Foundation announces Pitch Piqua finalist organizations

The Piqua Community Foundation today announced the three finalists in its Pitch Piqua charitable grant pitch competition with a $50,000 top prize.

The three finalist organizations that will compete for the top prize at the March 3, 2022, culminating event are:

  • Child Care Choices, Inc. – represented by Co-Directors Jenny Fox & Renee Matsunami

  • Renee Matsunami, left, and Jenny Fox, co-directors of Child Care Choices, Inc., accept their place as a Pitch Piqua finalist earlier this month at the Center for Early Learning at Piqua Catholic. The two nonprofit directors will work with Piqua Community Foundation staff over the next few months before presenting their project concept at a public event March 3, 2022.

  • Piqua City Schools, represented by Directors of Curriculum Scott Bloom & Teresa Anderson

  • Piqua City Schools has been selected one of three finalists in The Piqua Community Foundation’s Pitch Piqua initiative. Pictured, from left to right, are Superintendent Dwayne Thompson, Treasurer/CFO Jeremie Hittle, Director of Curriculum K-6 Teresa Anderson and Director of Curriculum 7-12 Scott Bloom.

  • Piqua Compassion Network, represented by Executive Director Rebecca Sousek & volunteers Chloe Clark & Caleb Patton

Piqua Compassion Network (PCN) will develop a project concept alongside The Piqua Community Foundation as one of three Pitch Piqua finalists before presenting their idea to the community March 3, 2022. Pictured, from left to right, are volunteer Chad Lawson, PCN Executive Director Rebecca Sousek, volunteer Shelli Mitchell, volunteer Chloe Clark and volunteer Caleb Patton.

A Foundation review committee reviewed narrative applications then interviewed semi-finalist candidates before narrowing the pool the three finalists.

“We are so excited for and inspired by these three finalist organizations who were chosen among a competitive pool of qualified applicants,” said Emily Shawler, Foundation vice president and Resource Committee chairwoman. “We look forward to working alongside these nonprofit leaders as they develop their concepts and prepare to pitch their ideas to the community in a few months.”

Project concepts will be developed as a partnership between each of the three finalist organizations selected and The Foundation in the months leading up to the public event. Finalists will work with Foundation staff on project scope, budgeting, capacity-building and storytelling presentation skills through this time.

The finalists then present their concepts at a community event on March 3, 2022, to a panel of judges who will decide the same day which organization wins the $50,000 award for its presented project. The other two finalist organizations will each be awarded a $5,000 unrestricted award. The funding for the grant awards is supplied by the fundholders of The Foundation. All finalists will also be eligible for pass-through designated donations made by community members leading up to and at the event.

The project concepts will be evaluated on their impact on Piqua residents, evidence of a demonstrated community need, readiness for launch, sustainability of the project and quality of the presentation.

To learn more about how Pitch Piqua and The Piqua Community Foundation benefit our community, visit piquacommunityfoundation.org/pitchpiqua.

Foundation launches Pitch Piqua charitable grant competition with $50,000 top prize

The Piqua Community Foundation this week unveils its new initiative to benefit the Piqua community. Pitch Piqua is a charitable grant pitch competition with a $50,000 top prize for nonprofit organizations with a project benefiting Piqua.

“Pitch Piqua is an ultra-local grant competition that promotes local philanthropy and supports our community’s nonprofit sector,” said Emily Shawler, Foundation vice president and Resource Committee chairwoman. “We are ecstatic to offer this new, fun initiative to serve the Piqua community.”

Applications — simple narratives describing the project idea and the community need it meets — are accepted now through July 29. Ideas are developed as a partnership between each of the three finalist organizations selected and The Foundation in the months leading up to the public event. Finalists work with Foundation staff on project scope, budgeting, capacity-building and storytelling presentation skills through this time.

The finalists then present their concepts at a community event on March 3, 2022, to a panel of judges who will decide the same day which organization wins the $50,000 award for its presented project. The other two finalist organizations will each be awarded a $5,000 unrestricted award. The funding for the grant awards is supplied by the fundholders of The Foundation. All finalists will also be eligible for pass-through designated donations made by community members.

The project concepts will be evaluated on their impact on Piqua residents, evidence of a demonstrated community need, readiness for launch, sustainability of the project and quality of the presentation.

To find the guidelines and application instructions and learn how Pitch Piqua will benefit our community, visit piquacommunityfoundation.org/pitchpiqua.

Foundation awards more than $75,000 in spring grant cycle

 

Rehabilitation Center for Neurological Development

The Piqua Community Foundation awarded $75,289 to 14 organizations that serve Piqua residents this month.

The distribution is part of The Foundation’s twice-annual standard grant cycles from unrestricted funds. The Foundation’s Distribution Committee makes recommendations to the Board of Directors for approval based on a grant application and review process.

The organizations awarded 2021 spring grants are:

  • CASA/GAL of Miami County, Inc. – conference for court-appointed special advocate volunteers
  • Elizabeth’s New Life Center/Women’s Centers of Ohio – Earn While You Learn Program
  • Isaiah’s Place, Inc. – bridging to foster care bags
  • Johnston Farm Friends Council – History Alive at Fort Piqua
  • Miami County Dental Clinic – Dental Direct and Traveling Smiles programs
  • Miami County YMCA – new facility campaign
  • New Creation Counseling Center – counseling and psychiatry services
  • Piqua Area Chamber Foundation – website upgrade
  • Piqua Catholic School – hand drums for music class
  • Piqua Catholic School – zoo crew alphabet rug
  • Piqua Catholic School – keyboard covers
  • Piqua Catholic School – junior high school football helmets
  • Piqua Catholic School – gym floor resurfacing
  • Piqua Catholic School – interactive projector board
  • Piqua City Schools – Piqua High School – William H. Pitsenbarger burial flag case
  • Rehabilitation Center for Neurological Development – pediatric activity chair
  • The Edison Foundation – molecular testing equipment
  • Troy-Miami County Public Library – Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library
  • Upper Miami Valley Young Life – summer camp trip

The grant awards were made to a variety of organization service sectors, all with a demonstrated impact on Piqua residents.

The award to the Rehabilitation Center for Neurological Development will support the purchase of a new pediatric chair for one-on-one neuroeducational classroom activities for those diagnosed with traumatic brain injury, birth trauma, Down syndrome, autism, ADD/ADHD, chromosomal disorders, developmental delays and other brain-related conditions.

“The generous support of The Piqua Community Foundation means more than words can express,” Rehabilitation Center Executive Director Carla Bertke said. “Having the ability to purchase the pediatric chair will help us continue to provide services to our very young participants. It is a vital piece of equipment that will be used on a daily basis and allows us to fulfill our mission of ‘hands that give hope!’”

The Edison Foundation

Other awards were made to educational entities, including The Edison Foundation to support molecular testing equipment, and charitable organizations to facilitate the delivery of services including psychiatry, children’s care and dental health.

The Piqua Community Foundation’s next grant cycle has a September 30 deadline. To learn more about the grant and scholarship programs of The Piqua Community Foundation, visit piquacommunityfoundation.org/grants.

Four local volunteers recognized with Hinsch Community Service Awards

The Piqua Community Foundation presented four local volunteers with the Margaret W. Hinsch and Scott J. Hinsch Community Service Awards on Tuesday.

The following volunteers received the awards in surprise presentations:

      • Elizabeth “Liz” Hall, Girl Scouts of Western Ohio

      • Jill Todd, CASA/GAL of Miami County, inc.

      • Jordan Browner, Upper Miami Valley Young Life

      • Clete Thobe, Forest Hill Cemetery

The recipients received a glass plaque to commemorate the occasion, and the nominating nonprofit agency received a $2,000 unrestricted grant from The Hinsch Family Fund of The Piqua Community Foundation, in recognition of that outstanding volunteer. The grant award marks an increase from the previously offered $1,000 per award.

Scott & Margaret Hinsch

Scott & Margaret Hinsch

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, typically to one male and one female volunteer. The Hinsch family generously offered to award two male and two female volunteers this year due to the high quality of outstanding candidates in this year’s pool of nominations.

 

 

“The decision committee was blown away by the contributions of volunteers to organizations serving the Piqua community this year. We all acknowledge that 2020 was a year of increased need in our service organizations, and we are so inspired by the incredible dedication of these volunteers to rally around their community. We are so humbled to share these awards in memory of my parents who loved and served Piqua all their lives.”                                                                                                          — John Hinsch

 

 

Liz Hall, left, and John Hinsch

Margaret W. Hinsch Community Service Award winner – Elizabeth “Liz” Hall

Karen Wendeln, service unit treasurer of Girl Scouts of Western Ohio, nominated Elizabeth “Liz” Hall for the numerous hours she spent designing and implementing Zoom badge meetings for the local troops. This allowed leaders without much technology experience to continue with virtual activities and allowed troop members to continue to earn badges during the pandemic.

“The many hours Liz contributed to the online project most likely kept Piqua girls interested in the Girl Scout program,” Wendeln stated in her nomination form.

 

 

Nikki Sherck, left, and Jill Todd

Margaret W. Hinsch Community Service Award winner – Jill Todd

Nikki Sherck, executive director of CASA/GAL of Miami County, Inc. nominated Jill Todd for her direct work with abused and neglected children in Piqua. CASA/GAL of Miami County trains volunteers to be Court Appointed Special Advocates to protect the interests of each child in court. Todd has served in the role since 1998 and is recognized for the award due to  volunteering more than 160 hours and driving 1,183 miles in 2020.

Sherck wrote in her nomination form that “Jill’s passion for service and dedication to abused and neglected children is so evident and inspirational.”

 

 

Jordan Browner

Scott J. Hinsch Community Service Award winner – Jordan Browner

David Mason, area director of Upper Miami Valley Young Life, nominated Jordan Browner for his work on developing mentorship relationships with area teens when there was a huge need due to the isolating circumstances of the pandemic.

Mason wrote in his nomination form, “Jordan met kids where they were, whether at sporting events at Piqua High School, YMCA, restaurants, skating rink or anywhere else. During a time of lots of struggles for youth, they needed someone like Jordan to share with them about life.”

 

 

 

 

Clete Thobe, right, and John Hinsch

Scott J. Hinsch Community Service Award winner – Clete Thobe

Cindy Pearson, board president for Forest Hill Cemetery, nominated Clete Thobe for clearing brush and maintaining the levy bank from Ziegler Road to south end of the cemetery.

“It has been the mission of the cemetery board to beautify the cemetery and make it an inviting sanctuary for the thousands of friends and families that visit each year. The hundreds of hours Clete has put into his work has helped the cemetery staff achieve this mission,” Pearson said in her nomination form.

 

 

 

To watch livestream videos and view more photos from the awards presentations, visit The Piqua Community Foundation’s Facebook page.

The Piqua Community Foundation introduces new application process with release of spring 2021 grant cycle

The Piqua Community Foundation opened its spring 2021 grant cycle this week with a revised application process. Pictured here is a Springcreek Primary School student using STEAM materials purchased through a 2020 grant from The Foundation’s unrestricted funds.

The Piqua Community Foundation has introduced a new application process as it releases its 2021 spring grant cycle this week.

The Foundation accepts project-based grant applications twice a year from nonprofit organizations serving Piqua residents with a mission that is religious, educational, scientific, literary or charitable in nature. Applicants must provide documentation demonstrating the organization’s 501(c)(3) or equivalent tax-exempt status.

While those key tenets of the grant program remain unchanged, the new digitally accessible process allows applicants additional flexibility in their preferred submission method, Foundation Executive Director Michelle Perry said.

The primary amendments for nonprofit applicants to note include:

  • The Foundation now uses one common application and shared deadlines for all grant requests, regardless of the organization’s structure or the amount of the project funding sought.
  • Grant guidelines and the application form are available at The Foundation’s website at piquacommunityfoundation.org/grants.
  • Applications are accepted via email, as well as in paper form via mail or hand delivery.

“The principles that lie at the heart of our grant distribution model remain the same,” Perry said. “This revised process condenses the information shared and requested and allows for digital access to the application forms at any time. We are proud to be able to continue to support our local nonprofit community in this expanded way.”

The spring 2021 distribution is part of The Foundation’s semiannual grant cycles from unrestricted funds. The deadline to apply is March 31, 2021. The Foundation’s Distribution Committee makes recommendations to the Board of Directors for approval based on the grant application and review process.

In 2020, The Piqua Community Foundation distributed a total of $196,500 in grants from its unrestricted funds through its semiannual distributions and through its Piqua Emergency Response Fund for pandemic relief.

The Piqua Community Foundation’s grant program guidelines and application form can be found by visiting piquacommunityfoundation.org/grants. Prospective applicants are encouraged to review the guidelines and then confirm their organization’s eligibility by emailing info@piquacommunityfoundation.org or calling 937.615.9080.

Piqua Community Foundation accepts nominations for Hinsch Community Service Awards

The Piqua Community Foundation is now accepting nominations for the Margaret W. Hinsch and Scott J. Hinsch Community Service Awards.

The Hinsch awards are offered annually to one male and one female volunteer serving a Piqua nonprofit organization. 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 2020. Last year’s recipients were Jim Robinson, a volunteer for the Piqua Area Chamber Foundation, and Catherine “Cathy” Large, a volunteer for the Bethany Center.

Catherine “Cathy” Large, a volunteer for the Bethany Center, left, and Jim Robinson, a volunteer for the Piqua Area Chamber Foundation, were awarded the Hinsch Community Service Awards in May 2020. Nominations are now accepted for this year’s awards through The Piqua Community Foundation.

Scott & Margaret Hinsch

Scott & Margaret Hinsch

The fund that provides the monetary awards was established at The Piqua Community Foundation by Scott and Margaret Hinsch’s children and their spouses, John and Marsha Hinsch and Linda and the late Bob Campbell. The awards honor Scott and Margaret’s legacy of service to the Piqua community.

The annual award recipients receive a glass plaque to commemorate the occasion, and the nominating nonprofit agency will receive a $2,000 unrestricted grant from the Hinsch Family Fund of The Piqua Community Foundation, in recognition of that outstanding volunteer. The organizational grant amount marks an increase from previous years, as the family wishes to recognize the nonprofit with an impactful award that can be used however the agency needs.

The deadline for nomination submission is March 15, 2021. Download the Margaret W. Hinsch and Scott J. Hinsch Community Service Awards guidelines and nomination form HERE.

The Piqua Community Foundation opens 2021 scholarship programs

The Piqua Community Foundation has opened its 2021 scholarship season and welcomes applications from local students.

Scholarships through The Foundation are made possible by fund donors who value continuing education and wish to give back to the community. Each of the scholarships offered is distinct in its guidelines directed by the donor when the fund was established. Application deadlines are in spring 2021 and are listed for each individual program.

Scholarship information is available through local schools’ guidance counselors or by visiting piquacommunityfoundation.org/scholarships. Questions about The Foundation’s scholarship programs may be directed to info@piquacommunityfoundation.org or 937.615.9080.

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.

Board of Directors welcomes new member

The Piqua Community Foundation Life Trustees elected Beth H. Kazer to fill a Board of Directors seat vacated mid-term at the annual meeting on November 10.
Her service on the board began immediately and continues through December 31, 2022.
Beth Kazer was born and raised in Piqua and obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in education from DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana. Following graduation in 1981, she returned to Piqua where she held a long-term substitute position at Favorite Hill prior to accepting a first-grade teaching position at Washington Elementary.
The following year, her husband’s career forced a relocation away from Piqua in what became a journey that led to nine additional moves before she and her husband, Phil, returned to the area in 2016. During her time away, Beth taught at both the primary and intermediate levels before devoting her energies to raising three children, all of whom were born in three different states. She also dedicated her time towards numerous volunteer efforts that largely centered around improving the educational experience for underprivileged youth and other community service programming to aid those in need.
Since returning to Piqua, Beth has continued to be part of community outreach programs through Westminster Presbyterian Church and through her involvement on the Piqua Beautification Committee. She most recently fulfilled a longtime desire to renovate old homes and along with a partner, successfully refurbished two homes, both of which received Residence Pride Award recognition by the City of Piqua. Beth also enjoys playing golf and tennis and spending time at the Piqua Community Garden at Pitsenbarger Park.
In addition, the board 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
See the full Piqua Community Foundation Board of Directors list here:

Our Board

Foundation honors retiring board member

The Piqua Community Foundation Life Trustees recognized retiring Board of Director member Cheryl L. Burkhardt at the organization’s annual meeting on November 10.
Here, Board President Steve Staley recognizes Cheryl’s 22 years of service, including two years as the board’s president, with a plaque at the Piqua Country Club.
Cheryl has served on the board since 1999. She is a past president and vice president for the organization.
Her board service will conclude on December 31, 2020.
See the full Piqua Community Foundation Board of Directors list here:

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