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Our Donors' Stories

Starke County, Fulton County, Miami County

Starke County

The Arlene M. and Robert E. Hamilton Memorial Fund
Once every so often, a couple come along who truly leave a mark on their community. After moving to Bass Lake, Indiana, in the 1980s, Robert and Arlene Hamilton rolled up their sleeves, got involved.

The Mary E. Norem and Hattie Warnke Fund
Mary Eleanora (Warnke) Norem was a respected and loved wife, sister, and mother. Hattie Warnke was remembered for being kind-hearted, nurturing, and supportive, and greatly devoted to her family.

LaVergne M. Brown and Lois L. Spenner Educational Scholarship
LaVergne Brown and her daughter, Lois Spenner, matriarchs of the Brown Family, both had a passion for education, pursued degrees and become teachers in Starke County.

The Marilyn Burch Fund
Marilyn loved learning and was the first person in her family to pursue a college education. She graduated from Hamlet High School in 1944 and began studying chemistry until she found her love of teaching.

Helen and Ware Edgar Scholarship Fund 
Helen and Ware Edgar were two very dedicated, accomplished citizens of the Starke County community. They complemented one another well, each of them taking interest in various aspects of the newspaper business.

The Richard H. Gumz Agricultural Scholarship
For virtually all of the 20th century, Richard Gumz was a farmer. He started out on a small farm of 40 acres and became one of the most successful farmers in the Midwest.

Hamblin Scholarship In Honor of Eleanor G. Hamblin
Eleanor Hamblin participated in the life of Starke County for more than 50 years. Dedicated to the profession of teaching. She taught three generations of students in the Knox Schools.

In Rememberance of Jim Hardesty
He was a founder of the Starke County Community Foundation, and fellow-founder Barbara McLaughlin said, "Without Jim Hardesty, there would be no Community Foundation."

Ed Hasnerl/WKVI Scholarship Fund
Ed Hasnerl is very loved and respected in the Starke County area. He has become something of a celebrity around the county due to his friendliness, his constant strive to positively influence those he meets.

Hoosier Valley Railroad Museum Endowment Fund
North Judson certainly would not be the town it is today if it weren't for the railroad. The HVRM is dedicated to honoring the railroading history of the region.

Nella Kersting Memorial Fund
Nella Kersting’s legacy of dedication to family and community will live on through the Nella Kersting Memorial Fund, created to support charitable endeavors, and scholarship in Starke County.

The Rosa of Indiana Endowment Fund
The Ciaparas decided that their fund would support Community Services of Starke County, the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul in North Judson, and, due to their love of animals, the Starke County Humane Society.

Christina Rotering and Ashley Derrickson Memorial Fund for Starke County Cancer
Starke County Sheriff Oscar Cowen was in the middle of an election year and thought of Ashley Derrickson and Christina Rotering, two local teens who lost their battle with cancer.

The Runkle Family Fund
Habo Runkle ’s caring personality is reflected in her efforts to commemorate her loved ones through the Runkle Family Fund, which will also endlessly benefit the community.

Dorothy Johnson Shei — Celebrate the Life
In celebration of the life and memory of Dorothy Johnson Shei, her family has recently created a scholarship through the Starke County Community Foundation.

Starke County 4-H Agency Fund
Starke County Community Foundation and Starke County 4-H Council not only met their goal, but they exceeded it by over $6,000. During the sixty day fundraising campaign, the agencies raised over $16,000 total to create a permanently endowed fund for the 4-H Council's ongoing needs.

Starke County Community Foundation Sponsors Poster
The Starke County Community Foundation sponsored a poster in coordination with the Starke County Tourism Commission. The poster is the second in the series created by renowned local artist Mitchell Markovitz.

Steve L. Toth and Donna M. Toth Family Fund Scholarship
Steve and Donna shared a life of love and family. This scholarship supports Oregon-Davis students and graduates.

Turkey Tracks: Giving those with disabilities the hunt of a lifetime
Turkey Tracks provides those with disabilties the opportunity to participate in an organized hunt in Indiana. The Coreys organized the event and raised their own funds with the help of many organizations.

My Mother, "Winnie"
My Mother, "Winnie," was a person of great strength and influence as well as a role model for her daughters and other young women.  My Mother was also a Registered Nurse.  She believed in her profession.

The Robert O. and Doris E. Winters Scholarship
Robert and Doris spent thirty-three years together. Both were actively involved in the Starke County Community. Their scholarship supports graduating seniors of Knox Community High School.

Fulton County

The Akron Area Arts League Fund
When looking for art, one might think that they have to travel to a large metropolitan city packed with
galleries, theaters, and concert halls. With the help of community members we can enjoy these locally.

Akron Community Center
Akron Indiana is a town that cares about its future and the people that make it a hometown to be proud of..

Akron Las Donas Marcus Hackworth & Scott Sechrist Memorial Scholarship
This scholarship memorializes Marcus and his best friend, Scott. Since the two men were graduates of Tippecanoe Valley High School, the club found it fitting to award the scholarships to other graduates of TVHS.

Paul and Dorothy Arven Memorial Scholarship
During the 20th century, Paul and Dorothy Arven lived on a little farm. They lived very simply, with few clothes and no extravagant things to their name....

Elizabeth V. Babcock Scholarship
Elizabeth V. Johnson, a long-time resident of Rochester, was married to Charles C. Babcock in 1920. Many residents of Rochester recall how fond people were of both Elizabeth and Charles.

E. Paul and Annabelle Baker and Harold and Mildred Turk Unrestricted Fund
Dean P. and Suzanne Baker are two individuals who have greatly appreciated being part of their community. They have had many opportunities to benefit from and in return give back to their community.

Jim Barkman Memorial Scholarship
Jim Barkman was a man who truly loved his work and always helped anyone in need. Children held a soft spot in his heart, and he dedicated his life to serving young people.

Suzanne and Richard Belcher Fund 
“Leave the earth a little better than you found it,” is a quote that Dick not only lives by, but with the help of the Community Foundation, has actually achieved.

Brent L. Blacketor Memorial Scholarship
Brent Blacketor was a young man who was known for his warm, outgoing personality. Whether you were wealthy or poor, at the top of the class or the bottom, Brent Blacketor still wanted to be your friend.

Mabel Blacketor Memorial Operating Fund
“I will always remember Mabel as a woman of pure grace. I was amazed by her positive attitude as I learned more about the tragedies she has endured. She would brighten my day by just flashing her beautiful smile.”

Bridge Family Operating Endowment Fund
Bob and Carol Bridge are often referred to as “The couple that knows everyone.” They are the epitome of friendly neighbors and have loved meeting and supporting the people of Fulton County.

CAMP-WE-CAN, Inc. Fund
“Around here, our camp’s emphasis is on ability, not disability,” Teri Carr, one of the camp’s directors, said. “We want each of our campers to feel like they are a king or queen for the day.”

Caston High School Scholarship
The Caston Comets school colors are red, white, and blue, and the school song is titled, Wave the Flag for Caston Comets. The song is set to the music of “Wave the Flag for Old Chicago”.

Compassionate Health Care Endowment Fund
The Compassionate Health Center began in 2009 and focused on helping patients who suffer from Hypertension and Diabetes. They are hometown people taking care of hometown people.

Cunningham Community Fund
Larry Cunningham, commonly known as “the man with the bowtie,” is known not only for his passion of learning, but also for his desire to spread that passion and share his knowledge with others.

Phil Daulton Memorial Youth Fund
Phil Daulton was a lifelong Fulton county resident and a proud Rochester High School Zebra. He was known for supporting athletics of all kinds. Every season, Phil would have some team to support...

The Simon Deeb Scholarship Fund 
The Rochester farming community meant a lot to Si, and he did everything he could to help fellow farmers with their business. He even started an adult farmer class in Rochester that grew to educate several families...

Amanda Drudge Scholarship and Missions Fund
The fund has helped to fund a variety of community projects and has supported mission trips to places all over the world in order to help spread the gift of hope and kindness, which was Amanda’s greatest desire.

The Marian Dyer Literacy Fund
If you had the privilege of knowing Mrs. Marne Dyer not only as a high school English teacher, but also as a colleague at Rochester High School, then you would know that it was fitting to promote literacy.

Joan Ruth Ewing Scholarship
Joan Ruth is remembered as being a loving teacher, aunt, sister, and friend who loved her community deeply and dedicated much of her time to serving her students, her family, and many others in her community.

Fulton County 4-H Fund
The Fulton County 4-H fund was created in 2006 by former Fulton County Community Foundation President, Joanne Bendall.

Fulton County Council on Aging Sustainability Fund 
Seniors who use the Community Center bring knowledge, compassion and vitality to the day-to-day operations. When you take time and listen, you learn from them. They have a lot of history and experience to share.

Fulton County Preschool Fund
The Preschool Scholarship Program is community foundation work at its best, and plans to continue providing preschool scholarship as long as needed. The program shows the true meaning of a community foundation.

Fulton County REMC Operation Roundup Trust Non-Permanent Fund 
The REMC Operation Roundup Board awards grants that are, on average, about $1,000. They look specifically at organizations that deal with youth programs, affect a number of people, and stays within the community.

Earl Gaerte-Blacktop Cruisers Scholarship
The name Gaerte is synonymous with horsepower in the world of racing. The Earl Gaerte-Blacktop Cruisers Scholarship Fund helps automotive enthusiast get their start.

The Melissa Hoffman Gamel Scholarship
Melissa attributes her decision to direct the money to Rochester because of the importance the community plays in her life, and the joy she gets from being able to give back.

Jayne Ann Good Memorial Scholarship
At the time of Jayne’s passing it was decided by her parents, Joyce and J. D., to honor her memory with a scholarship consistent with Jayne’s work ethic, goals, values, morals, good character, and fun-loving.

Christi Grossnickle Memorial Fund
Christi wanted the fund to benefit something she loved and cared about. She decided she wanted the fund to go toward the support and upkeep of the Nickel Plate Trail.

Roy Haggerty Memorial Scholarship
Roy was an athlete who played baseball with the Rochester Merchants semi-pro team in the 1930s. Donnabelle was a musician, playing the harp for the South Bend Symphony and other musical groups.

The Elmer & Beulah Harris Scholarship
Although her own education had been interrupted, Bea and her husband, Elmer, both felt that students should have an opportunity to better themselves by receiving an education.

Olive Jane Hathaway Animal Center Supply Fund
After the death of her mother, Olive Hathaway, Laura Snipes new exactly how to keep her memory alive and help a cause that her mother would have been proud of—creating a fund to support the local animal center.

The Hoffman Fund
Dr. George Hoffman called Fulton County home. He was a beloved physician in Rochester from 1893 until his passing in 1951, and he was very involved with the medical field throughout the state.

Patricia Kumler Hoover Nursing Scholarship
During the latter portion of the 20th century, the Tippecanoe Valley School Corporation was blessed to have what they would describe as one of the most dedicated nurses one will ever see.

Mark Howdeshell Memorial Scholarship
Mark Howdeshell was a beloved father, husband, friend, and member of the Fulton County community. His love for Fulton County never ceased.

Angele J. Kochenderfer Memorial Scholarship
This scholarship was provided in order to support higher education opportunities for students of Rochester High School who struggled with hearing impairments.

Steven Bruce Mattice Memorial Scholarship
After Steven’s passing, many members of the community could still feel his presence. Reminders of casual encounters and long time friendships, often flourished thanks to his smile and his easy to talk to demeanor.

Colleen May Memorial Scholarship
Colleen had a love for children and dreamed of becoming a teacher. She received her Bachelor and Master of Science degrees in Elementary Education from Ball State University. She taught for 41 years.

Jayson McCalla Memorial Fund
In Fulton County, baseball and farming are highly respected. For Jayson McCalla, these were the things that helped him gain a well-known face and a grand reputation throughout the Rochester area.

David Ewing McCarter Athletic Scholarship
David passed away suddenly just before he had planned on moving back to the Rochester area. Shortly after, his parents created the David Ewing McCarter Athletic Scholarship Fund in his memory.

Coach John Robert McKee Memorial Scholarship
He was widely known around the community for coaching the Rochester High School Zebras football team for 18 consecutive years, including the year his team went on to win the state championship in 1987.

Sgt. Major Jeffrey A. McLochlin Memorial Fund
Jeffery McLochlin was a soldier, a police officer, an All-American, a brother, a husband and, most importantly, a father. Through the generosity of many, the Fund was created to celebrate his life and honor his memory.

Ginger Miller Higher Education Scholarship
The Ginger Miller Higher Education Scholarship supports college graduates pursuing further graduate or professional schooling. Education was a passion for Ginger, especially the achievement of advance education.

Coach John Nelson: Champion of Fulton County
In the golden age of Hoosier basketball, there were many memorable figures that played out David and Goliath moments on the court. Sometimes the smaller schools, like David, would triumph...

 

Miami County

ACRES Land Trust
In 2005, ACRES Land Trust established a fund with the Miami County Community Foundation in order to help provide for its ongoing financial needs, specifically in ACRES’ Nature Preserves in Miami County.

Vilma Ault Baptist Memorial Endowment Fund
The Vilma Ault Baptist Memorial Endowment Fund provides funds to the First Baptist Church in Denver
with priority given to upkeep and improvement of the church property.

BOOKS (Books Offer Our Kids Success) Fund
The BOOKS began makes it possible for children’s books to be purchased through the Scholastic Book Club and distributed each month to all kindergarten students at local schools.

The David W. Beall Memorial Scholarship
David Beall was a beloved teacher at Maconaquah High school and such an inspiration to his students that, even after leaving his class, they continue to consider the question “What would Mr. Beall do?”

The Claude S. and Marie M. Berger Foundation, Inc. Fund
The Bergers were very family-oriented and loved to spend time with their loved ones. They felt that everyone
deserved to be a part of a family and decided to become foster parents to help those who didn’t have one.

Lillian Berry Fund
Established in 2007 by the Peru Public Library Board in memory of Lillian Berry to provide for capital improvements to the Peru Public Library as determined to be appropriate by the Peru Public Library Board.

Boomerang Sisterhood Fund
In March 2007, a group of Miami County women met with the intent to start a women’s philanthropic group; what they created was a women’s giving circle that was more successful than they could have imagined.

Elaine Cultice Bright Memorial Scholarship
Elaine was a graduate of Peru High School and co-Valedictorian of her 1971 graduating class. The Elaine Cultice Bright Memorial Scholarship provides scholarships for women who attended Peru High School.

Circus City Festival, Inc. Scholarship
Nowhere else in the country is “professional circus performer” a perfectly normal, acceptable career goal. Fortunately, Peru, Indiana is no normal town, but an incredibly unique one. Peru is a circus town.

Marilyn Coppernoll Memorial Scholarship Fund
All her life Marilyn dreamed of writing for magazines and newspapers and eventually short stories or a novel, and her husband, Bill Coppernoll, made it his job to get help her there.
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James R. and Bette J. Davis Scholarship
James and Bette Davis, were big advocates of secondary education, and instilled that thinking into their
children, Brent and Jean Anne.

Donald W. Ferrara Unrestricted Fund
Don Ferrara was known for being one of the nicest and hardest working doctors in the area and for always going above and beyond to help patients.

Grate Family Fund for Music and Multimedia Ministries at Main Street United Methodist Church
The church is an integral part of every small-town community. It is often the case that rural communities have churches on every other corner, and they bring in anyone who is close to worship.

Grissom Air Museum Agency Fund
Twenty years ago, Grissom Air Force Base in Miami County, Indiana began preserving its rich history by creating
Grissom Air Museum.

James U. & Betsy Guthrie Health Scholarship
“With the endowment we can help where the need is greatest,” said Betsy. “My children are behind me one
hundred percent and are very excited about it. We have been blessed and we want to share.”

Tony Hare Photojournalism Scholarship
“With the endowment we can help where the need is greatest,” said Betsy. “My children are behind me one
hundred percent and are very excited about it. We have been blessed and we want to share.”

Harvesting Capabilities Sustainability Fund
The MCCF is pleased to support Harvesting Capabilities in pursuit of their mission to provide both a voice and a range of opportunities and services to community members with a disability.

Jane and Bob Haskett Fund
Bob and Jane Haskett were involved in local government and owned Arnold’s Candy Store in the city of Peru. Bob served as mayor, and his wife Janey was also active in politics and with the community.

Harvesting Capabilities Sustainability Fund
The MCCF is pleased to support Harvesting Capabilities in pursuit of their mission to provide both a voice and a range of opportunities and services to community members with a disability.

Beulah Hoffman Endowment Fund
“May you live as long as you laugh and laugh as long as you live.” These were the words coined by Ole Olsen, and how the Peru native lived his life.

Ryan McCarthy Holmes Scholarship
"Life is good." Ryan McCarthy Holmes was known for saying this. It fully expressed his attitude about life and living. Ryan had a giving heart and he had faith in people, even when they didn't have faith in themselves.

The Randy Hughes Memorial Scholarship Award
In a time when young people around the Miami County area were cherished, few were more so than Randy Hughes.

David L. Johnson Fund in Memory of James Noble
“I remember Jim Noble as extremely likeable, full of enthusiastic energy, outgoing and fun to work with. He never put anyone down, but continually challenged us as musicians,”

Pat Keady Memorial Scholarship
Thanks to a longstanding friendship between a legendary basketball coach and local community activists, a scholarship supports a deserving male and female Maconaquah HS senior who attends Purdue University.

Robert M. Larrison First Farmers Bank & Trust Scholarship
Bob Larrison was a man who brought joy to those around him, and through contributions to his community, made a lasting impact.

Pat Malaska's Legacy Lives on in Miami County Through a New Fund
Packed into the Tigarena, Peru's fans were on their feet. Their yells were deafening as they cheered the 1948 Tigers onto a Sectional victory. It was that golden era of basketball...

Marks Family Fund
Going through family photographs and videos in order to make a memorial DVD was a labor of love for Kevin Marks. He was preparing it for a dedication ceremony for his father Otis—a long-time volunteer of the museum.

Rex E. Mays Memorial Fund
Rex Mays, was a man whose spirit lives in many people, as described by Rev. John Hess at the 2009 Miami County Community Character Pillar Awards.

Mae Merrell and Dwight Stout Education Scholarship
Dwight Stout and Mae Merrell were educators and administrators at Maconaquah Elementary School. Both Dwight and Mae showed their respect for America through their love of "God Bless America".

Miami County Helping Hands Fund
Since opening its doors, the interdenominational, non-governmental food pantry has provided short-term emergency assistance to well over 2500 Miami County families.

Miami County Historical Society, Inc. Fund
The history of Miami County dates back to the 1700s. It was not until 1913 that a collection of historical artifacts was shown publicly. Three years later, Miami County created its first historical society.

Miami County Preschool Fund
The goal of the program is to make one year of preschool education affordable to every child in our counties. Need-based scholarships are available to families of four-year-old children.

Miami County YMCA Fund
Miami County YMCA has 3,000+ members, but they affect nearly 10,000 to 15,000 people per year. The motto of the YMCA is simple; “for youth development, for health living, for social responsibility.”

Alice Moon Scholarship
Alice Moon was a guidance counselor at Peru High School for many years as well as a mentor and inspiration to many students. Although she was a very small woman, she showed that she was much tougher than she looked.

Nickel Plate Trail, Inc. Endowment Fund
The Nickel Plate Trail in Miami County started as just an idea for the betterment of the community, but due to the hard work of Mike Kuepper, and former Miami County Councilman Bill Click, that idea became a reality.

Jim Noble Fund
“Nobe was a pivotal person in my formative years. I am so grateful that he saw in me the possibilities that I did not yet recognize in myself.”

Scholarship Created to Memorialize Peru Educator, Jan Nowling
The Miami County Community Foundation is pleased to have a scholarship which honors the memory of a beloved teacher of Peru High School.

Perry M. Schneider Memorial Award Fund
The impact of special individuals or actions can be felt across many miles and state lines. A perfect example is the way the Perry M. Schneider Memorial Award impacts students who might not live in Indiana.

Growing a better Miami County with Agency Funds
The Miami County Community Foundation works hard to establish a reputation of effectiveness; not only for meeting money with need, but for being a convener in our community as well as a catalyst for positive change.

Chris and Beth Smith Fund
For some, actions speak louder than words. That was especially true for Beth Smith, a devoted mother of two and a charitably minded Miami County resident, whose actions spoke volumes for a community in need.

St. Charles Receives Gift that Will Last a Lifetime
Josephine Radel didn't know a stranger, according to her daughter, Annie. "People would flock to her," she said. Just as they were drawn to her in life, they were drawn to her dream in death.

How to Grow a Legacy: Creating a Memorial Scholarship
Memorial scholarships are a wonderful way to celebrate a life and carry on the good works of a loved one.You can be assured that your loved one's name, and legacy,continues to positively impact the community forever.

Randy Steg Memorial Fund
Randy was a police officer who suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder. His landmark case was the first of a kind for IPD forcing the department to revise procedures and policies subsequently helping many officers.

Lynn Smith Tharp Memorial Nursing Scholarship
Having been a stay-at-home mother during her married life, Lynn was determined to raise and provide for her children by herself. She decided that she wanted to go back to school to get a nursing degree.

Patricia and John Waltz Memorial Arts Fund
Judy Goodwin was raised in a family in which art and creativity played a key role, and so, when her parents,
Patricia and John Waltz, passed away, Judy had no doubts as to what she should do.