2020 W.O.W. Grants Awarded

The Women of Worth voted to award five local nonprofits with grants this year. Each organization will receive $500 to help support a program in this community that enhances the lives of local women and children.

  1. Community and Family Services for its Silver Lining store. The funds will help replenish the childcare supplies and equipment in the store. Families earn Silver Lining coupons by attending wellness doctor/dentist appointments for their children and for participating in childhood educational experiences (public library storytime, Early Head Start, parent-teacher conferences, etc.). Those coupons can be exchanged for supplies one Saturday per month. About ten families participate each month.
  2. Blackford County Arts Center for its 2021 Arts in the Parks program. The art classes led by local artists will take place at parks in Hartford City and Montpelier. The program typically reaches 150-250 students each summer.
  3. Carey Services’ Early Head Start program for learning equipment for its outdoor learning center. The equipment will be a flower chalkboard to work on creativity and fine motor skills and a traffic sign to teach sign recognition and safety. Early Head Start usually serves 30 students (up to age 3) at any one time and has a waiting list.
  4. Purdue University Extension and Blackford County 4-H for supplies to local 4-Hers to construct and plant planters at the Nature Play Area east of the Hartford City Public Library.
  5. The Hartford City Arts Council for helping to support local live music, arts, and cultural events.


Three Projects Awarded Grants

Three local nonprofit organizations were awarded grants in the second round of awards for 2020.

The 2021 Arts in the Parks program was awarded $5,000. The program usually has three kinds of art experiences for children ages 6-12 in the community at local parks in the summer, including camps, traditional classes, and a community project.

Community and Family Services received a grant for $1,500 for its Silver Lining program. Silver Lining is an opportunity store that provides equipment and supplies for families raising young children. Families pay for the items with coupons they have earned from attending their children’s wellness appointments with health care providers and attending good parenting workshops and other child-centered services. The store is open one Saturday each month in the basement of the First Presbyterian Church in Hartford City.

Hartford City Public Library and the Hartford City Urban Forest Greenscape Commission  was awarded $7,550 to continue improving the Nature Play Area east of the Hartford City Public Library. This new work includes some electrical infrastructure and more activity areas and safety features.

The Foundation is especially pleased to support these fine projects in Blackford County.

17 College Students Awarded Scholarships

Seventeen local Blackford County students enrolled in colleges and universities across Indiana were eligible for scholarships from funds at the Foundation for the 2020-2021 school year.

One of the issues for students returning to college after finishing their freshman year is their lack of access to local scholarships. Most scholarships are awarded for only one year. The Foundation has noticed that community need and has been working for several years to provide more scholarships for college upper classmen.

Rapid Relief Fund

In response to local needs arising from the COVID-19 crisis, the Blackford County Community Foundation has established the Rapid Relief Fund. The Foundation will specifically make funds available to organizations that are responding to the needs that are lasting beyond the initial few months of the pandemic. This fund was created as a direct response to the COVID-19 spread but will also be available for use in future emergency situations. These Foundation funds will be granted to local nonprofit organizations rather than directly to individuals. If your organization is affected, please contact the Foundation to discuss how this funding might help.

Donations to this new fund will be matched by GIFT VII Lilly Endowment Inc. dollars. For every $1 contribution to the fund, 50 cents will also be added to the fund. Make online donations here and designate the donation for the Rapid Relief Fund on the PURPOSE line. Or mail a contribution to Blackford County Community Foundation, 121 N. High St., P.O. Box 327, Hartford City, IN 47348.

Scholarships Awarded to Class of 2020

Sixty-seven scholarships were awarded to 39 local Blackford County graduates at the end of May. The scholarships totaled $64,200. Winners are listed here.

These scholarships are provided through the generosity of the county’s residents, both past and present. Nearly 50 local families and civic organizations have established scholarships over the past twenty years that support students at colleges and vocational schools around the country. These scholarships are an avenue for families and civic groups to support local young people. In many cases, these scholarships also honor the memories of well-known community leaders and repected famil members. The Foundat is privieged to help Blackford County encourage its graduating seniors in pursuing their educational goals.

2021 Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship

Lilly Endowment Inc. will award one full-tuition scholarship to a Blackford County graduating senior from the Class of 2021. That scholarship will apply at any Indiana college or university for all four years of an undergraduate course of study. In addition, a annual $900 stipend for books is provided.

The application for the scholarship is now available at this website and is due either at the Blackford Junior Senior High School Guidance Office or the Blackford County Community Foundation Office on September 11, 2020. The winner will be announced in December.

Latest Grant Awards

Twelve grants were awarded in March to local organizations in order to support their work with the Blackford County community. These grants provide $74,946 in funding for the next 12 months that will primarily affect youth programming and community development.

These funds are available through the generosity of donors over the life of the Foundation since its founding in 1997. Donations are invested and the earnings are used to finance the Foundation’s semi-annual grant awards. Such donations make money available to the community forever for worthwhile projects.

Postsecondary Scholarship Applications Now Available

The applications are now available for students studying for degrees, certifications, or other qualified training beyond high school. These scholarships go to nontraditional students and those who have completed high school before May 2020. The application can be downloaded from here. Please be aware that the application requires a transcript of spring 2020 grades, if applicable.

All applications must be returned to the Foundation by June 4, 2020.

Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship Awarded

Nicholas Otwinowski has been named as Blackford County’s 2020 Lilly Endowment Community Scholar. The scholarship provides four years of tuition at an Indiana college or university plus a $900 book stipend each year. Otwinowski is the son of Richard (deceased) and Melinda Otwinowski. He is planning to study political science, international studies in agriculture or sports management.

Otwinowski was chosen from among six Blackford High School seniors who were finalists for the 2020 Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship. The other finalists will each receive a $1,000 scholarship from the Foundation. They are Bethany Elkins, Nolan McConnell, Ellie Langdon, Straton Stone, and Natalie Thurman.