Foundation awards $24,200 in Donnelly Advised grants

Aerial photo of Piqua by Bret Reid

The Piqua Community Foundation recently awarded grants from the Donnelly Advised Fund totaling $24,200 to 18 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 the fund 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 2022 Donnelly 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
  • The Forest Hill Cemetery Fund of The Piqua Community Foundation
  • Greene Street Church food pantry
  • The Little Kinger Fund of The Piqua Community Foundation
  • MainStreet Piqua for downtown flowers and Christmas celebrations
  • Miami County Dental Clinic
  • Miami County YMCA
  • Piqua Arts Council
  • Piqua Area Chamber Foundation for The Garden Tribe Schoolyard Garden
  • Piqua Civic Band
  • Piqua Compassion Network
  • Protecting Our Water Ways
  • Salvation Army for the needs bank and summer feeding program
  • Upper Miami Valley Young Life
  • YWCA Piqua

Melinda Sillman and Steve Schultz of St. Paul’s Church at The Bethany Center

Shawn Rickert, executive director of The Bethany Center in Piqua, said that the grant award received from the Donnelly Advised Fund supports the center’s soup kitchen and food pantry.

“Already this year, we have provided food for over 16,000 of our neighbors. Our work is made possible thanks to generous donors like Mr. Donnelly!”

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

Grant recipients honored, board members reelected at Foundation annual meeting

Emily E. Shawler, President, Board of Directors, The Piqua Community Foundation

The Piqua Community Foundation Life Trustees honored grant recipients and reelected directors to its board at the organization’s annual meeting on November 15.

The meeting serves as the annual gathering and organizational recap for The Foundation and included a tabulation of voting by Secretary/Treasurer Andrew Snyder, a financial report from Investment Committee chair Tony Wendeln and remarks about the past year from President Emily E. Shawler.

“We distributed a total of $1.2 million from all Foundation funds in 2021 through grant awards to charitable organizations serving our community’s residents and scholarship awards for local students furthering their education,” Shawler said. “We also welcomed The Piqua Catholic Future Fund, which will support special projects of Piqua Catholic School to ensure quality Catholic education opportunities in our community.”

2022 grant recipients of The Piqua Community Foundation

Distribution Committee co-chair Randi M. Pearson recognized organizational representatives receiving grant awards for programs serving Piqua residents in its spring and fall cycles in 2022 as well as through the 2021-2022 Pitch Piqua initiative. He noted that The Foundation has distributed $160,277 from the unrestricted funds of The Foundation in 2022.

“Gifts made to The Foundation’s annual giving campaign and through memorial contributions support the health of the unrestricted fund and allows the board to approve more grant dollars serving our community through our nonprofit partners,” Pearson said. “We have all seen how our nonprofits’ needs only continue to grow in scope and complexity. Your support helps us to keep funding the needs of the nonprofits serving our Piqua community.”

Nominating Committee chair Steven K. Staley presented the slate of candidates for reelection. The Life Trustees reelected the six incumbent directors who will serve three-year terms beginning January 1, 2023:

  • Michael E. Gutmann
  • Doreen Larson
  • Brandi Lawson
  • Beth H. Kazer
  • Andrew S. Monnin
  • Andrew Snyder

Executive Director Nikki Sherck and volunteer Lisa Yager, CASA/GAL of Miami County

CASA/GAL of Miami County Executive Director Nikki Sherck and volunteer Lisa Yager shared with the attendees how numerous grant awards from The Foundation in recent history have impacted the organization. The financial and volunteer needs of the organization continue to grow as the organization sees a sharp increase in the number of children needing assistance in abuse and neglect cases.

“They really have exemplified the importance of the work we do and the impact of the grant awards we are able to make from our unrestricted funds,” Shawler said following the CASA/GAL presentation. “We are so grateful for our donors and your commitment to making Piqua an even better place to call home.”

To see the full Board of Directors list, view Foundation grant recipients and learn more about The Foundation’s programs, visit

Foundation awards more than $67,000 in fall grant cycle

The Piqua Community Foundation awarded $67,127 to 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 2022 fall grants are:

  • Brukner Nature Center – Owl Extraordinaire program
  • Child Care Choices – Story Lady program
  • The Edison Foundation – Feed Me Market C for Piqua High School students
  • The Edison Foundation – microscopes for biology students
  • Isaiah’s Place, Inc. – playground equipment for reunification visits and therapy
  • Johnston Farm Friends Council – John Osborne square piano restoration
  • Mark’s Bike Drive – bikes for Piqua area youth
  • Miami County YMCA – Piqua branch capital campaign
  • Miami Valley Veterans Museum – replacement of preservation materials
  • Piqua Catholic School – multimedia production project
  • Piqua City Schools Piqua Central Intermediate School –headphones with microphones
  • Piqua City Schools Piqua Junior High School – behavioral regulation space
  • Piqua City Schools Piqua Junior High School – Carillon Historical Park field trip
  • Piqua City Schools Piqua Junior High School – pride program
  • Piqua Public Library – Piqua History Central digitization project
  • Upper Valley Medical Center Foundation – community health screening
  • YWCA Piqua – technology replacements and upgrades

The grant awards were made to a variety of organization service sectors, all with a demonstrated impact on Piqua residents. Members of the Distribution Committee visited three of the recipient organizations to learn more about their programs and impact — Child Care Choices, Miami Valley Veterans Museum and Piqua Public Library.

The Child Care Choices visit allowed the team the opportunity to watch an educational presentation by Piqua Story Lady Sally Beam at Play Learn Grow Child Care. The children were treated to a storytelling experience followed by a related activity.

The committee members also met with the leadership teams to learn more about the Miami Valley Veterans Museum’s usage by Piqua residents as well as Piqua Public Library’s plans to digitize records with a scanner that preserves the original documents while making information widely available.

“These grant distribution visits allow our committee members who review and make recommendations on grant applications the opportunity to get to know our area nonprofits better,” Foundation Executive Director Michelle Perry said. “We value these visits as a way to connect more deeply with the charitable organizations we serve to best understand their needs in service to the Piqua community.”

The Piqua Community Foundation’s next grant cycle has a March 31, 2023, deadline. To learn more about the grant and scholarship programs of The Piqua Community Foundation, visit

Foundation hiring for staff position

The Piqua Community Foundation is accepting applications for an open staff position.
The position will be tailored to the successful candidate’s skills and interests and The Foundation’s needs.
Additionally, this position will assist the executive director in all operational tasks in service to The Foundation.
To apply, submit a cover letter, resume and three professional references to Executive Director Michelle Perry at The position will remain open until a qualified candidate is found.

Piqua Community Foundation welcomes Piqua Catholic Future Fund

The Piqua Community Foundation, in collaboration with Piqua Catholic School, is proud to welcome The Piqua Catholic Future Fund to its family of accounts. The fund was recently established to support grants to the school for special needs and projects that are over and above the annual budget and help ensure the highest standards of Catholic education endures for the children of the community.

Evelyn Henman, kindergartener at Piqua Catholic School

Piqua Catholic School is experiencing tremendous growth, which administrators attribute to young families recognizing the importance of a faith-based education and seeking it out for their children. Since 2017, the preschool has grown 56 percent and the K-8 program has expanded nearly 33 percent.

Principal Brad Zimmerman said that the fund is intended to ensure that the tradition of strong Catholic education, which has a legacy of more than 150 years in the community, continues to thrive well in the future.

“Our alumni, parishioners and school supporters are asking for ways to be involved and help the school. We want to offer those that wish to give to the school the assurance that their gift will be responsibly managed, continue to grow and make a difference for generations to come. Through our partnership with The Piqua Community Foundation, we are prepared to help those passionate about the school and with a desire to make a lasting difference in the community a way to make a gift that fits their intentions.”

— Principal Brad Zimmerman, Piqua Catholic School

Donations to the fund are accepted with gifts of cash or stock. The Foundation can be named as a beneficiary of a trust or an insurance policy. Or, loved ones may donate memorial contributions in the name of someone who has passed.

Tax-deductible gifts to The Piqua Catholic Future Fund may be made via check or online gift. To donate by check, make the gift payable to “The Piqua Community Foundation” with “Piqua Catholic Future Fund” in the memo line and mail it to P.O. Box 226, Piqua, OH 45356 or drop it off at 209 W. Ash St., Piqua. To donate online, visit, select “Dedicate this gift” and designate Piqua Catholic Future Fund in the “In honor of” line.

To learn more about making a gift to the fund, contact The Piqua Community Foundation at 937.615.9080 or

Grant update: Math facts, one step at a time

Fourth-grade students at PCIS

The Piqua Community Foundation fully supported a grant request to install math facts decals on the face of the stairs at Piqua Central Intermediate School (PCIS) in its fall 2021 grant cycle.

Students returning to school this fall are enjoying the new additions, and PCIS Principal Heath Butler said the 750 students at the building this year all benefit.

“The objective of this project is to bring color to the walls and halls and address the need for students to know their math facts to be successful in both their math and science classes. It is our hope that a focus on knowing math facts will continue to support growth from our students.”

— Principal Heath Butler, Piqua Central Intermediate School

The Foundation offers two grant cycles a year for projects of qualifying charitable organizations. To learn more, visit

Foundation awards $52,220 in G. William Hartzell Community Grants

The Piqua Community Foundation on Friday awarded G. William Hartzell Community Grants totaling $52,220 to 26 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 serve the organization’s needs.

Clear Creek Farm team

Clear Creek Farms is one of the recipients of a G. William Hartzell Community Grant this year. The award will help the organization to continue to provide a safe, structured home environment for Ohio youth.

“Being a beneficiary of the G. William Hartzell grant is a blessing to Clear Creek Farm and the children we serve,” Clear Creek Farm Executive Director Chad Gessler said. “These funds will allow us to continue our incentive program in which youth earn special field trips that provide wonderful experiences that will give them lifelong memories.”

Sharon Lyons, a Hartzell Industries, Inc. employee and fund committee member, said that Clear Creek Farm is one that was close to Bill’s heart and one of the many deserving in the community.

“Mr. Hartzell was a longtime supporter of the organization and its work with the children,” Lyons said. “The organization has had many success stories, which is a testimony of the great work that Clear Creek Farm employees provide to their community.”

Piqua Christian Church team

The Bethany Center team

The organizations receiving 2022 G. William Hartzell Community Grants are:

  • The Bethany Center
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters Miami Valley
  • CASA/GAL of Miami County
  • Child Care Choices, Inc.
  • Clear Creek Farm
  • Elizabeth’s New Life Center
  • Friends of the Piqua Parks
  • Friends of the Piqua Public Library
  • Greene Street Daycare & Preschool
  • Health Partners Free Clinic
  • Isaiah’s Place Inc.
  • Miami County Dental Clinic
  • Miami County Special Olympics
  • Miami-Shelby Chapter of Barbershoppers
  • Morgan’s Place Cemetery
  • New Creation Counseling Center
  • Piqua Area Chamber Foundation
  • Piqua Christian Church
  • Piqua Compassion Network
  • Piqua Parents as Teachers
  • Rehabilitation Center for Neurological Development
  • RT Industries
  • SafeHaven, Inc.
  • The Salvation Army of Piqua
  • Upper Miami Valley Young Life
  • YWCA Piqua

To learn more about the G. William Hartzell Charitable Fund and other programs of The Piqua Community Foundation, visit

Foundation announces Pitch Piqua finalist organizations

Charitable grant pitch competition to feature $50,000 top prize on March 2

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 2, 2023, culminating event are:

  • Edison State Community College team

    Edison State Community College
    represented by Laura Larger, Criminal Justice Coordinator/Instructor, & Dr. Andy Runyan, Dean of Professional & Technical Programs





  • Health Partners Free Clinic team

    Health Partners Free Clinic
    represented by JoAnn Barhorst, Certified Nurse Practitioner, Brittney Eshelman, Advanced Practice Nurse Practitioner, & Deborah Miller, Executive Director





  • Upper Valley Career Center team

    Upper Valley Career Center
    represented by Tim Cordonnier, Instructional Supervisor, & Sara Plozay, Cosmetology Instructor/SkillsUSA Advisor






A Foundation committee of board members and donors reviewed narrative applications then interviewed semi-finalist candidates before narrowing the pool to 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 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 2, 2023, 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 view the video announcement of the finalists and to learn more about how Pitch Piqua and The Piqua Community Foundation benefit our community, visit

Standard grant cycle open through September 30

The Piqua Community Foundation is accepting standard grant applications for its fall grant cycle through September 30.

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.

Upper Miami Valley Young Life participants enjoy an activity at Lake Champion camp in June after receiving a grant for fundraising supplies from The Piqua Community Foundation in its spring 2022 grant cycle. The Foundation’s fall grant cycle is open now through September 30. For more information, visit

The fall 2022 distribution is part of The Foundation’s semiannual grant cycles from unrestricted funds. The Foundation’s Distribution Committee makes recommendations to the Board of Directors for approval based on the grant application and review process.

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

Destiny Shafer joins Piqua Community Foundation team

Destiny L. Shafer

The Piqua Community Foundation is proud to announce the hire of Destiny L. Shafer as program manager to administer the organization’s grant and scholarship offerings. Her first day was Monday, July 25.

Shafer moved to Piqua in 2019 and resides here with her daughter, Olivia. She holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Ball State University and has a passion for community involvement.

She has five years of experience in the banking industry, most recently as a personal banker at the 5/3 branch in downtown Piqua. She formerly served as a high school assistant athletic director for her alma mater in Union City, Ind., and currently serves on the board of the alumni association.

“I am excited to get involved in the community I now call home,” Shafer said. “I look forward to working with the donors, board and partners of The Foundation and successfully managing the programs that make a difference for Piqua.”

Shafer’s hire at The Foundation marks a change in the staffing structure. Executive Director Michelle Perry’s time has increased, and the program manager role replaces the executive assistant position currently filled by Sarah Fryer. Fryer’s last day is August 5 as she moves on to a new role at an area school.

“With the increased time allocated for Destiny’s and my position, The Foundation is proud to offer extended office hours of 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. and by appointment,” Perry said. “We are excited to increase our availability to The Foundation’s valued donors and committee members and the community at large.”

Learn more about grant programs here.

Learn more about scholarship programs here.

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