Hendricks County Flyer, Avon, IN

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December 31, 2008

Farewell, DeeDee

Foundation director retires

AVON — When DeeDee Daniel started as the first executive director of the Hendricks County Community Foundation, the organization had about $1,500 worth of grants to reward.

“We didn’t have a whole lot of money, but the board said we’re supposed to be a grantmaking body, so we’re going to give a grant,” Daniel said.

Now, 14 years later, the Community Foundation has $7 million in assets with 170 permanent funds. This year it awarded almost $250,000 during the first half of the year in the form of grants to charities and scholarships to students. To date, they’ve given out more than $5.8 million in Hendricks County.

“Our donors have really been able to make a difference in the community over the last 14 years,” Daniel said. “We’ve come a long way because the people of Hendricks County have embraced the idea of meeting local needs, and without them the thing would have never flown.”

Daniel announced her retirement from the Community Foundation at the February board of directors meeting, effective Dec. 31. In her words, it’s time to play.

“It’s time to go play with my grandchildren, travel, and take care of 14 years of unfinished projects,” Daniel said.

She also said she’s looking forward to finally getting the chance to unpack that last room in her home and going to Texas to see a “real rodeo.”

As her retirement date has drawn closer, Daniel said she’s been looking both to the past and to the future.

“I’ve been thinking of a lot of history and reminiscing,” she said. “But I’m also thinking toward the future, and I know that the best is yet to come and how exciting it’s gonna be. The first time we gave a million in grants and I know the community foundation is going to grow to $10 million and we’ve got the idea person and staff team and board of directors and it’s gonna happen.”

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