When History is All About the Present and the Future

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By Jennifer Fox

When I consider the history of the Henry County Community Foundation, several things came to mind.

  • Names like Patty and Danny Danielson, Morris Edwards, Judy Melton, Dick Myers. All have passed but left a mark in our history.
  • Lilly Endowment grants—seven, so far—challenging our community to invest in ourselves through endowment, impacting all Henry County.
  • Executive Directors, Joan Stairs, Herb Bunch, Duke Hamm, Jerry Schaeffer Back, and Beverly Matthews, each leading a growing Foundation.
  • Thousands of donors and hundreds of volunteers, each impacting Henry County in their own way.

These speak of our rich history but are not exclusive to just one period of time.  Instead, it is a continuum, a weaving of people, partnerships, trials and triumphs that have shaped our community and continue to impact our lives—every day.

A walk through the Arts Park is a reminder of a grant in 1992, which provided a match for a new Art Center.

A partnership with the HC Redevelopment Commission allowed a grant from HCCF to help lay the infrastructure to develop an industrial park—where HC residents are employed by Boars Head and TS Tech.

Healthy Communities of HC created a trail system plan and HCCF has been able to provide grant assistance for construction and upkeep of four current trails; with plans for more.  During the pandemic, the trails saw, and continue to see, a significant increase in usage.

These are just three examples of how the history of HCCF is really about the present and future.  Each was made possible because people invested through their Foundation.  So, when considering the history of HCCF, I think about those who had a vision to create a Foundation that would impact every person in Henry County yesterday, today, and tomorrow—a Foundation which is now yours and mine.