A family gathering is how Marion Community Foundation president and CEO Dean Jacob characterized a recent reception following the organization’s annual meeting. Jacob addressed the gathering of nearly 200, sharing his “state of the organization” and welcoming the four newly elected Board members.
“This gathering is the family of Marion Community Foundation,” he said. “Tonight, we are here with our fund creators and their families, close friends, our Board, committee members, advisors, and staff – the people who are the heart of Marion Community Foundation and all that it does.”
Jacob thanked four outgoing board members – John Bartram, Dr. Justin Hamper, Luke Henry, and Rev. Dan Kiger – for their many years of service. Heading into Marion Community Foundation’s 25th year, new Board members include architect Tom Schifer, Rev. Jackie Peterson, pastor of Logos Christian Ministries; Hon. Matthew Frericks, Marion County Common Pleas judge, and Erin Slater, Ohio State Marion’s coordinator of recreation and environmental programming.
Jacob reported that the local community foundation is steward to 437 charitable funds, 331 of which are fully endowed, meaning they are self-sustaining and able to make annual grant awards in perpetuity. These funds have a combined market value of $60 million; and, from them, $2.25 million was awarded in the community in the form of charitable grants and college scholarships in fiscal year 2021, which just ended.
“Marion is a very generous community,” said Jacob, noting that $3.25 million in gifts have been received in the past 12 months.
Some of the highlights from the past year include:
– The Kathleen E. O’Shea Fund supports live theatre and the performing arts and, this past year, made awards to support musical productions at every middle and high school in Marion County.
-A Marion Community Foundation grant to Luke 3:11 Ministries helped them add a third Peanut Butter Jelly Truck in Marion and serve 28,500 meals locally.
– The Cardinal Project of Downtown Marion, Inc. is a public art project, supported by the Foundation, to brighten downtown with 17 cardinal statues created by local artists.
– At the Foundation’s suggestion, the Huber Machinery Museum collaborated with Tri-Rivers’ Construction Trades Academy to maximize a $10,000 grant for improving their sidewalks.
– The Marion Women’s Club Home recently held a Women’s Wellness Day and used funds from Marion Community Foundation to provide OhioHealth’s mobile mammogram unit for un- and underinsured women.
– A second year of Racial Equity and Justice grants provided $50,000 in awards to seven Marion-area organizations addressing issues of equity and cultural awareness.
– Over the past two years, the TEACH Grants program made 28 awards and $35,000 in grants to support classroom teachers.
– Marion Matters’ successful Getting Ahead classes are supported by the Foundation and offer a proven program designed to end generational poverty.
– The Marion Mentors program offered through the Marion Family YMCA is supporting 73 mentoring pairs and 12 mentoring groups, connecting at-risk youth with caring community-minded adults.
Marion Community Foundation’s first president, Debby Shade, was present to witness the growth and look forward to the 25th anniversary celebration in 2023.
“”During the Foundation’s initial year, we had a small gathering at Jan and Warren Brown’s home to share the purpose and vision of the Foundation. As I looked around the room that evening, I envisioned a packed party celebrating the success of the Foundation for the Marion community. What I saw last night was that the vision has become reality,” she said.
Marion Community Foundation has served the Marion area since 1998 and is located at 504 S. State St., inside the historic Stengel-True Mansion. Offices are open weekdays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Additional information is available by calling 740-387-9704.