Hundreds of Hamilton County residents gathered Nov. 7 at Ritz Charles to honor three community leaders and hear an update from the Hamilton County Community Foundation at the annual Celebration of Philanthropy.
HCCF presented Community Pillar Awards to Fishers Mayor Scott Fadness, Shepherd’s Center of Hamilton County Executive Director Lauren Guynn and Dan Clark, Ivy Tech Community College Hamilton County campus president. Each recipient selected a nonprofit to receive a $5,000 grant.
Fadness, who was honored for his work in addressing mental health issues, selected the Youth Mentoring Initiative to receive the grant funds. For the last several years, Fadness has been working with other city departments and organizations to improve mental health resources and response in Fishers.
“I can honestly say with all the buildings we’ve built and all the exciting economic development announcements, there has been nothing as rewarding, challenging and humbling as the effort to give a voice to those who are living in quiet despair in our City of Fishers,” Fadness said.
Guynn directed her $5,000 grant to Hamilton County Area Neighborhood Development, which will partner with Shepherd’s Center to provide home maintenance and repairs for area seniors. She was recognized for her work empowering families.
“The aging population is quickly becoming the fastest growing population in our community,” Guynn said. “We believe everyone in Hamilton County, regardless of their age, deserves a great-quality second half of life.”
Clark, honored for promoting inclusive economic growth, awarded his grant to Good Samaritan Network, which will partner with Ivy Tech on a workforce development project that includes education and training linked to a web-based directory.
“Higher education and workforce training are a maze. We’re going to untie the knots in the maze and make that information available as soon as those people need it,” said Clark, adding that the information will be translated into as many languages as possible.
After presenting the awards, HCCF President Tom Kilian announced a campaign to raise $1 million for the unrestricted endowment for Hamilton County by Dec. 31, 2020. If the goal is met, Lilly Endowment will match it two to one, leading to an increase of $150,000 available each year for community grants.
Other new HCCF initiatives include a feasibility study for a nonprofit innovation center and a social impact investment business line.
To learn more or make a donation, visit HamiltonCountyCommunityFoundation.org/give.