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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

YPC Wrap Up

On May 13th, 2024, the Community Foundation of White County proudly celebrated the accomplishments of the second cohort of its Youth Philanthropy Council (YPC) with a dinner and awards ceremony held at the Historic Reynolds School. The event was a joyous occasion, highlighting the hard work and dedication of the YPC members over the past year.

A Night of Gratitude and Inspiration

Aiden Vrotny, YPC President, opened the evening with a warm welcome and expressions of gratitude to all attendees, the Historic Reynolds School for hosting the event, and Monon Meats for providing the delicious food. Aiden introduced the keynote speaker, Leslie Wineland Goss, former executive director of the Community Foundation, who shared her vision for youth philanthropy and the importance of building the next generation of philanthropists. Leslie shared, “In truth, your presence on our community foundation’s Youth Philanthropy Council says a lot about you. It says that you see something bigger than yourself. It says you are willing to take a risk -- possibly venturing into unknown or uncomfortable territory. It says that you believe it’s possible to make a positive difference – for someone or something – whether by yourself or teamed up with other people who may feel the same way.”

Empowering Young Leaders

YPC Vice President, Vera Hindi, provided an overview of the YPC, explaining its mission to lead, volunteer, empower, and support White County through grant-making. She introduced the leadership team and emphasized the council's success in awarding $30,000 in grants since its inception in January 2023. Vera highlighted how these grants have positively impacted various school corporations and communities within White County.

Recognizing Impact and Dedication

Throughout the evening, special awards were presented to teachers and students for their exceptional contributions. The YPC Impact Awards, voted on by YPC members, recognized teachers with inspiring grant projects:

Cassie Terry from Frontier for "STEM Building Opportunities in the Elementary School"

Mitchell Coffing from Twin Lakes for the "Snack Shack" project

JR Haskins from Tri-County for the "Backpack Program"

David Reif from North White for "Engineering in Elementary"

Building a Legacy

Diego Diaz Romero from the YPC Fundraising Committee announced the YPC’s intention to build an endowment that could sustain the program forever. Originally funded by a Wabash Heartland Innovation Network grant, the Foundation is committed to continuing this program beyond the two-year granting period to building the next generation of philanthropists and leaders. Diego announced a significant matching opportunity provided by Lilly Endowment Inc. and donors Dave & Debbie Shook to build a YPC Endowment. If the YPC members raise $20,000, the endowment will grow to $120,000, ensuring continued support for future YPC initiatives.

Honoring Graduating Seniors

Dave Shook, a mentor for the YPC, honored the graduating seniors, recognizing their contributions and commitment to community service. The seniors celebrated were:

Addison Douglas

Aiden Vrotny

Braylon Gretencord

Charli McMillan

Diego Diaz Romero

Emily Cardoza

Jasmine Durando

Katie Pinkerton

Nolan Roeske

Rhyan Strange

Ryleigh Metzinger

Scottie Unger

Taylor Burns

Vera Hindi

Special Awards

Jim Annis, another YPC mentor, presented the following special awards, voted by YPC members and mentors:

Student Choice Award: Vera Hindi

Community Champion Award: Taylor Burns

Team Spirit Award: Scottie Unger

Rising Star Award: Lorelai Miller & Griffin Hornung

Heart of Philanthropy Award: Vera Hindi

Creative Excellence Award: Charli McMillan

Closing Remarks

Genevieve Stroetz, YPC Secretary, closed the evening by thanking everyone for their support and celebrating the achievements of the YPC. She acknowledged the hard work of the council members and the positive impact they have had on the community. What’s next for the YPC? In addition to bringing on new members, the Youth Philanthropy Council will be out in the community this summer beginning their fundraising efforts to sustain the program. The Community Foundation of White County is immensely proud of the YPC and looks forward to the continued success of these young philanthropists in making a lasting difference.

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