Karen Wendeln honored at Piqua Community Foundation annual meeting

The Piqua Community Foundation Board of Directors and Life Trustees honored the organization’s retired executive director Karen S. Wendeln on November 10. The recognition was a part of The Foundation’s annual meeting, held in a limited capacity at The Piqua Country Club.

Wendeln became The Foundation’s first-ever executive director in January 2001 and she grew The Foundation from its infancy to a robust community foundation, Board of Directors President Steven K. Staley said.

“Karen has been the face of The Foundation for a long time and has grown the size and scope of the organization significantly,” Staley said. “Her retirement is truly bittersweet, and we wish her the best as she enjoys this next chapter of her life.”

Staley presented Karen with a basket of mementos collected from various community nonprofit agencies; a memory book filled with well wishes from family, friends and colleagues; a certificate entitling Wendeln to choose a tree to be planted at a Piqua city park in her honor; and a proclamation from Mayor Kris Lee declaring November 10 as Karen Wendeln Day in the City of Piqua.

Earlier in the year, The Foundation’s Board of Directors also established a donor advised fund for Wendeln to direct. She named the fund The Wendeln – First Director Fund and, together with her husband Tony Wendeln, matched the amount contributed by The Foundation to double the fund’s impact.

“I am blown away and truly humbled by the generosity and thoughtfulness of my friends at The Foundation,” Wendeln said. “Working with the board members, donors and beneficiaries of The Foundation has been my greatest pleasure in my time as the executive director. I will miss my interactions with them all but know that the friendships will continue on.”

Wendeln extended her thanks to all those nonprofits that contributed mementos for the gift basket and to The Foundation for the gifts in her honor.

The Foundation’s Board of Directors hired Michelle Perry at the start of the year to serve as the incoming executive director. Wendeln and Perry worked side-by-side from March through July 31, when Wendeln retired. She has remained on staff as a consultant, a role she will continue in through the end of the year.

All told, Wendeln will have served The Foundation for a full two decades.

She looks forward to soaking up time with her six grandchildren and traveling, when pandemic restrictions allow her to safely do so. She will also continue in her volunteer roles with Meals on Wheels, St. Mary Church, the YWCA and Girl Scouts.

Those wishing to share a note with Wendeln may send them to P.O. Box 226, Piqua, OH 45356 or kwendeln@piquacommunityfoundation.org.

Board members honored, elected at annual meeting

The Piqua Community Foundation Life Trustees recognized retiring Board of Directors member Cheryl L. Burkhardt at the organization’s annual meeting on November 10. She served the organization for 22 years, including two years as the board president, and received a plaque in honor of her commitment.

In addition, the Life Trustees elected Beth H. Kazer to fill a Board of Directors seat vacated mid-term. Her service on the board began immediately and continues through December 31, 2022.

The Life Trustees also re-elected five incumbent directors and elected one new director (identified with an asterisk) who will serve three-year terms from January 1, 2021 to December 31, 2023:

  • Mimi A. Crawford
  • Spencer K. Peltier*
  • Gail B. Peterson
  • Jim Sever
  • Emily E. Shawler
  • Steven K. Staley

To see the full Board of Directors list and learn more about The Foundation, visit the link below.

Our Board

Piqua Community Foundation awards $21,700 in Donnelly Advised grants

The Piqua Community Foundation recently awarded grants from the Donnelly Advised Fund totaling $21,700 to 17 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 a donor-appointed 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 2020 Donnelly Donor 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
  • Forest Hill Union Cemetery Fund of The Piqua Community Foundation
  • Greene Street United Methodist Church Food Pantry
  • The Little Kinger Fund of The Piqua Community Foundation
  • MainStreet Piqua
  • Miami County Dental Clinic
  • Miami County YMCA
  • Piqua Arts Council
  • Piqua Area Chamber Foundation for The Garden Tribe Schoolyard Garden
  • Piqua Civic Band
  • Protecting Our Water Ways
  • Salvation Army for the needs bank and summer feeding program
  • YWCA Piqua
  • Young Life of the Upper Miami Valley

“Thank you to Mr. Donnelly and the Donnelly Advised Committee for this grant award,” said Stephanie Silk, executive director of Miami County Dental Clinic. “This generous gift allows us to fulfill our mission of providing quality dental care and oral health education in a safe, compassionate and accessible environment to low-income, uninsured and under-insured patients.”

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

Grants

Foundation grants $196,500 from unrestricted fund, launches online giving

The Piqua Community Foundation distributed more than $196,500 in grants from its unrestricted fund in 2020, all supporting nonprofits that serve Piqua residents. As The Foundation conducts its annual giving campaign that builds its unrestricted fund to offer these grants, it has launched its online giving platform to accept donations via credit card or bank account draft.

Through The Foundation’s twice-annual application cycle, the Distribution Committee and Board of Directors approved $45,864 in spring grants and $55,843 in fall grants. Additionally, The Foundation distributed more than $94,800 in grants through the Piqua Emergency Response Fund, a special project started in spring 2020 to support nonprofits in their COVID-19 relief efforts.

These distributions are on top of the sizable donations made through donor-directed funds at The Foundation.

“We are proud of the impact of our unrestricted funds this year and the rapid response we’ve been able to provide as we support local nonprofit organizations through our emergency grants,” said Executive Director Michelle Perry. “We are now able to accept gifts through our website to bolster our unrestricted fund so that we can continue to provide these timely and needed grants in the Piqua community. We hope that this added option for making a gift will allow our donors to choose the method that works best for them.”

Read about The Foundation’s grant programs and 2020 recipient organizations by visiting piquacommunityfoundation.org/grants. To make a gift to The Foundation’s unrestricted fund as part of the annual giving campaign or in memory of a loved one, click HERE. Contributions may also be made by mailing a check to P.O. Box 226, Piqua, OH 45356.

The Piqua Community Foundation distributed more than $196,500 in grants from its unrestricted fund in 2020. As The Foundation solicits annual gifts to build its unrestricted fund, it has launched its online giving platform to allow donors to contribute in the way that works best for them. Pictured, Jim Sever, left, and Randi Pearson, right, co-chairs of The Foundation’s Distribution Committee and Foundation board members, present Jordan Knepper, executive director of the Piqua Arts Council, with a grant award in November.

Board of Directors welcomes new member

The Piqua Community Foundation Life Trustees elected Beth H. Kazer to fill a Board of Directors seat vacated mid-term at the annual meeting on November 10.
Her service on the board began immediately and continues through December 31, 2022.
Beth Kazer was born and raised in Piqua and obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in education from DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana. Following graduation in 1981, she returned to Piqua where she held a long-term substitute position at Favorite Hill prior to accepting a first-grade teaching position at Washington Elementary.
The following year, her husband’s career forced a relocation away from Piqua in what became a journey that led to nine additional moves before she and her husband, Phil, returned to the area in 2016. During her time away, Beth taught at both the primary and intermediate levels before devoting her energies to raising three children, all of whom were born in three different states. She also dedicated her time towards numerous volunteer efforts that largely centered around improving the educational experience for underprivileged youth and other community service programming to aid those in need.
Since returning to Piqua, Beth has continued to be part of community outreach programs through Westminster Presbyterian Church and through her involvement on the Piqua Beautification Committee. She most recently fulfilled a longtime desire to renovate old homes and along with a partner, successfully refurbished two homes, both of which received Residence Pride Award recognition by the City of Piqua. Beth also enjoys playing golf and tennis and spending time at the Piqua Community Garden at Pitsenbarger Park.
In addition, the board re-elected five incumbent directors and elected one new director (identified with an asterisk) who will serve three-year terms from January 1, 2021 to December 31, 2023:
  • Mimi A. Crawford
  • Spencer K. Peltier*
  • Gail B. Peterson
  • Jim Sever
  • Emily E. Shawler
  • Steven K. Staley
See the full Piqua Community Foundation Board of Directors list here:

Our Board

Foundation honors retiring board member

The Piqua Community Foundation Life Trustees recognized retiring Board of Director member Cheryl L. Burkhardt at the organization’s annual meeting on November 10.
Here, Board President Steve Staley recognizes Cheryl’s 22 years of service, including two years as the board’s president, with a plaque at the Piqua Country Club.
Cheryl has served on the board since 1999. She is a past president and vice president for the organization.
Her board service will conclude on December 31, 2020.
See the full Piqua Community Foundation Board of Directors list here:

Piqua Community Foundation awards more than $55,000 in fall grant cycle

The Piqua Community Foundation awarded $55,843 to 17 organizations that serve Piqua residents this month.

The distribution is part of The Foundation’s twice-annual mini and 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 2020 fall standard and mini grants are:

  • American Red Cross – Fire alarm installation in Piqua homes
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters Miami Valley – Matching Piqua youth with mentors
  • Boy Scouts of America, Miami Valley Chapter – Registration assistance program for Piqua youth
  • Brukner Nature Center – Owl Extraordinaire science program
  • Dayton Performing Arts Alliance – Art explorer streams at Piqua schools
  • Family Abuse Shelter of Miami County – Shelter expansion project
  • Forest Hill Cemetery & Arboretum – New entrance sign lettering and lighting
  • His Hands Extended Sanctuary – Trap, neuter and return program in Piqua
  • Lehman Catholic High School – Individual learning styles professional development
  • Lehman Catholic High School – Computer lab equipment for chemistry students
  • Operation Venture & Caregiver Support – Reusable bags for events and resource-sharing
  • Piqua Arts Council – Production of local concert videos
  • Piqua Catholic School – Interactive white board
  • Piqua City Schools – PHS – Bins for National Honor Society recycling program
  • Piqua City Schools – PHS – National Honor Society little pantry project
  • Piqua City Schools – PJHS – Social-emotional resource library
  • RT Industries – Vehicles for services for adults with developmental disabilities

Some grant requests represented changes to service delivery models as nonprofit organizations are responsive to regulations during the pandemic. One example is grant recipient RT Industries, a nonprofit charged with serving adults with developmental disabilities.

“Thank you to The Piqua Community Foundation for approving our grant proposal to purchase smaller vehicles for our fleet,” said Ashley Brocious, chief executive officer of RT Industries. “Due to the pandemic and our desire to provide community-based services to smaller groups, RT Industries has chosen to shift away from larger vehicles. We appreciate the support within our community!”

Due to current restrictions on gatherings, The Foundation opted to make individual grant check deliveries rather than invite grant recipients to The Foundation’s annual meeting, as it typically does. Committee members and staff delivered the awards November 9 to many of the recipient organizations. The remainder of awards were mailed.

Delivering awards in person gave The Foundation’s Distribution Committee members the opportunity to meet recipients at their location. For instance, one stop included a tour of the expansion project for the Family Abuse Shelter of Miami County. Another included meeting the National Honor Society (NHS) students who are tackling recycling bin and a little pantry projects.

“Thank you again from the bottom of my heart for your extremely generous contribution to the creation of this project,” said Lexi Gastelu, Piqua High School senior and NHS vice president. “I can’t wait to get started on it, and I can already tell it will make a massive difference in the lives of many people in the city of Piqua. Seeing it come to fruition is a dream come true, and I just know it will be successful even if it only helps one person.”

The next grant cycle has a March 15 deadline for mini grants and March 30 deadline for standard grants. To learn more about the grant and scholarship programs of The Piqua Community Foundation, visit piquacommunityfoundation.org.

Foundation hiring executive assistant

The Piqua Community Foundation announces the opening of a part-time executive assistant position and is soliciting applications from qualified candidates. The Piqua Community Foundation encourages charitable giving to benefit the citizens of Piqua and provides a variety of methods for donors to help fulfill their charitable giving wishes.

Under the direction of The Piqua Community Foundation executive director, the executive assistant is responsible for assisting with the organization’s day-to-day operations, long-term projects and special events. This position offers a professional opportunity to serve the Piqua community while enjoying a flexible and fun work environment.

Learn more about the position and how to apply here.

Piqua Community Foundation awards $54,500 in G. William Hartzell Community Grants

The Piqua Community Foundation on Wednesday awarded G. William Hartzell Community Grants totaling $54,500 to 20 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 serves the organization’s needs.

Leesa Baker, executive director of YWCA Piqua, said that having known Bill Hartzell and his heart for the community makes this award particularly special. The way this community grant program is structured — to fund operational costs instead of project-specific expenses like many grant programs — is “so Bill Hartzell,” she said.

“This grant program is down-to-earth and offers much-needed funds that keep nonprofits running,” Baker said. “Bill Hartzell understood and appreciated that. We will keep him and his family in the forefront of our minds as we utilize these funds to serve the Piqua community as he did for so long.”

The organizations receiving 2020 G. William Hartzell Community Grants are:

  • American Red Cross
  • Bruckner Nature Center
  • Eagles’ Wings Stable, Inc.
  • Elizabeth’s New Life Center
  • Family Abuse Shelter of Miami County, Inc.
  • Friends of MainStreet Piqua
  • Friends of the Piqua Parks
  • Greene Street United Methodist Church Food Pantry
  • Health Partners Free Clinic
  • Johnston Farm Friends Council
  • Meals on Wheels of Piqua, Inc.
  • Miami County Dental Clinic
  • Miami County YMCA
  • New Creation Counseling Center
  • Piqua Area Chamber Foundation
  • Piqua Arts Council
  • Piqua Compassion Network
  • Rehabilitation Center Neurological Development
  • Young Life of the Upper Miami Valley
  • YWCA Piqua

Due to current restrictions on gatherings, The Foundation opted to make individual grant check deliveries rather than host its typical group event. Committee members and staff delivered the awards Wednesday to the recipient organizations.

Barbara Hartzell, fund committee member, participated in the grant deliveries and reflected on her late husband’s commitment to the Piqua community.

“Bill was always so supportive of Piqua,” she said. “The town was very important to him, and that tradition carries on in these awards.”

Click here to learn more about the G. William Hartzell Charitable Fund.

 

Pictured above:

First photo: From left to right, are Barbara Hartzell, committee member; Karen Wendeln, committee member and retired Foundation executive director; Leesa Baker, YWCA Piqua executive director; Randi Pearson, committee chairman; Erica Ernst Claypool, Foundation administrator of grants & scholarships; and Michelle Perry, Foundation executive director

Second photo: Carla Bertke, in black, executive director of the Rehabilitation Center for Neurological Development, visits with members of the G. William Hartzell Charitable Fund committee

Foundation’s emergency fund supports COVID-19 response

This spring, as nonprofit organizations serving Piqua residents faced the COVID-19 virus outbreak, The Piqua Community Foundation released the Piqua Emergency Response Fund to support agencies serving the immediate health care, financial and human services needs created by this outbreak.

The Foundation’s Board of Directors committed $50,000 from its unrestricted monies toward the fund and received $14,800 in contributions from individuals and businesses to expand the breadth and depth of the fund’s reach.

To date, The Foundation has dispersed $53,314 to the following 14 nonprofit organizations serving Piqua residents with unique virus outbreak needs:

  • Bethany Center — Food bank distributions
  • Brukner Nature Center — Equipment for additional trail maintenance due to increased usage
  • Catholic Social Services of the Miami Valley — Food, utility and supply stipends
  • Child Care Choices — Sanitizing products for child care programs
  • Council on Rural Service Programs, Inc. — Textbooks to facilitate remote learning
  • Friends of MainStreet Piqua — Signage and protective gear for Piqua Community Farmers Market
  • Greene Street Daycare and Preschool — Portable hand-washing stations for classroom and playground
  • Health Partners Free Clinic — Telehealth delivery hardware and software upgrades
  • Miami County Dental Clinic — Personal protective equipment for staff
  • Piqua Area Chamber Foundation — Signage for businesses deemed safe to enter
  • Piqua City Schools — Gifts for graduates from Piqua High School and Lehman Catholic High School
  • Piqua Compassion Network — Food, utility and job-hunting support and family activity and hygiene bags
  • Piqua Parents as Teachers — Family craft activity bags
  • Salvation Army — Rent, utility, fuel and prescription assistance

Additional funding for emergency funds may be distributed by the fund’s committee on a case-by-case basis as the impacts of the pandemic continue.

For more information about the Emergency Response Fund, visit piquacommunityfoundation.org or email incoming executive director Michelle Perry at michelle@piquacommunityfoundation.org.

Pictured above: Patti Adams, advanced practice nursing student, Health Partners Free Clinic, works with new Telehealth software purchased with a Foundation Emergency Response Fund grant.

 

Massa Scholarship Fund established for STEM students

 

 

 

The Piqua Community Foundation is proud to announce the establishment of the Don J. Massa and Lois V. Massa Scholarship Fund. This designated fund will provide a college scholarship each year for a graduating senior from Piqua High School who will be majoring in a STEM – science, technology, engineering or mathematics – field.

The Massas have been well known as generous and involved residents of the Piqua community for many years. Mr. Massa originally came to Piqua to fill a management position at Jackson Tube Service in Piqua where he spent many productive years. He and his late wife, Lois, loved to travel and were active volunteers in local organizations such as the United Way, the Scouts, and the PTA. Their family includes three grown children and numerous grandchildren.

The Massa scholarship program will be administered through the Piqua Education Foundation, with the first scholarship being awarded in 2021. For additional information on scholarships please visit our SCHOLARSHIP PAGE or contact Administrator of Grants and Scholarships Erica Ernst Claypool at erica@piquacommunityfoundation.org.

Have you ever thought about establishing a scholarship in honor or in memory of a loved one? To learn about starting a fund in The Foundation that would help future students, please contact Michelle Perry at michelle@piquacommunityfoundation.org.

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