Future Fairlawn graduates will benefit from a new scholarship created in memory of the school’s 1987 valedictorian. The Erick Richard Roush Young Memorial Scholarship Fund was established by his mother, Marilyn Young, within the Community Foundation of Shelby County.

According to his family, Erick had received numerous scholarships and his hope would be to pass on the financial benefit of these gifts to others pursuing a college education. Erick Young began his career as a medicinal chemist at Boehringer Ingelheim in Connecticut in the global research and development department where he led multidisciplinary teams in the creation and refinement of novel molecules for the purpose of discovering and developing new drugs. As a Director of External Innovation in Research Beyond Borders, he led initiatives focused in the identification and enablement of novel therapeutic mechanisms, modalities and disease indications. He later turned his attention to mentoring and advising young scientists as part of the company’s post-doctoral training program. He authored multiple scientific articles and patents in collaboration with industry and academic investigators.

“Erick’s was a lifetime of learning and giving in many, varied realms. He left a legacy of excellence for helping people live better lives. He was an invested questioner and explorer, dedicated to truth in all walks of life. His passion for music and song was driven by a deep and abiding faith in God and the joy of combining his gifts with those of others in music ministry,” said Marilyn Young.

Erick was an avid Minnesota Vikings fan from childhood and a gourmet chef. He delighted in hospitality and the many faces of family life. He died in November, 2021, following a heroic battle with brain cancer.

Gifts in memory of Erick Young are welcome at any time and in any amount. Checks may be made payable to the Community Foundation of Shelby County, with Young Scholarship noted on the memo line or an attached note. An option to donate by credit card is available on the Foundation’s website at commfoun.com.

Fairlawn seniors may apply for the $2,000 scholarship until Feb. 16 by completing the Community Foundation’s high school seniors scholarship application. The online application is available at commfoun.com in the Apply for a Scholarship section.

The Community Foundation houses 90 scholarship funds providing local college and trade school bound students with more than $300,000 in one-time and renewable awards. Since 1952, the Foundation has been helping people create meaningful, lasting impact through charitable giving that targets their favorite causes and organizations. To learn more, contact the Community Foundation at (937)497-7800.

Beginning in 2024, Houston graduating seniors will be able to apply for a Reese C. Gross Scholarship. The scholarship fund recently transferred to the Hardin-Houston Local School Foundation following the closure of a local church.

The scholarship amount was initially given through the estate of Mary Gross of Sidney in memory of her husband Reese to the Lockington United Methodist Church. Her will directed that if the church closed, scholarship assets should be transferred to the school to continue scholarship awards. The school was informed earlier this year of the Lockington church’s closure and the transfer by the West Ohio Conference of the United Methodist Church.

Applicants will be selected upon the characteristics listed in Mrs. Gross’s will, including worthiness, leadership, aptitude and scholarship. The scholarship will be administered through the Community Foundation of Shelby County, using its online application.

Reese Gross was the president of Sidney Aluminum Products at the time of his death in 1973. Mary died in 1999, leaving several gifts to charity.

The 2024 Community Foundation scholarship online application will open on Dec.15th.

The Jackson Center Athletic Booster Club created a fund within the Community Foundation of Shelby County. The club works in partnership with Jackson Center Local Schools to improve school and community athletic programs and facilities.

“We established the Jackson Center Athletic Booster Club Fund using our reserves,” said Greg Woolley, Athletic Boosters treasurer. “Growing this fund will allow us to increase our investment in the kids and programs that support them in their pursuits of excellence in athletics, the classroom and community.”

The club supports junior high and high school team apparel, improvements to indoor and outdoor athletic facilities, sports equipment costs and technology upgrades. They also award three scholarships to graduating seniors who will attend accredited universities.

The fund at the Community Foundation will enable the investment of the fund for earnings and growth, but it also allows access to its assets, should the club decide it needs to use the money. The group intends to participate in Match Day in 2024.

For information or to donate to the fund, contact Jason Platfoot, president, or Greg Woolley, treasurer. Gifts may also be sent to the Community Foundation through its website at commfoun.com.

Shelby County high school seniors dreaming of an engineering career may seek a scholarship from the recently established Ken and Mary Beth Monnier Engineering Scholarship Fund, administered by the Community Foundation of Shelby County.

“The satisfaction we found with careers in engineering and knowing that this field will continue to provide solutions for the future made this scholarship fund an easy choice,” said Mary Beth Monnier.

“As a kid helping out on family farms and working on old engines with my family, there was always something mechanical or electrical to repair, trouble-shoot and figure out how to get it fixed and running. My parents and other family members were smart, hardworking role models that gave me a chance to figure out how to diagnose and fix all kinds of things,” said Ken Monnier. “I developed a love of solving technical problems and learning what made machines work, so a degree in engineering was a natural fit for me.

Despite the technological progress we have witnessed in our lifetimes, there has never been a more exciting time to become an engineer and help shape the future of nearly everything on the planet and beyond. Bright young minds have a number of very good academic and career choices, so if we can help some of them take a closer look at their potential path into the rewarding world of engineering, we will have achieved our goal.”

Mary Beth’s dad was an engineering leader for International Harvester, so as the oldest of three siblings, she was the first choice to help her dad with a variety of technical problem-solving around the home. “As a female high school student in the 70’s, I attended a program that encouraged women to pursue careers based in math and science. It helped me choose engineering in college,” said Mary Beth.

To apply for the $2,000 award, seniors should complete the Community Foundation of Shelby County’s online General Scholarship Application for High School Seniors in the Scholarship section of their website at commfoun.com. The deadline is Feb. 16, 2023.

The Community Foundation houses 90 scholarship funds providing local college and trade school bound students with more than $330,000 in one-time and renewable awards. Since 1952, the Foundation has been helping people create meaningful, lasting impact through charitable giving that targets their favorite causes and organizations. To learn more, contact the Community Foundation at (937)497-7800.

“Local donors who created charitable funds at the Community Foundation of Shelby County were the catalysts in more than $3.4 million in grants and scholarships awarded in 2022,” according to Marian Spicer, executive director.

There were 21 new charitable funds established in 2022, bringing the total charitable funds administered to more than 235 and total assets to $48.8 million at year-end.

With a great deal of growth in recent years, the Foundation board worked with past board trustee and current Investment committee member Bruce Boyd to facilitate a strategic plan. The process resulted in a newly stated mission ‘To inspire donor generosity and transform it into meaningful, lasting impact through charitable gifts’ and core values of stewardship, collaboration, excellence, integrity and respect. By 2026, the staff and board will complete initiatives to implement a donor cultivation strategy, build strategy and framework for establishing community-focused funds that result in legacy generosity and provide collaborative leadership for funding a major community-based cause.

The Community Foundation’s Match Day was held on November 29, known nationally as Giving Tuesday. Match Day was an effort to raise enthusiasm for giving by offering a dollar for dollar match of up to $5,000 to 25 local charities. Donors for each charity helped exceed the match amount and a total of $812,078 was raised and distributed. To participate, a charity needed to have a qualifying organization fund housed at the Community Foundation.

Local high school seniors and adults received 170 scholarships totaling more than $308,000, helping them to better afford a post-secondary education. Scholarships are available to those pursuing skilled and technical training, as well as Associate’s and Bachelor’s degrees and beyond.

Community Foundation Partners gave to support the Foundation’s community grants program. Because of the generosity of 207 individuals, couples and businesses, $56,000 will be offered to local organizations during this spring’s community grants process.

Gifts for new and existing funds are welcome at any time and should be made payable to the Community Foundation of Shelby County with the fund name noted on the memo line. Credit card gifts may be made to any charitable fund by clicking the ‘Donate’ button on the Foundation’s website at commfoun.com.

The 2023 Community Foundation officers are, Mike Lochard, Chair; Kurt Barhorst, Vice Chair; Karen Fortman, Secretary; and Dave Monnier, Treasurer. Trustees are Devon Beer, Doug Borchers, Cindy Helman, Matt Hoying, Diane Reiss, Lisa Ruhenkamp and Amy Zorn. Staff members include executive director Marian Spicer; donor relations director Jessica Fortkamp; accounting manager Jeanne Hoying, CPA; accounting administrator Sandy Kinney and scholarships and grants manager Juli Smith.

In 2023, the Foundation will continue working with local residents wanting to give to charitable causes here and around the country.

Matt Hoying of Russia has joined the board of trustees of the Community Foundation of Shelby County. Hoying is a civil engineer and president of Choice One Engineering, who also serves on Board of the Wilson Health Foundation. He and his wife Amanda are the parents of five.

Retiring from the board is the Hon. Norman Smith of Sidney. “We are truly grateful to Judge Smith for his involvement and guidance. He will remain on our Grants committee,” said Marian Spicer, executive director. “We are excited to add Matt and gain his insight as we grow to serve throughout the Shelby County community.”

Other members of the board of trustees include Mike Lochard, chair; Kurt Barhorst, vice chair; Dr. Karen Fortman, secretary; Dave Monnier, treasurer; and members Devon Beer, Doug Borchers, Cindy Helman, Diane Reiss, Lisa Ruhenkamp and Amy Zorn.

The Community Foundation of Shelby County is a public charity administering 235 charitable funds established by local donors to support favorite causes and organizations. The Foundation hosts scholarship, donor advised, organization, designated use and community granting funds.

The Community Foundation of Shelby County distributed $812,078 to 25 participating charities Friday from proceeds of its Match Day event. The amount exceeded the 2021 total by more than $153,000.

Match Day was held on Nov. 29th, Giving Tuesday, and results were announced to each organization during a celebration held Friday at the Historic Sidney Theatre.

For the sixth consecutive year, the local foundation offered matching money of up to $5,000 to 501(c)(3) charities that had an organization fund within the Community Foundation. The donations and matches were given to the charities to be put to work on their projects and needs.

“We want to express our gratitude to each person, civic group and business who gave during the annual Match Day,” said Jessica Fortkamp, Community Foundation donor relations director. “As people called or stopped by our office, they expressed their joy and enthusiasm about giving. Each charity was challenged to motivate their donors to raise the full matching amount and we are thrilled that every charity exceeded the matching amount.”

Including the $5,000 match, totals distributed to each charity were:

Agape Distribution                                                                 $54,345

Alpha Community Center                                                      $35,338

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Shelby and Darke County          $23,083

Botkins Education Foundation                                               $11,140

Compassionate Care of Shelby County                                  $46,873

Ft. Loramie Education Foundation                                        $23,555

Habitat for Humanity of Miami and Shelby Counties, OH    $13,960

Historic Sidney Theatre                                                          $20,760

New Choices                                                                          $25,645

Operation Rebirth                                                                   $34,421

RACK                                                                                     $56,955

Rustic Hope                                                                            $71,420

S&H Products                                                                         $24,544

Samaritan Works                                                                    $18,990

Senior Center of Sidney-Shelby County                                $30,690

Shelby County Animal Rescue Foundation (SCARF)           $43,225

Shelby County Arc                                                                 $17,829

Shelby County Historical Society                                          $53,130

Shelby County Libraries Foundation                                     $20,505

Shelby County United Way                                                    $38,690

Sidney Alive                                                                           $16,588

Sidney First United Methodist Foundation of Sidney            $15,390

Sidney-Shelby County YMCA                                               $32,415

Wilma Valentine Childcare                                                    $59,077

Wilson Health Foundation                                                     $23,505


“We are especially grateful to Dave Ross, who provided the matching pool to enable each charity to receive $5,000. His tremendous generosity is the reason we can hold Match Day,” said Marian Spicer, executive director of the Community Foundation.  “Thank you to everyone who gave. It each gift shows the impact one person can have on another person who needs support from one of these organizations. A number of people supported multiple charities, which is inspiring.”

“Organizations have told us that these dollars will buy equipment, hire staff, support learning and provide basic necessities like food, baby supplies and health and wellness programs. Now it is time for these Match Day gifts to be put to work and for the participating organizations to do even more to improve the lives of those they serve.”

Plans have begun for the next Match Day to be held on Nov. 28, 2023. The Community Foundation of Shelby County administers $49 million in 230 charitable funds including scholarship, donor advised, designated, community granting and organization funds.