee chairman, reported the foundation awarded more than 400 grants, totaling $3.09 million. Those grants included 64 from the foundation’s Community Fund, which awarded $515,000 to support 125 different nonprofit organizations.

The foundation offered 90 students $313,000 in scholarships, Matthews said.

Among the highlights for the grants:

$50,000 given in scholarships to private preschools for 4-year-olds in financial need to prepare for kindergarten.

Two grants totaling $90,000 to the city, Housing Partnerships, Lincoln-Central Neighborhood Family Center and the Columbus Parks and Recreation Department to revitalize Ninth Street Park and the surrounding neighborhood.

$120,000 to support improvements at Community Center of Hope and Hamilton Center. Community Center will serve more children, expand its food pantry and offer a gathering place for seniors. Hamilton Center is undergoing renovations to preserve its architectural heritage and improve its facilities.

$40,000 was granted to the Welcoming Community Arts, Culture and Design Grant program.

In 2013, the Heritage Fund’s Outreach Committee, working through Welcoming Community, received 21 requests for grants. The committee awarded $40,000 to assorted community agencies.

The foundation launched the Not-for-Profit Endowment Challenge, which helped 10 organizations grow their endowment funds by raising $10,000 and earning matching funds from the Heritage Fund. The challenge netted $116,000.

Heritage Fund also told supporters that it’s about one-third of the way to raising $20 million more in assets by 2018.

“While we’ve kicked off the campaign with a bang, there’s still a long way to go and we look forward to the challenge,” Gambaiani said.

Heritage Fund executive director Tracy Souza acknowledged the history of community foundations, which dates back to the first foundation founded in Cleveland 100 years ago.

Indiana has 95 community foundations, with $1.6 billion in assets earmarked and used for community improvements. These organizations can accept cash and property, hold assets for the long-term good of the community and support charitable activities and initiatives as suggested by donors.

“Heritage Fund has a long track record of doing all of the above and doing it well,” Souza said.

Welcoming Community grant highlights

Welcoming Community, a focal point of the Heritage Fund’s Outreach Committee, took 21 requests from the community for the $40,000 available in grant funds. Grant recipients are:

Developmental Services Inc., $8,000, for construction of a sculpture to increase awareness of the disabled in Bartholomew County.

The African American Fund of Bartholomew County in collaboration with The Granny Connection, $8,000, to support the Langston Hughes Project.

Foundation for Youth, $7,500, to implement a Welcoming Communities Mural Project and Cultural Arts Gallery presentation.

Bartholomew County School Foundation, $2,400, to support Dia de los Muertos Arts and Diversity Festival, to be held downtown in early November.

The Arc of Bartholomew County, $1,400, to support showings of the Sprout Film Festival at YES Cinema.

kidscommons and The Arts Council, $3,800, to support “Artz Daze — Get Up, Get Out, Get Art on Washington,” four-day cultural art series for children, adults, downtown employees and all community members.

Folklorico Productions, $3,230, to support series of Latino/Mexican folkdance classes for elementary students and teens.

Columbus Museum of Art & Design, $9,000, to assist in development of a curation training and mentoring program.

Special honors

The foundation honored those who have helped the foundation grow its assets and extend its reach into the community.

Dan Arnholt

Arnholt received the annual James A. Henderson Award for Fund Raising for developing the AgrIInstitute Endowment Fund and supporting its work to build agricultural leaders in communities across Indiana.

Arnholt worked to train and mentor leaders to raise funds in their own communities for similar funds in 13 other community foundations across Indiana. Since 2007, the Bartholomew County fund has grown from no funds to more than $55,000. Statewide, the AgrIInstitute fund raised nearly $337,000.

“We’re in this community,” Arnholt said. “We see it every day. We need to recognize the jewel that we have in the Heritage Fund.”

Rovene Quigley

Quigley was recognized with a Community Volunteer Award for her 11 years of work in maintaining and managing the Crump Theatre.

The award was presented by Hutch Schumaker, who said Quigley single-handedly booked acts, sold tickets, advertised shows, cleaned and prepped the theater, collected tickets and made popcorn. She has “befriended teen rock bands, paranormal hunters, bluegrass and gospel singers and others ... all in an effort to keep her beloved Crump in business,” Schumaker said.

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