Miami County


News & Events

Boomerang Sisterhood Annual Grants Awarded

Left to Right: Maryann Farnham, Director of the Peru Public Library; Rex Stitsworth, Peru Circus Festival Band, Inc.; Diane Skillen, Executive Director of Miami County Helping Hands; Jerry Jenkins, Miami County Worth Remembering project representative.

September 20, 2017–The Boomerang Sisterhood supported youth education, the arts, WWI history, and a local community soup kitchen at their annual social on Wednesday, September 20 at the Peru Civic Center. In total, $4,500 was given to support Miami County organizations.

The members of the Boomerang Sisterhood bring strength in numbers for good causes by pooling their resources and giving yearly grants. The group of women vote for their favorite programs and initiatives to receive these funds from dues and a growing endowment fund.

This year’s grant recipients were selected from a pool of nine applicants. The grant committee of the Boomerang Sisterhood reviewed all submissions and selected the Peru Public Library, St. Vincent DePaul Society, Miami County Worth Remembering, and the Peru Circus Festival Band to give presentations before the entire group. All finalists receive grant dollars.

Each finalist made a short presentation to the audience who cast a vote for their favorite project or program. The members’ votes determine the grant size.

The Peru Public Library won the top award of $1,500. Library Director Maryann Farnham and Michelle Spangler Children's Program Coordinator for the library demonstrated robots that they will purchase with grant dollars. They plan to expand their youth programming by bringing STEM-related topics to the children of Miami County through a Robotics Program.

St. Vincent DePaul Society received $1,250 for the Manna on Main Street project. Diane Skillen, the Director of Miami County Helping Hands spoke about this collaborative community project that will provide healthy and nutritious meals to Miami County residents regardless of their circumstances.

Miami County Worth Remembering received $1,000 for a memorial entitled "Miami County Indiana Honors its Women of World War I." This historical marker will be installed November 11, 2018 on the Miami County Courthouse square commemorating the 100-year anniversary of the end of WWI.

A grant of $750 was awarded to the Peru Circus Festival Band for assistance with their new facility at 31 W. 7th street in Peru. This multi-generational group of musicians has been providing support for the Circus City Festival, Inc. for 58 years. The new building was donated and restored specifically for the band and their needs.

“Once a year we get together to award grants dollars and learn about charitable projects in our community,” said Connie Cutler, Associate Director of the Miami County Community Foundation. “The Boomerang Sisterhood was formed in 2008, and since then we have awarded over $36,000 to programs in Miami County.”

The Boomerang Sisters fulfill their mission through annual dues of $120 to the Miami County Community Foundation. Half of the dues are distributed each year through grants. The remainder are put into a growing endowment fund for current and future grant cycles.

Women interested in joining the Boomerang Sisterhood should contact Connie Cutler, Director of Development for the Miami County Community Foundation, at 765-475-2859 or e-mail

Miami County Community Foundation Holds Scholarship Reception

Peru, Indiana – More than $327,000 in scholarships were awarded to 139 outstanding students through the Miami County Community Foundation (MCCF) this year. This includes the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarships awarded to four Lilly Scholars attending college in 2017.

A celebration of students was held at the Riverview Event Center on Thursday, June 15 in Peru. The program was an ice cream social, and the theme was based on the children’s book “Only One You,” by Linda Kranz. Students shared with the audience where they went to high school, where they will attend college and what they will study, and one difference they hope to make in the world. The reception also provided an opportunity for scholars to meet and thank the donors who made their scholarships possible.

Connie Cutler, Director of Development for the Miami County Community Foundation, hosted the annual event that honors the accomplishments of local students and acknowledges the many people who have invested in the future of Miami County through scholarships created within the Community Foundation.

Cutler and Rita Jackson, Vice President of the MCCF Service Committee, presented the students with certificates. Service Committee President Marsha Minard presented the 2017 Lilly Endowment Community Scholar, Diana Borse.

“This is such a positive evening, seeing the potential of young students and what they hope to accomplish in the world, as well as thanking the generosity of the fund founders who are making a difference by helping these inspiring students. We look forward to seeing the potential of these lives becoming fulfilled.” said Connie Cutler, Miami County Community Foundation Director of Development.

The event also provided an opportunity for donors and recipients to receive an update on MCCF news.

Summer scholarship opportunities are available. To learn more, visit the scholarship page, or contact the Northern Indiana Community Foundation at 574-223-2227, or Connie Cutler at the Miami County Community Foundation at 765-475-2859.

Community Foundation Receives $11,124 for Preschool Scholarships

From left: NICF Executive Director Jay Albright, MCCF Director of Development Connie Cutler, and United Way of Miami County Executive Director Debi Wallick

The Miami County Community Foundation (MCCF) received an $11,124 grant from United Way of Miami County in support of its Preschool Scholarship Program. The grant will enable 4-year-olds from low income families to obtain a preschool education that they wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford.

The United Way of Miami County received funding for the grant through Indiana Association of United Ways in the form of a dollar-for-dollar matching opportunity. While the United Way of Miami County had two years to raise the necessary funds, they achieved their goal within the first year, thus allowing them to provide this grant to the Community Foundation right away.

MCCF Director of Development Connie Cutler said, “We at the Community Foundation are very appreciative of this grant. This program is so important, and we are thankful that United Way of Miami County provided the funds to ensure that it will continue for the next two years.”

The United Way of Miami County has provided support for the MCCF Preschool Scholarship Program in the past due to the alignment of the program’s goals and the mission of United Way, which is to provide “direction and accountability to promote education, health, and financial independence.”

The MCCF formed the program in response to research that points to early childhood education as an indicator for success later in life. Children who attend preschool are ready to learn when they go to kindergarten. They are set on a track for success and are more likely to read at grade level, graduate high school, and obtain a college degree. These factors also result in higher incomes due to more education and a lower likelihood of being incarcerated or needing government assistance.

Debi Wallick, Executive Director of United Way of Miami County, spoke about the importance for the youth of Miami County “to be empowered” and “to have that opportunity to be successful.” She added that their partnership with the MCCF is beneficial because the MCCF facilitates the program, administers the scholarships, and collects the data, and United Way of Miami County can feel confident that their dollars are making a difference. “You wouldn’t believe how rewarding it is for us,” she said.

For more information, contact the Northern Indiana Community Foundation toll free at 877-432-6423 or MCCF Director of Development Connie Cutler at 765-475-2859.