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#GivingTuesday: What you need to know about crowdfunding

#GivingTuesday Morgan County Christmas Assistance Program

Last year, Morgan County came together and raised more than $12,000 for families in need on Giving Tuesday. This effort would not have been possible without crowdfunding.

This year, we want to raise even more for Morgan County families in need! Crowdfunding has become a far greater fundraising success than anticipated when it first began to appear in the mid-2000s.

2017 Morgan County Lilly Endowment Scholarship Finalists

Garrett Fehrman, 2017 Morgan County Lilly Endowment Scholarship Finalist
Garrett Fehrman, 2017 Morgan County Lilly Endowment Scholarship Finalist at the
2016 Morgan County Philanthropy Dinner

The Community Foundation of Morgan County received a record breaking number of applications this fall for the Morgan County Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship Program. From the 75 applicants, six Morgan County high school seniors have been chosen as 2017 Morgan County Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship Finalists. These finalists will be honored for their achievements on Thursday, November 3rd at the 3rd Annual Philanthropy Dinner held at the South Central Indiana – REMC in Martinsville.

2016 Philanthropy Award Nominations Now Open

Nominate a Community Leader for a Philanthropy Award

The Community Foundation of Morgan County is pleased to announce that nominations will be accepted for the 3rd Annual Philanthropy Awards Thursday, September 1, 2016 through Friday, September 30, 2016.

2016 categories include:

  • Non-Profit Staff Member of the Year
  • Non-Profit Board Member of the Year
  • Corporate Citizen of the Year
  • Volunteer of the Year
  • Youth* Volunteer of the Year
    *ages 18 and under
  • Non-Profit of the Year
  • Service Club or Sorority of the Year
Nominations may be submitted online, or via a Microsoft Word Document available on the event page, as well as at either office location.

New Funds at the Community Foundation of Morgan County

We are proud to welcome three new funds to the CFMC Family! Please join us in welcoming:
  • Morgan County Fallen Officers Memorial Fund
  • Project Kindness Fund
  • Phillip and Carol McAteer Education Endowment Fund

USDA Agricultural Grants

Banner courtesy of FreePik.
We were pleased to host Christi Southerland from Prosperity Ag & Energy Resources. An expert in agricultural grant writing and grant administration, Christi shared information on two USDA grant programs available to farmers in Morgan County:

Guest Article: County Plans to Tackle Unhealthy Trends

by Bryan Ault

When the CFMC Executive Director, Ed Kominowski, returned to Morgan County two years ago from a job in Florida, he met with Shay Dawson, the director of Bradford Woods. Dawson gave Kominowski a tour of the property off Ind. 67, which sees more than 20,000 guests per year, 800 children with disabilities or chronic illnesses and 5,000 elementary school children.

The two had lunch and sparked a conversation about reversing the area’s unhealthy trends.

“We both shared a passion for helping the community, especially the kids and families of Morgan County,” Dawson said.

“People have a view of Bradford Woods and know that it exists, but it’s not something that most people go or have access to every day,” Kominowski said.

The Pediatric Health Institute at Bradford Woods was born out of that conversation...  READ MORE at the Reporter Times.

Reporter Times

The Haven Youth Center Creates Art About Happiness

Local artist Suzane Lawler shows the Haven youth how to plan a poster using their "Happiness is..." phrases at an art class in mid April.
Photo credit: Emily Metheny

What is happiness?

The children at The Haven Youth Center can help you answer this question thanks to the help of a Community Foundation Art Grant.

Got Grain? 3 Tips for Making Charitable Gifts of Grain

Corn fields outside of Monrovia, Indiana. Photo Credit: Danie M. Becknell

The harvest is coming, and there is a way to not only benefit your local community by donating a portion of your crop, but also to receive valuable tax-saving benefits. As the Communications Officer for the Community Foundation of Morgan County (CFMC) I have seen the impact charitable donations make on our community. Your gift allows you to make a lasting difference in the lives of your friends and neighbors through the CFMC's Impact Grants program, scholarships, or a donor advised fund -- The options are limitless, and it's all up to you.* What has prompted me to share this with you besides the growth of our summer crops? I am currently enrolled in one of Northwestern University's social marketing courses through Coursera, and I can't think of a better way to test these new skills than working with our local farmers.

Mt. Olive Manufacturing Continues Support of Link Observatory STEM Programming

Steve Langley discusses the UR-10 Robots capabilities with Greg McCauley and Kurt Williams of Link Observatory Space Science Institute, while Grant and Dillon Langley operate the robot.

During the summer of 2015, Steve and Lisa Langley of Mt. Olive Manufacturing donated $10,000 to help establish “The Link Observatory Space Science Institute Fund for STEM Programs in Morgan County,” a fund at the Community Foundation of Morgan County. In part, this funding has allowed the Link Observatory Space Science Institute to begin a partnership with NASA. On Friday, December 4, 2015 7th graders at Paul Hadley Middle School in Mooresville, Indiana had the opportunity to interact with Trent Smith, Program Manager for the NASA VEGGIE program at the Kennedy Space Center, Florida through a virtual interactive classroom. Through the use of modern computer technology, Smith and NASA educator Rachel Power interacted directly with 35 students – but, this is just the beginning. 

Farmers' Market brings local products, fun to the community

Morgan County Farmers Market
Scenes from the Morgan County Farmers' Market during the first Martinsville market of the 2016 season (left),
2016 Earth Day Celebrations in Jimmy Nash Park (center), and the Mooresville market in 2014 (right).
Photo & Layout Credit: Danie M. Becknell

Before the the farmers' market officially formed in 2009, a “loose association of vendors” gathered and sold their produce and goods on Saturday mornings on the Morgan County Courthouse Square.

“Our principal goal is to bring attention to local food and it's importance in the local economy,” said Bob Elliott, president of the Morgan County Farmers' Market Association (MCFMA) board. “People don't realize that 90% of the food they eat in Indiana is trucked in from across the country, and unfortunately, as an agricultural state, that's not good.”

Local food is fresher, and that means they have more nutrients, Elliott said. Local, fresh food tastes better, and is better for you. Elliott added the prices might seem higher than those at a grocery store, but the product is of much better quality.

Lilly Endowment $1 Million Match Met!

We are excited to announce that a total of $2 million was raised through the generosity of the Lilly Endowment’s Giving Indiana Funds for Tomorrow (GIFT) program. More than 1,000 Morgan County residents, businesses and community organizations, as well as donors throughout the region, came together during an 18-month match period to raise $1 million to match the Lilly Endowment's $1 million donation. These funds will directly impact the quality of life in Morgan County.

Of the total $2 million in donations, $1 million will support two CFMC endowment funds. The Evergreen Operating Endowment helps to ensure the long-term success of the community foundation’s management and operations, while the Common Wealth Endowment Fund provides grants to enrich the lives of Morgan County residents.

Fifty-three individual funds benefited from $1 million in donations during the 18-month cycle of the Lilly Endowment match. Funds were distributed between programs that benefited youth (14%), health related programming (10%), poverty assistance (9%), educational services (5%), scholarships (5%), veteran services (5%), environment and recreational programs (1%), and historic preservation (1%). Of the 1,040 donors who stepped up in support, 219 donated two or more times, often 3 or more times.

To read more please visit our website

Guest Editorial: Honoring mom on her special day by Bob Goodrum, Wellspring

From left to right: Mike Sampiere; Pat Moneymaker; Steve Gerber, former executive director of Coordinating Aging Services of Morgan County; Ed Kominowksi, executive director of the CFMC; and Bob Goodrum, executive director of the Wellspring Center.

Note: This column originally ran in the Martinsville Reporter's Times. Click here to read it on their website

Today, our thoughts turn to mom.

For me, those are pleasant thoughts, ones that will bring a smile to my face and a tear to my eyes. I’ve been blessed to have a mom who is still married to my dad after 51 years. She helped me with my homework, cheered for me at my games, corrected me when I got off course and has been mentor and friend.

Not everyone in our community can relate to my childhood. Theirs is marred by absentee parents, moving from place to place just ahead of the rent collectors, abuse, neglect and apathy. The scars of their childhoods are still visible today. To cope with the pain, many have turned to drugs, alcohol and a whole host of self-medicating habits.

Ben Elo Memorialized in Scholarship, Soccer Camp

The Ben Elo Soccer Camp had 153 athletes compete in 2015's program. Photo credit: Emily Metheny

When you want to set up a fund for a loved one, how do you raise money to do it? The Elo family solved this question seven years ago when they hosted the first Ben Elo Memorial Soccer Camp in Mooresville. 

“We were suggested to come to the foundation and then it was like, ok, how do we raise enough for a scholarship that will go on for a while? That’s where the idea for a soccer camp came from, specifically because he loved soccer,” said Melanie Elo, Ben's mother. “He wanted to play at Notre Dame. He wanted to play professionally. He played at a very high level, so it was kind of a natural fit to make that the fundraiser to primarily fund the scholarship but now some other things as well.”

Congratulations Morgan County Lilly Endowment Community Scholars!

2016 Morgan County Lilly Endowment Community Scholar, Kayden Mathers:

Left to Right: Dustin Adams, Eminence Community Schools K-12 Assistant Principal; Quinten Mathers, Kayden’s brother; Rana Mathers, Kayden’s mother; Kayden Mathers, 2016 Lilly Scholar; Corey Scott, Eminence Community Schools K-12 Principal; Jeff Gibboney, Eminence Community Schools Superintendent; and, Hannah Sitz, CFMC Program Officer.

2016 Morgan County Lilly Endowment Community Scholar, Madelynne Wright:

Left to Right: Mike Springer, Monrovia Junior - Senior High School Principal; Hannah Sitz, CFMC Program Officer; Terry Wright, Madelynne’s Father; Madelynne Wright, 2016 Lilly Endowment Scholar; Dawn Sullivan-Wright, Madelynne’s Mother; Joanie Stader, Guidance Counselor; and, Dr. William Roberson, Monroe-Gregg School District Superintendent.
To learn more about the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship and it's impact on Morgan County scholars, please read this blog post.

Women in Leadership: Morgan County

In honor of Women's History Month, we interviewed four women in our Morgan County community who hold leadership positions. Last month, our CFMC Communications Team, Danie Becknell and Emily Metheny, read a series of interviews of Fortune Magazine's 50 Most Powerful Women from Time Magazine. Naturally, we thought, what words of wisdom will women leaders in Morgan County impart? Here's what these four leaders had to say.

Congratulations Morgan County Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship Finalists!

Congratulations to the 2016 Morgan County Lilly Endowment, Inc. Community Scholarship Finalists!
Pictured left to right:
Loran "Olivia" Carlton, Mooresville High School;
Zoe Foote, Eminence Community Schools;
Robert Mathers, Eminence Community Schools;
Carissa Ooley, Mooresville High School;
Logan Ratts, Martinsville High School;
Tisha Townsend, Martinsville High School; and,
Madelynne Wright, Monrovia High School.

Link Observatory Looks to the Stars

The Link Observatory is constructed of wood from trees cut down from the hilltop. To craft the observatory dome, a shipbuilder curved the wood. Photo credit: Emily Metheny
At the top of a hill, at the end of a small country lane lies a hidden gem. Less than 5 miles from Mooresville sits an iron gate protecting a treasured piece of Morgan County history, the Goethe Link Observatory Space Science Institute. Built in the 1930s by an amateur astronomer and Indianapolis surgeon, Dr. Goethe Link, the facility has been in use since its creation.

Dr. Link gifted the observatory to Indiana University in the 1940s, and in the following years it was used for the Indiana Asteroid Program. Ultimately, during the 1980s light pollution made research impractical, and the program came to an end.

Consequently, Indiana University contracted the Indiana Astronomical Society to be the caretakers of the property, and in 2012, the Link Observatory Space Science Institute was founded to allow for more public programs surrounding STEM and the facility. Today, all three organizations work in a partnership to advance the study of astronomy.

Ready Set Quit Tobacco Works With the Community to Better the Community

Polly Amy, creator of the Parents Against Youth Smoking Scholarship, meets with the freshman class of Eminence High School. After explaining the scholarship, students pledge to never use tobacco and are entered to win a scholarship that will be chosen on Senior Honor Day their senior year. Photo credit: Emily Metheny
When a small group of dedicated people get together to support a cause, big things can happen. The Ready Set Quit Tobacco Coalition began in February 2008 when a group of concerned citizens decided to take action, and work together to lower the 29% adult smoking rate in the Morgan County community. An Indiana State Department of Health – Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Commission grant supported the creation of the coalition, and they were able to plan their attack.

“We stated talking to folks in the community about what we could do to reduce tobacco use,” said Jennifer Walker, director of the Ready Set Quit Tobacco Coalition. The group spent the first year creating the organization’s foundation and reaching out to “key players” in the community, such as health care providers, business leaders, and more. The group wanted anyone and everyone who had an interest in health and the prevention of tobacco use at the table.