During the latter portion of 1989, a group of over 20 forward-thinking Huntington County citizens began meeting to investigate and discuss the creation – utilizing assistance from the Lilly Endowment – of a community foundation in Huntington County. Steve Piekarski, then President of First National Bank, got the ball rolling after discussing the possibility with Charles Johnson of the Lilly Endowment.
In August 1990 a workshop at the LaFontaine Center was hosted by Barb Hancher of the Huntington County Chamber of Commerce and characterized as a regional information meeting offering the “opportunity for a broader base of people to get more technical information.”
The following month a meeting was held to discuss an informational letter that Charles Johnson has sent to the organizing group. By December 1990 a “Huntington Civic Foundation” meeting was held to draft by-laws and review existing foundation and charitable trusts currently existing within Huntington County.
Early in 1991 the initial name had been changed to the “Heritage Fund of Huntington County” and Piekarski felt that it was “now appropriate to bring all interested parties together to assure a broad-based understanding of the Foundation, its operating mechanisms and benefits it can provide.”
In March 1991 there was an open meeting at the Huntington Public Library regarding movement toward this innovative concept, followed by an organizational meeting of the Heritage Fund of Huntington County in July 1991. At that meeting the agenda included: Adopting by-laws, Certification of Directors Class and Terms of Office, Election of Officers, Nomination/Election of Polk, Lancaster and Rock Creek representative, Budget – Operation funds, Project funds and Endowment funds, IRS application and Marketing Plan.
The initial Board of Directors slate included: Steve Piekarski – President, Don Scheiber – Vice President, Ruth Michael – Secretary, Randy Rider – Treasurer, and Directors Ben Good, Mark Welker and Jane Schenkel. Since then the roster of board members reflects a virtual who’s who of Huntington County leaders’ intent on improving the quality of life for all of its citizens.
Thank you all for contributing your time, your talents and your treasures!