Growing a Legacy of Service to the Community
Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Fifteen years ago community leaders from Montpelier and Hartford City seized the opportunity presented by Lilly Endowment Inc.‘s GIFT Initiative to make a
significant impact on the quality of life here in Blackford County. Local leaders from the two small community foundations in the county met through the
early months of 1997 in order to merge the Montpelier Community Foundation and the Blackford County Foundation into the new Blackford
County Community Foundation. The organization began with just over $100,000 in assets. Through the support of the community and matching funds from Lilly
Endowment Inc., those assets increased to over $3.5 million within the first three years. To date the Foundation’s assets equal $5.5 million due to the
generosity of community donors and careful investment on the part of the Foundation.
Those assets and investment earnings have been returned to the community in the form of grants and scholarships since the first year when $1,053 was
awarded to two local nonprofit organizations and two scholarship winners. The amount awarded in grants continued to grow. Fifteen years later in 2011,
those awards totaled $296,942, which went to 48 different programs or organizations and provided 105 scholarships.
These grants have provided funding for a wide variety of projects and programs ranging from supplementary services for cancer patients to low cost
instrumental music lessons for residents. Over the past fifteen years, the Foundation has dedicated many of its dollars to supporting the youth of this
community in various forms. The largest proportion of total Foundation spending, in fact, has been for scholarships to local young people (41%) while
another 23% has been granted to education and to youth organizations in the county.
The Foundation continues to offer multiple ways for Blackford County citizens to make contributions of any size toward
helping the causes that increase the quality of life in Blackford County.