Karen Wendeln honored at Piqua Community Foundation annual meeting

The Piqua Community Foundation Board of Directors and Life Trustees honored the organization’s retired executive director Karen S. Wendeln on November 10. The recognition was a part of The Foundation’s annual meeting, held in a limited capacity at The Piqua Country Club.

Wendeln became The Foundation’s first-ever executive director in January 2001 and she grew The Foundation from its infancy to a robust community foundation, Board of Directors President Steven K. Staley said.

“Karen has been the face of The Foundation for a long time and has grown the size and scope of the organization significantly,” Staley said. “Her retirement is truly bittersweet, and we wish her the best as she enjoys this next chapter of her life.”

Staley presented Karen with a basket of mementos collected from various community nonprofit agencies; a memory book filled with well wishes from family, friends and colleagues; a certificate entitling Wendeln to choose a tree to be planted at a Piqua city park in her honor; and a proclamation from Mayor Kris Lee declaring November 10 as Karen Wendeln Day in the City of Piqua.

Earlier in the year, The Foundation’s Board of Directors also established a donor advised fund for Wendeln to direct. She named the fund The Wendeln – First Director Fund and, together with her husband Tony Wendeln, matched the amount contributed by The Foundation to double the fund’s impact.

“I am blown away and truly humbled by the generosity and thoughtfulness of my friends at The Foundation,” Wendeln said. “Working with the board members, donors and beneficiaries of The Foundation has been my greatest pleasure in my time as the executive director. I will miss my interactions with them all but know that the friendships will continue on.”

Wendeln extended her thanks to all those nonprofits that contributed mementos for the gift basket and to The Foundation for the gifts in her honor.

The Foundation’s Board of Directors hired Michelle Perry at the start of the year to serve as the incoming executive director. Wendeln and Perry worked side-by-side from March through July 31, when Wendeln retired. She has remained on staff as a consultant, a role she will continue in through the end of the year.

All told, Wendeln will have served The Foundation for a full two decades.

She looks forward to soaking up time with her six grandchildren and traveling, when pandemic restrictions allow her to safely do so. She will also continue in her volunteer roles with Meals on Wheels, St. Mary Church, the YWCA and Girl Scouts.

Those wishing to share a note with Wendeln may send them to P.O. Box 226, Piqua, OH 45356 or kwendeln@piquacommunityfoundation.org.

Board members honored, elected at annual meeting

The Piqua Community Foundation Life Trustees recognized retiring Board of Directors member Cheryl L. Burkhardt at the organization’s annual meeting on November 10. She served the organization for 22 years, including two years as the board president, and received a plaque in honor of her commitment.

In addition, the Life Trustees elected Beth H. Kazer to fill a Board of Directors seat vacated mid-term. Her service on the board began immediately and continues through December 31, 2022.

The Life Trustees also re-elected five incumbent directors and elected one new director (identified with an asterisk) who will serve three-year terms from January 1, 2021 to December 31, 2023:

  • Mimi A. Crawford
  • Spencer K. Peltier*
  • Gail B. Peterson
  • Jim Sever
  • Emily E. Shawler
  • Steven K. Staley

To see the full Board of Directors list and learn more about The Foundation, visit the link below.

Our Board

Piqua Community Foundation awards $21,700 in Donnelly Advised grants

The Piqua Community Foundation recently awarded grants from the Donnelly Advised Fund totaling $21,700 to 17 organizations that serve Piqua residents.

Richard Donnelly established the Donnelly Advised Fund, along with others at The Foundation, in 2008. The grant award decisions are made by a donor-appointed committee annually based upon community needs; there is no application process.

“The committee and I enjoy meeting in the fall each year to determine how best to utilize the fund to serve the Piqua community,” Donnelly said. “The awards we make represent a broad range projects that benefit Piqua residents and improve our community. It’s a true pleasure to share from the advised fund each year.”

The organizations receiving 2020 Donnelly Donor Advised grants are:

  • American Legion Post 184 for the Veterans Elite Tribute Squad
  • American Legion Post 184 Ambulance Fund
  • The Bethany Center
  • The Edison Foundation for the nursing scholarship
  • Forest Hill Union Cemetery Fund of The Piqua Community Foundation
  • Greene Street United Methodist Church Food Pantry
  • The Little Kinger Fund of The Piqua Community Foundation
  • MainStreet Piqua
  • Miami County Dental Clinic
  • Miami County YMCA
  • Piqua Arts Council
  • Piqua Area Chamber Foundation for The Garden Tribe Schoolyard Garden
  • Piqua Civic Band
  • Protecting Our Water Ways
  • Salvation Army for the needs bank and summer feeding program
  • YWCA Piqua
  • Young Life of the Upper Miami Valley

“Thank you to Mr. Donnelly and the Donnelly Advised Committee for this grant award,” said Stephanie Silk, executive director of Miami County Dental Clinic. “This generous gift allows us to fulfill our mission of providing quality dental care and oral health education in a safe, compassionate and accessible environment to low-income, uninsured and under-insured patients.”

To learn more about the Donnelly Funds and other programs of The Piqua Community Foundation, visit the link below.


Foundation grants $196,500 from unrestricted fund, launches online giving

The Piqua Community Foundation distributed more than $196,500 in grants from its unrestricted fund in 2020, all supporting nonprofits that serve Piqua residents. As The Foundation conducts its annual giving campaign that builds its unrestricted fund to offer these grants, it has launched its online giving platform to accept donations via credit card or bank account draft.

Through The Foundation’s twice-annual application cycle, the Distribution Committee and Board of Directors approved $45,864 in spring grants and $55,843 in fall grants. Additionally, The Foundation distributed more than $94,800 in grants through the Piqua Emergency Response Fund, a special project started in spring 2020 to support nonprofits in their COVID-19 relief efforts.

These distributions are on top of the sizable donations made through donor-directed funds at The Foundation.

“We are proud of the impact of our unrestricted funds this year and the rapid response we’ve been able to provide as we support local nonprofit organizations through our emergency grants,” said Executive Director Michelle Perry. “We are now able to accept gifts through our website to bolster our unrestricted fund so that we can continue to provide these timely and needed grants in the Piqua community. We hope that this added option for making a gift will allow our donors to choose the method that works best for them.”

Read about The Foundation’s grant programs and 2020 recipient organizations by visiting piquacommunityfoundation.org/grants. To make a gift to The Foundation’s unrestricted fund as part of the annual giving campaign or in memory of a loved one, click HERE. Contributions may also be made by mailing a check to P.O. Box 226, Piqua, OH 45356.

The Piqua Community Foundation distributed more than $196,500 in grants from its unrestricted fund in 2020. As The Foundation solicits annual gifts to build its unrestricted fund, it has launched its online giving platform to allow donors to contribute in the way that works best for them. Pictured, Jim Sever, left, and Randi Pearson, right, co-chairs of The Foundation’s Distribution Committee and Foundation board members, present Jordan Knepper, executive director of the Piqua Arts Council, with a grant award in November.