Legacy Foundation is the community foundation serving the entire area of Lake County. From north to south and east to west, Legacy provides grants to nonprofits and funding for special projects designed to strengthen the fabric of Lake County communities.

Like other community foundations across Northwest Indiana and the country, Legacy Foundation has a multi-focused agenda:

1. Providing our residents with opportunities to meet their charitable goals by establishing donor advised funds to support their specific interests; or to support Legacy’s unrestricted Lake County Community Fund from which grants are made to arts, human service, health and other nonprofit organizations whose programs are creating a stronger Lake County.

2. Sponsoring Lake County’s talented young people with scholarships for a two- or four-year degree from colleges and universities.

3. Working with Lake County nonprofits to help them achieve sustainability by building long-term endowments ensuring their continued vitality.

4. Acting as a catalyst to create positive change in Lake County communities and neighborhoods.

Many of our Legacy staff are new and with their arrival comes an influx of new ideas and programs to enhance Legacy’s impact on Lake County and the residents we serve. However, along with new ideas and programs we will continue to stay true to Legacy’s mission of building a culture of philanthropy to positively transform Lake County.

Transforming Lake County — Neighborhood by Neighborhood

Over the past year Legacy Foundation has initiated a new and innovative program called “Neighborhood Spotlight.” Through this program Legacy will support local residents, businesses and organizations to collectively revitalize their neighborhoods.

Working together with the Indiana Association for Community and Economic Development and with funding from the Knight Foundation, Legacy has provided a series of trainings over the past year to interested neighborhood partnerships. These partnerships represent nine communities across Lake County. In September each of the neighborhood partnerships will have the opportunity to submit their applications for an objective review by an independent selection committee. Two of the applicant neighborhoods will be selected this fall to receive capacity building assistance and funding to hire a community builder.

The neighborhoods selected will also receive ongoing training and mentorship on relationship building and collective decision-making to accomplish a shared community vision. The goal during that period is for them to collaboratively develop plans for projects to strengthen their individual neighborhoods. As partners with them in this program, Legacy and IACED will lend them guidance in setting goals and advise them on developing plans to fulfill those goals.

Beginning in mid-September Legacy Foundation will feature each applicant neighborhood on our website www.legacyfdn.org. While on the site, have a look at the students who are receiving Legacy Foundation scholarships this school year. Also, take the opportunity to read about the expertise that each of our staff brings to Legacy and Lake County. Be assured that Legacy Foundation is run by an experienced staff and board of directors which provides exemplary stewardship to the funds our donors have entrusted to us and to programs Legacy supports.

Reporting like this is brought to you by a staff of experienced local journalists committed to telling the stories of your community. Support from subscribers is vital to continue our mission.

Carolyn Saxton is the president and CEO of the Legacy Foundation Inc. She can be reached at (219) 736-1880 or csaxton@legacyfdn.org. The opinions expressed are solely those of the writer.

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Night Editor

Jeanette is a journalist with The Times Media Co. who has worked as both a reporter and editor. She has a master's degree in public affairs reporting from the University of Illinois at Springfield.

Community Coordinator

Annette is Porter County Community Coordinator for The Times. She has been with the paper for 20 years. A resident of Hobart, she graduated from Purdue University with degrees in English and German.