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

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.

Construction on The Power Project to begin soon

Piqua Compassion Network leading the charge after securing $50,000 Pitch Piqua grant

Piqua Compassion Network is moving forward on The Power Project, three months after winning the $50,000 at The Piqua Community Foundation’s Pitch Piqua charitable grant pitch competition on March 3.

Piqua Compassion Network, represented by Executive Director Rebecca Sousek and volunteers Chloe Clark and Caleb Patton, won the top prize for The Power Project at the Pitch Piqua community event March 3 at Fort Piqua Plaza Banquet Center. In addition, supporters donated more than $5,100 in pass-through donations to the organization.

“I am so pleased to see The Power Project team progressing with its proposal that earned so much support through the Pitch Piqua process. The way the team has secured partners and is moving from plan to fruition is inspiring, and I can’t wait to celebrate the opening of this center for our community.”

— Michelle Perry, executive director of The Piqua Community Foundation

The Power Project will create a safe and inviting center for all teens at the Mote Park community building through a partnership with the City of Piqua and private partners. The center will provide teens access to basic needs resources and use fitness and education to give teens power over their physical, mental and social health.

The Power Project team has created a public-private partnership with the City of Piqua, which owns the Mote Park facility, and SouthTown Sports and Recreation, a local business that will lead construction efforts and donate staff time to preparing the space for programming.

The team is currently obtaining quotes and estimates for planned structural building renovations, to begin this autumn. The team will also be preparing room-by-room renderings to be shared with the public.

The team hopes to open the doors to youth in the spring of 2023. While the Pitch Piqua funds and in-kind support will prepare the space for use, the team is seeking additional donations and business partners to assist with ongoing operational expenses.

“Chloe and Caleb are working on program and service details, and I am focusing on the administrative tasks. Our whole team is working to put to best use the generous outpouring of offerings of donations of goods and services that have already been offered by our enthusiastic community.”

— Rebecca Sousek, executive director of Piqua Compassion Network

The team hopes to kickoff the renovation work and celebrate Piqua Compassion Network’s 15th anniversary with a community event at the Mote Park building in September.

“This will be a perfect opportunity to officially ‘break ground’ on this new chapter of one of Piqua’s most beloved and treasured parks,” Sousek commented. “Stay tuned for further details on this exciting event!”

To learn more about Piqua Compassion Network and The Power Project, visit

The other two 2021-2022 Pitch Piqua finalist organizations, Piqua City Schools and Child Care Choices, Inc., were each awarded a $5,000 unrestricted award in addition to pass-through donations from community members. Pitch Piqua grant funding is supplied by The French Oil Mill Machinery Company Fund, The Richard Donnelly Personal Gifting Account, The G. William Hartzell Charitable Fund and unrestricted funds of The Piqua Community Foundation.

Applications — simple narratives describing the project idea and the community need it meets — for the 2022-2023 Pitch Piqua cycle are being accepted through July 28. To learn more about and to apply for Pitch Piqua’s next cycle, visit

14 area high school graduates earn scholarships

The Piqua Community Foundation awarded scholarships to 14 area high school graduates in the Class of 2022.

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.

The following students were awarded scholarships through the respective funds detailed below.

The G. William Hartzell Charitable Fund Scholarship ($2,500 renewable)

The G. William Hartzell Charitable Fund makes scholarships to graduating high school seniors enrolling in a four-year program at a college or university.

  • Miiah Albert – Piqua High School
  • Nolan Campbell – Piqua High School
  • Lydia Marcum – Miami East High School
  • Agnes Schmiesing – Lehman Catholic High School

The Robert & Miriam Hartzell Scholarship ($2,500 renewable)

The Robert & Miriam Hartzell Scholarships are made each year to a graduate from each of the following high schools: Lehman Catholic, Miami East, Piqua and Troy.

  • Anna Boezi – Troy High School
  • Meghan Chamberlin– Lehman Catholic High School
  • Paul Hinds – Piqua High School
  • Katie Weddle – Miami East High School

The Patricia L. Recker Memorial Fund Scholarship ($1,000 renewable)

The Patricia L. Recker Memorial Fund makes scholarships to graduating high school seniors enrolling in a two- or four-year program at a college or university.

  • Samuel Gilardi – Lehman Catholic High School
  • Elizabeth Jock – Lehman Catholic High School
  • Jonathan D. Kleinhenz, Jr. – Troy High School

The Forever Code Strong AP Art Scholarship ($1,000 non-renewable)

This scholarship, exclusively for Piqua High School AP art students, was established in memory of Cody Coffman.

  • Kai Drees – Piqua High School
  • Karolina Polakowski – Piqua High School

The Little Kinger Fund Athletic Scholarship ($1,000 non-renewable)

The Little Kinger Fund makes one scholarship available each year, to a young woman graduating from a Miami Valley high school who will be participating in an inter-collegiate level sports program in college.

  • Sophia Fong – Troy High School
1 2 3 4 9