MCCF held its Annual Meeting Thursday, May 19 at the Hoosier Heartland State Bank Success Center. President Torey Rauch presided over the meeting, beginning with standard items of business and the recognition of outgoing and incoming board members.
Outgoing board members are Joyce Grimble, Keith Blaydes, Torey Rauch, and Peggy Burkett. In addition to serving as president, Rauch has served on the Investment Committee, Audit and Finance Committee, and the Executive Committee. Burkett was a past chair of the Grants & Distributions Committee and served on the Governance Committee. Grimble is a past president, past chair of the Scholarship Committee, and served on the Grants & Distributions Committee during her time on the board. Blaydes served on the Investment Committee and chaired the Audit and Finance Committee. Rauch thanked them for their service. Incoming board members are Wendy Feller and Cathy Caldwell. The balance of the 13-member board includes Phil Bane, Preston Bost, Anna Bravo-Moore, Ron Dickerson, Erin Gobel, Zach Hockersmith, David Maharry, Jim McBee, Sheila McCormick, Debbie Schavietello, and Marta Sweek.
Since 1996, the recognition of outstanding volunteers has been a staple of the MCCF Annual Meeting. Two awards are presented, one to an adult and another, the Peggy Herzog Youth Volunteer award goes a young person.
The 2022 MCCF Volunteer of the Year is Cynda Mellish, nominated for her service to Rainbows & Rhymes Preschool and Child Care.
Cynda has served on the advisory board for about five years. She was heavily involved in the transition of the program from half-day preschool to full day child care. She worked with the church to get major renovations completed so the program would be eligible to take state vouchers and become Voluntary Certification Program (VCP) and Child Care and Development (CCDF) certified. Those around her appreciate her organizational skills, her problem solving skills, her commitment to completing a task, and say that her “sense of humor is often inserted at just the right time to keep things light and fun.”
Cynda’s work with Rainbows and Rhymes has crossed our path here at MCCF too. Rainbows and Rhymes, along with Hand in Hand Early Learning Center, were the beneficiaries of the 2019 Child Care Deserts Competition. Each program received $50,000. Rainbows and Rhymes used their funds for the expansion to an all-day program. Cynda’s contributions were central to the success of that proposal. She has also been the primary author of all grant requests to MCCF, which including Child Care Deserts, totals $108,427. She also facilitated the Second Step Social Emotional Learning Training for providers in January 2021. The training along with curriculum kits for providers was funded through a Strong Start Community Grant we received through Early Learning Indiana.
Rauch presented Mellish with a plaque commemorating her service and a $1,000 grant to Rainbows & Rhymes in her honor.
Also nominated was Debbie Swanson for her contributions to the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, organized by United Way in Montgomery County. Debbie spends about 25 hours per week for ten weeks preparing tax returns for seniors and low-income individuals in our community. She had volunteered with the program for 17 years when it was hosted by the Parks & Recreation Dept., and continued serving about 30 individuals when the program stopped in 2017. She was excited when she saw the UWMC press release stating they were becoming a VITA spot and eagerly volunteered to help. Getting one’s taxes filed is not always a pleasant task, but Debbie handles the situation with integrity, politeness and humor, making the process bearable, and even enjoyable.
Rauch presented Swanson with a certificate and a gift as a token of our appreciation.
Next up was the Peggy Herzog Youth Volunteer of the Year Award, which went to Katie Rice for her service to the Animal Welfare League of Montgomery County. Katie became involved with Animal Welfare League through a class she is taking at North Montgomery High School. What started as a class requirement has expanded into much more. Katie is eager to learn and always asking for more work. She comes in after her class time and helps clean and care for the animals. She hopes to have a career working with animals one day.
Rauch presented Rice with a plaque commemorating her service and a $1,000 check went to Animal Welfare League in honor of her service.
President Torey Rauch wrapped up the accomplishments of 2021, the Foundation’s 30th anniversary year, in which $1.8 million was awarded in grants and scholarships. A video capturing highlights of the past year was shown and can be viewed here.