2019 has been a rollercoaster year full of challenges, solutions, good things, and giving in Jasper and Newton Counties.  Since the Jasper Newton Foundation is always pushing for creative ways to get people connected and love where we live – we curated the perfect listing of the TOP 19 events in 2019.  These events are exceptional because of the humans who participated in them.  These events are grass-roots efforts to build our local communities.  We hope you see yourselves in this list.  The Jasper Newton Foundation cannot wait to see what happens in 2020!  There is already a lot of great stuff in the works – so buckle up!

1. Jasper Newton Foundation announces Lilly Scholar Finalists:
Jaimie Diedam of South Newton High School: Jaimie Diedam

Jaimie Diedam

Maggie Hufnagel of Kankakee Valley High School: Maggie Hufnagel

2.  Roselawn Community Church: Thanks to a big grant from FSSA, Early Learning Indiana, private donations, and a JN Foundation Grant for a new fire safety system. $150K was awarded through Early Learning Indiana and is helping grow amazing humans in Newton County!! Tuition assistance is now available thanks to Newton County Economic Development and a generous investment made in our kids!  Sign up for preschool NOW!!

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3. JC Board Member, Patty Stringfellow, awarded her “Way to Go” Grant this year to help Purdue Extension host the insightful program called, “Hidden in Plain Sight” offered at RCHS, KVHS & Tri-County Schools in 2019.  This program was eye-opening and helped kids and parents realize the dangers of drug use and how to recognize their child might need help.  

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4. Students from Rensselaer Primary and Van Rensselaer Elementary schools raised more than $5,000 to help the Rensselaer Good Samaritan Food Pantry.  The RUN for FUNDS program was a HUGE success in 2019!

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5. Sheriff Lauds First Year of Recovery House: Pat Williamson discusses the 1 year Anniversary of the Jasper County Recovery House since it opened on March 26, 2018. The program has impacted the lives of many men in the area because of the generous support of our local community.

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6. South Newton High School wins Senior Service Challenge: Senior students volunteered 351 hours during their 2018-19 school year for the 2019 Senior Service Challenge and beat all the area schools in this competition for doing good.

7. St. Augustine School Art Program was awarded a Way to Go Grant from John Tillema, Jasper County Advisory Committee member, for their “We Are Painting Today” program.

8. Valley Community Players based in Wheatfield received a grant through the Jasper Newton Foundation to be used for a 2-week children’s theatre workshop. Wheatfield continues to grow creative kids.

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9. Pat Gilliam is the winner for the Jasper Newton Foundation 2018 Annual Report Cover Art Contest which features a beautiful photo of a sunflower. In addition, Jasper Newton Foundation selected four scenic photos from various Jasper & Newton County artists and designed new business cards with them. The selected artists were featured online through JNF Facebook and JNF blog.

10. Remington’s Century-Old Depot Re-done – Enjoy the remodel and boost to the appearance of downtown Remington.

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11. Newton County Early Childhood Education Fund: Through community support and investment in the youngest members of Newton County – The future of early childhood education receives a boost of $375,000 from the Newton County Council and Commissioners to start up the first licensed daycare center in the county.  These funds will be used to first get the Goodland site up and running (March 2020) and then to support other endeavors throughout ALL Newton County to support the education of our kids and support of our working families.  Generous support from 3-D Machine, Town of Goodland, First Financial Bank, JN Foundation, Township trustees, and many more have solidified this grass-roots effort.

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12. Carnegie Library/Carnegie Center Receives Grant: $50,000 grant from the U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service’s Historic Preservation Fund of DHPA, and $7,500 from the Efroymson Family Fund at Central Indiana Community Foundation, to begin the historic wood window rehabilitation by Schoberg Restorations.

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13. Fair Oaks Farms Apple Orchard: Jasper Newton Foundation received a check for $12,500 from the charitable proceeds collected during the 2019 season at the Fair Oaks Farms Apple Orchard. The Lilly Foundation matched the contribution through GIFT 7 funds making the total impact of this gift $37,500 to the Newton County and Jasper County Community Funds!

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14. RCHS Auditorium Microphone Project: Aidan Geleott, student of RCHS, raised a total of $19,270 to purchase 10 new microphones to upgrade and maintain the RCHS auditorium sound system that is used by the school and many local organizations for community programs.

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15. South Newton High School Performing Arts Department: awarded a grant from Jasper Newton Foundation to help purchase the classroom a set of pianos and iPads to help expand their creativity and appreciation of the arts.

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16. Rensselaer Central Middle School: received a grant from Jasper Newton Foundation to establish “The Idea Lab” for students and teachers which will help build life skills and prep them to be better citizens of Rensselaer. The lab will help build projects, STEM assignments and create items using hands-on skills.

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17. David Hensel Way to Go Grant: North and South Newton School students assembled Drug-Free lanyards (for EVERY student in Newton County Schools) as a reminder from the Drug-Free Coalition and Jasper Newton Foundation that the best choice is always drug-free.

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18. Newton County Step Ahead: received a grant from Jasper Newton Foundation to educate North Newton Middle School students about nutritious food and healthy lifestyle choices.  They each received a pack of essential health and hygiene items.

19. Wheatfield Fire Department: received grants from JC REMC & Jasper Newton Foundation to help purchase a new tanker fire truck to continue safely protecting Northern Jasper County from fire.

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