Letter to the Editor

Community foundation executive director gives credit

Sunday, June 29, 2014

To the editor:

As the Executive Director of the Wabash Valley Community Foundation, I sincerely appreciate the Clay Community Parks Association's president, Tom Reberger for his recent letter of appreciation for the $10,000 grant to remove dead trees and stumps from Forest Park. However, the credit for this grant truly belongs to our affiliate, the Clay County Community Foundation as well as to the generous individuals and organizations who created the endowment funds benefiting Clay County in the Community Foundation.

The Clay County Community Foundation seeks, in partnership with the Wabash Valley Community Foundation, to create permanently endowed funds that benefit Clay County and its residents. For the past 17 years, a group of dedicated Clay County residents has served on the Clay County Community Foundation board. Currently the following individuals serve on the Clay County Community Foundation board: Renee Stewart, President; Randy Collins, Vice President; Connie Turner, Secretary; Daryl Andrews; Kandace Brown; Paul Harden; Jan Howell; Carolyn Keiser; Vickie Mace; Michael McCullough, and Larry Tempel.

These volunteers review each Clay County grant proposal and make recommendations to fund the local Clay County projects. The money for these projects comes from the earnings on endowed funds created specifically to benefit Clay County. An endowed fund is one in which the gifts received are not spent, but are invested and only the earnings from the fund are spent.

These charitable endowed funds were created due to the generosity of current and former local residents. Today, the Community Foundation holds nearly $5 million that is endowed to benefit the quality of life in Clay County for its residents.

The $10,000 grant to the Clay Community Parks Association came from the earnings of three specific funds within the Clay County Community Foundation. Those funds are the Albert and Freda Eder DeCoursey Community Fund, the Brazil Rotary Community Fund and the Lilly Endowment Board Designated Fund for Clay County, which was created when Lilly Endowment matched endowment gifts made by local residents. Without the generosity of the donors to these three funds, the grant to the Clay Community Parks Association would not have occurred.

As the Park Association has shown, much can be accomplished when additional money is available for projects or programs that are not within the normal operating budget. The Clay County Community Foundation is positioned to provide grants to assist with worthy projects throughout Clay County. In addition, the Clay County Community Foundation is able to assist those individuals and families who want to create a lasting endowment fund to benefit Clay County. More information about the Wabash Valley Community Foundation and the Clay County Community Foundation can be found at wvcf.com

Individuals interested in contributing to build the endowment fund for Clay County should contact one of the Clay County board members or contact me at 812-232-2234.

Together we are all committed to making Clay County and the entire Wabash Valley a better place to live and work.

Beth A. Ahlemeyer Tevlin

Executive Director

Former Clay County resident