Generous Donors Gave $69,575 in Scholarships to High School Seniors

In 2018, 74 Foundation scholarships were awarded to Blackford County seniors graduating from local area high schools. Those scholarships were awarded to 47 different students who plan to continue their education either at a four-year college, a community college, or a vocational certification program.

Donors to the Foundation have viewed education as a high priority in this county since the early days of the Foundation. In 1997, the Montpelier Community Foundation and the Blackford County Foundation merged into the Blackford County Community Foundation. The new entity began with one scholarship fund that awarded $400 in two scholarships in 1997; one year later the Foundation  awarded $3,500 in three local scholarships plus its first Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship.

Now, 21 years after those first scholarship awards, the Foundation has 53 different donors, both individual families and local organizations, who contribute scholarship awards that will help pay for tuition and books for students attending their first year of education beyond high school. These funds represent nearly half of the funds established at the Foundation and most were established to memorialize deceased family members. A list of current scholarship funds and another list of 2018 individual scholarship winners are available on the Foundation’s website.


2017 Grant to Montpelier Civic Center for Improvements and Expansion

The Montpelier Civic Center was awarded a grant in the fall of 2017 for $11,954 that would be used to improve the existing heating and cooling system in the current gym area and to add a new unit to the mezzanine area there. The goal for the Center was to reduce its energy costs by only heating or cooling the gym or the mezzanine. The new mezzanine unit will also allow for better quality heating or cooling in that area and so allow the Center to use that space for an expanded range of activity, specifically by adding more fitness equipment, offer more aerobics classes, permit additional programming in martial arts or self-defense classes, and provide space for winter hitting practice for baseball and softball teams.

A fitness and health focus continues to be the main mission of the Montpelier Civic Center, but the Center also serves as a gathering spot for weddings, receptions, parties, local church activities, Campus Life meetings, blood drives, voting, and other events.


Natural Playscape Playground Plan

How many times do we tell each other that we need to figure out how to get our children outside? To unhook them from their video games?

That thought, plus the Blackford Initiative survey results that suggested that the community have more child and family friendly activities, a plot of land at the Hartford City Public Library, and a fund at the Foundation that must be used for early childhood projects, has pulled the three organizations together to plan a nature play area just east of the Library.

Nature play spaces incorporate the existing landscape into playgrounds that bring nature into children’s daily play in contrast to the usual metal, plastic, and shredded tire playground more typical of our city parks. The current research concerning early childhood learning shows that nature play spaces are especially effective in supporting children’s engagement, imagination and cooperative play. The activity stations in the proposed Hartford City Public Library’s nature play area will also link to literacy activities.

The project has a been approved by the Library Board, approved for various city zoning ordinances, and submitted to an architectural firm for final drawings. Construction on the paths has begun. Additional construction will be undertaken in suitable weather during the winter and early spring.

Updated January 31, 2018


Local Donors Contributed Over $10,000 to Promise Program

On Giving Tuesday, November 28, local donors made contributions that qualified for matching dollars from the national 1:1 Fund. The total amount contributed that day was $10,595.

Blackford County Promise is a program that helps youth in Blackford County dream about their future careers and save for education beyond high school. Those donations will be used to help more local youth open CollegeChoice 529 accounts with an initial $25 deposit and to encourage families to contribute to the accounts by providing matching funds for their own deposits. At this time 617 Blackford County kindergarten through fourth-grade students have CollegeChoice 529 accounts.

In addition to matches for their savings, youth also experience a visit to a college campus and classroom activities that help them dream about possible careers. The Blackford County Promise is a partnership between the Blackford County Community Foundation, Blackford County Schools, Blackford County Economic Development Corporation and Citizens State Bank.

This is the first time the Blackford Promise and the Foundation have participated in these national giving day activities. Giving Tuesday is a global day of giving that harnesses the collective power of individuals, communities, and organizations to encourage philanthropy and to celebrate generosity. It is held annually on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving and kicks off the holiday giving season.

To learn more about the Blackford County Promise, visit or call Elizabeth Witt at the Blackford County Community Foundation at 765.348.3411.

Posted December 15, 2017

Your Scholarship Donations Support Our Young People’s Dreams

You are a hero every day to local students beginning their college careers. Last year you allowed the Foundation to give out $70,000 to 53 graduating high school seniors so that they could begin their college and career training last August.

You gave out hope for the big dreams of these young people.

  • 13 planned to become nurses, physical therapists, dentists, and other healthcare professionals;
  • 12 proposed to study biochemistry, agriculture, veterinary science, wildlife conservation, and other life sciences
  • 16 prepared to go to vocational programs. 

Let’s do that again. Contact our 2017 Blackford County graduates to let them know that their scholarship applications are due March 9. Applications and details are here . . .