HCCF receives, distributes millions
The Corydon Democrat continues its new feature for this year, ‘Top 26 of 2006,’ that takes a look at 26 people, places or things that our readers suggested make Harrison County a great place to live or work. The remaining 10 stories will be published before the end of the year.
What started as a $5 million gift from Harrison County’s gambling riverboat has grown into a financial resource that has aided numerous projects and programs.
The Harrison County Community Foundation was established in 1996 by the county’s board of commissioners to handle that initial donation made by Caesars World as part of its agreement to open a gaming boat in the southern part of the county.
Since its inception, individuals ‘ some publicly and some anonymously ‘ have made contributions to the Foundation for special endowments.
Steve Gilliland, who was hired in early 1999, is the executive director of the Harrison County Community Foundation. His duties also include assisting and advising grant applicants, fund-raising and helping donors create endowments and scholarships.
To date, the HCCF has awarded $16.2 million. The grants can be divided into the following categories: arts, community projects, education, health and safety, human services, recreation and scholarships.
Grants are awarded twice a year to groups and organizations with tax-exempt status. Their applications are scrutinized by a committee that determines who gets funding, and how much they get.
Earlier this year, the HCCF awarded nearly $376,000 to 18 non-profit groups. This week, the Foundation announced that it’s awarding $411,819 in its fall round of grants.
Foundation staff besides Gilliland include executive assistant Julie Timberlake, who was hired in February 2001. She is responsible for grants and scholarship administration, in addition to being available to assist with grant applications. Vicky Elmore, the administrative assistant, was hired in March 2004 to handle donations, accounts payable and general office management.
Currently serving on the board of directors are Jane Kraft, president; Qudsia Davis, vice president; Norbert Rawert, secretary; Joel Voyles, treasurer; Paul Beckort, Joyce Bliss, Dr. Stephen Bodney, Chris Byrd, Brian Churchill, Deborah Coleman, Judy Hess, Donna Lloyd-Black, Charles Lynch, Gordon Pendleton, Maryland Austin Scharf, Peter J. Schickel, Sandy Sherman, Mark Shireman, Bill Thomas, Dale Watson and H. Lloyd (Tad) Whitis.
In 2004, an advisory council was created to help get more people involved in the decision-making process and to recruit Foundation board members. Current members of the advisory council are Linda Burnham, Gary Geswein, Denise Harbeson, Bette Harper, Pam Bennett Martin, Larry Schmelz, Bill Taylor, Patricia Timberlake and Douglas York.
Since its inception the HCCF has been in four different office spaces, moving as its need for additional room has grown, that it rents in the Harrison Center in downtown Corydon. By the end of the year, the Foundation will be in its own headquarters, which are under construction near Governor Frank O’Bannon Park.
The 5,000-square-foot building, designed by Michell Timperman Ritz Architects in New Albany will have a conference room, complete with a kitchenette, that can accommodate up to 70 people in a theater-seating arrangement that will be available for use by other non-profit groups. The building is projected to cost $900,000.
For more information about the Harrison County Community Foundation, call 738-6668 or visit its Web site at www.hccfindiana.org.