Have a Ball

Every year the Jasper Newton Foundation holds the Season of Giving Gala. This anticipated evening celebrates the accomplishments of the foundations and acknowledges community organizations making an impact. 

The inaugural Gala was held on October 14, 2006, in the ballroom at Saint Joseph’s College with Board Present, Mr. James Flickner as the Master of Ceremonies. The Gala has honored scholarship recipients, founding board members for the Jasper Newton Foundation, and other organizations in the community. An evening looked forward to by many, the Gala was the event for live music, dancing, food, and conversations amongst the community. While fun and community are always at the heart of this celebration, the Gala is about philanthropy & investing in our communities.

Good Work is Never Done

In 2020, the Jasper Newton Foundation was unable to host a Gala due to COVID-19, but that didn’t stop us from reminiscing on the past years of celebrations. Fun and community have always been at the center of this event, but philanthropy is the center. 

The foundation serves the needs and philanthropic goals of donors who wish to make a difference by giving gifts big and small. Donors of diverse interest levels are encouraged to invest in the future of our communities. That’s exactly what our community members have done and will continue to do. Previous Executive Director, Linda Reiners notes, “Our foundations have only been successful due to the generosity of the donors who have wanted to give back to the community that raised and sustained them.”

Five Awards Well Earned

Several board members have been honored with the Emeritus Director service awards during the history of the Gala:  

  • Mr. James Flickner, honored in 2013
  • Mr. Ronald Humphrey, honored in 2014
  • Dr. John B. Egan, honored in 2015
  • Mr. Gene Bell, honored in 2016
  • Mr. Robert Lewis, honored in 2017

Love Where you Live Awards

In 2018 the Jasper Newton Foundation honored 6 local residents with a “Love Where You Live” award. These fine humans were well-known in their communities as volunteer leaders who make change happen. Indiana State Senator, Brian Buchannan gave the keynote for this evening. Honored guests were: Dillon Hall of Goodland, Bob & Diane Gonczy of Morocco, Dana Pampel of Remington, Stace Pickering of Rensselaer, Heather Tokarz of DeMotte, and Nikki Hanger of Lake Village.  

Each year, Jasper Newton Foundation honors a different nonprofit of the year for their work or programming in the community. That nonprofit is invited to speak about the projects they completed and to personally thank members of the community for their support. 

[Unreasonable] Success in Jasper and Newton County

In 2017, current Executive Director, Brienne Hooker gave a speech that recollects much of the same feelings we have as we celebrate our 30th anniversary. 

“I submit to you that in 1991 the Jasper Foundation was started by a group of unreasonable men and women who knew the power of community funds, investing them and infusing those profits back into the community. It was quite unreasonable to start a community foundation with a negative balance at the end of the first year. It was quite unreasonable to see the value in an old Carnegie Library building and promise to preserve it for community use. It was even more unreasonable to start and support an arts organization in the middle of a cornfield. We (the Jasper Newton Foundation) would not be here if it weren’t for those visionaries, reasonable or unreasonable.” – Brienne Hooker

Often what feels unreasonable and challenging are the exact services or needs that have to be fulfilled to make something better. Donors, volunteers, and community members have made this community better in the last 30 years. You have invested back in your community where new projects thrive, grow and change as our community does.

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