Grants, scholarships awarded in Shelby County, across U.S.

For the Sidney Daily News



SIDNEY — “Community Foundation of Shelby County charitable funds infused more than $2.6 million in grants and scholarships in Shelby County and across the U.S. in 2016,” reported Marian Spicer, executive director. “During the year, local people and organizations gifted $3 million to establish and grow charitable funds at the Foundation.”

Her report continues:

The not-for-profit public foundation governs 156 charitable funds totaling nearly $29 million. Its role is to carry out the wishes of community members by administering charitable funds that provide grants and scholarships for purposes outlined by a fundís establishing donors. The Community Foundation was created in 1952 and is in compliance with National Standards, an accreditation process.

Several charitable funds were established last year:

• The Don and Helen Ambos Memorial Scholarship Fund was created by the couple’s children, Karen Green and Craig Ambos, to benefit Botkins graduates.

• The Dale and Kathy Nichols Family Foundation was created to support a wide range of charitable organizations. The Russia residents will advise the fund’s grants.

• The Irene Palko Scholarship Fund will benefit Anna High School seniors who will pursue a degree in education. Palko, a longtime teacher who served for part of her career in the McCartyville and Anna schools was remembered by Dan and Nita Watercutter, who established the fund.

• The Paul and Veronica Perin Scholarship Fund will provide scholarships to Fort Loramie High School seniors with a focus on academics and school and community involvement.

• The James F. and Marcia L. Schulze Scholarship Fund was established to provide two renewable scholarships to Fort Loramie grads majoring in engineering or computer science.

• The Shelby County Fairgrounds Construction Fund is receiving gifts for grandstands and other facility improvements at the fairgrounds.

• Five local residents established Gift Accounts, short-term donor advised charitable funds that enable giving to other charities. Additionally, several local residents created charitable fund agreements that will establish new funds through their estates.

Gifts for these and other existing funds are welcome at any time and should be made payable to the Community Foundation of Shelby County with the fund name noted on the memo line. Credit card gifts may be made to any charitable fund by clicking the “Make a Gift” button of the Foundation’s website at

Workshops on the Foundation’s grants and investments were held during 2016. The Foundation also participated in a collaborative with other local foundations to provide estate and retirement planning seminars to local residents.

The 2017 Community Foundation officers are Mardie Milligan, chair; Doug Borchers, vice chair; Karen Fortman, secretary; and Norm Smith, treasurer. Trustees are Jerry Doerger, Mick Given, Cindy Helman, Rudy Keister, Aaron Koenig, Doug Stewart and Priscilla Wilt. Staff members include myself, accounting manager Jeanne Hoying, CPA, office assistant Sara Mitchell and accounting administrator Barbara Stueve. The newest member of the staff, donor relations director Jessica Fortkamp, joined the Foundation in October.

In 2017, the Foundation will celebrate its 65th anniversary of working with local residents wanting to give to charitable causes in the community. Foundation staff and volunteers also hope to raise the awareness among potential donors of giving to existing charitable funds. For more information, contact Jessica Fortkamp at 937-497-7800 or email at


For the Sidney Daily News