On Wednesday evening, the Porter County Community Foundation hosted its Annual Meeting and Celebration of Achievement at the Porter County Expo Center with over 175 guests in attendance. This event is a special way to celebrate and thank the individuals, community partners, and nonprofits who work so hard each and every day to better our community.
In 2016, the Foundation awarded over $2.1 million in grants and scholarships supporting the great work being done by nonprofit agencies and to help kids continue their education. “We are fortunate to live in Porter County – a community that is committed to organizations and the causes they care about at the deepest level possible. The nonprofits here work tirelessly to help make our community a better place,” said Bill Higbie, President and CEO of the Porter County Community Foundation. “We are honored to get to work with these organizations in various areas – whether it be starting an endowment fund that will benefit the organization well into the future, or by providing meeting space at the Center for Community Philanthropy.”
The remarkable work of nonprofit organizations and individuals was recognized at the Annual Meeting on May 31st, with the 2017 Celebration of Achievement awards. The awards were presented to the following recipients: Dorota Janik, Executive Director at Reins of Life, for Outstanding Nonprofit Staff Member; the Boys & Girls Clubs of Porter County for Outstanding Nonprofit Agency; Portage Township Live Entertainment Association for Outstanding Nonprofit Agency; Margaret Williford, Shirley Heinze Land Trust, for Outstanding Volunteer; and Timothy Rice, Boys & Girls Clubs of Porter County, for Outstanding Volunteer.
Each winner receives an engraved award recognizing their accomplishment as well as a $1,000 contribution to the organization’s endowment fund with the Foundation, or in the case of individual winners, to an organization’s endowment fund of their choice in their name.
In addition to the Outstanding Achievement Awards, the Foundation recognized its newest Echo Society members – those who make an endowed lifetime gift or leave assets to the Foundation through a beneficiary designation, a will, or an estate plan – and announced a new program called Promise Porter County.
The new Promise Porter County program makes educational savings a reality by helping families start a CollegeChoice 529 Direct Savings account through their school, seeding the account with an initial investment from a local sponsor, and engaging the community to match deposits that the students, families, and champions all contribute to the account. “Promise Porter County is an example of what happens when people care about their community and are willing to commit their energy and resources to making things better,” said Higbie. “It’s not just about setting up an account to save for college; it’s about changing the mindset of families and equipping them with a potentially different vision of themselves.” Promise Porter County will launch this fall at the first grade level in all seven Porter County school corporations.
“At the Porter County Community Foundation, we gather generosity, grow it through investment, and give it away, all for the good of our community,” said Higbie. “Great things happen when people come together, and together we can commit to honor Porter County’s legacy of generosity in a powerful way.”