Piqua Community Foundation awards $54,500 in G. William Hartzell Community Grants

The Piqua Community Foundation on Wednesday awarded G. William Hartzell Community Grants totaling $54,500 to 20 organizations that serve Piqua residents.

The grants were made from the charitable fund established by the late G. William “Bill” Hartzell with a bequest from his estate. This fund also awards college scholarships every spring. The grant awards are unique in the simplicity of the application process and the unrestricted nature of the funds to be spent however best serves the organization’s needs.

Leesa Baker, executive director of YWCA Piqua, said that having known Bill Hartzell and his heart for the community makes this award particularly special. The way this community grant program is structured — to fund operational costs instead of project-specific expenses like many grant programs — is “so Bill Hartzell,” she said.

“This grant program is down-to-earth and offers much-needed funds that keep nonprofits running,” Baker said. “Bill Hartzell understood and appreciated that. We will keep him and his family in the forefront of our minds as we utilize these funds to serve the Piqua community as he did for so long.”

The organizations receiving 2020 G. William Hartzell Community Grants are:

  • American Red Cross
  • Bruckner Nature Center
  • Eagles’ Wings Stable, Inc.
  • Elizabeth’s New Life Center
  • Family Abuse Shelter of Miami County, Inc.
  • Friends of MainStreet Piqua
  • Friends of the Piqua Parks
  • Greene Street United Methodist Church Food Pantry
  • Health Partners Free Clinic
  • Johnston Farm Friends Council
  • Meals on Wheels of Piqua, Inc.
  • Miami County Dental Clinic
  • Miami County YMCA
  • New Creation Counseling Center
  • Piqua Area Chamber Foundation
  • Piqua Arts Council
  • Piqua Compassion Network
  • Rehabilitation Center Neurological Development
  • Young Life of the Upper Miami Valley
  • YWCA Piqua

Due to current restrictions on gatherings, The Foundation opted to make individual grant check deliveries rather than host its typical group event. Committee members and staff delivered the awards Wednesday to the recipient organizations.

Barbara Hartzell, fund committee member, participated in the grant deliveries and reflected on her late husband’s commitment to the Piqua community.

“Bill was always so supportive of Piqua,” she said. “The town was very important to him, and that tradition carries on in these awards.”

Click here to learn more about the G. William Hartzell Charitable Fund.


Pictured above:

First photo: From left to right, are Barbara Hartzell, committee member; Karen Wendeln, committee member and retired Foundation executive director; Leesa Baker, YWCA Piqua executive director; Randi Pearson, committee chairman; Erica Ernst Claypool, Foundation administrator of grants & scholarships; and Michelle Perry, Foundation executive director

Second photo: Carla Bertke, in black, executive director of the Rehabilitation Center for Neurological Development, visits with members of the G. William Hartzell Charitable Fund committee


Foundation’s emergency fund supports COVID-19 response

This spring, as nonprofit organizations serving Piqua residents faced the COVID-19 virus outbreak, The Piqua Community Foundation released the Piqua Emergency Response Fund to support agencies serving the immediate health care, financial and human services needs created by this outbreak.

The Foundation’s Board of Directors committed $50,000 from its unrestricted monies toward the fund and received $14,800 in contributions from individuals and businesses to expand the breadth and depth of the fund’s reach.

To date, The Foundation has dispersed $53,314 to the following 14 nonprofit organizations serving Piqua residents with unique virus outbreak needs:

  • Bethany Center — Food bank distributions
  • Brukner Nature Center — Equipment for additional trail maintenance due to increased usage
  • Catholic Social Services of the Miami Valley — Food, utility and supply stipends
  • Child Care Choices — Sanitizing products for child care programs
  • Council on Rural Service Programs, Inc. — Textbooks to facilitate remote learning
  • Friends of MainStreet Piqua — Signage and protective gear for Piqua Community Farmers Market
  • Greene Street Daycare and Preschool — Portable hand-washing stations for classroom and playground
  • Health Partners Free Clinic — Telehealth delivery hardware and software upgrades
  • Miami County Dental Clinic — Personal protective equipment for staff
  • Piqua Area Chamber Foundation — Signage for businesses deemed safe to enter
  • Piqua City Schools — Gifts for graduates from Piqua High School and Lehman Catholic High School
  • Piqua Compassion Network — Food, utility and job-hunting support and family activity and hygiene bags
  • Piqua Parents as Teachers — Family craft activity bags
  • Salvation Army — Rent, utility, fuel and prescription assistance

Additional funding for emergency funds may be distributed by the fund’s committee on a case-by-case basis as the impacts of the pandemic continue.

For more information about the Emergency Response Fund, visit piquacommunityfoundation.org or email incoming executive director Michelle Perry at michelle@piquacommunityfoundation.org.

Pictured above: Patti Adams, advanced practice nursing student, Health Partners Free Clinic, works with new Telehealth software purchased with a Foundation Emergency Response Fund grant.



Massa Scholarship Fund established for STEM students




The Piqua Community Foundation is proud to announce the establishment of the Don J. Massa and Lois V. Massa Scholarship Fund. This designated fund will provide a college scholarship each year for a graduating senior from Piqua High School who will be majoring in a STEM – science, technology, engineering or mathematics – field.

The Massas have been well known as generous and involved residents of the Piqua community for many years. Mr. Massa originally came to Piqua to fill a management position at Jackson Tube Service in Piqua where he spent many productive years. He and his late wife, Lois, loved to travel and were active volunteers in local organizations such as the United Way, the Scouts, and the PTA. Their family includes three grown children and numerous grandchildren.

The Massa scholarship program will be administered through the Piqua Education Foundation, with the first scholarship being awarded in 2021. For additional information on scholarships please visit our SCHOLARSHIP PAGE or contact Administrator of Grants and Scholarships Erica Ernst Claypool at erica@piquacommunityfoundation.org.

Have you ever thought about establishing a scholarship in honor or in memory of a loved one? To learn about starting a fund in The Foundation that would help future students, please contact Michelle Perry at michelle@piquacommunityfoundation.org.


The Scott and Margaret Hinsch Community Service Awards 2020

On May 26, 2020, The Piqua Community Foundation presented two local volunteers with the Margaret W. Hinsch and Scott J. Hinsch Community Service Awards. Jim Robinson, a volunteer for the Piqua Area Chamber Foundation, and Catherine “Cathy” Large, a volunteer for the Bethany Center, received the awards in surprise presentations at their respective volunteer locations.

The recipients received an engraved glass plaque to commemorate the occasion, and each nominating nonprofit agency received a $1,000 unrestricted grant from the Hinsch Family Fund of The Piqua Community Foundation, in recognition of that outstanding volunteer.

John Hinsch, son of the late Margaret and Scott Hinsch, joined the presentations in honor of his parents, and their legacy of service to the Piqua community. He also represented his wife, Marsha, and his sister, Dr. Linda Hinsch Campbell, who were unable to attend the presentations.

The Hinsch awards are offered annually to one male and one female volunteer. The awards are unique because the honorees are selected based on activities done on behalf of one organization during one specific calendar year, in this case 2019. The presentations are typically held during a regularly scheduled event but were organized as surprise drop-ins due to public gathering regulations currently in place.

Cathy Large of The Bethany Center (pictured above) was awarded the Margaret W. Hinsch Award. With Cathy are Piqua Community Foundation incoming executive director, Michelle Perry, retiring executive director, Karen Wendeln, John Hinsch, Cathy Large, Wilma Earls and Jim Stammen of The Bethany Center.

Wilma Earls, director of the Bethany Center, nominated Large for the award as she offered leadership to the organization during Earls’ medical leave last year. The Bethany Center serves the community by offering free lunches, food and clothing banks and other services.

“In an organization like this one, it is so important to have someone who can take over the reins if something happens to the director, and the Bethany Center is now sure that Cathy could do that because she has,” Earls wrote in her nomination form. “She gives stability to the organization moving forward, which is a comfort to donors and those served.”

Kathy Sherman, president of the Piqua Area Chamber Foundation, nominated Jim Robinson for the Scott J. Hinsch Award for his tireless effort to keep the grounds of Veterans’ Memorial Park, at the intersection of Washington Avenue and State Route 66, adjacent to Forest Hill Cemetery.

Sherman wrote in her nomination form that Robinson “painstakingly goes around the entire monument” weeding, pruning and cleaning.

“The monument is one of the most beautiful sites to behold in the City of Piqua and is a wonderful entrance into our fine city,” Sherman wrote. “It truly is a testament to Jim’s desire to have this site remain a place of honor due to his hard work and back-breaking volunteer hours that we can say that we, as citizens of our community, have a wonderful memorial to pay tribute to our veterans all because of this amazing individual and wonderful volunteer.”

To watch livestream videos from the awards presentations, visit the Piqua Community Foundation-Cakes for a Cause Facebook page or click HERE for Jim’s or HERE for Cathy’s. For more information about the Piqua Community Foundation and the Margaret W. Hinsch and Scott J. Hinsch Community Service Awards, click HERE.

Jim Robinson received the Scott J. Hinsch Community Service Award at the city’s Veterans’ Memorial. Pictured, left to right, are The Foundation’s incoming executive director, Michelle Perry, retiring executive director, Karen Wendeln, Jim Robinson, John Hinsch, and Piqua Area Chamber Foundation executive Kathy Sherman.


Funds are still available!

The Piqua Emergency Response was established by The Foundation in April to support nonprofit organizations serving the unique needs of the Piqua community in the midst of the COVID-19 virus outbreak.

The Foundation committed $50,000 to the emergency fund and accepted an additional $14,800 in contributions from local individuals and businesses. Nonprofit organizations serving Piqua residents have received 16 grants for a total of more than $51,000 for emergency response activities. The services supported include telehealth care for remote medical attention, increased personal protective equipment for staff and volunteers, and direct stipends to local residents for food, fuel, utility and rent assistance.

As of July 1, funds remain in the account, and applications will continue to be accepted until money is expended.

The grant guidelines and application can be found HERE.

For more information, email Executive Director Michelle Perry at michelle@piquacommunityfoundation.org.


Foundation Office Re-opens


The Piqua Community Foundation office has re-opened in accordance with the Stay Safe Ohio guidelines. Our staff will continue to work from home when possible and will be meeting with people by appointment only. If you wish to make an appointment, please email Erica Claypool at erica@piquacommunityfoundation.org, Michelle Perry at michelle@piquacommunityfoundation.org or Karen Wendeln at kwendeln@piquacommunityfoundation.org.

We are observing physical distancing and ask that you wear a cloth mask. Please cancel the appointment if you have a fever or are feeling ill. Thank you for your consideration!


Piqua Community Foundation Forms Emergency Response Fund

The Piqua Community Foundation announced on April 8 the creation of the Piqua Emergency Response Fund to support nonprofit organizations serving the unique needs of the Piqua community in the midst of the COVID-19 virus outbreak.

The Foundation is committing $50,000 from its unrestricted monies toward the fund, and invites individuals, businesses and not-for-profits to contribute to the fund to expand the breadth and depth of its reach.

“We understand that our nonprofit community is serving the immediate health care, financial and human services needs created by this outbreak and are poised to support the organizations on the frontline of the response,” said Steve Staley, president of The Piqua Community Foundation Board of Directors. “We encourage those involved with organizations serving our community to contact us about their COVID-19 service expenses and discuss how we can help.”

Funds are available to 501(c)3 or equivalent organizations that serve the residents of Piqua, Ohio, and not for individuals directly. Organizations may apply for these funds outside of the twice-annual standard grants’ guidelines and in addition to current spring cycle requests.

“We anticipate that grant awards will be made up to $5,000 per qualified organization. However, we will consider requests of larger amounts to serve an exceptionally large population or support multiple nonprofit organizations working cooperatively,” said Michelle Perry, incoming executive director of The Piqua Community Foundation. “We do want to note that while organizations are undoubtedly feeling the strain of pandemic consequences, The Foundation is focused on funding direct support services related to the outbreak and not to organization’s operational losses.”

Simple grant applications, available HERE will be reviewed by the Piqua Emergency Response Fund committee, and awards will be made on a rolling basis upon review and approval by the committee. Allocations will continue until June 1, 2020, or until money is expended, whichever comes first. Grant distributions will be made as soon as approved by the emergency grant committee to allow for immediate assistance.

Charitable donations to the Piqua Emergency Response Fund may be sent to P.O. Box 226, Piqua, OH 45356 with “emergency fund” in the memo line. For specific questions about the Emergency Response Fund, email incoming executive director Michelle Perry at michelle@piquacommunityfoundation.org.


COVID-19 Update

The Piqua Community Foundation office is closed through at least April 6, 2020, in compliance with Governor DeWine’s order to stay at home. Please feel free to contact us via email HERE during this time.

In addition, note that the application deadline for our standard grants and school standard grants, usually March 31, has been extended until May 15, 2020. Organizations interested in applying should contact us HERE to request an application.

Cakes for a Cause 2020, our annual fund-raiser, has been postponed. Please continue to check our website for further updates. Thanks for your interest in our Foundation.

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