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.


Dear Friends of The Piqua Community Foundation,

As Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) continues to affect our work and personal lives and have deep impacts on Ohio and our nation, we want to communicate with you – our donors and partners – our concerns about the potential implications for Piqua.

The Piqua Community Foundation was created to encourage philanthropic giving by Piqua residents to Piqua residents. The religious, scientific, literary, educational and charitable nonprofits that we support will undoubtedly feel the economic strain of this pandemic’s effects, as will The Foundation’s donors who make grant and scholarship gifts possible. The Foundation will continue our work to support these organizations’ short-term needs and long-term viability.

Within the office, we are maintaining a work presence and will continue to process incoming donations and outgoing grants and scholarships. However, to maximize social distancing and decrease potential community spread, alterations to our workflow may slow some processes, and we proactively ask for your patience. If you plan to stop at the office, we suggest you contact us by phone first at 937-615-9080 to ensure that the person you are seeking is on premises that day.

We would also like you to know that, as a precautionary health measure, we are postponing our annual fundraising event, Cakes for a Cause, which was scheduled for April 23 and 24. Our community’s best interest is at the heart of all we do, and delaying this event that draws such a large crowd of Foundation supporters is the right thing to do. We look forward to sharing our plans for the event once we have a clearer picture of how restrictions will lighten over time.

As more is learned about this novel virus, we highly recommend keeping abreast of the latest information and recommendations from trusted sources such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Ohio Department of Health and to take personal actions to decrease personal exposure and community transmission

Please practice kindness and compassion during this difficult time and continue to support Piqua’s businesses which support all of us. Please contact The Piqua Community Foundation with any questions about how you might boost our efforts or to discuss funding needs.


New Foundation Fund Established for ABC


The Piqua Community Foundation is excited to announce the establishment of a new fund in December 2019. The A Better Community (ABC) Fund will support projects, events, initiatives and programs which enhance the quality of life in the Piqua community. The donor advised fund, established by Dr. Julian Trevino, will achieve its goals through support of efforts which enhance:

  • Parks and recreational activities
  • Aesthetic environment through thoughtful addition of trees, landscaping, sculptures and other outdoor art to improve our neighborhoods and make the Piqua community more attractive for current and future residents
  • Community gathering areas, particularly the downtown/riverfront area and athletic and cultural facilities, to provide additional resources to residents and attract visitors to our community
  • The quality of lives of residents – concerts, lectures, art exhibits, festivals and other events which enhance and promote the Piqua community
  • Educational programs and facilities which promote the adoption of health lifestyles and support disease-prevention

The donor advisory committee will select programs or projects to be funded each year, within the above guidelines. The committee will not be accepting applications. For more information, contact The Foundation office.




The Piqua Community Foundation Board of Directors is announcing the hire of a new executive director to lead the organization.

Michelle Perry is joining The Foundation alongside current director Karen Wendeln beginning March 3. Wendeln has been the executive director of The Foundation for nearly 20 years, the only one to have served in that role, and is retiring later this year. Wendeln and Perry will work cooperatively for several weeks to ensure consistency and cohesion for the organization and the Piqua community.

“We are excited to have such a dynamic and enthusiastic leader joining The Foundation,” said Steven Staley, president of The Foundation Board of Directors. “Michelle’s experience in nonprofit management, public relations and spearheading large-scale community projects made her the board’s top choice for this position. She and Karen will complement each other well as they work together to make a smooth transition in leadership.”

Perry is a graduate of Sidney High School and Indiana University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology and certificate in journalism. She began her career at a daily Colorado newspaper, rising to the role of editor at 23. She later moved into nonprofit leadership and marketing positions in the health care, early childhood development and economic development fields. Most recently, she served as the culture manager for a statewide higher education technology commercialization organization as an employee of the University of Kentucky.

Accepting this new role marks a return to Perry’s roots after many years away.

“I couldn’t be more excited to return to Piqua, where I spent most of my childhood on a farm on Miami-Shelby Road, to be near family,” Perry said. “I am ecstatic to have found the ideal fit at the Piqua Community Foundation and am eager to get to work continuing on the strong legacy built by the board and Karen.”

The Foundation also recently promoted Erica Ernst Claypool to the role of administrator of grants and scholarships, effective March 1. This new role places her in the role of leading the allocations of twice-annual grant awards from the Piqua Community Fund to numerous Piqua-area nonprofit organizations and scholarships to Piqua residents seeking to further their educations.

“Erica has been an asset to this organization since she joined us in 2018, and she will excel with these new responsibilities of managing our distributions within the community,” Wendeln said. “I am encouraged by the strong team we’ve built for The Foundation going forward as I transition away from my role as executive director this summer. I will certainly miss the work of The Foundation and the incredible impact we have on the community.”

The Foundation was founded in 1993 as a 501(c)(3) organization by a small group of citizens interested in investing in their community. Its mission is to encourage charitable giving to benefit the citizens of Piqua and provide a variety of methods for donors to help fulfill their charitable giving wishes.

The Foundation offers opportunities to contribute to the community through restricted and unrestricted gifts of any size. The organization then offers grants to programs and projects whose missions are religious, scientific, literary, educational or charitable and align with the guidelines of each fund.

“We have organized this transition in leadership of the Piqua Community Foundation to minimize disruption of our services and to maximize the transfer of institutional knowledge over an extended time,” Staley said. “The Board of Directors and I whole-heartedly believe that as we celebrate the accomplishments of Karen over her two-decade-long service to The Foundation and welcome Michelle back to our community, we can continue the high level of professionalism and responsibility for which The Foundation is known while exploring opportunities to expand our reach in service to our community.”

Pictured: New Executive Director, Michelle Perry (standing) with Administrator of Grants and Scholarships Erica Claypool (left) and retiring Executive Director Karen Wendeln (right).


Hinsch Community Service Awards

Does your organization have an outstanding volunteer – someone who greatly added to your group’s success in 2019? Nominations are now being accepted for The Piqua Community Foundation’s Scott and Margaret Hinsch Community Service Awards for 2020, to honor outstanding volunteers.

These awards are made annually to honor the lifetime of volunteerism exhibited by the late Scott and Margaret Hinsch. The outstanding woman volunteer of the year will be awarded the Margaret Hinsch award, and the outstanding man will receive the Scott Hinsch award. The volunteers selected will each generate a $1000 unrestricted grant from The Foundation’s Hinsch Family Fund for their sponsoring organization.

Organizations must be located in Piqua, Springcreek or Washington Townships, and the honorees will be selected based on their efforts for that single organization during 2019. For more information, or to access the nomination form, click Application and instructions 2020.


Foundation Seeking New Executive Director


The Foundation’s Board of Directors recently announced that Karen Wendeln will be stepping down from her position as The Foundation’s Executive Director no later than December of 2020.

Karen Wendeln

Karen Wendeln


The Foundation’s executive search committee has been actively looking for its next executive director, and has now reached the point where they are not accepting additional applications. They have begun the interview and selection part of the process and hope to have the selection of their new executive director made sometime in February. An announcement to the community will be made at that time.

Erica Ernst Claypool will be staying on with The Foundation and is being promoted to Administrator of Grants and Scholarships, a role she

Erica Ernst

Erica Claypool

is excited to assume. Her responsibilities will include facilitating all Foundation scholarships and all grants from The Foundation’s unrestricted funds.

Following the selection process, the chosen candidate will have the opportunity to train with Karen and Erica for as long as necessary to be comfortable taking over the reins at the Foundation and for the Foundation board to feel comfortable with his or her expertise. Stay tuned for more information as it becomes available.


Fall Grants Awarded!

The Piqua Community Foundation awarded over $50,000 worth of grants and mini-grants as part of the annual meeting of Life Trustees of The Foundation on November 6, 2019. Those receiving standard grants are pictured here.

Left to Right: Susan Walker Hemm of Miami County Hospice, Bill Hayes of Piqua Catholic School, Christy Hayes of the Center for Early Learning at Piqua Catholic, Amy Bixler and Annette Willis of Goodwill/Easterseals, Duanna Osting of the U.V.M.C. Foundation, Brandi Olberding and Morgan Abney of Edison State Community College, Scott Bloom of Piqua City Schools, Vicki Kirk of Edison State Community College, Courtney Downs of Piqua High School, Chief Brent Pohlschneider and Captain Dustin Lacy of the Piqua Fire Department, and Pat Penny of American Legion Post 184.

Mini-grants were awarded to (Left to right) Denise Stauffer of Lehman Catholic High School, Kendra Krouskop-Smith of Piqua City Schools, Sondra Schneider of the Upper Valley Career Center, Joe Taylor of Piqua City Schools, and Erica Butler of the Upper Valley Career Center.

The Foundation’s next grant deadlines are in March 2020. More information is found here.


Foundation Grant Helps Fund C.I.S.V. Step-Up Event

A grant from The Piqua Community Foundation helped support a 2019 summer Step-Up event held by Miami County C.I.S.V. (Children’s International Summer Village.)  52 students from 11 countries participated in the event, hosted at the Piqua Junior High School. More than 30 local families and 40 community members assisted as students experienced 23 days of engaging, hands-on activities including a baseball night-out at the Dayton Dragons and a service project at Troy’s Lincoln Center.

C.I.S.V. offers peace education and experiential inter-cultural opportunities for youth. Any parents who are interested in local global education for their children (ages 10 and up) may contact Amanda at 513-292-4850.








2019 G. William Hartzell Grants Awarded

The Piqua Community Foundation recently awarded G. William Hartzell grants to 15 organizations that serve Piqua residents. The grants, totaling $42,000, were made from the fund established by the late G. William “Bill” Hartzell with a bequest from his estate. The fund also provides college scholarships during a spring distribution.

Randi Pearson, chair of the donor advisory committee for the fund, presented grants to representatives of the organizations who were assembled at the Y.W.C.A. in Piqua. Randi described Mr. Hartzell as a generous supporter of the Piqua community whose influence will be felt for years to come.  Organizations receiving grants for 2019 were:

Child Care Choices, Inc. — Congregation Anshe Emeth

Forest Hill Cemetery and Arboretum — Friends of Mainstreet Piqua, Inc.

Friends of the Piqua Public Library — Health Partners Free Clinic

Johnston Farm and Indian Agency — Miami County Dental Clinic

Piqua Compassion Network — Piqua Parents As Teachers

Protecting Our Water Ways — Salvation Army of Piqua

Troy-Miami County Library Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library

United Way of Miami County, OH — Young Life of the Upper Miami Valley


Seated, left to right: Jody Kramer (Salvation Army), Randi Pearson, Sharon Lyons, Dorie Perry and Barbara Hartzell (all of the Hartzell Advisory Committee), Rebecca Sousek (Piqua Compassion Network) and Ruth Koon (Friends of the Piqua Public Library.)

Standing, left to right: Robert Kramer (Salvation Army), Jeff Lange (P.O.W.W.), Dave Mason (Young Life), Steve Shuchat (Congregation Anshe Emeth), Stephanie Silk (Miami Co. Dental Clinic), Andy Hite (Johnston Farm), Nancy Hargrove (Troy-Miami Co. Library), Jim Roth (Forest Hill), Kathy Booher (Piqua Parents As Teachers), Sean Ford (United Way of Miami Co.), Kim Lawson (Piqua Parents As Teachers), Cheryl Buecker (Child Care Choices), Aggie Wilson (Health Partners Free Clinic) and Lorna Swisher (Friends of Mainstreet Piqua.)

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