The Hendricks County Community Foundation celebrated “opening doors” in the community at its annual dinner this week.
“It’s exciting to be a part of this organization as it opens doors in the community,” said Alice McColgin, president of the board of directors for HCCF.
The theme of the evening was “Opening Doors in Hendricks County.”
“It’s an honor to serve on the board of directors,” McColgin said. “We all care about Hendricks County and what goes on today and in years to come. Tonight we are here to share good news.”
The evening began with the board of directors honoring Janet Haley who has served as the foundation’s executive director for the past three and a half years. Haley recently tendered her resignation.
“And as she gave her resignation, she was a class act,” McColgin said. “She reiterated her love for the foundation and told us her true passion is accounting and feels strongly about returning to it.”
She said Haley has been a real asset to the foundation and has accomplished many tasks in her time as director.
“Janet has helped us to reach the next phase of our organization,” McColgin said. “She has helped us to better report on our funding. She really has positioned us for the next chapter of our growth.”
Haley was presented with flowers and given an opportunity to speak to those in attendance.
“This was a hard decision to make,” Haley said. “The hardest person to tell was my predecessor, Deedee Daniel. I told her I felt like I was letting her down.”
She said Daniel was very understanding and told her she had to follow her passion.
The event’s program included the announcement of scholarship winners from two of the foundation’s funds.
Andrew Jones, a senior at Danville Community High School, was presented with the 2012 Duke Energy Indiana Technical Trade Scholarship.
Jones will be using the $2,500 scholarship to help with his secondary education in precision machinery.
The Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship winners and finalists were also honored. There were seven finalists. The five who didn’t earn scholarships were Morgan Blake, Aubrey Bridges, Monique Cloe, Katie Reinhart, and Justine Weatherman.
The winners of this year’s full ride scholarship were Meghan Lewis and Markella Taivalkoski. The recipients will receive full tuition to the Indiana college of their choice and a $900 yearly stipend for required books and equipment.
Lewis is the daughter of Brock and Bethaney Lewis. She attends Cascade High School and is active in varsity swimming, Teen Advisory Board for the library, and multiple musicals produced by the high school.
She also participated on the Hendricks County Substance Abuse Task Force as both a member and a board member. Lewis plans to attend Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology and major in chemical engineering.
Taivalkoski is the daughter of Kevin and Mary Taivalkoski. She attends Plainfield High School and is active in cross country, track, student council, and National Honor Society.
She has participated in community service projects such as Harvest Dinner for the Homeless and volunteered at local food pantries. Taivalkoski plans to attend Purdue University and major in nursing.
The guest speaker was Mike Harmless of the Super Bowl Host Committee.
“It was not just a football game,” Harmelss said. “It was also a legacy project and a huge economic development event. We wanted to make sure everyone had a good time.”
The foundation also honored the grantees from the Deedee Daniel Opportunity Fund. The grantees for the first cycle this year include Avon High School, Cartlidge Barn Fund, Danville Public Library/Hendricks County Museum, Eel River Township Trustee, Get REAL Inc., Handicapable Camp Inc., Hendricks County Food Pantry Coalition, Hendricks County Senior Services, Hendricks Symphonic Society, Impact Youth Inc., Kingsway Community Care Center, Town of Plainfield, and Connect2Help.