Betty Ann McCullough Education Grants Open Now for Funding Requests

January 2018–Three grant programs supported by the Betty Ann McCullough Education Fund of Gibson County are currently accepting funding requests, applications, and nominations. The deadline for all three programs is February 28, 2018.

These grant opportunities, administered by the Gibson County Community Foundation, are made possible through the Betty Ann McCullough Education Seminar and Convocation Grants Program, focused on supporting and improving the knowledge and skills of Gibson County educators; the Betty Ann McCullough Enrichment Project Grants Program, providing funds for innovative projects, programs, and equipment to enhance education opportunities for all Gibson County residents; and the Betty Ann McCullough Teaching Achievement Grant Program, to recognize a public school educator for outstanding dedication and success of their public school students in Gibson County.

Specific criteria and additional eligibility requirements for each of the Betty Ann McCullough Education Fund Grant Programs, can be found on the Gibson County Community Foundation grants page.

The Betty Ann McCullough Education Fund was created in 1998 to support educational endeavors in Gibson County. After Betty Ann McCullough’s death in 1997, friends and family created the fund in memory of Mrs. McCullough, who had been an educator for the North Gibson School Corporation for more than 40 years, had taught at Oakland City University, and was a strong supporter of education in her community. Along with a number of other civic memberships, Mrs. McCullough was a board member of the Gibson County Community Foundation.


Receptions Surprise Regional 2018 Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship Recipients

Southwestern Indiana – Recipients of the annual Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship in Gibson, Posey, Vanderburgh, and Warrick counties were celebrated in their schools last week during surprise – and often emotional – scholarship award receptions attended by family, friends, and school staff. County scholarship committee and advisory board members, as well as Kristi Rhule, Community Foundation Alliance Regional Scholarship Manager for the 4 counties, represented the Community Foundations to award each of the scholarships. (More, below images.)

As Lilly Endowment Community Scholars, each recipient is awarded a full-tuition scholarship, plus a $900 yearly stipend for required books and equipment, throughout four years of full-time undergraduate study leading to a baccalaureate degree at any Indiana public or private nonprofit college or university accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Offered state-wide, the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship Program is highly competitive. Applicants are evaluated by each county Community Foundation scholarship committee based on a number of criteria, including academics, extracurricular and community involvement, essays, and interviews. The finalists’ names are then submitted to Independent Colleges of Indiana (ICI) for final selection of the recipient. The Community Foundation Alliance of Evansville coordinates administration of the program for all its 9 county affiliate Community Foundations. ICI provides statewide oversight of the program, representing Indiana’s 30 private, non-profit, regionally-accredited colleges and universities. There were 143 scholarships awarded across Indiana.

2018 Lilly Endowment Community Scholars for Gibson, Posey, Vanderburgh, and Warrick counties are:

Elizabeth Spindler, a senior at Gibson Southern High School in Gibson County, the daughter of Kevin and Jennifer Spindler of Haubstadt. She intends to pursue a course of study in Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences and pursue a career as an audiologist. In addition to being a member of her school’s Academic Teams, she has been active in the school’s Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Spanish Club, Sunshine Society, Titan mentor program, pep club, choir, and numerous theater productions, and played volleyball in her freshman and sophomore years. Throughout high school, Spindler has worked in childcare with young children, pet care, and as a tutor, as well as being an active volunteer in her church community.

Lindsey Koester, a senior at North Posey High School in Posey County, the daughter of Dale and Lisa Koester of Wadesville. She plans to pursue nursing and hopes to eventually return to Posey County to help improve rural healthcare. Koester is ranked first in her class and is Senior Class President & Student Council President. She competed with the Interdisciplinary Academic Team; served as FFA President, winning 2 National awards, 14 state awards, and 17 local awards; placed and won state awards at the National Science Fair; is a member of the National Honor Society; and has volunteered with Big Brothers/Big Sisters. She has also been active in dance, track, and cheerleading, receiving 10 varsity letters in all and was given the Sportsmanship Award by her peers in 2016. Koester has held 3 jobs concurrently throughout high school, tutors, is active in 4H, winning numerous local and state awards, secured grants for community volunteer activities, and is a Church Youth Leader.

Maansi Asthana, a senior at Signature School in Vanderburgh County, the daughter of Himanshu and Roli Asthana of Evansville. Asthana intends to study engineering. Asthana is active in the Spanish, Math, and Robotics clubs, the Student Council, on the cross-country and track teams, and is a member of the National Honor Society. She is a swimming instructor and active volunteer at the YMCA. She has volunteered with cMoe, Habitat for Humanity, and Uncharted International. A violinist, Asthana has been a soloist and a member of the Evansville Philharmonic Youth Orchestra since 2012.

Alena Coleman, a senior at Memorial High School in Vanderburgh County, the daughter of Joseph Coleman of Evansville and Amy Abuasabeh of Indianapolis. Coleman intends to pursue studies in political science and English. Coleman has won numerous academic awards and recognition for her participation in the Academic Decathlon at both the state and national levels and been active with the Drama Club and in marching band. She is a member of the National Honor Society and a 4-year homeroom representative with Student Council. Active in Girl Scouts, Coleman has received seven Journey Awards, the Leadership Pin, the Bronze Award and Silver Award, and the Bronze Presidential Medal of Volunteer Service. She is also very active in the Good Shepherd Catholic Parish Youth Ministry.

Maria Sermersheim, a senior at Memorial High School in Vanderburgh County, the daughter of Keith and Connie Sermersheim of Evansville. She intends to study biochemistry and pursue a career in pediatric oncology. She has been a writer for The Message, a weekly news publication of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Evansville, and has worked retail and service jobs, as well as babysitting. School activities include the Key Club, Teens for Life, Link Crew, and Cover to Cover Book Club. Sermersheim is a member of the National Honor Society. Her community volunteer work has included extensive activity with the Good Shepherd Youth Ministry, St John’s Daylight Youth Group, and the Youth Resources’ Teen Advisory Council.

Cameron Vaughn, a senior at Castle High School in Warrick County, the son of David and Kathy Vaughn of Newburgh. Vaughn plans study biology to become a veterinarian. He has worked at Chateau Dog & Cat Hospital as a kennel technician, and has volunteered as a Mesker Park Zoo and Botanical Gardens Zoo Teen and with Community One in Evansville. Vaughn has participated in cross country track and field and archery at Castle, as well as been a violinist with the U of E Suzuki Program and the Evansville Philharmonic Youth Orchestra. Vaughn has been the recipient of the National Merit Scholarship Commended Student award, the Evansville Courier & Press Star Student Award, and the Castle High School Scholastic ‘C’ Award. He is a member of the National Honor Society and the Japanese National Honor Society.

Rhadha Patel, a senior at Castle High School in Warrick County, the daughter of Roopesh and Bhavna Patel of Newburgh. She plans to study neuroscience and pursue a career in medicine. Patel, a varsity athlete in volleyball and tennis, is also a member of the Evansville River City Volleyball Club, Student Council, National Honor Society, Math Club, and Business Professionals of America. At Castle, she serves as President of the Key Club, Founder and President of Global Medical Brigades Club, Vice President of the Spanish Club, and Treasurer of the Games with Grandparents Club. Patel maintained a full Advanced Placement academic schedule and spent summers volunteering at the St Vincent Hospital gift shop.

The scholarships are the result of a statewide Lilly Endowment initiative to help raise the level of educational attainment in Indiana; increase awareness of the beneficial roles Indiana community foundations can play in their communities; and encourage and support the efforts of current and past Lilly Endowment Community Scholars to engage with each other and with Indiana business, governmental, educational, nonprofit and civic leaders to improve the quality of life in Indiana generally and in local communities throughout the state. Since the program was first offered in 1998, Lilly Endowment has remained steadfast in its belief that education at all levels is indispensable to the personal, civic and economic well-being of Indiana’s residents and communities.

For more information about regional scholarship opportunities in Gibson, Posey, Vanderburgh, and Warrick counties through the Community Foundation Alliance, contact Kristi Rhule, Regional Scholarship Manager at (304) 541-4811 or

Community Foundation Alliance Announces 2018 Regional Scholarship Opportunities

Scholarship opportunities are now available through the Community Scholarship programs of the Community Foundations of Gibson, Posey, Vanderburgh, and Warrick counties, regional partners in the Community Foundation Alliance.

Each county Community Scholarship program is made up of county-specific scholarship funds, each with individual selection criteria and eligibility requirements. These scholarships were created by donors to provide students within the 4 county region with opportunities for advanced education. All awards are made without regard to race, creed, color, sex, religion, or national origin. Application deadlines vary.

Applicants are required to submit their applications online.
The available Community Scholarship opportunities for each county can be found at:

Gibson County Community Foundation

Posey County Community Foundation

Vanderburgh Community Foundation

Warrick County Community Foundation

The Gibson, Posey, Vanderburgh, and Warrick County Community Foundations, partners in the Community Foundation Alliance, are charitable resources devoted to their local communities, helping people make meaningful gifts that improve life in their counties today and for generations to come. The Foundations are each made up of a collection of endowed funds — such as scholarship funds — established by donors focused on charitable endeavors.

For more information about regional scholarship opportunities, contact Kristi Rhule, Regional Scholarship Manager at (304) 541-4811 or

More Than $54,500 Going To 14 Community Good Grant Award Recipients

November 8, 2017–The Gibson County Community Foundation will distribute grant awards totaling $54,534 to 14 charitable organizations serving Gibson County, during its annual meeting on November 9 at the Toyota Events Center, at the Gibson County Fairgrounds.

The grants are awarded through the Foundation’s Community Good Grant program, to charitably support arts and culture, community development, education, health, human services, and other civic endeavors, such as the environment, recreation, and youth development throughout the local community.

Community Good and field of interest funds, established by individual donors and held by the Foundation, provide grant dollars for the awards, to help address Gibson County’s ever-changing needs by supporting the important work of charitable partner organizations across the county.

Grants will be awarded to:

$4000 to East Gibson Dollars for Scholars to supplement East Gibson Dollars for Scholars Scholarship funding;

$4000 to Princeton Area Dollars for Scholars, Inc. to supplement Princeton Area Dollars for Scholars funding;

$10000 to Patoka United Methodist Church for the Family Life Center Sound Improvement project;

$12441 to Princeton Community Intermediate School for the Reading Well: A Passport to a Strong Future program;

$5072.47 to Barton Township Fire Department, Inc for the purchase of a turnout gear washer/extractor;

$1829 to Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Ohio Valley for the Communication Tools for RMHC of the Ohio Valley program;

$4000 to St Peter & Paul Church for the Haubstadt Boy Scout Troop 246 project to purchase an enclosed trailer;

$5000 to Holly’s House, Inc. for the “Think First & Stay Safe” – Child Abuse Prevention Program;

$1725 to The Arc of Gibson County for the Consumer Health & Wellness: Exercise program;

$252 to Princeton Community Intermediate School for 3 chairs for the Bouncing Towards Success project;

$2345 to Nazarene Church for Barton Township Softball and Baseball Field Improvement project;

$712 to The Arc of Gibson County for the Consumer Art Program – Life Skills;

$1579 to Gibson County Habitat for Humanity to support the 2017-2018 New Home Build project

$1579 to Junior Achievement of Southwestern Indiana to support the Career Success with Junior Achievement program;

The family of Community Good and field of interest funds held by Gibson County Community Foundation are: Bonaparte Family Unrestricted Fund; Brown Family Fund; Phillip and Sharen Buyher Fund; Ann, John and William Eugene Dunn Fund; Friends of Gibson County Fund; Jack Freudenberg Family Fund; German American Bancorp Community Fund; Gibson Board of Trustees Fund; Troy and Virginia Land Unrestricted Fund; Melvin Oing Memorial Fund; David and Janet Oldham Family Fund; Smithville Charitable Foundation Fund of Gibson County; Ray J. (Jerry) Watson and Ruth L. Watson Memorial Fund; Toyota Fund.

A full list of all funds held by the Gibson County Community Foundation can be found at:

A full list of all Gibson County Community Foundation funding opportunities can be found at:

2018 Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship Program Opens

Princeton, Indiana – The Gibson County Community Foundation is now accepting applications online for the 2018 Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship Program. The scholarship is open to Indiana high school students who will be graduating from an accredited Indiana high school by June 2018. To learn more about conditions for the award, eligibility requirements, selection criteria and application code please visit Deadline to apply is September 6, 2017. The link to apply can be found at the bottom of the Opportunities page:

The 2018 Gibson County Lilly Endowment Community Scholar will be named early in December 2017.

The scholarship provides full tuition, required fees, and an annual stipend of up to $900 for required books and equipment for four years of full time undergraduate study leading to a baccalaureate degree at any Indiana public or private nonprofit college or university accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. The Community Foundation will nominate one student to receive the scholarship.

The Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship Program is a statewide program administered by local community foundations throughout Indiana. The Community Foundation administers the program locally in coordination with the Community Foundation Alliance of Evansville (our governing body), and Independent Colleges of Indiana (ICI) provides statewide oversight of the program.

The Lilly Endowment is an Indianapolis-based, private philanthropic foundation, created in 1937 by members of the Lilly Family. In keeping with the wishes of the founding members, the Lilly Endowment exists to support the causes of education, religion and community development. Since the program was first introduced in 1998, Lilly Endowment has remained steadfast in its belief that education at all levels is indispensable to the personal, civic and economic well-being of Indiana residents and communities.

ICI is a nonprofit corporation that represents 31 regionally accredited degree granting, nonprofit, private colleges and universities in the state. The scholarships are the result of a statewide Lilly Endowment initiative to help Indiana students reach higher levels of education. The Lilly Endowment has remained steadfast in its belief that education at all levels is indispensable to the personal, civic, and economic well-being of Indiana residents and communities.

About the Gibson County Community Foundation
Established in 1993, the Gibson County Community Foundation is a charitable resource devoted to the local community. A partner of the Community Foundation Alliance, with oversight by a local 18-member Advisory Board, the Foundation is made up of a family of 88 charitable funds, established by caring people who give back to causes and organizations in the community. Gifts to the Foundation leave a permanent legacy through the power of endowment, where earnings are used to make grants and scholarships that benefit the community forever.

The Gibson County Community Foundation helps people make a difference where it matters, invest in the future of the community they love, and create greater good together. The Foundation’s office is located at 127 N Hart St. in Princeton. To learn more, call 812-386-8082

Gibson County Community Good Grant Applications Now Being Accepted

Gibson County, Indiana The Gibson County Community Foundation, a partner of the Community Foundation Alliance in Evansville, Indiana, announce that applications for the 2017 Gibson County Community Good Grants program are now being accepted.

Funding requests are welcomed for charitable projects and activities that address needs and opportunities in the community, in the areas of health, human services, arts and culture, education, community development, and others that would improve quality of life in Gibson County.

Applications will be accepted from nonprofit organizations that are deemed tax-exempt under sections 501(c)(3) and 509(a) of the Internal Revenue Code and from governmental agencies serving the county. Requests from nonprofit organizations not classified as a 501(c)(3) public charity may be considered provided the project is charitable and supports a community need. Proposals must be submitted by Tuesday, August 1, 2017. The Community Good Grants Program application guidelines and information are found online at

Prospective grant applicants may inquire with questions to Melinda Waldroup, Alliance Program Director, (812) 429-1191, or email for more information.

All organizations that have submitted grant applications will be notified of the outcome of the grants committee’s deliberation in writing before November 1, 2017.

Foundation Grants Help Keep Gibson County Communities Safer

The house is on fire, there is an accident, a medical emergency…who responds? If you are in the Barton Township Fire Territory, farmers, coal miners, mechanics, nurses, and factory workers, among others, respond. They lay down their tools, push back from the table, get out of bed, and go to any emergency when a call for help goes out.

The Barton Township Fire Territory consists of 2 fire departments that combined to form the Fire Territory. They currently have fire stations at Somerville, under Fire Chief Kevin Kruse, and at Buckskin, under Fire Chief Dennis Tepe. Barton Township is in southeast Gibson County and covers 50 square miles, which include 1,700 residences. The department averages 125 runs a year total, including 12-15 runs along 8 miles of I69.

There are currently 27 fire fighters in the Barton Township Fire Territory, a 100% volunteer unit. Each volunteer undergoes 40-60 hours of initial training and then a minimum of 20 hours a year of additional training. Specialty training is given in grain bin rescue, as well. When the 2 departments combined in 2015, however, communication became a huge issue due to the distance from the main dispatch in Princeton.

The department needed a Fire Text Response system allowing pages to go to cell phones, which could be received in all parts of the county. With help from a grant from the Gibson County Community Foundation, the Fire Territory was able to purchase this system, which has increased by 50% the number of fire fighters able to respond to a call. The system also shows who is responding directly to a fire and who is going to the stations to pick up the trucks, so the efficiency is greatly improved.

This past year, the Fire Territory asked for a thermal imaging device to detect hot spots in fires and for search and rescue. Again, this has been utilized repeatedly to find the source of a fire when smoke and debris block visuals. The Foundation is excited to be able to grant these funds to improve the safety of these communities.

In asking Fire Chief Kevin Kruse what he would like the public to know about the Fire Territory and its volunteers, he stated, “Barton Township Fire Territory is stepping up its program through training and equipment to better serve and protect the people of our township and county. We are here to help all who need us”.

Donations to the Barton Township Fire Territory can be made to PO Box 2, Steve Doerner, treasurer, Mackey, 47654. For more information call Kevin Kruse at 812 457-8117.  For more information on the Gibson County Community Foundation, call 812 386-8082 or like Gibson County Community Foundation on Facebook.

The Salvation Army

Many of us know The Salvation Army as the “bell-ringers” of Christmas.  They are standing outside of stores and businesses in all types of weather, ringing their bells, and asking for donations.  Little do we know of the many projects and missions that the Salvation Army tackles throughout the year with the only income being from these red kettles and grants and gifts from individuals and organizations such as the Gibson County Community Foundation.

Lt. Jonathon Cooper and his wife, Lt. Chrissy Cooper lead the army of volunteers in Gibson County.  Lt. Cooper says, “We only have 1 part time paid employee besides myself and my wife”.  All donation money goes to their good works and all of it stays in Gibson and Pike Counties which are included in their territory.  The Gibson County Community Foundation made a sizeable grant to their building fund 13 years ago which helped to build their current building on Gibson St. in Princeton and continues to grant them money each year for their “Tools for Schools” program.

“Tools for Schools” begins each year with Lt. Cooper contacting the schools in Gibson and Pike Counties and asking for lists of school supplies needed by each class from kindergarten to 12th grade.  Next, backpacks are ordered wholesale to keep the cost low.  Now the volunteers take the lists to a local store and purchase the supplies which are then separated into school, class, and age as needed by the army of volunteers.  Lt. Cooper states, “We always buy locally so that the money we spend stays in our economy rather than go outside of the county.”  The next step is to stuff the backpacks and prepare them for distribution.  On average, 400 backpacks, each with about $25 of school supplies are prepared with an additional 100 to 150 prepared for Pike County schools.  Lt. Cooper says, “If money is available, we have had as many as 600 backpacks to hand out, but we are limited by the amount of the donations during the year.  There is no income requirement for a child to receive a backpack, only proof that the child belongs to the adult that accompanies him or her to the Salvation Army to pick it up.”

In addition to the “Tools for Schools” program, the Salvation Army gave out 30,000 lbs of food this past year along with formula, diapers, and other necessities.  All of these items are donated or purchased with money granted, donated or collected during their red kettle drive which starts this year at midnight on Nov 23rd and runs through mid day on Christmas Eve.  During this time, the goal is to collect $105,000 dollars which is about 1/3 of their operating costs.  Their total yearly budget is $288,000.  The majority of their budget is from donations and grants such as the “Tools for Schools” grant made available from the Gibson County Community Foundation.  “Watching these children open up their backpack to a new box of crayons, glue, and pencils is worth all the work that goes into this project by the volunteers.” When asked if there is a noticeable difference between the people of Gibson County and the people in Chicago where he was stationed prior to Princeton, Lt. Cooper thoughtfully said, “The people in this area were more philanthropic and more people give in some amount.”

“We are doing for the Lord,” as the Salvation Army gets ready to ring those bells with a joyful heart and pass your donations on to those who most need them.

Anyone wanting about the Salvation Army and their services can call at 812-286-6577 or check their web site at