Standing left to right: Nathan Rentz, Mary Bowman, Bruce McKenzie, Dee Gillis, Pete Schinaman, Jackie Wahl, Jesse Chamberlain, Melissa Keller, Heather Bailey, Jim Ranft. Kneeling left to right: Sarah Worley, Diana Featherstone, Claire Timmer. Not Pictured: Dave Grim.

Tipp City Foundation has grown over 75 years

TIPP CITY – The Tipp City Foundation has grown along with its southern Miami County community for the past 75 years.

During its Diamond Jubilee year in 2018, the foundation added another reminder of its contributions by dedicating a Tree Grove at Kyle Park.

The grove honors donors who have established endowment funds of $25,000 or more with the foundation since its founding in 1943.

The foundation was born thanks to a $1,300 gift from Ed Timmer, creating its first endowment fund.

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Dee Gillis of the foundation board said as the 75thanniversary committee looked at ideas for a celebration project, the tree grove idea began to grow. The number of trees – 24 to start - would grow with the foundation.

Among other historical highlights:

- In 1950, the first legacy gift was received from the estate of Emma Henke Warner in memory of her father, August Henke, who passed in 1923. The gift gave life to the August Henke Comfort for the Needy Fund.

- Board minutes from 1950 outline support of programs such as the Tipp City Youth Inc., the Women’s Relief Corps, the Band Club and the Home School Club.

- In 1987, the estate of Helen Timmer presented a check for $1 million “to be used by the Tipp Foundation to do its best for Tipp City and help its people.”

- The foundation Legacy Society was formed in 2011. A legacy gift is activated upon asset transfer after the donor’s death.

- In 2014, the endowment fund assets exceeded $3 million.

- Another milestone - $2 million in grants made – was reached in 2016.

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Heather Bailey of the foundation said as foundation assets grew, so did its influence.

“That influence is most readily seen through the grants that are awarded. The foundation trustees believe that taking grant making risks is how a community stretches. For example, the foundation was one of the first donors of the Tipp City Area Arts Council 10 years ago when it created the public collage ‘Windows on Tipp,’” Bailey said. “Public art simply didn’t happen in Tipp City before the (arts) council pushed those conventions.”

The foundation encouraged people of all income levels to participate in “the chore of endowing our charming town,” Bailey said. In 1999, gifts were received from 16 people. By 2017, gifts were received from 477 households.

“We tell our donors that they are the ones who take credit for the positive influence that the foundation has in our community,” Bailey said.

More information is available at www.tippfoundation.org.

Contact this contributing writer at nancykburr@aol.com

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