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Eight New Funds at Marion Community Foundation

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MARION – Local donors, including Marion’s “favorite daughter,” Mary Ellen Withrow, have created eight new funds at Marion Community Foundation in the past month. This brings the total funds in the Foundation’s portfolio to 210. The new funds include scholarships, organizational endowments, donor advised funds, and unrestricted funds.
Withrow, who served as the 40th Treasurer of the United States during the Clinton administration, created the Mary Ellen Withrow Scholarship Fund for female students from any Marion County high school, with special consideration for students pursuing an education in the field of finance or political science. Her scholarship will begin making awards during Marion Community Foundation’s 2017 scholarship program.

Not to be outdone, Withrow’s husband, Norm, an accomplished golfer, created the Norman Withrow Golf Scholarship Fund for students from any Marion County high school who participated on the varsity golf team. The first scholarship will also be awarded in 2017.

Bob Haas, Dean of Institutional Effectiveness at Marion Technical College, and his wife, Chris, longtime Executive Director of Marion Adolescent Pregnancy Program, have created the Dr. Robert & Christine Haas Fund, a donor advised fund. The Haas’ will be directly involved in recommending recipients each year to receive an award from their fund. The first grant will be awarded in 2017.

Emanuel Lutheran Church, which already has nine separate organizational endowment funds at Marion Community Foundation, continues to move some of their congregation’s funds to Marion Community Foundation’s stewardship. The latest two are the Emanuel Lutheran Church Good Samaritan Endowment Fund and the Emanuel Lutheran Church Norman W. Fogt and Donna Ruth Fogt Endowment Fund, both of which will annually support the church, beginning in 2017.

“Organizational endowments are funds which enable nonprofit organizations to support themselves in perpetuity,” said Dean Jacob, Marion Community Foundation’s president and CEO. “They provide a stable and relatively constant source of income for the organization and demonstrate long-range financial planning on the part of the organization’s leadership.”
In memory of his wife, Janis, Greg Swepston created the Janis & Greg Swepston Family Fund, a field of interest fund. Janis died in 2013 and was the Marion Public Library’s children’s librarian for 30 years, explained Swepston.

“Given her love for reading and young people, it is appropriate that this fund will support literature and elementary education in Marion, as well as live theater, the performing arts, and animal welfare,” he said. The first grant will be awarded in 2017.

An anonymous donor created two Legacy Funds, the YZ Charitable Fund and the YZ Community Fund.
“A Legacy Fund is created with a small gift now and a formal promise of a future gift at the time of the donor’s passing,” said Jacob. “The donor names the fund as a beneficiary of his/her estate.”

When fully funded, at the donor’s passing, the YZ Charitable Fund will be a designated fund with seven designated beneficiaries. The YZ Community Fund will, according to Jacob, be an unrestricted fund and give the Foundation’s Grants Committee another much appreciated source from which to make awards during the Foundation’s annual, competitive Community Grants Program.
“We expect these funds to be substantial in size and appreciate that the donor’s attorney and financial advisor recommended Marion Community Foundation to their client,” said Jacob. “We appreciate their efforts, dedication to, and support of the Marion community.”

Since 1998, Marion Community Foundation has served as a philanthropic clearinghouse for those wishing to financially support the Marion area. With more than 200 funds and $40 million in assets, Marion Community Foundation has passed the $10 million mark in grants and scholarships awarded. Funds at Marion Community Foundation support local education, culture and the arts, the environment, community development, health care and human services.

Located inside the Stengel-True Museum, Marion Community Foundation is open weekdays 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Additional information is available by calling 740-387-9704 or visiting