Foundation accepting 2023 scholarship programs

The Piqua Community Foundation has opened its 2023 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.

“We are proud to serve as the conduit for the several scholarship programs we administer,” said Foundation Executive Director Michelle Perry. “In 2022, The Foundation distributed $126,000 in scholarship awards in support of local students furthering their education.”

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

Donna Hangen joins Foundation team

Donna Hangen

The Piqua Community Foundation is proud to announce the hire of Donna Hangen as executive assistant.

Hangen is a lifelong resident of Brookville, where she resides with her husband, and has a grown son who lives in Union. She has over 20 years of experience in the nonprofit field, most recently as a gift processing specialist at the Wright State University Foundation and an administrative assistant supporting the Dayton Metro Library Foundation.

She holds a bachelor’s degree in music and a graduate degree in humanities from Wright State University and is a trained therapeutic musician. A trained flutist, she has been a member of the Piqua Civic Band for over seven years and has played with the Springboro Wind Symphony for two years.

“I am excited to share my skills and experience and work with the donors, board and partners of The Foundation,” Hangen said.

Michelle Perry, executive director of The Foundation, said she and the Board of Directors are excited to welcome Donna as the organization continues to grow and increase its impact on the community.

“Donna’s experience with foundations will prove invaluable to our work to support nonprofit organizations serving Piqua and help donors achieve their charitable giving goals,” Perry said. “We are delighted to welcome her to the team!”

The Foundation is located at 209 W. Ash St., Piqua. To learn about The Piqua Community Foundation’s programs, visit

Foundation opens nominations for Hinsch Community Service Awards

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

The Hinsch Family Fund of The Piqua Community Foundation offers The Hinsch Community Service Awards annually to recognize outstanding volunteers for charitable organizations. Two awards will be made each year:

  • The Scott J. Hinsch Community Service Award to one male nominee
  • The Margaret W. Hinsch Community Service Award to one female nominee

The Hinsch Family Fund was established in 2015 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.

“We are so humbled to share these awards in memory of my parents who loved and served Piqua all their lives,” John Hinsch said.

Each selected award winner will each receive a glass plaque, and the organizations that nominated the winners will each receive a $2,000 unrestricted grant to serve the Piqua community from The Hinsch Family Fund of The Piqua Community Foundation.

The volunteers who received the awards for their service in 2021 are:

  • Kenneth J. Grimes, Miami Valley Council, Boy Scouts of America
  • Edna Stiefel, Friends of the Piqua Parks

The deadline for nominations for volunteers making outstanding contributions in 2022 is January 23, 2023. To access the guidelines and nomination form for The Hinsch Community Service Awards, visit

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

UPDATE: This position has been filled, and The Foundation is no longer accepting applications. Thank you for your interest!

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

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