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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

Jack Schultz, author of “BOOMTOWN USA…The 7 1/2 Keys to Big Success in Small Towns”, states:

“One of things that I would do in every town (I’ve toured over 400 in 44 states) would be to create a Community Foundation.  A Community Foundation allows a community, whether it be a single town, county, or even a region, to marshal small donations and funds into the efficiency of a large foundation, altering the fabric of that community for the long term.  Indiana has been a leader in setting these up in every one of their counties, because of the leadership of Lilly Endowment Inc.”


[Posted: January 17, 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): Henry Meadows, 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: January 06, 2021]
Apply for Scholarships NOW!

The Foundation’s online scholarship application process is now open for students attending Attica, Covington, Fountain Central, Seeger, North Vermillion and South Vermillion High School.  The application deadline is March 1.

For details visit the scholarship section of our website.  

[Posted: January 04, 2021]
New Funds to Benefit Area Communities

Eighteen (18) 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: Carl 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: December 14, 2020]

As part of the CARES Act, there is now a universal deduction!  A provision in the act allows any taxpayer to deduct up to the first $300 they donate to nonprofits in 2020.

WICF and others in the philanthropy sector have long been pursing for a permanent universal tax deduction so Americans who don’t itemize their taxes can get tax benefits from their charitable deductions.

Millions of Americans are facing food and housing insecurity, and many of the nonprofits they might turn to are facing financial hardships themselves.

If you are in a position to give, please do so TODAY!

[Posted: December 13, 2020]
Recent Grant Recipients

Congratulations to recent grant recipients:
Town of Dana ($10,000), Friends of the Fountain County Fairgrounds ($30,000), Perrysville Fire Department ($8,350), Hillsboro Police Department ($2,000), 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), Attica High School – Student Council ($1,000), North Vermillion High School ($500), Fountain Central High School ($2,500), Covington Christian School ($5,415), Attica Jr./Sr. High School ($4,800), North Vermillion High School Music Program ($1,000).  More →

[Posted: December 09, 2020]

The Independent Colleges of Indiana has confirmed that Chloe Rippy is the 24th Cohort of the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship – Vermillion County for 2021. The scholarship award will cover the cost of full tuition, required fees and special allocation of up to $900 per year for required materials, for four years of undergraduate study on a full-time basis, leading to a baccalaureate degree at any Indiana public or private college or university accredited by the High Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Chloe joins 4,912 outstanding students throughout the state who have received the prestigious Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship. The Lilly Endowment Inc. has provided over $424 million in grant support for the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship Program since its inception in 1998. 

Chloe is the daughter of Tracy Rippy and Dan Rippy. She will graduate in May 2021 from South Vermillion High School with a Core 40 Academic Diploma. Chloe has a 4.0 GPA and ranks first in her class of 128.   She has taken six honors and five AP classes as well as four dual credit courses at Ivy Tech and one at Indiana State University.  Her rigorous coursework has prepared her well as she continues her education. Chloe is an intelligent, enthusiastic, ambitious and motivated young lady as her application, interview, and peers expressed.

Chloe’s educational plan is to attend Indiana University because it is a leader in her career choice and to pursue new experiences.  She will major in biology while at Indiana University as part of her journey to medical career. She expresses a desire to come back to the community after graduation and give back to the community.

“Thank you so much! I am shocked and grateful for this college opportunity.  It is nice to know all my hard work has paid off over the years,” was Chloe’s reaction when informed that she was this year’s Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship recipient.

South Vermillion High School Spanish teacher, Mrs. Bernal-Tindera, states in her letter of recommendation, “This applicant is a responsible person, a blend of high academic competency, dedication to goals, and a very competitive student.  I strongly recommend her because of her unique individuality, dependability and commitment to community service.”

Chloe is a three member of National Honor Society, honored as an Academic Excellence I and II awardee and an Academic All-Conference Athlete. She has participated in Student Council for four years. Chloe is a four-year member of varsity volleyball, four years varsity basketball and three-year varsity tennis.  She earned All-Conference Honorable Mention for two years in basketball and All-Conference Doubles Play for tennis in 2019.  Chloe is also a three year member of the United States Tennis Association. Chloe played five years for the Indiana Flight West AAU Basketball team.

Chloe is a ten-year Vermillion County 4-H member raising and showing swine which taught her the valuable lesson of meeting needs of the animals, responsibility and seeing the rewards of the end project.

Chloe’s knows the impact and rewarding feelings of community service.  Many of her services include being involved with Hospice of the Wabash Valley, Union Hospital Guild Gift Shop, Youth Tennis Clinic, Biddy Basketball Camp, Tumble Mania Recital, Fun Run for Autism, Salvation Army bell ringer, Wayside Church Bible School and Color Run and a mission trip to Henryville to help tornado victims.

When asked why this scholarship is important to her, Chloe graciously replied, “College will give me the opportunity to make a difference in people’s lives by striving to find ways to improve their quality of life. This scholarship affords me to do what I need to help others in a career in medicine.  This scholarship relieves the financial burden of college so I can concentrate on my academics.

The Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship process is lengthy with specific guidelines. Twenty-seven students in Vermillion County applied for the scholarship this year.  The scholarship committee carefully reviews each application with respect to specific criteria established by the local committee.  Five finalists were invited to interview to continue the selection process.  After the Vermillion County Community Foundation nominating committee narrowed the field to three, the names were submitted to the Independent Colleges of Indiana, Inc. for the final selection of the recipient.

The Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship is the result of a statewide Lilly Endowment initiative created to help Hoosier students reach higher levels of education since 1998.  The Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship program has three primary purposes that are to help raise the level of educational attainment in Indiana; to increase awareness of the beneficial roles Indiana community foundations can play in their communities; and to encourage and support the efforts of current and past Lilly Endowment Community Scholars to engage with each other and with Indiana business, governmental, educational, nonprofit and civic leaders to improve the quality of life in Indiana generally and in local communities throughout the state.

[Posted: December 09, 2020]

One Fountain County student has been named recipient of a full tuition four-year scholarship as the Western Indiana Community Foundation 2021 Lilly Endowment Community Scholar – Fountain County.

Carson Eberly will receive full tuition to the Indiana private college or public university of his choice and a $900 yearly stipend for required books and equipment.  He is the 40th Fountain County recipient of the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship.

Mr. Eberly, of Fountain Central High School High School, has plans to obtain a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from Purdue University.  Carson ranks #1 in his graduating class with a 3.918 GPA.

Carson has been honored with numerous academic awards during his time at Fountain Central High and has excelled athletically in tennis, basketball, and baseball.

One of Mr. Eberly’s references wrote, “I am pleased to recommend Carson Eberly for consideration for your foundation’s scholarship. Simply put, Carson is one of the top student-athletes I have been around in 20 years of education and coaching. You will not find another student who outshines Carson’s academic and athletic achievements. His work ethic is second to none. In the classroom, he is motivated by a desire to be the absolute best, and he approaches all coursework with a commitment to excellence. He is tireless in this pursuit, but he approaches it with enthusiasm and a joy for learning. He engages in work independently with a great deal of personal desire to do things the right way. In a group setting, Carson elevates those around him by demonstrating great work ethic, care for others, and a willingness to cooperate. He is extremely well-rounded, performing well in both creative and technical endeavors.”

As an athlete, Carson is a leader by example. He has excelled as a 3-sport athlete at Fountain Central for the last 3 years. He is loved and respected by his teammates because of the way he approaches every practice and contest. He is loved and respected by his coaches because he is the model student-athlete.”

Mr. Eberly is the son of the Jason Eberly and the late Kimberly Eberly of Attica.

Thirty Fountain County students applied for this year’s Lilly Scholarship.  The first phase of the selection process included the high school faculty of each school recommending up to six applicants from their school to be considered by the local scholarship committee representing the same school district.

The second phase included each scholarship committee reviewing the applications and interviewing each applicant.  Two nominees from each school are selected based on consensus.

The third phase of the selection process included each of the two nominees from each school being interviewed by the scholarship committees representing the two other school districts.  Each committee member independently scores each applicant in six categories including academic performance, school activities and work, volunteerism, financial need, letters of reference and a personal interview with each committee member.

Following the final scoring, one nominee and two alternates were forwarded to Independent Colleges of Indiana, Inc. (ICI) for final selection of the Western Indiana Community Foundation’s Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship recipient.

ICI is a nonprofit corporation that represents 30 regionally accredited degree granting, nonprofit, private colleges and universities in the state.

The primary purposes of the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship Program are 1) to help raise the level of educational attainment in Indiana; 2) to increase awareness of the beneficial roles Indiana community foundations can play in their communities; and 3) to encourage and support the efforts of current and past Lilly Endowment Community Scholars to engage with each other and with Indiana business, governmental, educational, nonprofit and civic leaders to improve the quality of life in Indiana generally and in local communities throughout the state.

Including the 24th cohort, 4,912 full-tuition scholars have been awarded and over $424 million in scholarship tuition has been provided through the LECSP since the program’s inception in 1998.

[Posted: December 08, 2020]

Western Indiana Community Foundation has received a Community Leadership Grant of $200,000 as part of the seventh phase of Lilly Endowment Inc.’s Giving Indiana Funds for Tomorrow (GIFT VII) initiative.  With the grant, the community foundation will use these grant dollars to further enhance the efforts of creating a better quality of life for our local communities and to enhance the leadership development opportunities for the citizens of Fountain and Vermillion County. 

Western Indiana Community Foundation is one of 84 foundations in Indiana receiving grants through this round of GIFT VII grantmaking. Lilly Endowment created GIFT in 1990 to help local communities in Indiana develop the philanthropic capacity to identify local needs and challenges. It launched GIFT VII in 2018 and made available a total of $125 million to help foundations strengthen their leadership capacities in the towns, cities, and counties they serve.

Dale White, CEO of the Community Foundation says, “We are grateful that the Lilly Endowment  approved our proposal.  This will provide us with the opportunity to inclusively unite our citizens, institutions and resources from throughout the two counties, and to focus on producing significant, widely shared and lasting results.”

As part of GIFT VII, Western Indiana Community Foundation was awarded a planning grants of $100,000 in 2019 to convene local stakeholders to identify, prioritize and assess opportunities and challenges in Fountain and Vermillion County.  In March 2020, the Community Foundation was invited to apply for a GIFT VII Community Leadership Grant to implement strategies and activities identified during the planning period.

White goes on to state, “The planning grant, through the convening of 75 Fountain County citizens and 35 Vermillion County citizens, provided us with keen insight into the needs of each county.   Also, our citizens appreciated the opportunity to provide feedback and be a part of an overarching process to participate in shaping the future of their county. 

Over the course of the next several months and into 2021 and beyond the citizens of Fountain and Vermillion County will see an increased focus on enhancing the quality of life in the County through large-scale grant making initiatives that focus on public spaces such as: streetscape beautification and walkability, community art projects, bike and pedestrian pathways and public space amenities that encourage people to interact.  Additionally, the Community Foundation will establish a Leadership Institute that will serve as a mechanism for our citizens to enhance their personal, organizational and community leadership skills.  Lastly, the Foundation will also be proactive in promoting Fountain and Vermillion county through the development of a website, print materials and social media to enhance the local, state and national awareness of our numerous amenities.”

This is an exciting time in the life of the Community Foundation.  We are looking forward with great anticipation to continue to add value to the citizens of Fountain and Vermillion County.  The collective efforts of all our citizens will be critical for the future success of each county.”

Lilly Endowment is an Indianapolis-based private philanthropic foundation created in 1937 by J.K. Lilly, Sr. and his sons Eli and J.K. Jr. through gifts of stock in their pharmaceutical business, Eli Lilly and Company. Although the gifts of stock remain a financial bedrock of the Endowment, it is a separate entity from the company, with a distinct governing board, staff and location. In keeping with the founders’ wishes, the Endowment supports the causes of community developmenteducation and religion. The Endowment funds significant programs throughout the United States, especially in the field of religion. However, it maintains a special commitment to its founders’ hometown, Indianapolis, and home state, Indiana.

[Posted: November 01, 2020]
Foundation Awards $30,000 for Fountain County Fairgrounds Project

The Western Indiana Community Foundation is pleased to announce its awarding of a $30,000 grant to the Fountain County Fairgrounds Capital Improvement Project.

Cheri Krug of the Friends of the Fountain County Fairgrounds says, “We are excited about this generous donation by the community Foundation.  We have now raised $140,000 towards our $155,000 goal.  Our plans include a new concession stand/kitchen, restrooms and multipurpose room with Wi-Fi access and air conditioning.  This new ADA compliant addition will be a great improvement to the current facilities and is key for creating a welcoming and inviting area for our community.

The fairgrounds hosts a variety of events such as weddings, dances, Cub Scout events, auctions, open livestock show, community events for local groups and the yearly 4-H fair and 4-H meetings.  On a typical year, it averages between 1-3 events/meetings per month from March through November (closed during the winter months). Attendance ranges from small group meetings (10-20 people) to larger events when attendance is upwards of 500 people or more. Meeting room space at the fairgrounds is currently limited to the large building at the south end of the fairgrounds. This building is expensive to heat and cool for smaller meetings. The planned multipurpose room will be more economical for small meetings and will have Wi-Fi access. We hope that this county-centralized meeting space provides opportunities for growth, especially in youth and adult educational programs and hosting local small businesses’ meetings and events. The current concession stand is outdated and does not provide a safe food prep area. It is used extensively by the 4-H Junior Leaders during the fair, providing valuable life experiences in management and finances as they operate a food stand during the fair. There are 364 youth currently enrolled in 4-H who extensively use the fairgrounds during the fair and throughout the year for 4-H club meetings.”

According to Dale White, CEO of the Western Indiana Community Project, “It’s been a pleasure to partner with the Friends of the Fountain County Fairgrounds organization.  The Attica, Covington, and Southeast Fountain Community Foundations are each awarding $10,000 to this worthwhile project.

The community foundations liked the idea of an organization providing a centralized space to accommodate high quality programs, both for youth and adults, in Fountain County.  Improving the fairground facilities will benefit all residents of the county as well as future generations. The multipurpose room included in this project, will bring flexibility and options for groups seeking a meeting place and the concession stand/kitchen is a well-thought out component of the project.”

White closes by stating, “We have enjoyed working with the Friends of the Fountain County Fairgrounds the past few years in their fundraising efforts.  We are confident they will reach their goal of $155,000 and hopefully most of that will be done by generous Fountain County citizens by year-end 2020.  The community foundation also likes the groups vision of exceeding their goal to have enough money to add some extra touches to the project and to be able to put some money away for the long-term upkeep and maintenance of the new facility.  It would be remarkable if our citizens and businesses could help them raise $175,000 to $200,000.”

Donations to the project may be made to: Western Indiana Community Foundation, ATTN: Fountain County Fairgrounds Capital Improvement Project, PO Box 175, Covington, IN 47932 or online at www.wicf-inc.org.

[Posted: May 27, 2020]
Scholarship Recipients Announced

Nearly 235 students in Fountain and Vermillion County are the recipients of over $325,000 in scholarship awards to be used for their academic pursuits in 2020-2021.  Check this site often for new scholarship opportunities and other updates.

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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