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Community Foundation of White County

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There’s always something happening at your community foundation – and we’re always delighted to share good news about our wonderful community!

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  • Writer's pictureLucy Dold

A Commitment to Youth: The Calvert Youth Center

"A house is made of bricks and beams. A home is made of hopes and dreams." - Unknown

For your Community Foundation, the Calvert Youth Center is home. If you haven’t made the visit to our office, you may not realize the awesome history behind the building. At the five points corner of the Monticello Christian Church, Monticello City Park, and the Main Street Station, you’ll find our little yellow building nestled into the corner of the intersection. Built in 1949, the building originally stood as The Hickory House Restaurant featuring knotty pine walls, a brick enclosed barbeque pit, and “beautiful views of Lake Freeman.” Still today in the entryway, we have an original table with chairs from the restaurant, and if you stand in our copy room long enough (the old firepit), you can still faintly smell smoked meat.

In 1954, Mr. and Mrs. Dale Calvert established the Community Youth Center, Inc., the purpose of which “shall be to advance the civic, social, and moral welfare of youth living in Monticello, Indiana and in the territory tributary thereto by providing wholesome and constructive recreational opportunities and this important project for the benefit of the youth of the community.”

The Calvert Community Youth Center served the community for many years as the place to go after every sporting event. Additionally, local groups held their sock hop dances at the center, school clubs utilized the space, as well as other youth serving organizations, building a community-wide gathering spot for local teens.

Those who now visit the Foundation office often reminisce about the 8-tracks laid across the kitchen countertop and the pool tables in the basement, or about girls lined up along one side of the room with young boys on the other, waiting to break the ice to dance. If our walls could talk, I'm sure we would hear many stories of young love and heartbreak.

It was in 1998 that the Calvert family donated the building to the Community Foundation of Greater Lafayette to establish the newly formed Community Foundation of White County. The building has since been redesigned with offices and a conference room to empower the Foundation to complete its mission: to strengthen and transform White County by fostering charitable giving, philanthropic aspiration, and leadership.

As we continue honoring the Calvert family’s legacy, your Community Foundation is deeply committed to serving the youth of White County through various opportunities. Last year, over $154,000 in scholarships were awarded to graduating seniors to support their entry into a new educational institution—that amount doesn’t include the honored Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship which provides full tuition to one student in the county each year.

In addition to our scholarships, our grantmaking impacts the youth of our community. Over $219,000 was granted last year to support educational and youth opportunities. For instance, a Women Giving Together Grant helped send Twin Lakes Sound Wave, the competitive show choir, to an immersive music educational experience in Chicago, including professional workshops, participation in an esteemed competition, and collegiate exposure. A Mental Wellness Grant is supporting students at Sagamore Council’s Camp Buffalo by providing funding to hire a mental health specialist this summer that can provide direct support to students in need.

Outside of grantmaking, our community leadership efforts also target the youth. In January of 2023, we launched the Youth Philanthropy Council (YPC), a functioning committee of the Foundation consisting of 24 high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors that are committed to uplifting their school communities. YPC Members learn about philanthropy, gain exposure to community collaboration efforts, build leadership skills, and have a blast making a positive difference in their communities.

The YPC is responsible for creating, marketing, and making recommendations for their own YPC grants. In their inaugural year, almost $10,000 in YPC grants were awarded, including projects like bringing in flexible seating to impact mental health, the purchase of food to support backpack programs, STEM building opportunities in multiple school buildings, plus so much more.

Here at the Calvert Youth Center, while kids are no longer gathering for recreation, youth impact is born within these walls, thanks to the transformative power of community foundations. And even with our home tucked close to a roundabout construction project, our mission continues to reach, serve, and support our community. Join us supporting our kids by donating today online or reach out to Lucy Dold to learn more: (573)583-6911

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