News Releases

News Releases2019-12-31T17:46:44+00:00

The Community Foundation of Shelby County is offering ten scholarships of up to $2,000 each for students and adults pursuing training at a trade or technical school or community college that leads to a certificate or Associate’s degree. The 2020 Skills Scholarship application now open and is available to residents of Shelby County or the schools districts of the county. Both high school seniors and adults may apply.

“Students today have a very wide range of opportunities from pursuing skills education to a Bachelor’s degree or higher. Even though the length of training is usually shorter, those wanting a career in a skilled or technical field often face education costs that are out of their reach. We want to give them the ability to get training that will lead to a good paying job and stable employment,” said Marian Spicer, executive director.

“Skilled workers are very important to our manufacturers, contractors, healthcare organizations and the service industry. We are committed to ensuring that in 2020 and 2021 there will be at least ten scholarships each year for skills education students. Thanks to many individuals and companies, the Shelby County United Way and several charitable funds at the Community Foundation, we have enough to provide all ten this spring and the start of what is needed for 2021.”

In the future, Spicer hopes that skills scholarship funds are established to generate annual awards. One skills scholarship fund was already established by Bob Sargeant, who grew up in Greene Township, co-founded the former Sidney Tool & Die and now resides in Florida.

“Anyone can buy a machine, but it takes a trained person to make it work,” said Sargeant. His business relied upon a workforce of skilled machinists, programmers, welders, inspectors and more to produce quality parts for the aerospace and manufacturing industries. As older skilled workers retire, a young workforce needs training to fill jobs and take companies into the future.

Applicants for the Shelby County Skills Scholarship and the Bob Sargeant Skills Scholarship apply using one online form on the Community Foundation website at From the Grants & Scholarship menu, select Apply for a Scholarship and then choose the 2020 Skills Scholarship Application. The deadline to apply is March 12, 2020.

Shelby County (Ohio) organizations may apply for a Community Grant from the Community Foundation of Shelby County (Ohio). More than $57,000 is available in grant amounts up to $15,000.

The Community Grants program provides resources for a wide range of needs and projects. Applicants should have a 501(c)(3) tax status, be a governmental entity or collaborate with a fiscal agent. A fiscal agent is a 501(c)(3) or governmental entity that is willing to receive grant dollars on behalf of another organization and oversee its appropriate use.

Those interested in applying should first contact Juli Smith, Scholarships and Grants Administrator at the Community Foundation at or call her at 497-7800 to request permission to apply. Applicants should be ready to briefly explain the intended grant request and dollar amount. Organizations must be located in or serving Shelby County, Ohio.

The deadline for the Spring grant cycle is January 30th.

The Foundation recently awarded $25,100 to local organizations during its Fall Community Grants cycle. Funding was awarded as follows:

Compassionate Care of Shelby County, $5,000 to upgrade computers and purchase equipment such as a bariatric scale with handrails, blood pressure cuffs and an ultrasonic instrument cleaner.

Council on Rural Service Programs, $4,000 for a Hatchboard for the Sidney Headstart program to assist preschoolers with gross motor skills.

Gateway Arts Council, $4,000 to support its 2020-2021 Presents performance series.

Maplewood United Methodist Church, $2,000 for a slide for its playground used by local children.

Midwest Regional Educational Service Center, $1,500 for an interactive projector for the multiple disabilities classroom located at Jackson Center Local Schools.

Random Acts of Christian Kindness, $3,000 from two donor advised funds to support its Sharing Blessings at Thanksgiving gift baskets.

Rustic Hope, $3,000 from Community Grants and a donor advised fund supporting its Holiday Blessing Banquets on Thanksgiving and Christmas days.

Senior Center of Sidney-Shelby County, $1,800 to provide security system and sound system upgrades at their facility.

Sidney Alive, $5,000 to enable their work with City Visions to develop a downtown and riverfront strategy.

Grant money for Community Grants comes from a variety of sources, including gifts to the annual Community Foundation Partners program and earnings from the Foundation’s Operations Reserve, Community Impact Fund, Roscoe Beanblossom Fund, John Douglas Long Blind Fund and Shelby County Medical Services Fund. Grant information is available on the Foundation’s website at

Diane Reiss of the Anna area has joined the board of trustees of the Community Foundation of Shelby County.  She was recently appointed to a five-year term by Judge James Stevenson of the Shelby County Court of Common Pleas.

A graduate of Anna High School and Wright State University, Reiss has past experience in human resources and works as a substitute teacher and at Tossum in Anna.

She is a volunteer for Women’s Center-Sidney and is an active member of Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church, where she is a lector and serves as an officer of the Altar Rosary Sodality. Reiss is the vice president of the Donald and Evelyn Bensman Foundation and a past member of Charity League. She and her husband Adam have three children.

“Diane has experience with granting and she will be a great addition to our board,” said Doug Borchers, board chair. “She brings community involvement, knowledge and credibility that are important as we grow.”

She replaces Priscilla Wilt of Sidney, who left the board after she fulfilled the maximum two terms. During her tenure, Wilt served two years a vice chair and two years as chair. She will continue on the Distribution and Investment committees of the Foundation.