Community Foundation, student philanthropists hold ceremony to award local programs

T-R PHOTO BY ADAM SODDERS - Students Teaching and Empowering Philanthropy (STEP) member Stella Roseburrough-Borras, right, and Community Foundation of Marshall County board member Katie Fink, center, award Youth and Shelter Services of Marshall County director David Hicks, left, with grant awards Tuesday.

Dozens of non-profit programs and projects were rewarded by the Community Foundation of Marshall County at the organization’s annual award ceremony Tuesday evening.

The foundation partnered with the Marshalltown High School Students Teaching and Empowering Philanthropy program in raising money for grants this year. Foundation Executive Director Julie Hitchins said the July 19 tornado impacted her as it did many people and agencies in Marshalltown.

“My husband’s business, his car and our home were all damaged,” she said. “I saw a lot of good going on in Marshalltown. I saw strangers helping strangers … I learned that my joy came from helping people and helping our communities in Marshall County be a better place to live.”

Hitchins is the first full-time executive director of the foundation.

Tuesday’s grant awards were separated into the categories of arts and culture, community development, health, education, human services and recreation. The total funds awarded Tuesday reached about $105,000, of which $10,000 was given out by students in STEP with funding from the Martha-Ellen Tye Foundation and Community Foundation of Marshall County.

While several Marshalltown-based agencies were awarded funding, many from outside the city were also highlighted. Among them were the Albion Public Library, City of Haverhill, Rose Festival Association, State Center Fire and EMS and Friends of the Melbourne Public Library.

Along with this year’s slate of grant awardees, the foundation’s three main initiatives for 2019 were also discussed. One of those focused on student philanthropy.

“As you can see from the attendance of the STEP students, we are very blessed in that category right now,” said foundation board co-chair Heidi Peglow. “This year for the first time we will be providing funding for all three high schools in Marshall County for the 2019-2020 school year.”

Those include Marshalltown, East Marshall and West Marshall school districts.

Peglow also said a funding announcement for the tornado relief-focused Rebuild Marshalltown Fund will be shared May 1. The winner of the foundation’s Major Impact Grant will be announced in the fall.

The Community Foundation has been giving local organizations grant money for the past 14 years, amounting to about $1.16 million in funding for projects in that time.

Foundation board co-chair David Barajas said all of the organizations to receive grants Tuesday deserved the awards.

“Others may try to define who we are, but it is our responsibility to truly define who we are as a community and as a people,” he said. “Keep charging ahead in the important and valuable work that you are doing for all of Marshall County.”

For more information, visit http://cfmarshallco.org/

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Contact Adam Sodders at

(641) 753-6611 or

asodders@timesrepublican.com