When I first ventured into the Youth Center for a school dance as a 7th grader, no one had any idea that the building eventually would belong to the Community Foundation of White County – and I certainly had no idea that I would spend 18+ years of my life working from a desk within its walls!
In 2004, I had been working for the American Cancer Society doing legislative and community development work in Indianapolis and Lafayette when I learned that Connie Neininger, Director of the Community Foundation, was moving to Arizona. Several people encouraged me to apply, and though I knew about the Foundation and had been part of very early discussions through my service on the United Way board, I wasn’t certain I could measure up to the expectations. Connie had done such a phenomenal job launching our Foundation, and the thought of following in her footsteps was more than a little bit intimidating.
I remember the first day I walked into the Foundation office. Connie, being her gracious, loving self, welcomed me with open arms and assured me she was there to help in any way I needed and that I would come to truly treasure the community foundation field. She was so very right: throughout the field, community foundations are staffed by people committed to serving their donors and communities with joyful, servant hearts, absolute commitment to excellence, and an open mind to ever-expanding opportunities. Truly, some of the most giving, inspiring people I’ve ever met have been through my association with the Community Foundation.
I cannot thank you enough for all the encouragement and support you have provided during my years with CFWC. Much more important than the personal support I’ve experienced, however, is your support of our White County community through your gifts of time, talent, and treasure—strengthening and transforming our community every day in ways that that truly build a stronger community. It’s no secret that White County is a very special place, and you are an important part of that story! Thank you for allowing me to be part of yours.
I truly believe in our Community Foundation and this community and will continue to serve in every way I can. Thank you for your trust in the Community Foundation of White County and for allowing me to walk beside you in your journey of charitable giving and service. You are the one who makes our mission not only important, but possible.
I leave you with one of my favorite quotes from cultural anthropologist Margaret Mead: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful citizens can change the world: indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”