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 pcncares.org.

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 piquacommunityfoundation.org/pitchpiqua.

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

Foundation supports YMCA Piqua branch capital campaign

The Piqua Community Foundation is a proud supporter of Miami County YMCA’s new Piqua branch project, which broke ground on May 2 downtown. The Foundation made its largest grant pledge to date to the project during the spring 2021 cycle.

The project site is across High Street from the current YMCA building and adjacent to The Foundation office. The 76,000-square-foot building will cost $21.5 million and include a family aquatic center, field house with basketball courts and turf field, group exercise space and youth ninja room.

YMCA leaders expect construction to take 20 months with completion in the first quarter of 2024. The current Piqua YMCA facility continues to operate with full services while the new facility is being constructed.

To learn more about the YMCA’s capital campaign and how to contribute, visit miamicountyymca.net/capital-campaign.

“We could not be happier with how the project is moving forward. The support from partners like The Piqua Community Foundation has been fantastic. We are currently sitting at just under 90 percent of our fundraising goal, so there is still some work to do, but we remain confident we will close the gap.”

— Miami County YMCA Executive Director Jim McMaken

G. William Hartzell Community Grant cycle open through August 1

G. William Hartzell

Charitable organizations that serve Piqua residents are invited to apply for unrestricted funding from the G. William Hartzell Charitable Fund of The Piqua Community Foundation. The deadline for applications is August 1.

The G. William Hartzell Community Grant awards are made from the fund established by the late Bill Hartzell with a bequest from his estate. This fund also awards college scholarships each spring.

The grants are unique in the simplicity of the application process and the unrestricted nature of the funds to be spent however best serves the organization’s needs.

To learn about the grant guidelines and access the application, visit piquacommunityfoundation.org/grants/hartzell.

Piqua Community Foundation awards more than $65,000 in spring grant cycle

The Piqua Community Foundation awarded $65,650 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 spring grants are:

Bethany Center – blessing food box

The Edison Foundation – biology structural models

The Edison Foundation – Edison State Charger Stations

The Edison Foundation – EMT, nursing & paramedic IV hand models

Friends of the Piqua Parks – repair of baseball/softball area at Pitsenbarger Sports Complex

Friends of the Piqua Public Library – plaster bust of William H. Pitsenbarger

Miami County YMCA – new facility campaign

Piqua Catholic School – Regulating Our Bodies materials

Piqua City Schools Piqua Central Intermediate School – Draw Your Destiny assembly

Piqua City Schools Piqua Central Intermediate School – garden mulching project

Piqua City Schools Piqua High School – William H. Pitsenbarger mural project

Piqua Neighborhood Improvement Corporation – Neighbors Helping Neighbors

Piqua Police Department – Piqua Careful Corners

SafeHaven, Inc. – vocational readiness

St. James Episcopal Church – little pantry

Young Life – summer camp fundraisers

 

The grant awards were made to a variety of organization service sectors, all with a demonstrated impact on Piqua residents. Chief Rick Byron said that the grant received by the Piqua Police Department will allow the purchase of supplies to continue to efficiently offer the Careful Corners program to local youth.

Piqua Police Department – Careful Corners program

“With support from The Piqua Community Foundation grant, the Piqua Police Department will be able to rejuvenate the Careful Corners Program for Piqua children entering kindergarten in the fall,” Byron said. “Grant funding will help to purchase a street scene tarp and other equipment for the program. Thank you for your generous grant for our Careful Corners program.”

Piqua Neighborhood Improvement Corp. – Neighbors Helping Neighbors

SafeHaven, Inc. – vocational readiness

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.

Piqua Community Foundation invites Pitch Piqua applications

Apply by July 28 for charitable grant competition with $50,000 top prize

The Piqua Community Foundation is proud to announce that applications are open for the second year of Pitch Piqua. This initiative 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 president and Resource Committee chairwoman. “We are thrilled to launch our second year of the initiation after a stellar inaugural program.”

The audience cheers as Piqua Compassion Network is presented the $50,000 award at the inaugural Pitch Piqua in March at Fort Piqua Plaza Banquet Center. Applications for the 2022-2023 initiative are now open. Details are available at piquacommunityfoundation.org/pitchpiqua.

Applications — simple narratives describing the project idea and the community need it meets — are accepted now through July 28. 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 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.

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, learn about the 2021-2022 finalist organizations and learn how Pitch Piqua will benefit our community, visit piquacommunityfoundation.org/pitchpiqua.

Foundation hiring for program manager position

The Piqua Community Foundation is accepting applications for its program manager position.
The program manager will be responsible for overseeing The Foundation’s grant processes, scholarship programs and donor-directed fund distributions.
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 michelle@piquacommunityfoundation.org. The position will remain open until a qualified candidate is found.

Organizations secure more than $68,000 at inaugural Pitch Piqua

Piqua Compassion Network wins top prize at charitable grant pitch event

Piqua Compassion Network team Rebecca Sousek, Chloe Clark & Caleb Patton and Foundation Executive Director Michelle Perry

The Piqua Community Foundation disbursed more than $68,000 in grant and pass-through community donations to the three Pitch Piqua finalist organizations at the charitable grant pitch competition March 3. The finalist teams presented to a crowd of an estimated 300 energetic attendees at The Fort Piqua Plaza Banquet Center.

“There is one thing I am sure of — I am proud to be from Piqua!” said Emily E. Shawler, president of The Piqua Community Foundation Board of Directors. “I am so grateful to everyone who came to the event and supported all three of our finalist groups. All three groups’ big ideas were worthy of winning the $50,000 grant. I look forward to seeing the success of the Piqua Compassion Network’s Power Project and hope all three projects will move forward!”

Foundation Executive Director Michelle Perry, Child Care Choices, Inc. team, Piqua City Schools team and Piqua Compassion Network team

The top-scoring organization, Piqua Compassion Network, secured the $50,000 grant award for its proposed project. The other two finalist organizations, Piqua City Schools and Child Care Choices, Inc., were each awarded a $5,000 unrestricted award. The funding for the grant awards 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.

Donors Lt Col Daniel P. French, USAFR, Ret & Margaret L. French

“Launching a new initiative is a leap of faith for an organization,” said Michelle Perry, executive director of The Piqua Community Foundation. “Pitch Piqua is possible because our Board of Directors and fundholders saw the vision and wholeheartedly put their support behind it. They understand that making an investment of this size will have dividends for years to come in strengthening our community.”

Edison State Community College, Miami Valley Steel Service, Inc., Park National Bank and Premier Health | Upper Valley Medical Center sponsored the event that had an affordable ticket cost to maximize involvement in local philanthropy.

The 2022 Pitch Piqua judges were Amanda Brown, Timothy Risner, Jim Sever and Kathy Sherman. They evaluated the project concepts on their impact on Piqua residents, evidence of a demonstrated community need, readiness for launch, sustainability of the project and quality of the presentation.

2022 Pitch Piqua judges (l-r) Amanda Brown, Timothy Risner, Jim Sever & Kathy Sherman

The community acted as the collective fifth judge as supporters voted for their favorite project(s) with a pass-through donation of $10 or more. In all, the organizations earned more than $8,000 in pass-through funds to support their mission.

The Edison State Community College accounting program students, under the direction of instructors Sandra Streitenberger and Holly Stewart, acted as the Tally Team to calculate the scores and donations.

Piqua Compassion Network, represented by Executive Director Rebecca Sousek & volunteers Chloe Clark & Caleb Patton, won the $50,000 top prize for The Power Project at the event culminating the inaugural initiative. In addition, supporters donated more than $5,100 in pass-through donations to the organization.

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.

“We are so grateful for this opportunity from The Piqua Community Foundation and all of the sponsors for making this event happen. It was truly a night to remember, and The Power Project will be forever thankful,” said the Piqua Compassion Network team.

Piqua City Schools, represented by Directors of Curriculum Teresa Anderson & Scott Bloom, won a $5,000 unrestricted grant and nearly $1,600 in pass-through donations for their proposal.

The school district seeks to increase the impact of its bookmobile program by purchasing a new van outfitted with bookshelves and displays for STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) learning tools to bring learning to children’s neighborhoods and at community events.

“When you hear people say ‘everyone’s a winner,’ it is true in this case! Each group benefited from the experience, but most importantly our community will be better as a result of the generosity and creativity of The Piqua Community Foundation Pitch Piqua grant!” said the Piqua City Schools team.

Child Care Choices, Inc., represented by Co-Directors Jenny Fox & Renee Matsunami, won a $5,000 unrestricted grant and nearly $1,500 in pass-through donations for their proposal.

The organization seeks to bolster the child care workforce in Piqua to open additional spots for children, allowing their parents/caregivers to work. The proposal laid out the economic development benefits of increasing child care capacity and serving centers and preschools with shared resources.

“Pitch Piqua was an incredible journey of discovery, soul searching, prioritizing and focusing in on our mission. The people we met, the learning process for creating our pitch, and the experience of working with The Piqua Community Foundation and other finalists was transformative for our agency,” said the Child Care Choices, Inc. team.

The Foundation will remain a partner with these organizations as they continue to seek community support for their projects. Additionally, The Foundation invites nonprofit leaders to think of their own big ideas for the next Pitch Piqua cycle, with an application deadline of July 28, 2022.

To learn more and to watch the videos of the Pitch Piqua presentations, visit piquacommunityfoundation.org/pitchpiqua.

Trenton Karn joins The Foundation Board of Directors

The Piqua Community Foundation welcomed Trenton Karn to the Board of Directors earlier this year after the organization’s Life Trustees elected him at the annual meeting in November.

Trenton’s service on the board began on January 1, 2022, and continues through December 31, 2024.

Trenton fills the seat of former Board of Directors member Stacy P. Scott, who retired at the end of December after 18 years of service, including two years as the board’s president.

Trenton was born and raised in Piqua. He graduated from University of Dayton. He has worked at Hemm’s Glass for almost 20 years, where he is part of the leadership team, heading up the project management team. He and his wife, Andrea Karn, have four children – Aubri, Melanie, Vincent and Ellie.

In addition to joining The Piqua Community Foundation Board of Directors, Trenton serves as a board member for the Salvation Army. He has previously served on the Board of Directors for the Piqua Area Chamber of Commerce and the United Way of Miami County.

See the full Piqua Community Foundation Board of Directors list here: http://piquacommunityfoundation.org/about-us/our-board/

The Foundation awards Hinsch Community Service Awards

The Foundation presented two local volunteers with The Scott J. Hinsch and Margaret W. Hinsch Community Service Awards on Monday.

Jack Noah and Cari Beth Noah of The Hinsch Family Fund of The Piqua Community Foundation

The following volunteers received the awards in surprise presentations:

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

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 Hinsch awards are offered annually, typically to one male and one female volunteer.

Cari Beth Noah and 10-year-old Jack Noah, granddaughter and great-grandson of the awards’ namesakes, respectively, presented the awards to recognize their legacy of service to the Piqua community. Cari Beth Noah also represented her parents, John and Marsha Hinsch, and her aunt, Dr. Linda Hinsch Campbell, who founded the fund and were unable to attend the presentations.

“The Hinsch family and The Hinsch Family Fund committee are touched by Edna and Ken’s contributions in 2021 to their respective organizations in service to Piqua residents,” John Hinsch said. “We recognize that 2021 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.”

The Scott J. Hinsch Community Service Award winner – Kenneth J. Grimes

The Hinsch Family Fund of The Piqua Community Foundation awarded Kenneth J. Grimes with the Scott J. Hinsch Community Service Award on Monday in recognition of his volunteer service to the Miami Valley Council of Boy Scouts of America. Pictured, from left to right, are Scouting Executive/Executive Director Jeffrey R. Schiavone, Kenneth J. Grimes, wife Linda Grimes, Senior District Executive Amanda Schaedig and Development Director Iris Juergens.

Iris Juergens, development director for Miami Valley Council, Boys Scouts of America, nominated Grimes for leading Troop 295 at Westminster Presbyterian Church in their efforts to provide meals to people who were directly impacted by COVID-19 during 2021.

“One of Mr. Grimes’ greatest strengths is his reliability,” Juergens said in her nomination form. “It is due to Mr. Grimes’ personal investment of time, talent and treasure that the Miami Valley Council, Boy Scouts of America was able to provide scouting during times when we had to pivot quickly. His efforts ensure Scouting continues at an exemplary level for all our youth.”

The Margaret W. Hinsch Community Service Award winner – Edna Stiefel

Edna Stiefel, front, poses with Friends of the Piqua Parks committee members, from left to right, Jim Vetter, President Ruth A. Koon and Russ Fashner on Monday as The Piqua Community Foundation presented her with the Margaret W. Hinsch Community Service Award. The award is a part of the Hinsch Family Fund of The Foundation and is accompanied by a $2,000 unrestricted grant award for the nominating organization.

Ruth A. Koon, president of Friends of the Piqua Parks, nominated Stiefel for her fundraising efforts to increase the number of trees in the Piqua parks in 2021. Koon said Stiefel is an advocate for the development of the Piqua’s park system and is highly regarded by City of Piqua parks staff and community.

“She truly is a committed and enthusiastic volunteer for our committee and for our community,” Koon stated in her nomination form. “The project would not have happened if it had not been for Stiefel’s leadership.”

The Hinsch Family Fund committee, the nominators and family members of the awardees presented the awards Monday. To watch livestream videos and view more photos from the awards presentations, visit The Piqua Community Foundation’s Facebook page.

For more information about The Piqua Community Foundation and The Scott J. Hinsch and Margaret W. Hinsch Community Service Awards, visit piquacommunityfoundation.org/grants/hinsch/.

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