Through the last 30 years, the Jasper Newton Foundation has seen countless volunteers, friends, and community members come together to make an impact in their communities.
Impact and service are words that come to mind when recapping the last 30 years. From that backpack meal you sent home with a student in 2014, the first Riley Read back in 1993, to the students who are currently counting their service hours in our community– impact and service have had direct impact and action on Jasper and Newton County.
We can’t recount every activity that YOU have given back to, because there are so many projects to count. Each and every volunteer, donor, and community member who is inspired by helping each other build a better place to live is important and we thank you. In true celebration spirit, Jasper Newton Foundation continues to recap our timeline highlighting the last 30 years with the theme of service and impact.
Record Payouts: 2014
2014 was a record-setting grant payout year with $700,000 in grants throughout our communities. Those funds were a part of programs like backpack meal programs for children and families, crisis center funds, additional funds for the Remington Senior Center, educational grants for schools and so many more.
Impact grants are awarded to serve the greater needs of the community and propel a project forward. In 2014 they were awarded to the North Central Indiana Crisis Center and Fairchild House Preservation.
Both of these projects were instrumental in propelling their communities’ needs and making them a better place to live.
Rensselaer Parks and 4-H: 2015
In 2015 the Jasper County Impact grant helped transfer ownership of a park from RCSC to the City of Rensselaer. The funds did not cover the transformation of the park, but this impact grant laid out the concept and excited community members to make the improvements happen.
The Newton County impact grant funds were given to the Newton County 4-H Building for repairs and upkeep while opening a building fund for a future space to house 4-Hers of the future.
Both projects were aimed at community spaces that directly impact large populations including the growth of spaces and places in each community.
Remington Parks Walking Path: 2016
2016 marks the end of Lilly Endowment Gift VI. Between the community support and the additional backing of Lilly Endowment, 1 million dollars was infused between Jasper and Newton County.
Impact grants continued to develop the places where we live. The Remington Parks Walking Path was developed and the Brook Iroquois Volunteer Fire Department received funds to update equipment for the volunteers to continue to operate safely.
Senior Service Challenge: 2017
2017 marked the first senior service challenge where students were encouraged to compete with kindness by logging service hours of time they gave back to their community. In the first year, over 150 students participated donating 2,194 hours of their time to their communities.
This past year in 2020, Rensselaer Central High School won the senior service challenge with 532 total hours contributing back to their community.
Participating schools include Covenant Christian High School, homeschoolers in Jasper and Newton counties, Kankakee Valley High School, North Newton High School, South Newton High School, Rensselaer Central High School, and Tri-County High School.
While the end prize is a pizza party, class trophy, and bragging rights this friendly competition is about more than personal and class accolades. Students learning about the importance of philanthropy and giving back to others is crucial to building better communities and the people in them.
2017 impact recipients continued to benefit the members of the community. Spencer Park received an impact grant for an upgrade in DeMotte. Community members gathered to celebrate another place where they could gather and grow together. The George Ade Memorial Health facility allowed for more spaces and options for residents. This expansion made a better place to live and was a positive effect on all the residents and their families.
John Egan and the Future
Service and impact were in the thoughts of the original board members and those who were a part of the Jasper Newton Foundation’s longevity. Emeritus board director, John Egan best stated early in the foundation’s days:
An official definition of a community foundation is that it is a “permanent repository for testamentary funds.” I think the Jasper (Newton) Foundation is also a repository for memories.
So I urge you, my fellow Jasperites and Newtonians, to keep believing, hoping, giving and making many more wonderful memories.
– John Egan (†)
The next thirty years can only be better as we continue to impact our community and those who are a part of it. Here’s to building more memories and projects together.
What was your favorite project that was service-related or had a great impact? Tell us so we can relive the memories with you.