More than 60 years ago a handful of local leaders from Shelby County came together in the hopes of fostering philanthropy. From that idea, the Community Foundation of Shelby County was created to help individuals provide lasting gifts to make a difference in our community. Since then, numerous people have turned to the Community Foundation to support their favorite charitable causes and organizations.
For lifelong Sidney resident Amy Zorn, giving makes her grateful for the abundance of life she has been given through the generosity of those who came before her.
One of the ways she is continuing the cycle of giving is by establishing a scholarship fund with the Community Foundation. But it all began when she started volunteering in sixth grade, assisting with Red Cross swimming lessons at the Sidney pool. Since then she has volunteered and served on the board of numerous organizations and committees.
“At times, over the years, I have not had the financial resources to be a generous donor, but I have given my time and applied my knowledge wherever I could to help my community,” Zorn said. “Giving is something to grow into. Small sacrifices of time and money early in life create habits of enlarged giving that increase with the years. The Community Foundation makes it easy to support a habit of giving.”
Several years ago, after both of Zorn’s parents passed away, she became the last member of her immediate family in Sidney. Her brother and sister, aunts, uncles and first cousins no longer live in the area. Zorn decided to fund a scholarship at the Community Foundation to honor her family.
“I wanted to leave a family footprint here in a dynamic and vital way,” Zorn said. “A scholarship in my parents’ name will allow my family to continue giving to someone’s dreams, even after we are all gone. By establishing a scholarship, I’m assured that my wishes will be carried out into posterity by the responsible stewards there.”
Now retired, Zorn’s high school teaching career spanned 21 years in Jackson Center and 14 in Anna. She also served as a consultant in various capacities for the National Geographic Society and was a freelance writer for regional news media and national specialty publications.
Zorn says she established this scholarship, not because of her interest in education, but because her parents understood the importance of continuing to learn after high school. Neither of her parents were college graduates, but they expected their children to be.
The William and Patsy Zorn Veterans Scholarship is offered to students who have a close family member in the military since William Zorn was a World War II veteran and spent his life actively involved in veterans organizations. Patsy Zorn was an American Legion Auxiliary president.
“Too often students put off dreams of attending college because of the cost,” Jessica Vaglienti, donor relations director of the Community Foundation said. “It’s gratifying to help a student’s dream come true. Through Amy’s generosity in funding this scholarship, her family will still have an impact for generations to come.”
The Community Foundation of Shelby County has been helping people help others since 1952 by managing many charitable funds created by local residents or organizations to support favorite causes and organizations. Contact the Community Foundation at 937-497-7800 or visit www.commfoun.com.