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May 3, 2016 • Headline News
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UPDATED BY MARIA SIEVERDING MAY 3, 2016 11:30 A.M.


Making a difference
Grants geared for children, women

Mary Mattingly
EDITOR
mmattingly@ripleynews.com

“Everyone can make a difference,” and many Ripley County women did by attending the 13th annual Ripley County Community Foundation fundraising luncheon at RomWeber Marketplace. That was the theme of the Women in Philanthropy luncheon April 27. The 190 women put their belief into action and helped raise over $6700 for the Linda S. Phaneuf Women’s Endowment fund through direct contributions, a silent auction and raffle. (Phaneuf, who was present, is a member of the committee now after retiring from the Ripley County Community Foundation in 2014. )

Deanna YoungMARY MATTINGLY PHOTO
Deanna Young of Napoleon, pictured left, was the keynote speaker and said this theme had special meaning to her after a personal experience. She’s tried to make a difference to someone every day, and inspire others to do the same through frequent talks at churches and other special events. “How many times have you heard ‘It’s the thought that counts.’ But it’s not really. It’s the action behind the thought,” she said. We often have caring thoughts and wonderful ideas, but don’t carry through with them. How impressed would you be if someone said I thought about sending you a get well card, or taking you out for your birthday, but didn’t.

She suggested bestowing such kindness on others with simple acts, such as giving a flower, card, gift certificate, and even a cup of coffee for a co-worker to make a difference, to put a smile on someone’s face. “Just think how it would make you feel if that kindness was done for you.” She speaks from experience. The Hill-Rom employee is the founder of Bucket Buddies, which was created in honor of her sister, who passed away in 2014 from cancer. The buckets are filled with goodies for hospitalized children with cancer or other life-threatening diseases. Initially, she and her friends filled a few buckets that were passed out at Riley’s Children’s Hospital and then St. Jude in Tennessee. She felt fortunate that her sister was able to see her “Bucket” idea come true before she passed away. “Over 2200 buckets in 14 states, plus Canada have been distributed, and we now have a request for Europe,” Young said. It’s through donations from RCCF grants, 4-H, and other groups and individuals that have helped grow the bucket program. “It takes a village of people to make a difference,” Young commented, thanking the people who have helped.

The women at the annual luncheon were able to bestow such kindness on two local organizations. Five non-profit groups were up for the Linda Phaneuf Women’s Endowment fund. The only criteria is that the project focus on either women or children. Three of the projects included a community Vacation Bible School by Osgood area churches, a media awareness program by the Ripley County Health Dept. to encourage HPV vaccinations, and a weeklong children’s theatre camp by the Rural Alliance for the Arts; however, the winner of the $1,500 grant was a project by the Southeastern Indiana YMCA to provide free membership for every 6th grader in Ripley County. The idea is to give students an opportunity to hang out with friends in a safe place where they can exercise and gain confidence.

The Rust Messer Investment Group presented a matching grant of $2,000 to RCCF , and if $750 was raised, the RCCF could provide a 2nd award. Amy Streator, executive director of the RCCF, announced just after lunch was served that the money was raised, and therefore $500 would be given to the second place winner, Sunman Tiger PAWS. The funds will be used for a rubber surface at the Sunman Elementary, making it safer and available to handicap students. Last year’s recipient, Safe Passage, the domestic violence shelter in Batesville that serves six counties, was on hand to explain how they used the grant. The $1,500 funds provided wall-inspiring art and message boards for the shelter bedrooms and area, and uplifting music, wellness and education character-building videos to support women and the 100 plus children living in the shelter each year on their journey. Another highlight of the luncheon was the raffle. About 50 items were donated by local merchants and individuals to be raffled, and a silent auction was also held with 54 items donated. All proceeds support RCCF programs. The balance for the women’s philanthropy fund remains around $46,000.
The luncheon was made possible with the help of 20 local partners and 17 sponsors.


Local Bulletin Board

Deadline: June 10
Entries for farm award
Indiana Landmarks and Indiana Farm Bureau welcome nominations for the 2016 John Arnold Award for Rural Preservation. The award recognizes the preservation and continued agricultural use of historic farm buildings in Indiana. Anyone, including farm owners, can submit a nomination for the Arnold Award. Read rules and more details on page 2 of the Osgood Journal dated May 3.

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