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Community Foundation

Community Foundation

Southeast Fountain
Community Foundation

Vermillion County
Community Foundation
The Western Indiana Community Foundation is a public charity, founded in 1990, conceived by a group of citizens whose desire is to use donated monies for the betterment of their communities. The Foundation shares the same dream as its forefathers: prosperity, expansion, and enhancement for its citizens. The Foundation has four separate and distinct affiliate funds serving their geographical areas, which consist of:
~ Attica ~
Community Foundation
~ Southeast Fountain ~
Community Foundation
~ Covington ~
Community Foundation
~ Vermillion County ~
Community Foundation
Mr. Dale White
Email: dwhite@wicf-inc.org
Phone: 765-793-0702
Fax: 765-793-0703

Caring community members have given charitable donations to grow our scholarship funds and make higher education ( 2- or 4- years) possible for many students.  You can get information about scholarships here on our website or by giving us a call at: 765-793-0702 or 765-832-8665.


[Posted: November 29, 2021]
Memorial & Honor Giving

Fountain and Vermillion County are home to many wonderful people who have made a deep impact in the community.

Are you looking for a way to memorialize a loved one or friend who is no longer with us?  Or perhaps you would like to honor a family member, friend, co-worker, or service provider who has a positive influence in your daily life?  MEMORIAL & HONOR GIFTS are great ways to honor those who are or have been significant in your life or the life of your community. Your gift will go to the fund you specify, in the name of the one you’re honoring.

The following individuals have recently passed away and the families have designated that donations in their memory go to the Community Foundation.  We honor the following individuals (click on the name for more details): Ginger Orr,  Carl Dismore, Richard Klage, David Rothrock, Ann Johannes, Ronald Smith, Charles McKinney,  Joe HathawayEdward C. Grubb, Sharon Sue Craft, Henry Meadows, Janice Vietti, Edward “Ed” George, Carl Swinford, Lola Simmerman, Charles ‘Dale’ ClawsonHelen Hoffman,  Martha Drake, Sandy Tuggle, Paul KentHarry Hoagland, Ron Howard, Charles Swingle,  Barbara Clark,  Steven C. DiceFlorence B. Fultz, Max N. Hoffman,  Lulu Belle (Trott) Woodrow, JoAnn Murray,  Erwin (Ernie) Johannes, Art Clawson, Jeff Youngblood, Fred Paxton, Mary Bowles, Janet Clark, C. David Curts,  Caleb Duncan Patricia Head, Jack Macy, Edna Jordan,  James Kochell, Neva Tillotson, Delores Hicks, Carl Hicks, Daniel McGradyMax KellerFreeman “Bugs” Lanum, Georgeanna Ford, Bill Deck,  Helen F. Shelby, Elizabeth “Lib” Barnhart, Charline Allen, Jeffry Ingalsbe, John Woodrow, Carol GoodingRichard “Dick” Shelby, Betty ShullMarvel DunhamMary K. YoungMarcia CooperCarol V. MyersJames “Jim” McCormickRosemarie HaasMarilyn GebbinkJean (Frances) Blickenstaff, Robert “Bob” Branam, Larry Carlson, John Cotten, Sr., Mirriam (Newmark) Fogel, Helen Freas, Heidi (Shambach) Johnson, Joan Rennick, Vicki (Collins) Stevens, and Arley White.

All memorial and honor gifts are acknowledged to the person or people you designate so that the loved one’s family, or the person you are honoring, is aware of the gift.  Or you can make an anonymous gift if you desire to do so.  The amount of the gift is, of course, confidential and only you will receive a gift acknowledgement for tax purposes.  It’s very easy to give a memorial or honor gift – just CLICK HERE to get started.

[Posted: November 26, 2021]
Giving at Year-End

While the past year has been challenging in many ways, there is hope for brighter days ahead as we continue to work together and help one another.

One key to withstanding the difficulties we may face is to be prepared.  Whether you are married or not, raising a family or have no heirs, planning for or enjoying retirement, your financial security and the well-being of those you care about most, including your charities you hold dear to your heart, can be shaped by the plans you make today.

Click here for ideas that may help you make the most of your charitable gifts at year-end.

[Posted: November 18, 2021]
NEW ~ Harold & Jean Rieches Scholarship Established

The Harold and Jean Rieches Scholarship Fund has recently been established at the Vermillion County Community Foundation to benefit graduates of South Vermillion High School.

This scholarship has been founded by Jean Rieches, in honor of her late husband, Harold “Harry” Rieches who passed away on February 10, 2021. Harry was a Korean War veteran with the United States Army, worked as a CPA, and previously owned the Dog ‘N Suds in Clinton. He was a former board member and Past President of the Vermillion County Hospital Board of Trustees; a Treasurer of the Collett Home, Past Treasurer of Clinton Chamber of Commerce, Past Treasurer of LIFT, and Past President of the Clinton Jaycees. He was a graduate of the University of Illinois. He spent winters in Green Valley, Arizona, and he had traveled the world.

Preceding him in death were his parents; two sons, Ray and Brian Rieches; a daughter, Jeanie; and a sister Gladys Rink of Henderson, Nevada. He is survived by his wife, Jean Rieches; a daughter, Sue Ann (Darrell) Cooperrider of Tarpin Springs, Florida.; a sister, Aldine Rittenauer of Lafayette, Indiana; two grandchildren, Jordan and Sean Cooperrider; a brother-in-law, Mike Wirz of Brownstown, Illinois; and many good friends.

The scholarship will be awarded to South Vermillion High School graduates who are pursuing a college major or career in business or accounting. Several criteria will be taken into consideration when choosing the recipients. Most importantly, there will be a strong focus on financial need as well as the students’ school and/or work-related activities. Additional criteria include community and volunteer service as well as having a minimum 2.5 grade point average.

Donations to the Harold & Jean Rieches Scholarship Fund may be made online at www.wicf-inc.org or mailed to: Vermillion County Community Foundation, Attn: Harold & Jean Rieches Scholarship Fund, PO Box 532, Clinton, IN 47842.

[Posted: November 15, 2021]
NEW – Lee & Thelma T. Clingan Fund Established

David W. Clingan, the son of the late Lee Clingan and Thelma Tucker Tyhurst Clingan, is establishing the fund in loving memory of his parents. 

While Lee and Thelma Clingan were not natives to Covington, they considered Covington their hometown. Lee was born and raised near Kingman and Thelma was born in Kentland and raised across the border in Georgetown, Illinois.

Like most people of the “Greatest Generation”, World War 2 took them from their hometowns to locations throughout the USA and Europe, but they were drawn back home to the Wabash Valley.  Lee and Thelma were married in Covington in February of 1958 and purchased a home on Elm Drive in the brand new “Beck Addition”.  They ran their insurance, auctioneering and real estate business, as well as political campaigns, out of the office in the basement for 30 years, raised three children, and entertained dozens of Elm Drive kids in the large backyard, woods and sledding hill over the years.    

Lee was born near Kingman in 1921, graduated from Kingman High School in 1939, and enlisted in the Army in April 1941. Lee quickly rose to the rank of First Lieutenant and led an infantry platoon through two major battles in Holland, earning the Purple Heart, Bronze Star and Combat Infantryman Badge. Lee was a German prisoner of war at Oflag 64 in Poland and towards the end of the war, from January to April 1945, the camp of more than 1,000 prisoners was forced to march over 300 miles back to Germany on the infamous Poland death march. Lee escaped briefly during General George Patton’s Hammelburg Raid of Oflag XIII-B to rescue his son-in-law.

After the war, Lee graduated from Reppert’s School of Auctioneering and attended life insurance and marketing classes at Purdue University. Lee often referred to himself as a jack-of-all-trades and a master of none, and some of his other jobs included suit salesman, apple picker, bail bondsman, livestock buyer, gentleman farmer, laundromat owner, and truck driver. Since 1953, Lee had the pleasure of entertaining thousands of people at his mini farm, cattle, antique and land auctions. Lee’s deep voice, cadenced auctioneering chant and colorful stories never failed to entertain the buyers. 

Lee entered the Indiana State Senate in 1960 and served for eight years until his seat was reapportioned in 1968. In 1972, he ran for the House of Representatives and won, serving for 16 years.  Every year of the 24 years that Lee served in the General Assembly he was a member of the Agriculture and Insurance Committees of the chamber in which he served, and he was at one time the chairman of the Insurance Committee of each chamber. During Lee’s 24 years in the legislature, he represented districts that included all or parts of Fountain, Vermillion, Warren, Vigo, Benton, and Parke counties.

Lee was a past president of the Kingman High School Alumni Association; a member of the Indiana Auctioneers Association; a past commander of the Kingman American Legion Post; a past commander of firing squads and colors for many military funerals; a member of the V.F.W; the Kingman Masonic Lodge # 314, the Scottish Rite, the Zorah Temple, and the Elks Lodge; and a member of the Fountain County draft board for 25 years. Lee was also instrumental in moving the Ernie Pyle home to Dana, Indiana., in the mid-1970s to establish the Ernie Pyle State Historic Site.

In 1985, Lee’s 99 colleagues in the Indiana House of Representatives rated him as “Best Liked” in Indianapolis Monthly magazine.  In 1989, Governor Evan Bayh awarded Lee the prestigious Sagamore of the Wabash award, bestowing upon him the state’s highest award for a citizen and honoring him for his many years of service to the State of Indiana. In 1988, Lee was honored by House Concurrent Resolution No. 97, praising his 24 years of service to the Indiana General Assembly.

The lovely and lively Thelma was literally and figuratively the wind beneath Lee’s wings as well as her children and grandchildren.  She served as his wife, chief advisor, and supporter for 30 years until her death in 1987 of ovarian cancer. Emulating President Harry S. Truman, Lee lovingly referred to Thelma T. as “The Boss”.  In addition to raising three children (Lynne Suzanne Tyhurst, Greg, and David) Thelma was a homemaker, room mother, office manager, accountant, political advisor and campaigner, and auction cashier.  She was a 1942 graduate of Georgetown High School and was a member of Gamma Epsilon Chapter of Psi Iota Xi, the Coffeenians, Fountain County Democratic Women’s Club, State Assembly Women’s Club, Sky Valley Ladies Golf League, and she attended Covington United Methodist Church. 

Generous of heart and spirit, both Lee and Thelma T. were committed to service to their community and their country.   Their shared experience of growing up during the great depression and World War 2 provided them both with extraordinary measures of resourcefulness, frugality, and practicality, as well as a deep respect for hard work and loyalty to family, friends, and neighbors.  Therefore, David felt it important and appropriate to remember and honor Lee and Thelma’s beloved “hometown” with this fund to benefit the Covington community.  Projects supported by the Lee & Thelma Clingan Fund may be in a wide variety of areas, including, but not limited to, beautification, animal welfare, libraries, patriotism, arts, culture,  historic preservation, and others.

Donations to the Lee & Thelma Clingan Fund may be made online at www.wicf-inc.org or mailed to: Covington Community Foundation, Attn: Lee & Thelma Clingan Fund, P.O. Box 175, Covington, IN 47932

[Posted: November 10, 2021]
NEW ~ LIVINGenerously Fund Established

This fund has been established by V. Edward Grogg, a graduate of Covington High School and Indiana University. For the past four decades, Mr. Grogg has been actively involved in the operation, development, and investment in senior care products in both the USA and Canada. He currently serves as Chairman of the Board of Ellipsis Real Estate Partners, LLC. He resides in Westfield, Indiana.

Ed’s desire to “give back” to the Covington community was a result of his positive childhood and youth experiences in the Covington community and through his education and extra-curricular activities in the Covington Community School Corporation.

“As a youth I didn’t realize how fortunate I was to come from such a close-knit, small-town community. After living in a few other communities, I came to realize how blessed I was. It’s a privilege to give back and make a difference in my hometown,” Ed stated.

The projects supported by the LIVINGenerously Fund may be in a wide variety of areas, including, but not limited to, education, health & wellness, economic improvement, community leadership development, park & recreation ventures, child & youth activities, senior citizen endeavors, school-based initiatives, visitors & tourism promotion, and others.

Donations to the LIVINGenerously Fund may be made online at www.wicf-inc.org or mailed to: Covington Community Foundation, Attn: LIVINGenerously Fund, P.O. Box 175, Covington, IN 47932.

[Posted: November 01, 2021]
Recent Grant Recipients

Congratulations to recent grant recipients:
Clinton Public Library ($3,000), Veedersburg Revitalization Association ($7,000), Covington Christian School ($4,965), North Vermillion Falcon Christmas Store ($2,000), Covington Trojans Youth Football ($5,500), Purdue Extension – Fountain County ($7,000), Eugene Station Community Garden ($4,400), Attica Fire Department ($5,649,), Helt Fire & Rescue ($15,000), Town of Dana ($10,000), Friends of the Fountain County Fairgrounds ($30,000), Perrysville Fire Department ($3,000), Hillsboro Police Department ($2,000), Clinton Little League ($3,000), Attica Early Learning Center ($9,000), Covington Girls Softball League ($8,000), Fountain County Sheriff’s Dept. ($5,000), Servants at Work ($3,000), NICHES Land Trust ($2,133), City of Covington ($6,500), City of Attica ($6,000), Mellott Volunteer Fire Dept. ($9,000), South Vermillion High School ($500), Jackson Township Volunteer Fire Dept. ($3,000).  More →

[Posted: October 30, 2021]
New Funds to Benefit Area Communities

Twenty-four (24) new endowment funds have recently been established to benefits area communities and high school students.  For more details click on the link to learn more about each fund.

The new funds include: LIVINGenerously Donor-Advised Fund, Harold & Jean Rieches Scholarship Fund, Lee & Thelma T. Clingan Fund, Anna & Les Zimmerman Fund,  Charles Todd Wagoner Scholarship Fund Mariah (Martin) Zabriskie & Sean Zabriskie Scholarship Fund,  William & Nellie Hendrix Scholarship FundCarl Swinford Memorial Scholarship FundEllis Family Scholarship Fund, Dr. Robert & Sue Ewbank Scholarship Fund, Yale & Orthanna Yager Scholarship FundCarol Shew Nursing Scholarship Fund Christy DeSutter Cancer Fund Kay Shoaf Scholarship Fund, Randall G. Shoaf Scholarship Fund, Robert & Lucreita (Verrill) Shoaf Scholarship Fund,  Patricia Scherer Leath Education Scholarship Fund, William, Johanna & Mario Wilson Charitable Community Fund,  Darrell & Edith Dennis Community Fund, Daniel & Renee McGrady Family FundCDH Scholarship Fund, Wallace-Minnette Community Fund, George Norman Family Fund, Mark & Cindy Mason Community Fund, and the Michael & Mary Margaret Rhees Community Fund.

To learn how you can establish a fund to benefit your community contact Dale at (765) 793-0702 or by email at dwhite@wicf-inc.org.

[Posted: September 24, 2021]
Coming Next Week ~ Family Night! Get Your Tickets Now!

Covington Community Foundation will be hosting its 53rd semi-annual FAMILY NIGHT on Wednesday, October 6 from 4:30pm – 6:30pm ~ a late afternoon/early evening of great food and family entertainment at the Beef House Banquet Hall.

Come and enjoy “Professor Steve’s Unseen Forces Show,” – the wonders of science presented in a visual and fun way, making them easier to understand!

Tickets are $5.00 for adults and children are FREE, but they MUST be purchased in advance at the Covington Community Foundation, 135 S. Stringtown Rd., Covington.  Seating is limited.  For details call (765) 793-0702.

[Posted: August 27, 2021]
Covington – VFW Emergency Relief Fund

The Covington – VFW was destroyed due to a devastating fire on Friday, August 27, 2021. The Covington – VFW Emergency Relief Fund will assist with any costs associated with the replacement, repair, and other costs associated with the fire disaster, which are above and beyond those items not covered by insurance or which may be of an immediate nature.

Donations may be made to: Western Indiana Community Foundation, ATTN: Covington – VFW Emergency Relief Fund, PO Box 175, Covington, IN 47932 or they may be made online at: www.wicf-inc.org.

[Posted: July 07, 2021]

Vermillion County Community Foundation recently awarded $60,000 to in grants to benefit three local projects in the amount of $20,000 each. The recipients included the Town of Dana, Vermillion Trails Alliance, and the Cayuga Park Board.

According to Dale White, CEO of the Community Foundation, “Each of these grants were a part of our “Better When We Gather – Creative Placemaking Grantmaking Initiative.” Vermillion County has long been a community of makers: industrious people driven to build, create, and innovate – together. Thus, we wanted to build upon the maker mindset, so prevalent in our county, to activate or create public spaces that advance a more vibrant, welcoming, and inclusive community.

In 2020, 35 individuals participated in group convening sessions and personal interviews. These county stakeholders learned a great deal about where we succeed and where we could do better. We also learned that the communities within our broader community are very willing to engage and that being better requires that we gather and work together.

Vermillion County’s ability to attract and retain talent is greatly increased by taking advantage of unique placemaking assets in our communities. Building upon both the spirit and findings from the community convening process, the Community Foundation sought proposals for creative placemaking projects that, through deliberate and thoughtful collaboration, will make us better together.”

The recipients of the grants from the Creative Placemaking Initiative included:

Vermillion Trails Alliance – $20,000: The Vermillion Trails Alliance (“VTA”) was launched in the spring of 2017 by a group of local citizens. VTA is the lead entity in Vermillion County when it comes to a non-motorized multi-purpose walking and biking trail system.

Grant monies will be used to develop a 900’ asphalt walking path around Trailhead Park which lies at the intersection of the rail bed and County Road 150 South, just south of Newport and north of the Parke-Vermillion Humane Society. A portion of the grant will also provide funding for signage welcoming visitors to the trail and outline the rules for its usage.

The Park currently accommodates a picnic shelter with wooden beams cut, dried, and installed by local volunteer labor. Also, in the park are 26 different species of trees which were planted by local volunteers.

 Town of Dana – $20,000: The town was the recipient of a $10,000 grant in 2020 to assist the community in conducting an extensive feasibility study. The study indicated a strong desire for increased activities that focused on recreation, wellness, and healthy living for the children and adults of Dana.

Grant monies will be used to refurbish the fields at the Dana Ball Park located on the north end of the community. This will include a gravel parking lot, new scoreboard and safety bases, landscaping, as well as preparation to convert a storm drainage ditch into a ¾ to one-mile walking path that will surround the six-acre perimeter of the Dana ball fields.

The upgrades to the ballpark and the development of the walking path will allow all 700 Dana and Vermillion County residents a place to focus on wellness at a safe community gathering place during the late spring, summer, and early fall months.

 Cayuga Park Board – $20,000: The 42-acre Cayuga Park is the largest park in Vermillion County and is home to the Vermillion County Fair. The amenities in the park are numerous including, a state-of-the-art grandstand, multi-purpose walking trail, a skateboarding ramp, basketball courts, a community building, baseball diamonds, and camping opportunities.

Grant monies will be used to update some of the existing and outdated playground equipment that was donated to the park from the former Eugene School and Cayuga Elementary School. The total cost to update the equipment in the three distinct playground areas is approximately $68,000. Nearly ½ of the money has already been raised for the project by local donors.

Western Indiana Community Foundation
135 S. Stringtown Rd.
P.O. Box 175
Covington, IN. 47932

Phone: 765-793-0702
Fax: 765-793-0703
Email: info@wicf-inc.org

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