The July 11 Ripley County Community Foundation annual meeting at Big Four Cafe gave supporters a chance to celebrate their achievements.
Executive director Sally Morris told attendees, “The foundation got really involved with the town of Holton (after the March 2, 2012, tornado). We were the fiscal sponsor for them and helped handle the money .... People from all over the United States helped our little town. We received about $265,000 in donations from the public.”
Since 1997, the Batesville-based foundation has granted over $12 million to various county organizations, she noted.
The Economic Opportunities through Education by 2015 report was given by action team member Jason Riley. The initiative began in December 2007 thanks to a Lilly Endowment Inc. grant given to 10 southeastern Indiana counties. “Talent development is what Ec015 is all about. Through project-based learning, students learn teamwork, critical thinking, oral and written communications.”
In July 2012, Lilly Endowment Inc. awarded a $5 million grant to the region for Phase II of Ec015, which will focus on career pathway development. “The support of everyone involved in this initiative is greatly appreciated.”
Eric Benz, scholarship committee chair, introduced the 2013 Lilly Endowment Scholarship recipient, Natalie Brinson, a South Ripley High School graduate. She will receive a full-tuition, four-year scholarship, plus a $900 yearly stipend for required books and equipment.
The four Ripley County Community Foundation Scholars were also recognized (Anna Meer, a Batesville High School graduate; Megan Bales, a SRHS graduate; and Robert Greer and Russell Pitts, Milan High School graduates). They will receive $1,500 scholarships.
Last year’s Lilly scholarship winner, Nicholas Walter, announced, “I cannot possibly express how honored I am to represent Ripley County .... (The award) did not make my decision to attend Notre Dame, but it helped.
“It helped me to clear my schedule because a lot of my friends on campus have to have jobs. I can concentrate on my studies and my social life .... I joined the Lilly Scholar Club there, and it was nice to meet people from around the state.