With the goal of providing a lasting impact on the quality of life around Shelby County, the Blue River Community Foundation had a busy year in 2018 while celebrating its 30th anniversary.
The foundation completed four projects around the county that were tailored to that particular community’s need.
And now, thanks to an announcement by the Lilly Endowment, the foundation looks to broaden its impact.
Lilly is giving away $50,000 for local foundations to brainstorm their leadership roles in their communities and to determine how they can have more of an impact. The endowment is giving away another $100,000 to implement plans based on those sessions.
“That’s going to be a lot of our work over the next year, and we’re excited to change the way we work a little bit to be more proactive and impactful,” Blue River Community Foundation Executive Director Amy Haacker told an audience during Wednesday’s year end review at Indiana Grand Casino.
In 2018, the foundation completed projects in four Shelby County communities – Flat Rock, Fairland, Waldron and Morristown.
The foundation partnered with the Flat Rock Fire Department to build a community playground and partnered with the Fairland Fire Department and Lambda Chi Sorority to build a playground in Fairland.
A new paved walking trail in Morristown’s Community Park also was installed, and a couple murals were painted in Waldron as part of beautification efforts.
“It strikes me how all of these projects are possible because of the solid partnerships we’ve built, and how we really can get so much more done together than we can alone,” Haacker said.
The foundation was also involved with the Wind, Rain and Water sculpture in front of the Porter Center on the Blue River Trail in a partnership with the City of Shelbyville, the Shelby County Tourism and Visitors Bureau and Knauf Insulation.
Blue River has committed $900,000 over three years toward the YMCA project to support an indoor pool. And construction for canoe access on the Blue River Trail off Lee Boulevard is underway, she said.
The foundation gave away $1.4 million in grants and more than $430,000 in scholarships last year. Over 30 years, Blue River has given away $14.5 million in grants and $5.1 million in scholarships.