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February 26, 2011

WV Community Foundation gives grants to 99 area not-for-profits

TERRE HAUTE — The missions of dozens of local not-for-profit organizations got a helping hand Friday from the Wabash Valley Community Foundation.

At a gathering of more than 100 people at the Clay County YMCA in Brazil, the Community Foundation, which serves Vigo, Clay, Sullivan and surrounding counties, distributed nearly $200,000 to 99 local not-for-profits.

Grants through the Wabash Valley Community Foundation “always seem to come at an opportune time,” said Susan Marr, a volunteer and past president of the Terre Haute Humane Society, which received gifts Friday through two endowments administered by the WVCF. “That extra boost really helps us.”

Local organizations receiving funding Friday included the United Way of the Wabash Valley, the Union Hospital Foundation, the Terre Haute Boys and Girls Club, TREES Inc., The Terre Haute Symphony, the Vigo County Public Library, Hamilton Center, CHANCES for Indiana Youth and many others.

“We have a great partnership with the Community Foundation,” said Troy Fears, executive director of the United Way of the Wabash Valley. “It’s a win-win situation.”

In addition to raising funds, the Community Foundation manages endowments established for specific charitable organizations, said Beth Tevlin, executive director of the Foundation. Such endowments earn income that is used to support those organizations each year, she said.

“That’s why we say foundation endowments are ‘for good, forever,’” said Jackie Lower, president of the Community Foundation. “It’s truly something that will go on forever.”

Funding distributed Friday included small amounts, such as $102 from an endowment established to beautify the Forest Park Golf Course in Brazil, to about $8,000 from several different endowments that benefit the United Way of the Wabash Valley.

“Everything helps,” said Ann Bradshaw, mayor of Brazil, who accepted the $102 for Brazil’s municipal golf course.

In total, the WVCF, along with its Clay and Sullivan county affiliates, distributed $195,122.13 on Friday morning.

“The Wabash Valley Community Foundation lends a sense of security and lasting that is very encouraging to our donors,” said Brian Whisenhunt, director of the Swope Art Museum, which received several grants from the foundation. The museum has more than a dozen endowment funds in the care of the WVCF.

“This is a blessing for us,” said Trudy Rupska, CEO of Visiting Nurse Association/ Hospice of the Wabash Valley. “We’re usually caring for someone who doesn’t have the ability to pay,” she said.

The Wabash Valley Community Foundation, established in 1991, provides donors with an opportunity to set up charitable endowments that will guarantee their favorite charity will receive an annual grant for years to come, Tevlin said. Instead of giving away $200,000 annually, “I would like to see us giving away $2 million,” she said. “Maybe not this year, but in the years to come.”

To learn more about the Wabash Valley Community Foundation, visit the organization’s website at www.wvcf.com or call (812) 232-2234.

Arthur Foulkes can be reached at (812) 231-4232 or arthur.foulkes@tribstar.com.

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