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Lilly Scholars Help Improve the life of their Communities

The Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship has been helping students in Morgan County, and across Indiana, attend the college or university of their dreams since 1998. The scholarship grew out of the Lilly Endowment, an Indianapolis-based, private philanthropic foundation created in 1937. The foremost priority of the Endowment’s founders was to help the people of their city and state build a better life. Consequently, the idea for the scholarship to increase the level of education in Indiana by helping Hoosiers attend Indiana colleges and universities was a natural programmatic addition for the endowment. The Lilly Scholarships are distributed through local community foundations, which serve all of the 92 counties in Indiana.The endowment also raises awareness of community foundations, and how they can help improve the quality of life of Indiana residents.

#GivingTuesday Gives Greater to Morgan County Christmas Assistance Program

This year marked the fourth annual Giving Tuesday Campaign. This international day of giving follows Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday, so on this day people are invited to give back to their community, to #GiveGreater. Early results released on December 2nd showed that $116.7 million dollars was raised globally this year.

Hall Civic Haunts Your Dreams

Randy Marsh, founder and president of the Hall Civic Association, poses with the sign in front of the building.
Photo credit: Emily Metheny

Sometimes when you see something you like and it means a lot to you, you try to save it. Well, Randy Marsh, the founder and president of the Hall Civic Association, did just that.

Marsh has been working to save the 1911 Hall School building outside of Monrovia, a structure on the National Registry of Historic Places.

“I wanted to save the old building,” said Marsh said. “You know, you can't restore [and] save everything, but this is one building we thought we could save.”

Marsh formed the association in 2004, but did not gain control of the building until 2010. Before that, the building was on a 99 year lease from the Monroe Greg School District. The utilities began to cost too much and put too much an economically burden on the schools. After years of planning and different superintendents, the association received the building.

 In 2014, Randy Marsh received the Servaas Memorial Award from Indiana Landmarks in the individual category (there are also "youth-serving" and "non-profit" categories). This award was granted to Marsh as he has proven to be an "unstoppable force for preservation in Morgan County and the human super glue who cements relationships" (Indiana Landmarks, Prestigious preservation prizes go to three Indiana winners, 09/17/2014).

Churches in Mission stays on mission, looks to future

Churches in Mission began as a food pantry in Mooresville in 1987. Since then, the organization has expanded its community assistance to include budgeting classes and other services in its new Hope House. Photo credit: Emily Metheny

In 1987, three ministers in Mooresville joined forces because they believed they could make a greater impact in their community.

They were right.

Working from their original building, Churches in Mission (CIM) has kept its doors open in Moorseville for almost 30 years. Since it's inception as a food and clothing pantry, more services have been implemented to meet the needs of the community including the availability of gifts during the holiday season, healthy budgeting classes and a back to school supply distribution.

ArchiCamp celebrates fifth year of cardboard structures and developing preservationists

ArchiCampers visit the Lankford Farm on June 26. The bridge that inspired this year's camp theme was the bridge on this property.
Photo credit: Emily Metheny
When ArchiCamp started five years ago in Martinsville, the program was carried out on scholarships and was limited in what they could do. The next year, the Morgan County Historical Preservation Society applied for a small grant through the Community Foundation of Morgan County. With this funding, the program was able to take the participants out into the county as well as bring in local artists to help with lessons.

"ArchiCamp has been around for at least ten years and has been done across the state," said Raina Regan, a community preservation specialist for Indiana Landmarks. The program was establish through the organization, but local preservation organizations host the camp in local communities.

Healthier Morgan County Initiative Pushes For Long Term Changes In Community

The Healthier Morgan County Initiative held the Quality of Life & Wellness Fair in June at the Mooresville High School with activities and information for the entire family. Photo credit: Emily Metheny
Change is not something that can happen overnight, especially when habits are concerned. The Healthier Morgan County Initiative, a response that grew out of a study of residents’ health and welfare in the county, is working to make those long term changes.

Charles “Bud” Swisher, of the initiative, said it has been a slow process because one of the program’s greatest problems is public apathy when it comes to changing engrained habitats.

“We have to accept the fact, although we don’t like to do that, is that change is a long term proposition.We don’t see immediate results in some of the program areas that we are looking at, but we are still very confident that given enough time we will be able to change the cultural habits here in our community,” Swisher said.

Since the coalition’s creation in 2006, the Healthier Morgan County Initiative has created a large “advisory board” of citizen from different backgrounds and disciplines from all parts of the county.

“We meet regularly to look at the data and look at what programs to develop,” Swisher said.

League of Miracles Hits a Grand Slam with New Facility

In 2008, it was only an idea. Seven years later, League of Miracles started its third season in Morgan County, giving local area children with emotional and physical disabilities a place to play sports on a specialized field.

On June 6, League of Miracles kicked off the season with the ribbon cutting for its new concession, restroom and indoor activity facility at the diamond. Following the dedication, an athlete sang the National Anthem and teams, wearing their uniform jerseys, went to their respective dugouts to play ball. The crowd cheered, balls were hit, runs were scored and everyone smiled.

CFMC Fund of the Month: Morgan County Farmers' Market Association

For the month of May we are showcasing the Morgan County Farmers' Market Association (MCFMA), which has been a fund at the CFMC since 2009. Over the past six years, the MCFMA has grown leaps and bounds, expanding it's original purpose of providing an attractive venue for consumers to purchase locally grown, fresh produce from local growers and producers to include goals that further develop the local community on a number of fronts.

Today, the MCFMA works to support and develop local farmers and growers, to enrich and educate the community by promoting a healthy lifestyle, and to provide community activities that foster social gathering and interaction within the municipal areas of Morgan County. 

CFMC Fund of the Month: Morgan County Coalition for Literacy

Dan Moore, President and CEO of Home Bank, presents a check in the amount of $15,000 to representatives of the Morgan County Coalition for Adult Literacy. Shown at the check presentation (left to right), Pat Dinneson, Dick Newcomer, Elizabeth Koschnick, Dan Moore, Becky Strange, Janice Kistler, Ruth Rusie, Virginia Jensen, and Sharon Goins. Not pictured, but present were Danie Becknell and Joan Maxfield. Not in attendance are Jim Griggs and Patti Siemental.

This month we are proud to showcase the Morgan County Coalition for Literacy (MCCL), an organization which promotes the rights and responsibilities of Morgan County citizens to be able to function at an adequate literacy level. The MCCL recruits, trains, and supports volunteer tutors throughout Morgan County, with trainings held throughout the year and tutor gatherings every other month. The aim of the Coalition is to increase awareness of problems associated with low levels of literacy and to promote a culture of literacy in Morgan County.

Literacy is directly tied to poverty, as illiterate adults are more vulnerable to ill heath, exploitation, and unemployment and lower wages. Unable to read or write, illiterate adults are stunted from reaching their full potential. Illiteracy locks communities into vicious cycles of poverty that lay the conditions for violence and strife.

Hardly Trivial: A Success!

Thank you! Because of your support, our second annual "Hardly Trivial" Trivia Fundraiser was a smashing success once again. Eleven teams tested their trivia knowledge at this fun team competition to win prizes and bragging rights. This event was open to anyone interested in having fun and supporting their Community Foundation.

Plus, participants helped to impact grant making at the CFMC, raising $7,857 between team registrations and sponsorships. Thanks to the $1-to-$1 match courtesy of a generous Lilly Endowment matching grant a total of $15,714 will benefit non-profit programming in Morgan County through arts and matching grants.

Poverty in Morgan County

Nearly 7,500 residents of Morgan County live in poverty, 3,000 of which are children. That's more than 10% of the population of Morgan County; significantly higher than the poverty rates in surrounding rural counties.

To create an environment where individuals can escape poverty and where families and businesses can thrive, community leaders in rural areas must look for ways to reduce or compensate for these limitations through broad initiatives that emphasize education and job creation, but also create hands-on measures and strategies that will help people meet basic needs.

CFMC Fund of the Month: Morgan County Project Lifesaver

UPDATE: On April 19, 2015 the Reporter Times ran a story on three missing persons in Morgan County who were successfully located, but took many hours of searching, versus the 30-45 minutes it would have taken if these individuals would have been clients of Project Lifesaver. Click this link to read the entire story.

This month we are proud to showcase Morgan County Project Lifesaver, an organization that provides timely response to save lives and reduce potential injury for adults and children who wander due to Alzheimer's, autism, and other related conditions or disorders. The task of searching for wandering or lost individuals with cognitive conditions is a growing and serious responsibility. Without effective procedures and equipment, searches can involve multiple agencies, hundreds of officers, countless hours and thousands of dollars. There is no charge to any of Morgan County Project Lifesaver's clients, as many couldn't afford to be part of this lifesaving program if theyre were a fee.

Morgan County: Stronger Together

Thank you for making a difference in the lives of all

those who call Morgan County home.

Because you accepted the challenge in December we raised $20,946.34 in unrestricted support.

As you may remember, thanks to the Lilly Endowment's generosity, we were able to stretch your donation even further, doubling every $1 donated to our unrestricted endowment fund -- that's $41,892.68.