The Scott County Community Foundation is celebrating our 20th anniversary in 2017. Throughout the year, we will share stories from people who have been impacted by the efforts of our donors and volunteers.?Board member and fundholder L.L. Lowry shares the rewarding experiences he has had with the Foundation.
My first exposure and introduction to the meaning of a foundation happened in the year 1980.?? I received a job promotion in the Employee Services Department at Cummins Engine Company, where I worked for 40 years prior to my retirement in 1998.? That particular department was under the Personnel Department?s umbrella that also managed the employee insurance program, retirement benefits, along with many other employee benefits and included the administration of the Cummins Foundation.?? During those early years in management I heard about the work of the Cummins Foundation and how it was funded through the profits of the company and the work being done in that community.? I often wondered what the effect of something like that would have in my hometown.
Fast forward to the year around 1997, and I heard about the news of a group of people in the Scott County community who had begun talking about the development and organization of what is now known as the Scott County Community Foundation.?? I was not a founding board member of the Scott County Community Foundation, but I certainly supported the efforts of the startup through their many fundraising events and activities such as golf tournaments, auctions, dances and many other events.? Where else could you contribute money and have the value doubled, I asked….I liked the thought of that along with the long-term effect these funds would have on our community and the conduit the Scott County Community Foundation could be to get grants funneled into Scott County, Indiana.? Those first fundraising efforts now result in an average of about $250,000 a year flowing out to the not-for-profit organizations and scholarships for our community members.
After becoming a board member in 2003, I read a book written by Jack Schultz entitled ?Boomtown USA, – 7 ? Keys To Big Success In Small Towns?.? The book provoked innovative thinking throughout rural America to spur out-of-the-box thinking.? His writing intent was to motivate people to revitalize and reinvent their community into what he said separated the thinking towns from the struggling ones.? A statement in that book has stayed with me over the years….he wrote:? ?The first thing any community should consider in their redevelopment plan is the implementation of a Community Foundation.?
As time went forward and I became more involved in the Scott County Community Foundation, Juanita and I were particularity drawn to the idea of investing in the ?Unrestricted Funds? of the Foundation and later created a personal unrestricted fund.? Our reasoning was that unrestricted funds could be used for a number of different applications in the community from year to year and the SCCF Grants Committee would have the responsibility to identify the ?need? each year and recommend supporting that project or that organization.
I have been involved in a lot of community development programs and activities for many years in Scott County and the City of Scottsburg and being a part of the Scott County Community Foundation is, no doubt, one of the most rewarding experiences that I have had.