Marietta Community Foundation Awards More than $100,000 in Grants

The Marietta Community Foundation has awarded recipients of their second grant cycle this year. Grants were awarded to 15 applicants and totaled more than $100,000 from unrestricted and donor restricted funds, including three out of cycle requests.

Recipients include local charities, schools, community projects and a number of Marietta non-profits. Thanks to their generous donors, the Foundation continues to see steady growth.

“We were pleased to be able to offer three collaborative, out of cycle grants this fall, in addition to our second cycle grantees,” said Heather Allender, CEO. “Through these collaborations with regional foundations, local partners, and private donors, the Marietta Community Foundation was able to leverage donations to create an even larger impact for the community.”

Out of cycle grants included funding for an outdoor training facility for the Washington County Career Center, funding for the expansion of the Building Bridges to Careers’ Epicenter & Makerspace, and funding for one year of operational costs for the Washington County GoPacks program.

Additional Grantees Included:

  • Allohak Council, Boy Scouts of America
  • Marietta City Schools
  • Marietta Main Street
  • Marietta College
  • Gold Star Family’s Memorial Monument
  • O’Neill Senior Center, Inc.
  • Eve, Inc.
  • Habitat for Humanity of the Mid-Ohio Valley
  • Civil War Roundtable of the Mid-Ohio Valley
  • River Cities Symphony Orchestra Inc.
  • Marietta High School Alumni & Friends Foundation

Proposals for the second round of the 2017 grant cycle closed on October 1st. Final approval was decided by the Foundation’s Allocations Committee last month.

The roof being constructed on a Habitat for Humanity House in Belpre, OH.

The roof being constructed on a Habitat for Humanity House in Belpre, OH.

Grant recipients often receive a combination of donor restricted funds, which come directly from active donors of funds the Foundation holds, and unrestricted funds. The Marietta Community Foundation shares all grant applications with active donors to maintain open communication and allow donors the chance to support the causes that inspire them.

“We appreciate the grant from MCF which will be used for a Habitat home to be built in the city of Belpre,” said Alvin Phillips, Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity of the Mid-Ohio Valley. “Our plans for 2018 include the construction of five Habitat for Humanity homes. Construction on a home in Vienna has started and plans are underway for a home on Greenhill Road outside Marietta. We are excited to engage even more volunteers as we continue to provide strength, stability and self-reliance though shelter.”

The next grant cycle will close on April 1st, 2018. Donations to assist in funding grant applications, or any other local need may be made to the Foundation by contacting Heather Allender, CEO at 740-373-3286 or

The Foundation uses 100% of general donations for the grant cycle funding. This means any donations made now would immediately assist grant recipients for the first cycle in 2018.

The Marietta Community Foundation meets National Standards for operations, quality, donor service and accountability in the community foundation sector. Founded in 1974, the Marietta Community Foundation has grown over the years thanks to a number of generous gifts.

9 Tips for Year-End Giving

As the end of the year draws near, now is a great time for giving. When you make a donation to the Marietta Community Foundation, you aren’t just giving money—you are making a meaningful difference in your community. Here are nine ways to make the most of year-end giving!

1. Talk with your advisor
Before making a significant charitable gift, consult with your CPA, attorney or advisor to fully understand the impact on your taxes and estate.

2. Review your income
Take time to review and understand your tax liability for the year. Pay attention to unearned income and assets - were there significant changes? The answers may determine how much you want to give at the end of the year.

3. Explore employer gift matching programs
Talk with your employer to see if they offer a gift matching program that can increase the impact of your gift.

4. Give appreciated stock
If you would like to make a year-end charitable gift, consider giving appreciated stock. Selling stock will incur capital gains on the appreciation, but if you give stock as a charitable gift, you will receive a deduction for the current market value of the stock—just as you would with a cash gift. 

5. Give before December 31st
A gift by check is complete when mailed or postmarked to the charitable recipient, even if not cashed until the following year. Online gifts or gifts by credit card are considered complete when your credit card account is charged. Gifts of stock or real estate are more complex, you should not wait until late December to make these gifts as it may be too late to make the necessary arrangements.

6. Get to know your local nonprofits
While there are many worthy organizations and causes, only donations to qualified 501(c)3 organizations are tax-deductible. If you decide to give through the Marietta Community Foundation, we will document the status of all nonprofits prior to making a gift on your behalf and our team can help you identify organizations that are qualified to receive your gift. 

7. Do you have more than enough?
If you are receiving taxable income from retirement plan assets or life insurance policies, there are a number of tax-advantaged ways to make these assets work for you and the charitable organizations you support. For example, the Charitable IRA Rollover Act allows donors age 70 ½ or older to donate as much as $100,000 from their IRA without counting the distribution as income. 

9. Make a plan
The Marietta Community Foundation can assist you in creating a giving plan and help you think strategically about how and to whom you give. Our staff will help to ensure that your donations make the greatest impact on the causes you care about, while maximizing tax advantages. 

10. Let us work for you
Working with the Marietta Community Foundation gives you access to our staff's extensive knowledge of the local nonprofit community and the broad charitable needs of the Mid-Ohio Valley. We help you stay informed about the organizations you support and the effect your giving will have on the future of your community. 

Marietta Community Foundation Celebrates Annual Event With Inaugural Philanthropy Awards

The Marietta Community Foundation held its 3rd Annual Event on Tuesday, November 14th, hosting more than 150 guests at the Marietta Country Club. In celebration of National Community Foundation Week, the Foundation began a new tradition by recognizing and thanking local individuals and groups who have demonstrated excellence in philanthropy and grantmaking throughout the year.

Heather Allender, Marietta Community Foundation President and CEO, announced the recipients of three awards Tuesday evening: Outstanding Philanthropist of the Year (individual), Outstanding Philanthropist of the Year (business) and Innovation in Grantmaking.

The first recipient to be named 2017 Outstanding Philanthropist of the Year was Marilyn Schafer, whose generosity has made a tremendous difference to the Foundation’s goal of increasing unrestricted grant-making.

“Our unrestricted funds support our annual grant cycles,” said Allender. “Continued growth in unrestricted funding allows the Marietta Community Foundation to keep up with increasing, vital needs within the community.”


Superior Toyota Hyundai was recognized for their philanthropic efforts as a business and their contributions to the Foundation, including their sponsorship of the Grant Your Grant Contest for local nonprofits. Tommy Hathaway and Bob Crock accepted the second award for 2017 Outstanding Philanthropist of the Year on behalf of Superior Toyota Hyundai and TR Hathaway, thanking the Foundation and its donors for their partnership.

The final award for the evening recognized the Innovation in Grantmaking of Mark Schwendeman, Chair of Shale Crescent USA. Shale Crescent USA, which is focused on highlighting the value and uniqueness of Marietta and the Mid-Ohio Valley, was established as an innovative way to stimulate the local economy.

“Shale Crescent USA has poured so much passion and energy into the revitalization of our area economy,” said Allender. “They have met with over 200 organizations, leaders, and prospective businesses, and have done so much more to bring manufacturers to the area and increase job development.”

All three award winners represent how far the Marietta Community Foundation has evolved since its inception four decades ago. Each of their contributions will have a lasting impact on the Foundation, and the community, for years to come.


Coming Full Circle

The Marietta Community Foundation welcomed a new companion group, The Women’s Giving Circle. Formed late in 2016, the group focuses on increasing awareness and providing needed support for local women and children.

Members have been hard at work establishing the infrastructure needed to help area non-profits. With the Foundation’s guidance, The Women’s Giving Circle has designated sub-committees to develop internal and external communication plans as well as marketing and promotional initiatives to spread the word to non-profits in need and recruit new members.

The group has also been working on the grant application process that will be used to award needed funds to non-profits within their initiative next year. Through membership fees collected annually, The Women’s Giving Circle hopes to have $11,000 to award through their first grant cycle next year.

 “Our donors come in many different forms – from those who are in a position to make generous monetary donations to those who devote hours and elbow grease and everyone in between,” said MCF President and CEO Heather Allender. “Companion groups like the Women’s Giving Circle offer the greatest chance to establish focused initiatives that receive the support needed to ensure success. We help these groups for as little or as long as needed before they become independent.”

As with other companion groups, the Marietta Community Foundation has worked closely with the Women’s Giving Circle while they establish their initial operations. Once ready, the Foundation will take a step back and allow the group to function independently while still benefitting from the Foundations services. The Foundation will continue to house their grant funds and provide invaluable connections to potential donors and worthy initiatives.

The Women’s Giving Circle will begin meeting monthly this September through May 2018 (excluding December) as they complete the necessary setup for their first major project. New members are always welcome to join the ranks of this exciting new initiative.

In the Eye of the Beholder

With summer in full swing, the Marietta Community Foundation is hard at work on a project to help enhance the beauty of our Downtown District. Once approved, the project would bring welcome updates to the Foundation’s building façade.

A similar initiative, supported by the Foundation and facilitated by Marietta Main Street, is the Build Up Marietta program which seeks to champion economic development through a revitalized downtown. The project benefits the community as a whole by providing business owners in the downtown, C4, district of Marietta with matching grant funds for façade improvements. Applications are accepted on a quarterly basis throughout the year for these mini grants with the goal that owners will eventually be able to make improvements on their own thanks to improved business.

Historical preservation and beautification of the Downtown District encourages residents to shop locally, attracts tourists, and helps attract and keep small local businesses that bring unique goods and services to the area. It also ensures the preservation of our town’s historic beginnings while encouraging a continued, successful future.


“The Build Up Marietta initiative received a tremendous amount of donor support,” said Heather Allender, President and CEO of the Marietta Community Foundation. “We received contributions from multiple donors, showing this is a program our citizens care about.”

The Foundation has helped facilitate a number of initiatives that have brought beauty to the community over the years. Marietta in Bloom is one such initiative. Partially funded through the Foundation’s first grant cycle this year, Marietta in Bloom improves and maintains area planters and eight community gardens, many of which surround the entrances of Marietta and help form good first impressions of the city.

Beautification helps instill pride in the community. Whether through historical preservation, greenery, or a simple coat of paint, a little bit goes a long way to improve quality of life.

“Though not part of Build Up Marietta, the Foundation is happy to play our part in the beautification of our downtown through improvements to our own building,” said Allender. “We take pride in our historic downtown location and truly believe these improvements will have a lasting, positive impact on our local economy.”

Beverly-Waterford Community Pool Receives Grant Funds for Restoration Project

Swimming in cool water during the summer has to be one of the most rewarding and best parts about summertime. If you don’t own your own pool, you’ve probably been to one of the local community pools. Luckily for you, the Village of Beverly was awarded a grant this past fall from the Marietta Community Foundation to revitalize the Beverly-Waterford Community Pool for the summer of 2017.

The Beverly-Waterford Community Pool’s original façade is being restored by reconfiguring the pool entrance and updating the bathroom facilities. This will allow the entrance of the pool to be more accessible and streamline the process of patrons entering the facility. The Beverly-Waterford Pool is excited to bring the building back in line with the original design.

By updating the entrance and bathrooms, this will allow increased safety and security for those trying to get cooled down from the summer sun. It also allows for better oversight of entry fees, making everyone’s time at the pool much more enjoyable.

With this grant, the Beverly-Waterford Community Pool has also purchased and installed a water chemistry controller. With this new controller, less chemicals will be added to the pool, making the pool safer for the environment and its patrons.

Beverly Pool.jpg

The Beverly-Waterford Community Pool will be opening in late May, and are excited to have the community enjoy their experience with the new and updated pool. Amista Lipot, an employee of the Village of Beverly, said that in 2016, “the Beverly-Waterford Community Pool saw a successful 50th year. We believe strongly that the pool is an ongoing public service project that requires public-private partnerships, community support, and some special attention.”

The funds that were given for these improvements were donated from the unrestricted funds of the Marietta Community Foundation. The Foundation looks forward to seeing the community support these upgrades by visiting the Beverly-Waterford Community Pool this summer.

Marietta Community Foundation Awards Funding to Establish Junior PioPitch at Marietta College

Did you have an entrepreneurial spirit when you were young? Students in the Marietta community definitely do, and were excited to display their skills. Middle school students who participate in the Ely Chapman Education Foundation After-School Program, as well as high school students enrolled in the Marietta High School Entrepreneurship class were competing at Marietta College for the first ever Junior PioPitch.

Through a partnership with Ely Chapman Education Foundation and Building Bridges to Careers, an entrepreneurship curriculum was developed. Marietta College already has a PioPitch program established for its students, who compete for a $10,000 prize for a start-up business, and are excited to expand to a younger generation.

Throughout the course, students had the opportunity to interact with potential customers, stakeholders, experts, and mentors to test the marketability of their solutions.

Through the entrepreneurship curriculum, middle and high school students have learned what it means to have an entrepreneurial heart, and a love for creation. Both of the developed programs were age-appropriate and were based on a nationally-recognized Ice House Entrepreneurship curriculum, which teaches students to troubleshoot.

Junior PioPitch (1).jpg

As a way to demonstrate all they have learned, each of the students will have the ability to pitch their entrepreneurial ideas to members of the campus and community. By taking this course, youth in Marietta were able to sharpen the next generation of citizens to the mindset and behavior of successful entrepreneurship.

“We piloted the junior PioPitch program because we wanted to inspire the high school and middle school students to think creativity. We wanted to motivate students to search for opportunities to fill a gap in the market, and then work on developing their ideas further,” comments Jacqueline Khorassani, Professor/Director of Entrepreneurship and Chair of the Business and Economics Department of Marietta College.

The Binkley Charitable Fund, as well as the unrestricted funds of the Marietta Community Foundation awarded the funding to help establish Junior PioPitch at Marietta College. The Foundation is pleased to know the youth in the community are excited in cultivating their entrepreneurship skills.

O'Neill Senior Center Receives Funding for Medication Assistance Program

The O’Neill Senior Center continues to ensure that their clients remain HIP: Healthy, Independent, and Productive. They were excited to discover that they were awarded a $5,000 grant through the Marietta Community Foundation to provide funding to develop a Medication Assistance Program, which strives to find indigent drug programs to help seniors afford medications and cover the costs of unexpected medical expenses.

Many seniors are in desperate need of immediate medication assistance due to unexpected health issues that result in expensive medications. Limited income also prevents many seniors from affording medication they need to maintain their health. All too often, when they cannot afford the medication they require, they simply go without.

Normally, seniors in need of financial assistance are enrolled in a patient assistance program, and it takes approximately 2-8 weeks for them to be accepted and receive their medication. Going that long without the medication they desperately need can prove fatal.

Thankfully, the O’Neill Senior Center received a grant through the Marietta Community Foundation to begin a Medication Assistance Program. O’Neill partnered with Kroger Pharmacy so that seniors can receive temporary medication during emergencies or financial hardships until they are officially enrolled in a patient assistance program in which they will receive medications regularly.

All clients enrolled in the Medication Assistance Program go through a vetting process by the O’Neill’s Social Service Coordinators, making sure that they are right for the program. Funds provided by the Foundation’s grant are used as a last resort for their clients.

Hillary Foster, an employee of the O’Neill Center, explained that “although this program has recently begun, however, the impact it has already had on seniors in our community is tremendous. We are so grateful for the support from the Marietta Community Foundation on this project.”

The Binkley Charitable Fund and the Bob and Marilyn Schafer Family Fund, as well as the Foundation’s unrestricted funds, provided the finances to allocate the grant to the O’Neill Senior Center. The Marietta Community Foundation is glad to see that seniors in the area are able to stay HIP through this program.

Giving Foster Children a Touch of Home

The Marietta Community Foundation’s Youth Advisory Council (YAC) is well underway with their very first project. The YAC first met in October 2016 and began working on identifying an area of need for their first philanthropic project. Over a dozen members from Washington County high schools, Marietta, Belpre, Warren and Fort Frye, worked together to establish their goal of helping area foster children with the transition to new homes.


“They worked really hard to get the project together,” said Britani Merritt, Office Manager of the Foundation and Youth Council Advisor. “Their ability to identify these needs and establish a plan of action for the project was truly impressive.”

With the help of the Marietta Community Foundation, the YAC found invaluable partnerships that made their vision a reality. Council members worked on building a proposal to secure funding for the purchase of duffel bags, blankets, teddy bears, toothbrushes and other essentials through the non-profit organization Together We Rise. The bags themselves can be decorated for a personalized touch before being stuffed and delivered to incoming foster children by Washington County Children’s Services. The bags provide foster children with basic necessities they might be missing and give them something to call their own. Bags also include journals for each child with a letter from the YAC members. This personal touch lends words of encouragement to foster children during a very difficult time. It also allows members to connect with the foster children more directly by lending a message of hope.

When drafting the letters, members worked with Washington County Children’s Services to ensure that there were no issues with triggers as the children receiving the bags have faced a variety of challenging issues. Through this experience, YAC members gained a better understanding of the types of problems the recipients of their giving face. It also ensures their good intentions are not misplaced or diminished by a lack of perspective.

The YAC found funding for their project through partnering with the Washington County Foster Families Foundation. A newer fund at the Marietta Community Foundation, the Foster Families Foundation was established to assist families with funding for activities like school athletics and other basic needs for foster children.

The connections made by the YAC for this project have directly lead to a fast turnaround for their goal to provide all incoming foster children with a small slice of normalcy in an otherwise uncertain time. While the Foundation itself serves a wide variety of needs, groups like the YAC and funds like the Washington County Foster Families Foundation allow for targeted giving that addresses needs in a different, targeted way.

“The Marietta Community Foundation is so proud of all of our Youth Advisory Council members,” said Heather Allender, President and CEO. “We are so happy to have the opportunity to help them with this project and have a part in their journey as philanthropists.”

MCF Scholarship Recipient Update

"I received the Marie Adamson scholarship in 2015. I am now in my second year at UCLA as an aerospace engineer and I love it. There are endless opportunities for me here. I am on the board of the student branch of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and I am a member of the Rocket Project at UCLA. With these activities, I have been able to learn professional and hands on skills. Outside of the classroom I’m a member of the Club Water Ski and Wakeboard team and I get to travel all over the western region and compete against other schools. This summer I plan to intern with Booz Allen Hamilton in Washington D.C.

Although I love it here in Southern California, I would not be here without everyone in Marietta who helped me along the way. I would like to thank the Marietta Community Foundation for its generosity and contribution to enabling me to pursue my passions. The picture included is of me at the Rose Bowl before the UCLA v. Stanford game, go Bruins!"- Olivia Wesel

Philanthropy Without Boundaries

The Marietta Community Foundation (MCF) is excited to welcome two new initiatives, the Washington County Women’s Giving Circle and the Youth Advisory Council (YAC). These groups share similar interests but demonstrate different ways of giving and emphasize philanthropy without boundaries.

The Giving Circle is focused on increasing awareness of local needs facing women and children in our communities. Throughout the year members contribute minimum gifts which are pooled together to make a larger impact. Once endowed, their contributions will be awarded, through a competitive grants process, to area nonprofits in order to address issues faced by local women and children.

The MCF believes that philanthropy starts at any age and is not limited to a specific type of giving. It includes gifts of all kinds, such as time, action, money and goods, which comprise an interdependent circle of giving that surrounds a community and strengthens it through diversity of support.

The YAC is made up of high school students from Belpre, Warren, Fort Frye and Marietta High Schools. As the students do not have the ability to contribute monetarily, they work on creating unique events to raise funds for the causes they believe in. Britani Merritt, office manager of the Foundation, works with the youth group at their bi-monthly meetings to teach members about philanthropy and guide them on upcoming projects.

Though still in the early stages, the YAC is comprised of eager members who have already been extremely active. Currently underway, their first project is focused on assisting incoming foster children with the transition to their new foster families.

“We look forward to the positive impact both initiatives will have on our community over the next several years,” said Heather Allender, president and CEO of the Foundation. “Both groups have so much enthusiasm for their initiatives; it is encouraging to see such dedication from such diverse members.”

Edwin 'Jack' Haas Memorial Scholarship

Posted 2017-03-16 by MCF

"I grew up in Whipple Ohio on a 170 acre farm. I had plenty of space to ride my bike and four wheeler. There was a one acre pond stocked with fish and an enormous old White Pine tree to climb in our front yard. We raised about 10-15 head of cattle until I was around the age of 15. Of course that meant a few extra chores, on top of all the farm maintenance. I started feeding and watering as soon as I was old enough to move a bail of hay. That leads me to the next order of business that comes with cattle, THE HAY!!  We bailed and stored hay on our own property. This meant we always had to be available to help during hay season. I did learn to drive my dads truck and tractors at a very young age around our hay fields, whether I could see over the steering wheel or not! I am the youngest of three children so we all had our part on helping our parents.

I started helping my father off and on at his day job around the age of 13. My father, Bernie Thompson owned his own timber cutting business. He also worked at B.F. Goodrich/ R.J.F International from 4pm- midnight since before I was born. I learned to do every job to the best of my ability from my dad. He stressed the importance of my name being attached to anything I set my hands to. There were times when I had other employment and five years when my wife and I moved out of state. My heart was always on the bulldozer or log skidder there in the woods with my father though. Along with the equipment operation and use of chainsaws while cutting timber, some other skills I acquired through work were plumbing, residential and commercial irrigation, landscaping, hardscaping, gas and wood fireplace installation, tree trimming and removal. I found out that climbing all those trees as a child would help later on in life with my own tree trimming career. I have been, for the most part, self employed since 2009.

I was working full time with my dad after he took early pension from RJF International in 2014.  On September 12 2014, while I was on one of my own jobs, my father was killed cutting trees by himself. I had actually started attending another college for heating, ventilation and air conditioning at the same time. I found out that not all trade schools are the same. I spent more time on required classes unassociated to my main course of study, than I actually did HVAC. Realizing this, I decided to research The Washington County Career Center. I found that all the classes I would have to take were directly related to HVAC, not expensive mandatory classes that didn't aid in my career choice. I withdrew from that school and started attending classes at WCCC in September of 2015. I applied for this scholarship to help with tuition since my full time employment stopped when my father passed.

Being the recipient of the Edwin 'Jack' Haas Memorial Scholarship helped me to focus more on my studies by giving me financial support while being in school two full days out of my work week. I cant express my gratitude towards the Marietta Community Foundation for choosing me as the $1000 scholarship winner.

I am currently still self employed and have had a job in the HVAC industry for 6 months until recently being laid off. I will definitely pursue more education as the industry is always changing and updating its technologies. There is a very specific science behind the pressure/temperature relationship when it comes to the refrigerants used in the systems. The "how's and why's" of HVAC is what drew me into the field and I only want to know more now.

I would recommend The Career Center and its many different courses of study AND The Marietta Community Foundations' scholarship assistance program!!! It needs to be said that your organization was used in a blessing as an answer to prayers over my financial difficulties while putting myself through schooling. Marietta Community Foundation encourages me to want to do all I can for those who are struggling financially and are deserving of a helping hand."

Thank you with all my heart,

Phillip Thompson

The Story of a Life

Posted 2016-12-23 by MCF

To kick off the 27th annual National Community Foundation Week, the Marietta Community Foundation (MCF) partnered with Marietta Main Street and Marietta High School on a veterans’ portrait project. Area veterans shared their stories with the Marietta High School art classes, led by teacher Heath Rader. Students then created portraits of the veterans that were displayed at the Marietta Main Street event held on Veterans’ Day.

Hearing honest accounts of being a soldier allowed students to better understand the human element of patriotism and connect to something larger than themselves. “Our assignments are just to better our own skills,” said participating student Katie Kitchen. “But this project gave us the opportunity to extend beyond the classroom and into the community.” The emotional stories of veterans provided students with a new found understanding they could express through their artwork.

In addition to the veteran speakers who visited the MHS classrooms, students also learned the life story of a recently deceased veteran whose family helped share his legacy. This inspired one student in the art class to paint their own grandfather. It also shows how the sharing of personal legacies can bring together a family and forge better understanding of a family history.

The week’s events ended with the Foundation’s 2nd Annual Event and their Grant Your Grant Contest. This year’s event continued the theme of what it means to share a life’s story. Accomplished author and founder of Personal Legacy Advisors, Susan Turnbull, wrapped up the evening’s speakers by exploring the deeper meaning of a legacy and how ethical wills help establish a legacy that lasts.

An ethical will is a complement to a legal will. It is about laying out decisions or even family stories for family members or other loved ones. According to Turnbull, people sometimes wonder if they have stories or if anyone will be interested in what they do have to say. A legacy is, however, the one thing that really lasts. It is established through our actions, yet in an ethical will people have a way to make their legacy truly personal.

In an ethical will, a person can lay out the reasons behind a legal will or simply share life stories, values and last thoughts. What you hope to be remembered by or what you strove to accomplish in life all makes up an ethical will. Much like the veterans’ portraits project that began Community Foundation Week, Turnbull showed the impact a story can have to bring people together even after they are gone. She also showed that a legacy is an ever present work in progress, rather than something put off for ‘later.’

As a society, we crave a story. Whether through theater, cinema, television or print, the lives of others are compelling. These stories offer a window into someone else’s life that allows us to glimpse new realities and form new understandings. Yet all too often, we forget to open that window into our own life’s stories to enrich the lives of those around us.

The two main events in this year’s National Community Foundation Week acted as bookends to one overarching message. A legacy is the sharing of a life and its core values. It is a way to enact change and bring a community together by connecting individuals, non-profits and local businesses.

“I am so grateful to our partners in the veterans’ portrait project and for the attendees, participants and speakers that made our 2nd Annual Event and the Grant Your Grant Contest such a success,” said Heather Allender, MCF president and CEO. “Without their support, and the support of our event sponsor, Superior Toyota, none of our initiatives would be possible.”

Unique Opportunity for Marietta High School Students

Posted 2016-12-02 by MCF

While the thought of cutting a body open and seeing what’s inside only induces cringes for most, a class full of future medical professionals at Marietta High School greeted the opportunity with avid enthusiasm. 

The 44 students enrolled in the school’s Anatomy & Physiology course were able to witness an actual autopsy through a narrated video conference.

Provided by COSI, the videotape of an actual autopsy is accompanied by live narration by a pathologist resident from The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. Participants must work through the "case" and solve for cause of death. The 90-minute autopsy is shown from the external examination and Y-incision to the removal of and dissection of individual organs, including the brain.

The offering of an Anatomy & Physiology course within high school is unusual itself, so being able to take part in the autopsy activity is yet another way the participating students are getting great experience and preparation for their pursuit of health careers.

“Since a lot of the students who are in my class are interested in the medical profession I thought it would be helpful to give them an opportunity to see some options of experiences that they may encounter later in the career field,” Vickie Hall, the class’s teacher, said.

When the Marietta Community Foundation heard about the program, it approached one of its fund’s executors. The donor that was approached was Mary Anton, who is a nurse herself.

“It’s right up my alley,” Anton said, in regards to the autopsy program.  ”In our area, there are plenty of students that want to go into the medical profession, so this is a great way to get a feeling or it,” she said.

Making such connections between donors’ interests and beneficial opportunities throughout the community is exactly what the Foundation strives to do every day.

“This was an absolute perfect example of connecting a donor with a need that also fits their interests,” Foundation President Heather Allender said. “This is exactly what we want to accomplish with our funds.”

For Allie Rainer, a junior, the program was a chance for her to gain valuable knowledge and experience in regards to her intended field of study.

With plans to be a pre-med major and eventually become an oncologist, Rainer sees her anatomy class and the program as major advantages compared to many of her peers who will not have such exposure before college. “The autopsy program gave me a better idea of what it will really be like, “she said.

The kits provided to students actually help to extend the learning even further when the video conference was over.  They allowed students to run their own toxicology tests, a rather unique opportunity for high school students. “This real-world experience is what makes learning memorable for students,” Hall said.

While she’s very excited to get to teach such a specialized class as Anatomy & Physiology, Hall remains grateful for the opportunity to extend her students’ practical, real-world learning through the Foundation’s help.

“I cannot put into words how grateful I am for the opportunity that the Marietta Community Foundation provided for my students,” Hall said. “It allowed them to see practical, real-world applications of everything that we have been learning in class. Without the Foundation’s funding, such an opportunity would not have been possible.”

Marietta Natives Give Gift of Change

Posted 2016-12-02 by MCF

Jean and Glen “Pete” Thorne of Marietta passed away in early 2015. When they died, they made sure something bigger would live on by leaving a substantial gift to help improve Marietta. This is their legacy. 

Jean & Pete Thorne called Marietta home their whole lives. Jean worked at BF Goodrich for many years and volunteered for Meals on Wheels. Pete served in the U.S. Navy during WWII as a highly trained submariner on the USS Gato from 1943-1945. He worked in the ladies department at Sniffen’s in downtown Marietta and then 3C trucking. They were both very active in the community, but enjoyed their privacy. 

Marietta charmed the Thornes. They were endlessly impressed by the people that populate this quaint city and how deeply residents care for their community. They loved the downtown area and the simple pleasure gained from greeting business owners who both knew you and earnestly cared about your needs. They also loved the town’s history and promising future. 

They had the kind of relationship most only hope to find; they adored each other. Better yet, the skills, talents and interests of one seemed a perfect complement to the other. Pete was a gifted carver and Jean an accomplished painter. Their primitive Santa carvings and walking sticks were crafted with vivid detail. The hard wood was chiseled with care by Pete and softened with each stroke of Jean’s brush. Presentation was everything to them both. Though rather structured in appearance and manner, Jean had an artist’s heart and loved things that were open and free. 

While living, the hanging flower baskets downtown were the only detail of Marietta they hoped to change. Jean’s artistic eye longed for a visual display more befitting such a beautiful area. Jean recognized the uplifting effect gardens have when balanced with florals and greens that blend varied tones and textures. They also recognized this revitalization was not financially possible without help. That is their legacy: affecting real change to improve something they believed in. 

Most people give money in a structured way. When the Thornes donated, however, they put their full faith in the Foundation. The Thornes were traditionalists, but they were also forward thinking. When it came time to make an impact they chose to give to something open and let that gift be free to make the most difference. 

“The Thornes trusted us with this gift,” said Heather Allender, president and CEO of the Marietta Community Foundation. “It’s important that we learn about our donors’ interests and create a project in their honor that represents who they were.”

Through collaboration between the Marietta Community Foundation,

Marietta Main Street and Marietta in Bloom, the revitalization of the downtown flower baskets is underway. The beautification of historic Marietta is something the Thornes believed in, and still believe in through their gift. Presentation was everything and the Thornes knew that with a little help Marietta could be more. The Thornes’ legacy is extensive and does not end with the beautification of Marietta. It will go further to support our community by addressing the area’s most pressing needs.

Marietta Community Foundation and Memorial Health Foundation join forces to establish endowment in honor of local family

Posted 2016-11-21 by MCF

As so many members of the Marietta community are aware, Dr. Brad Carman has served the healthcare needs of our town for many years, his father doing just the same for almost thirty years before him. The Carman Family Chair of Surgery Fund was established to honor the Carman Family and their nearly sixty years of combined service in support of the community’s health.

“The endowment was established to recognize their outstanding record of service,” commented Dr. Charles Levy, original founder of the Fund. (Pictured, left to right: Dr. Brad Carman and Dr. Charles Levy)

A funded chair of surgery carries with it a number of advantages to our local hospital and healthcare system, a privilege normally reserved for only the most prestigious academic centers.  It will serve as a point of attraction for topflight applicants to residency programs which will, in the near future, include a general surgery residency.  It will serve as a focal point for charitable giving to the Department of Surgery, members of which have saved thousands of lives and have improved the lives of many more.  Finally, it will serve as a resource for funding advanced training and education for members of the department so that they remain the most technically skilled practitioners in our region and among the most skilled in the nation.

The Marietta Community Foundation will administer the Fund initially, since the work of the Carman family has been so important to the health and welfare of the Marietta community. At which point the assets of the endowment have grown to an operative level, the Memorial Health Foundation will facilitate transfers and begin the important work for which it is intended. “We are delighted to engage in this joint endeavor with the local community foundation and are pleased to assist with this commendable effort,” said Daneka Hedges, Executive Director of the Memorial Health Foundation.

Dr. Charles Levy adds, “My deepest thanks and most sincere appreciation to anyone who wishes to help grow this important resource that honors one of Marietta’s first families and, in so doing, helps support and continue the critically important work of our Department of Surgery—which is peerless.”

Honoring Veterans at Merchants and Artists Walk

The Marietta Community Foundation, Marietta Main Street, Marietta City Schools and local veterans are coming together for the next Merchants and Artists Walk on Friday, November 11 from 6 to 9 p.m. in Downtown Marietta and Harmar Village.

The event is all about celebrating the area’s unique local businesses in the downtown shopping district while featuring local art, music, craftsmanship and more. This time that ‘more’ is all about the celebration and recognition of local veterans.

In partnership with Marietta Main Street the Marietta Community Foundation has connected local veterans with area art students at Marietta High School as part of a veterans’ portrait project that will be showcased at the Merchants and Artists Walk.

“This is not the first time the Foundation has highlighted artwork from the high school during an event,” said Heather Allender, president and CEO of the Marietta Community Foundation. “The veterans focused Merchants and Artist Walk is a great chance for students to learn more about our veterans and bring new generations of the community together.”

To date, three area veterans have come to speak to the Marietta High School art class, led by teacher Heath Rader. The veteran volunteers shared their deeply personal experiences with students to provide a firsthand account of the daily realities they faced while in the service. After hearing these moving tales, students were then charged with the creation of portraits based on the veterans.

According to Rader, hearing the firsthand accounts of veterans has helped students understand not only the difficulties they have faced but also the unique comradery that is formed between veterans. “Students in my class get to see the human element. They gain emotional depth for their artwork which is the difference between good art and great,” said Rader.

The upcoming event is all about the community joining together to support one another. “This event is a truly unique opportunity to come out and support not just our merchants and artists, but also the student artists and our veterans,” said Cristie Thomas, executive director of Marietta Main Street.