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By JoAnna Ness, Jan 21 2019 04:37PM

Visitors to a nature preserve can easily observe change as seasons pass and plants bloom or fade. ACRES Land Trust has taken the initiative to encourage visitors to think about a place’s history, beyond the seasonal changes. Founded in 1960, ACRES is Indiana’s oldest and largest local land trust. Its mission is to protect local land, including working land (i.e. farms), forests, wetlands, native grasslands, and habitat for rare, threatened and endangered species. ACRES acquired its first property in Steuben County in 1964, and today ACRES and its members protect more than 950 acres in Steuben County.

By JoAnna Ness, Jan 14 2019 04:00PM

Chuck Sheets, a founding board member, former grants committee member, and longtime champion of Steuben County Community Foundation, recently celebrated his 90th birthday. He hosted a party for family and friends at the SCCF office and asked for contributions to the Community Foundation in lieu of gifts.

We asked Chuck about his involvement with SCCF, and he shared, "When I had the opportunity to be part of the Community Foundation in the beginning, I was awed by the prospect of what this could become. It amazes me now how well the community has supported it, beyond anything we could have imagined. Seeing the people who showed up to my birthday celebration and the gifts they made, it's obvious the Community Foundation has become important to this community. I truly love this community and everything it has to offer."

By JoAnna Ness, Dec 18 2018 03:27PM

Even as the cold weather of December brings a slower pace of life to Northeast Indiana, Bridget Harrison, Executive Director of Clear Lake Township Land Conservancy (CLTLC), is busy preparing for next year’s projects and programs. Bridget became the first staff hire of CLTLC in 2015, joining the team after working in environmental consulting near Chicago and land trust work in California. “CLTLC has existed for 27 years, so we’ve had success and challenges. Volunteers did a wonderful job leading the organization and contribute to our success still,” explained Bridget. With the addition of a full time staff member, CLTLC has been able to expand its activities, outreach, and board engagement.

By JoAnna Ness, Dec 13 2018 05:20PM

SCCF hosted our first nonprofit training on Tuesday, December 11, 2018. Many local nonprofit leaders gathered for lunch and a training session on "Building a Strong Board." In addition to sharing their challenges and questions about building an effective board of directors, attendees learned about the legal responsibilities of boards and how to engage them in the fundraising process. One of the biggest take-aways? Nonprofit boards need to build fun and mission moments into meetings regularly! SCCF is grateful for the time and effort these individuals have placed in serving Steuben County.

By JoAnna Ness, Dec 6 2018 04:44PM

An Angola High School senior has been named as the Steuben County 2019 Lilly Endowment Community Scholar. Mason Gaerte will receive a four-year, full-tuition scholarship to an accredited public or private nonprofit college or university in Indiana, along with an annual $900 stipend for books and required equipment.

Lilly scholarships were first awarded in 1998, and over 4,400 scholarships have been awarded statewide, not including 143 that will be awarded during this round.

Gaerte, son of Duane and Amy Gaerte of Angola, plans to study Biology at Butler University. He is the senior class president, plays the trombone for the Marching Hornets at Angola high school, and is part of his church’s worship team.

A surprise announcement was given to Mason at Angola High School where his family, friends, school and high school administrators, as well as members from the Steuben County Community Foundation were present.

“It’s the culmination of a lot of years of hard work, and it’s also a time to reflect on the journey and all that’s gotten me here, not just the destination,” shared Mason at the announcement.

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