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SCCF News

By JoAnna Ness, Jun 20 2019 12:42PM


A nonprofit organization located on Lake James in Angola, Lake James Christian Camp & Retreat Center is celebrating 90 years of youth camps, retreats, and community events this summer. Through offering bible classes and outdoor activities, their mission is spiritual transformation. The outdoor focus has been increasingly important as kids spend more time indoors, immersed in technology. About 300 volunteers support the camp throughout the year, and volunteers of all ages are often invited to join campers in June and July to act as a mentor or a “camp parent” for the week. “Our success is only possible with the help of volunteers. Without them, we wouldn’t be able to function the way that we do,” shared Matt Love, Executive Director.


For Love, one of his favorite parts about working with LJCC is the outdoor focused wilderness camps. They have both on-site and off-site wilderness camps. Another perk is that Love involves his family in the camp activities with opportunities to volunteer and serve campers and guests.


By JoAnna Ness, Jun 10 2019 08:17PM

On Tuesday, June 4th, scholarship recipients and donors gathered for the annual Scholarship Reception held at the Steuben County Community Foundation. Donors shared stories, and scholarship recipients put a face to the scholarship and shared their future plans with someone excited to support them. In some cases, it was a commitment to pay it forward. Others wanted to honor the inspiring legacy of a loved one. For the donors, it was exciting to see students who had deep passions for something they both valued. Students discussed the impact scholarships have on encouraging them to pursue their passions. Clea Miller shared that her scholarship helped her feel community members were investing in her future. Alexis Crawford expressed relief that she and her parents will have less to worry about. “It’s nice to know that there are people in the community who care about education” said Grace Emberton.

Kourtney Fleckenstein, recipient of the Susie Poor Memorial Teaching Scholarship, shared that the scholarship “means a lot to me because it invests in me as a teacher, which means someone already thinks I’ll be great at teaching.” She, like many others in attendance, was able to connect with her donor and understand the story behind her scholarship. Kerrigan Williams received the Leon Huss Memorial Scholarship, a scholarship for those involved in 4-H, and shared her love of horses and animals with her donor, Sharon Huss.


By JoAnna Ness, Jun 5 2019 02:11PM

This year, three members of Forever Improving Steuben County Together, the youth philanthropy branch of Steuben County Community Foundation, are graduating from high school. Abby Stoy, Autumn Godwin, and Tori Creager all share a passion for helping others in their community. Recently, each of them took time to reflect on their experiences with FIST.


Autumn Godwin is a graduating senior from Fremont High School, and this past year, she served as FIST president. She has been a dedicated FIST member for the last five years and when reflecting on her time, stated “Through FIST I really found myself as a leader. This past year, as president, I really tried to help people out of their shells and show them we are all the same. I wanted FIST to be a safe place for all opinions and ideas.” Autumn described FIST as a place that allowed her to be who she is both as a leader and a passionate community member. As she looks to the future, Autumn stated, “I will forever remember FIST and will forever miss the amazing group of people who helped change our community”. After high school, Autumn will continue her education at Western Michigan University, studying exercise science and continuing her softball career. She hopes to one day become an athletic trainer.




Abby Stoy is a graduating senior from Angola High School. Abby’s favorite memory from her time in FIST was playing basketball with Mrs. Depue’s class in Hamilton. Abby explained she loves that students still ask when FIST is coming back or if they can help FIST. “FIST has helped prepare me for my future in more ways than one. However, the one I feel will benefit me the most is my confidence in myself.” Abby shared. Abby noted that she is excited to get involved in her new community of West Lafayette, and thanks to her experiences with FIST, she feels equipped to do so. Abby will be attending Purdue University in the fall for Athletic Training, and hopes to pursue a doctorate in Physical Therapy. She aspires to be a physical therapist at Riley Children’s Hospital working with pediatric patients.




Tori Creager is a graduating senior from Hamilton High School. Tori’s favorite memory from FIST was spending time volunteering at the Cops for Kids pie auction. She reflected that “FIST has helped prepare me for my future by teaching me to always help others.” During her time in FIST, Tori enjoyed meeting many of the amazing people in Steuben County. Tori plans to pursue a Bachelor's degree in Nursing by first starting at Ivy Tech and later finishing her degree at Indiana University Fort Wayne.



Congratulations to each of our seniors from the class of 2019! We are so proud of the things you have done for your community. Thank you for all you do.

By JoAnna Ness, May 30 2019 12:37PM


The goal of the Downtown Angola Coalition (DAC) is to promote the heartbeat of the community and encourage people to see the area around the mound as a destination worth visiting. Recently, there has been an increased emphasis across the state to invest in the main street businesses and attractions in our towns. DAC started as a grassroots organization, gathering people who were interested in the downtown area to serve as board members and volunteers for events. DAC provides a unique benefit to the community of Angola by organizing events for the public to enjoy and working behind the scenes on some beautification projects. They are continually looking towards the future, and their board members aren’t afraid to roll-up their sleeves and get the work done.


“We continue to be motivated knowing that we’re growing as an independent group, and that people are beginning to come to DAC, both offering and asking for help,” said Pat Schlosser, a DAC board member. Some of their events have included Angola Art Fest, which will take place again August 3, 2019, as well as the arrival of Santa and wagon rides during the holidays. In addition to events, DAC hopes to build its abilities to support the economic development of downtown businesses.


Like many organizations, one challenge they face is visibility and fundraising. Events require a large, committed volunteer base. “We’re always trying to get more people involved in DAC and our events,” said Pat. To accomplish their big goals, DAC collaborates with many local businesses and nonprofits, such as Cahoots, as well as the City of Angola and the Steuben County Tourism Bureau. They’re actively involved in the “Paint the Town” mural project and alley activation, and they hope these projects are just the beginning of increased engagement in the downtown area.


Community is about building memories and connections to a place where everyone comes together, and DAC continues to play a vital role in providing opportunities for people to make those memories in Angola.



Pictured above is Pat Schlosser, John Mowry, and Lou Ann Homan of DAC


By JoAnna Ness, Apr 29 2019 05:21PM



High quality, affordable childcare is an important piece of a successful community, helping businesses attract and retain workers and preparing the next generation of citizens for a great future. Childcare centers like Little Lambs Daycare of Fremont are an important part of addressing this issue in Steuben County. Little Lambs is a Steuben County nonprofit organization providing care for children ages 0-5 years, as well as some after school programming. In the words of Amber Hukill, Little Lambs Executive Director, their mission is, “to provide the best quality care that we can, and make sure children are in a nurturing and fun environment.” Because of their location near downtown Fremont, Little Lambs is able to engage the wider community. Many families bring their children from throughout Steuben County and southern Michigan, and Little Lambs is able to walk to nearby public parks for different play options. When they faced a serious building issue in 2015, the community rallied together with donations to get Little Lambs back in shape. “[Community members are] invested in this, and they feel like they’re part of the daycare,” said Claudia Smith, Little Lambs administrator.