HARRISONVILLE — The Meigs County Community Fund presented nearly $23,000 in grants to local agencies, schools and organizations during the recent inaugural Meigs County Community Fund Gala held at Charlie’s Red Star Barn.
As part of it’s mission, the Meigs County Community Fund works to attract philanthropic resources in the form of gifts, grants, or bequests to benefit the broader community. It helps everyone give back to Meigs County so the community can invest grants to benefit Meigs County residents. Whether you call Meigs County home today or are looking to give back to a place where you grew up, everyone now has the chance to make a difference in Meigs for generations.
The 2019 grant recipients were as follows:
Eastern Local School District: $10,000 to support the development of a school-based health care clinic in the Eastern Local School District. Funded by Ryan Buckley and Jeremy Buckley.
Meigs Primary School: $2,140.61 to support the creation of a trauma informed playground designed to engage all five senses, promote new coping skills, encourage play that is accessible and beneficial to all students, foster friendships and promote creativity. Funded by the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio.
Village of Pomeroy: $2,800 to support Pomeroy’s historic riverfront by increasing electrical capacity for the many events along the riverfront, promoting community and economic development.
Village of Racine: $1,000 to support the development of an aquatic play area, or splash pad, in the Village of Racine.
Riverbend Arts Council: $1,000 to support the 14th annual “Art in the Village” event, a juried art and photography exhibit showcasing local talent which is held in October.
Portland Community Center: $1,000 to support the Portland Community Center in remodeling the kitchen to better serve the community through its many events.
Rutland Volunteer Fire Department: $1,000 to support the purchase of a repeater, which will enhance communication between the Meigs County 911 center and emergency services.
Meigs High School: $2,800 to support college and vocational school visits at Marietta College, Muskingum College, Capital University, Hobart Welding Institute and others, creating opportunities for students with limited resources to explore higher education. Funded by JoEllen Yeary.
Meigs County Historical Society: $1,000 to support the creation of environments conducive to children’s learning and programming, including a storytelling room.
This is the second year for grants to be awarded, with a total of $8,000 awarded in the first year. For the 2019 grants, there were a total of 20 applications seeking a total of $83,000 in funding.
As part of the ongoing effort to support projects such as these in Meigs County, the Endow 200 project was launched last year to work toward an endowment of $600,000 for the fund.
The Endow 200 campaign was launched in conjunction with the Meigs County Bicentennial Celebration with a goal of bringing together 200 gifts of $3,000 each. These dollars will go into a permanent endowment that will allow the Meigs County Community Fund to make grants each year while also growing the dollars available for the community.
Meigs County Community Fund Board President Jennifer Sheets announced at the Gala that they are more than one-third of the way to the goal with an investment of more than $220,000.
Sheets explained that the Gala was being held on the Bicentennial Weekend as the Endow 200 program is a 200th birthday gift to Meigs County.
Sheets thanked those who have already donated and encouraged others to join.
Following the awards presentation, Cara Dingus Brook, CEO of the Foundation of Appalachian Ohio, spoke about the good that is done in the community through endowments and funds such as the Meigs County Community Fund.
Dingus Brook noted that the donations made now through the endowment will make an impact on many future generations.
“It is basically like planting a shade tree,” said Dingus Brook, noting that the person who plants the tree many not benefit from it’s shade, but future generations will.
“We are here to help you and couldn’t be more grateful and excited,” said Dingus Brook to the Meigs County Community Fund members.
Gifts to the Meigs County Community Fund are tax deductible and can be made in many ways, including cash, bequests, and life insurance. Donations can be made online by designating the Meigs County Community Fund when donating. To mail your donation, please designate the Meigs County Community Fund and mail to the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio, PO Box 456, Nelsonville, OH 45764.
Sarah Hawley is the managing editor of The Daily Sentinel.