Establishing Solid Roots for Ongoing Positive Change

2014-03-06T17:29:00Z Establishing Solid Roots for Ongoing Positive ChangeMichelle Krueger nwitimes.com
March 06, 2014 5:29 pm  • 

For 100 years, community foundations have been providing people with an easy and effective way to support the issues they care most about. Today, more than 750 of these tax-exempt, charitable organizations provide a simple, powerful and highly personal approach to giving.

With an in-depth knowledge of the issues, opportunities and resources that shape their communities, community foundations play a key role in making a difference where it’s needed most – supporting high-impact opportunities and redirecting funds as needs change.

Since 1990, the Crown Point Community Foundation (CPCF) has been working with individuals, families, businesses and other organizations, utilizing its financial resources to fund grants that support the vast efforts of local nonprofits, community projects and programs, as well as scholarships for local students. The Foundation’s ability to address timely issues, develop partnerships and provide community leadership has brought long-term positive change to Crown Point.

Current CPCF Chairman of the Board David Batusic takes great pride in the opportunity to give back to the community as well as the opportunity to associate with a great group of people.

“The organization as a whole has exceeded my expectations,” he said. “This is a true working Board, and the impact we make, it’s rewarding. The volunteer fair is a great example. Since its inception, it’s grown significantly. I’ve spent time in our booth, and it’s very gratifying to educate attendees as to what we do – and it’s equally as compelling to walk around and see the other nonprofit displays and learn what they do.”

“I was fortunate to have Tim Sendak – one of the original founders of the Crown Point Community Foundation in the 90s – suggest my name to Pat (Huber, CPCF President) as a member of the Spring into Action (volunteer fair) committee in 2012,” Ben Ballou, who was subsequently nominated for Board membership, said. “I was assigned a certain task – logistics of set up and break down. We work with Crown Point High School students – football players and the members of different service groups to get all the tables and chairs set up on Friday after school, assist the nonprofits with their materials as they are unloading and loading their cars on Saturday and then break everything down.”

As a Board member, in addition to continuing his work on the volunteer fair, Ballou appreciates the opportunity to participate in the process of awarding grants from the Unrestricted Endowment fund three times a year (look for a complete list of these grants from 2013 on page ____).

“We receive requests from so many different organizations I didn’t even know existed – some that are right down the street,” he explained. “It’s such a great opportunity to learn more about the community and how hard these organizations are working to make it a better. I really love how the process works. Together, we help them do great work in the community.”

Donor Lenore Hess, Rob Dowling and the Crown Point Fire Department were introduced to CPCF after Don Hess passed away in 2011, and a fund was established in his memory.

“We were looking at how to manage it when I was introduced to Pat (Huber),” she said. “Unbeknownst to me, there were many different ways to set up the fund. Because Don lived and breathed setting protocols - he even worked on them statewide - we chose an endowment to help paramedics and EMTs with their training in five Northwest Indiana counties. Pat’s been a great facilitator for the scholarships, keeping it within the community and encouraging people to be community centered. I was especially pleased to learn about the Over 21 Scholarship for women who would like to go back to school as part of the Women’s Giving Circle Fund. Each year, there’s a luncheon for donors to celebrate the ‘Power of the Purse’ (contributions collected based on pledges are divided between Community grants and grants awarded at the discretion of Women’s Giving Circle members). They also offered a very affordable women’s workshop last year that I highly recommend. It’s all very empowering. There are so many building blocks – little projects going on within the community to help the community - that all receive support from the Community Foundation. It’s eye opening to look at all the different things they touch.”

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