Emery has established several endowment funds that give to charitable
organizations in the community, supporting education, culture, health care
and family. Her charitable giving through the Lawrence County
Community Foundation will continue to give financial support to community
philanthropy involves much more than money. It raises public awareness
concerning community needs. Emery was sold on the concept of a
community foundation just three years after the idea got off the ground in
. With $1,000 per fund, Emery established a variety of funds. Public
awareness campaigns encouraged others to donate to those and other funds
that were opening at the same time. Once funds reached a three-year average
balance of $5,000 or more, grants may be made to those special interest
projects several times per year – forever.
don't have to have a million dollars to establish funds or to donate to
existing Lawrence County Community Foundation funds," Emery said.
"With $1,000 now - instead of thinking you'll do something in the
future – start a fund now and let it build. We've been very fortunate to
have so many different people in the community willing to work and give
their time and resources to the Foundation."
first fund Emery opened was in memory of her parents Opal and Freeda Casada.
Her mother, a homemaker, died in June 1983. Her father, a concrete mason,
died in February 1993.
fund Emery founded was for seniors. "Funds for the elderly are
really needed," Emery said. "People tend to forget about the
elderly. Establishing this fund made me aware of just how much you can do in
that field. . . It has built awareness," she added. "It makes
people think they can do something too." The fund makes it
possible for grants to be made as often as twice per year for projects that
's senior citizens.
continued creating funds, many of which support her adult children's widely
different interests. Emery's generosity also reaches out to
families and to people with cultural interests. She established a fund in
honor of her former mother-in-law, Joan Emery Prentiss, to help
families caring for a terminally ill loved one. She also opened the
Mr. and Mrs. J. Grant Moore fund for cultural arts in memory of her friends.
With an interest in art herself, Emery initiated a fund for
students and another fund to support the IU Museum of Art.
said she opened the funds to support a wide array of community organizations
because she felt a deep responsibility to give back to the community. She
said her parents were great role models, having spent their lives helping
people in quiet ways. Growing up in the Christian religion influenced her
philanthropic philosophy. "Giving is where you get the most
joy," Emery said. "It's better to give than to receive."
are many benefits in being a donor, according to Emery. "It's so
great while you are still alive to see these funds working and accomplishing
things," she said. "It's a selfish thing too. It's really great to
enjoy funds that are enabling groups to do things they aren't [otherwise]
able to do or to reach more people they might not be able to reach and
see it all growing while you are still alive. It's great satisfaction."
Emery's greatest satisfaction is watching the
Limestone Girls Club fund grow and strengthen programs for local girls.
"My favorite fund isn't one of these," she said, referring to the
funds she personally established. "It's the Girls Club. It's my real
love. I think it will do so much for the girls in
. I like all the funds. Each one is wonderful. But the one that means the
most to me is the Girls Club. I think at this time, girls especially are
under so many pressures, and they need a place to feel safe and to be with
good role models and to receive opportunities where they can develop in
sports, hobbies and reading. I feel a real commitment to that. The community
has always had a good boys club program, and I think the girls deserve at
least that much." Emery is a 1954 graduate of
. She earned a degree from
in 1960. She is a former school teacher and has owned Fit for Life since it
was founded in 1985.
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