COLUMBIA CITY – The Whitley County Community Foundation awarded one of its largest grants ever Monday afternoon.
Passages, Inc. was awarded $100,000 to convert the former Lehmberg Medical Building on North Oak Street into a state-of-the-art Creative Learning Center designed to provide optimal services to Passages’ clients.
“Thanks to the generosity of local donors who have grown the Greater Good Fund over the years, the Whitley County Community Foundation has made one of the largest grants in the organization’s 20-year history,” according to September McConnell, executive director of WCCF.
“Members of the Community Foundation’s Board, Grants Committee and staff, recognize the substantial contribution Passages makes by serving Whitley County individuals and families affected by a disability,” McConnell said. “We salute the evolution of care that has unfolded since the organization’s inception 57 years ago and look forward to partnering with Passages as they work toward meeting the current and future challenges of their clients.”
McConnell emphasized an important aspect of the monetary award. “It’s important to note that while this grant is made through the Foundation, the original gifts have come from Whitley County residents who made contributions to the Foundation’s Greater Good Fund, directing the money where it is most needed.”
In addition to the $100,000 award to Passages, the Whitley County Community Foundation was able to help 21 additional non-profits during the December grant-making session.
These grants include:
•Cancer Services of Northeast Indiana – $5,000 to continue the support of their services to people in Whitley County with cancer. This grant was made possible by the Shirley Ann Gates Fund and the Whitley County Cancer Care Endowment Fund.
• Community Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Indiana – $5,000 to fund the Farm Wagon Program in Whitley County. Funded in part by the Ferber Family Fund.
•TROY Center (formerly Youth Improvement Center) – $5,000 toward the costs of replacing their heating and lighting systems.
•Whitley County Literacy Council – $5,000 to help provide services to low-income students.
•Whitley County Energy Assistance Fund – $4,000 for utility assistance to low-income individuals. Funded in part by the Sherman W. & Marjorie M. Kneller Fund.
•Right Relations – $4,000 toward the costs of providing their Family Enrichment Series to Whitley County residents.
•Helpline of Whitley County – $3,500 to augment their Direct Emergency Fund.
•Eagle Quest/Salvation Army – $2,000 toward purchasing food for Christmas meals.
•Churubusco United Methodist Church Nursery School – $1,500 for scholarship assistance for struggling families. This grant was made possible by the Dekko Childcare Enhancement Endowment Fund.
•Turning Point Church – $500 toward Tabitha’s Closet, a non-food pantry for hygiene items. This grant was made possible by the Theodore A. Schultz Fund.
•Local Food Banks – $5,500. Ten area local food pantries will each be granted $500 toward food purchases.
The Whitley County Community Foundation is a public charity serving the needs of Whitley County.
All grant applications were reviewed by volunteer members of the Foundation’s Grants Committee and recommendations were approved by the Community Foundation’s Board of Directors. For additional information about giving through the Whitley County Community Foundation, visit our website at www.whitleycountycommunityfoundation.org  or give us a call at (260)244-5224.