Heritage Fund celebrates 40 years, $67 million in grants

The Heritage Fund — Bartholomew County’s Community Foundation held its annual meeting and awards ceremony Thursday night. The agency is celebrating 40 years in Columbus, where it has distributed nearly $67 million in grants since its founding.

In 2015, the Heritage Fund raised more than $5 million in gifts and awarding more than $3 million in grants and scholarships

Jim Henderson, the last surviving board member from the 1976 creation of the foundation, was the keynote speaker. He presented the annual award named in his honor, the James A. Henderson Award for Fundraising, to Eric Neal for Neal’s work raising money to repair the Hamilton Ice Arena. Henderson talked about Neal’s persistence:

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The Heritage Fund also recognized three outgoing board members: Jesse Brand, Mark Elwood and Kristen Brown.

Each outgoing board member was asked to choose a local cause and the Heritage Fund donated $1,000 in the board member’s name. Brand chose the effort to keep the Flamenco sculpture in Columbus. Elwood chose Family School Partners. Both former board members also matched the Heritage Fund donation with $1,000 of their own money.

Heritage Fund officials said that Brown, the former Columbus mayor, has not made her preferences known to the foundation.