History of Lawrence County Community Foundation
The concept of a community
was the vision of Steve Braden in 1992 in conjunction with the inception of
the Lilly Endowment, Inc.ís GIFT Program (Giving Indiana Funds
for Tomorrow). He brought together others that similarly
believed in local philanthropy and permanent endowments and together they
created the Lawrence County Community Foundation (LCCF).
Maribel Dyer became the
first executive director of the Foundation in 1993 and worked tirelessly, on
a part time basis, to help further the mission of the organization until she
passed away in early 1994. That same year, LCCF received it first
sizeable local Endowment fund, the Dollens Charitable Remainder Trust.
Cindy Blorstad, a
native, moved back to
from political work in
and was named Executive Director in Spring 1994. Cindy quickly became
a community foundation expert and was instrumental in the growth of LCCF.
During its formative years, LCCF was able to increase its operating
endowments by receiving matching funds from Lilly Endowment, Inc. The
year 1995 was an exciting time as LCCF made its first grants to local
organizations. While the amounts were small, it was an example of what
was to come.
In 1996, community
foundation interest in
intensified and LCCF was instrumental in the start-up of the Orange County
Community Foundation (OCCF). OCCF became an affiliate of LCCF in
November of 1996 through the efforts of Wendell Gooch, Pat Clements and Lee
Johnson; and with the assistance of Jenny Kloer.
With the creation of the
Lilly Endowment, Inc.ís Community Scholarship Program, Diane Lineback was
hired in 1999 to coordinate these prestigious awards as well as other
administrative functions. The following year, $1.75 million was
granted through the GIFT III program helping organizations such as Bedford
Foundation of Youth, Bedford Urban Enterprise Association, 4-H, Limestone
Girls Club and Little Theatre.
community leaders, led by Carla Harner, expressed an interest in starting a
local community foundation, in 1999. With the assistance of LCCF, the Martin
County Community Foundation (MCCF) was created that year. Also in
1999, all three foundations under the wing of LCCF participated in the
Endowmentís GIFT IV Program. A year later grants were given to seven
organizations at $100,000 each for specific projects in
The complexity of the
organization made keeping track of finances a new challenge and Lisa Starr
was hired as its first accountant, in 1999. Still firm in its
commitment to the tri-county area, LCCF obtained a
planning grant (Community Alliance to Promote Education).
was added to the planning mix and in 2001 the four county alliance was
granted a $13.2 million award for a three-year period.
As granting and community
relationships began to grow in 2001, another staff member was added.
Joe Timbrook was hired as the Grants and Scholarships Administrator.
In late spring of 2001, Cindy Blorstad resigned as Executive Director and
went to work for the GIFT Program.
filled in as Interim Executive Director until the fall of 2001 when the
board hired Shari Woodbury.
While it started as an
affiliate of the
, under the guidance of Executive Director Angela Doan, OCCF grew quickly.
With the promise of an additional GIFT MATCH looming in 2002,
disaffiliated and became its own organization.
Beginning in 2002, LCCF and MCCF began meeting to assess
sustainability issues and, with much thought and research, formed the
Community Foundation Partnership, Inc., in January of 2004, of which
are both equal partners. They also explored the need for additional
partners to be involved. The focus for 2004 was primarily on endowment
building and fundraising to aid in sustainability.
Shari Woodbury resigned as
Executive Director in October of 2004 to take a position in her home county
and Monroe County Community Foundation. Board members Terri Owens and
Patrick Robbins volunteered to handle some of the Executive Directorís
duties until the position could be filled. At the end of 2004, the
Partnerships assets were $5.5 million. In late January of 2005, Hope
Flores was hired as Executive Director of the Community Foundation
Partnership, Inc. and the Lawrence County Community Foundation.
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