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August 30, 2019 KOKOMO, Ind. -- Some 60 members of the “Friends of Carroll County” were honored by the Carroll County Community Foundation at their yearly celebration dinner on Thursday, Aug. 22 at the Burlington Community Park Building in Burlington, Indiana.
The “Friends” group are individuals and organizations in Carroll County that have started endowment funds or donated at least $250 to the Community Foundation during the past year.
Dr. Paul Manning, chairperson for the Community Foundation, and Greg Aaron, president, welcomed the guests and highlighted several initiatives that have benefited the Carroll County community in the past year, including the Indiana Promise Program for Carroll County college savings fund, the purchase of mobile equipment for the Delphi Public Library, new equipment for the Community Center’s Silver Sneaker fitness class, and support of the remodeling project for the Burlington Community Club’s main hall.
At the celebration, the assembled “Friends” also selected three non-profit organizations in the county by ballot vote for surprise monetary gifts. First prize of $1,000 went to the Carroll County Religious Education group, second prize ($700) to the Burlington Community Library, and the $300 third prize went to the Carroll County Promise college fund.
This year’s invited guest speaker for the tribute was Terri Johnson, associate director of the Lilly Endowment GIFT (Giving Indiana Funds for Tomorrow) VII program in Indianapolis. Johnson praised the spirit and collective efforts of the Carroll County Friends group, and provided an update about the Lilly Endowment’s GIFT VII program and its implementation since December 2018 at community foundations statewide.
Carroll County residents can contribute to their local foundation in many ways, Johnson said, and the generous GIFT VII matching program helps build tremendous value in the community. Unrestricted community endowments are a smart investment in today’s tax environment, Johnson noted, and “Gifts of Grain,” where one check from a grain delivery to the local elevator can be directed to the community foundation, as another great way to contribute.
Community leadership is also included in the philosophy behind Lilly Endowment’s GIFT VII program, Johnson explained, and is the natural evolution for community foundations in the state since the early 1990s. Conceived as centers of expertise for endowment and grant-making management, Indiana’s community foundations are now expected to be “community leaders,” Johnson said. Understanding local needs helps the community foundation direct funds where they are most needed, and support for current challenges like drug addiction treatment and child care nutrition programs is a crucial part of the foundation’s evolving role.
To meet that mission of “anticipating future needs,” as Aaron described it, Carroll County’s foundation in September will start conducting “community conversations” with various groups to determine “the aspirations, concerns and opportunities to strengthen the community.”
Aaron praised the “Friends” group for their efforts this year. In particular, he pointed to the Carroll County Promises college savings fund as a noteworthy initiative. “Because of your generous response to this college-savings plan,” Aaron said, “the statewide Promise Indiana Operations team now uses Carroll County as the fund-raising example for others to follow.”
About GIFT VII and Lilly Endowment
GIFT VII also includes a Matching Fund Grant for Indiana community foundations. The Community Foundation Serving Howard, Carroll and Clinton Counties announced the matching gift initiative in December 2018. At least two-thirds of the Matching Fund Grant must be designated to support the growth of the Foundation’s unrestricted community endowment funds, which provide flexibility to help meet community needs. The Endowment will provide $2 for every $1 contributed through the Community Foundation’s unrestricted endowments. For every $1 given to the Foundation’s other types of endowed funds, the match is $.50 -- $.25 to the same fund as the gift and $.25 to an unrestricted community endowment fund. The match initiative runs through Dec. 31, 2020, or until the match is met.
Lilly Endowment Inc. is an Indianapolis-based private philanthropic foundation created in 1937 by three members of the Lilly family – J.K. Lilly Sr. and sons J.K. Jr. and Eli – through gifts of stock in their pharmaceutical business, Eli Lilly & Company. The Endowment exists to support causes of community development, education and religion. Lilly Endowment’s community development grantmaking is designed to support efforts that enhance the quality of life in Indianapolis and Indiana.
About the Carroll County Community Foundation
Established in 1997, the Carroll County Community Foundation is a not-for-profit charitable organization governed by a volunteer board of local citizens. The purpose of the Foundation is to serve the interests of donors, to make grants and to act as a catalyst around issues of community importance in Carroll County. For details about making a charitable gift or establishing a permanent endowment fund to benefit a charitable organization or interest in Carroll County, please contact the Carroll County Community Foundation at (800) 964-0508 or visit the Web site at www.cfcarroll.org.