The Scott and Margaret Hinsch Community Service Awards 2020

On May 26, 2020, The Piqua Community Foundation presented two local volunteers with the Margaret W. Hinsch and Scott J. Hinsch Community Service Awards. Jim Robinson, a volunteer for the Piqua Area Chamber Foundation, and Catherine “Cathy” Large, a volunteer for the Bethany Center, received the awards in surprise presentations at their respective volunteer locations.

The recipients received an engraved glass plaque to commemorate the occasion, and each nominating nonprofit agency received a $1,000 unrestricted grant from the Hinsch Family Fund of The Piqua Community Foundation, in recognition of that outstanding volunteer.

John Hinsch, son of the late Margaret and Scott Hinsch, joined the presentations in honor of his parents, and their legacy of service to the Piqua community. He also represented his wife, Marsha, and his sister, Dr. Linda Hinsch Campbell, who were unable to attend the presentations.

The Hinsch awards are offered annually to one male and one female volunteer. The awards are unique because the honorees are selected based on activities done on behalf of one organization during one specific calendar year, in this case 2019. The presentations are typically held during a regularly scheduled event but were organized as surprise drop-ins due to public gathering regulations currently in place.

Cathy Large of The Bethany Center (pictured above) was awarded the Margaret W. Hinsch Award. With Cathy are Piqua Community Foundation incoming executive director, Michelle Perry, retiring executive director, Karen Wendeln, John Hinsch, Cathy Large, Wilma Earls and Jim Stammen of The Bethany Center.

Wilma Earls, director of the Bethany Center, nominated Large for the award as she offered leadership to the organization during Earls’ medical leave last year. The Bethany Center serves the community by offering free lunches, food and clothing banks and other services.

“In an organization like this one, it is so important to have someone who can take over the reins if something happens to the director, and the Bethany Center is now sure that Cathy could do that because she has,” Earls wrote in her nomination form. “She gives stability to the organization moving forward, which is a comfort to donors and those served.”

Kathy Sherman, president of the Piqua Area Chamber Foundation, nominated Jim Robinson for the Scott J. Hinsch Award for his tireless effort to keep the grounds of Veterans’ Memorial Park, at the intersection of Washington Avenue and State Route 66, adjacent to Forest Hill Cemetery.

Sherman wrote in her nomination form that Robinson “painstakingly goes around the entire monument” weeding, pruning and cleaning.

“The monument is one of the most beautiful sites to behold in the City of Piqua and is a wonderful entrance into our fine city,” Sherman wrote. “It truly is a testament to Jim’s desire to have this site remain a place of honor due to his hard work and back-breaking volunteer hours that we can say that we, as citizens of our community, have a wonderful memorial to pay tribute to our veterans all because of this amazing individual and wonderful volunteer.”

To watch livestream videos from the awards presentations, visit the Piqua Community Foundation-Cakes for a Cause Facebook page or click HERE for Jim’s or HERE for Cathy’s. For more information about the Piqua Community Foundation and the Margaret W. Hinsch and Scott J. Hinsch Community Service Awards, click HERE.

Jim Robinson received the Scott J. Hinsch Community Service Award at the city’s Veterans’ Memorial. Pictured, left to right, are The Foundation’s incoming executive director, Michelle Perry, retiring executive director, Karen Wendeln, Jim Robinson, John Hinsch, and Piqua Area Chamber Foundation executive Kathy Sherman.

Funds are still available!

The Piqua Emergency Response was established by The Foundation in April to support nonprofit organizations serving the unique needs of the Piqua community in the midst of the COVID-19 virus outbreak.

The Foundation committed $50,000 to the emergency fund and accepted an additional $14,800 in contributions from local individuals and businesses. Nonprofit organizations serving Piqua residents have received 16 grants for a total of more than $51,000 for emergency response activities. The services supported include telehealth care for remote medical attention, increased personal protective equipment for staff and volunteers, and direct stipends to local residents for food, fuel, utility and rent assistance.

As of July 1, funds remain in the account, and applications will continue to be accepted until money is expended.

The grant guidelines and application can be found HERE.

For more information, email Executive Director Michelle Perry at

Foundation Office Re-opens


The Piqua Community Foundation office has re-opened in accordance with the Stay Safe Ohio guidelines. Our staff will continue to work from home when possible and will be meeting with people by appointment only. If you wish to make an appointment, please email Erica Claypool at, Michelle Perry at or Karen Wendeln at

We are observing physical distancing and ask that you wear a cloth mask. Please cancel the appointment if you have a fever or are feeling ill. Thank you for your consideration!

Piqua Community Foundation Forms Emergency Response Fund

The Piqua Community Foundation announced on April 8 the creation of the Piqua Emergency Response Fund to support nonprofit organizations serving the unique needs of the Piqua community in the midst of the COVID-19 virus outbreak.

The Foundation is committing $50,000 from its unrestricted monies toward the fund, and invites individuals, businesses and not-for-profits to contribute to the fund to expand the breadth and depth of its reach.

“We understand that our nonprofit community is serving the immediate health care, financial and human services needs created by this outbreak and are poised to support the organizations on the frontline of the response,” said Steve Staley, president of The Piqua Community Foundation Board of Directors. “We encourage those involved with organizations serving our community to contact us about their COVID-19 service expenses and discuss how we can help.”

Funds are available to 501(c)3 or equivalent organizations that serve the residents of Piqua, Ohio, and not for individuals directly. Organizations may apply for these funds outside of the twice-annual standard grants’ guidelines and in addition to current spring cycle requests.

“We anticipate that grant awards will be made up to $5,000 per qualified organization. However, we will consider requests of larger amounts to serve an exceptionally large population or support multiple nonprofit organizations working cooperatively,” said Michelle Perry, incoming executive director of The Piqua Community Foundation. “We do want to note that while organizations are undoubtedly feeling the strain of pandemic consequences, The Foundation is focused on funding direct support services related to the outbreak and not to organization’s operational losses.”

Simple grant applications, available HERE will be reviewed by the Piqua Emergency Response Fund committee, and awards will be made on a rolling basis upon review and approval by the committee. Allocations will continue until June 1, 2020, or until money is expended, whichever comes first. Grant distributions will be made as soon as approved by the emergency grant committee to allow for immediate assistance.

Charitable donations to the Piqua Emergency Response Fund may be sent to P.O. Box 226, Piqua, OH 45356 with “emergency fund” in the memo line. For specific questions about the Emergency Response Fund, email incoming executive director Michelle Perry at

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).

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