Kiwanis Endowment Meeting Current Needs

The community often sees the photos of various grant donations from one organization to another, be it the Fayette County Foundation, United Way of Fayette County or others.

But, just as often, they don’t know or realize how those grants came to be and, in turn, what those grants do for the community.

Recently, the Fayette County Foundation awarded grants from their various endowments to several local organizations, for use by those organizations in their various efforts to better the Fayette County community.

One of those organizations to be awarded a grant from the FCF was the Connersville Kiwanis Club, with their grant coming from an endowment started by two of their own – Bill and Julia Yake.

The Yakes, longtime members of the Kiwanis, created an endowment in 2015 for the Kiwanis Club Community Service Committee, on the heels of the Kiwanis Club itself creating an endowment, with the FCF.

The purpose? To help the club in its various efforts within the community.

“Bill had served on the Club’s Community Service Committee and valued the importance of the work the Club did in the community,” said FCF Executive Director Anna Dungan.

In the creation of the endowments, according to Dungan, the initial gifts which created the endowment are in perpetuity – meaning they will always be there to keep the endowment alive.

“That means that only the earnings will be used for the mission of the Club,” Dungan stated. “The principal will stay forever and grow. Anyone can donate to the Kiwanis Club Endowment and the Yake Kiwanis Club Community Service Endowment at any time for any amount.”

In 2017, the FCF awarded a grant from each endowment to the Kiwanis, one for $890.07 to the Kiwanis Club itself from its endowment, and another $1,130.05 to its Service Committee from the Yake Kiwanis Club Community Service Endowment fund.

“The Kiwanis Club can now choose the best use of those funds for the year,” Dungan stated.

And what will those funds be used for? A wide variety of efforts, per Kiwanis Treasurer Ralph Burchett.

Last year, for instance, the Kiwanis have used those grant awards from the respective endowments to donate to efforts such as “Wreathes Across America” at Dale Cemetery, the Connersville Community Choir and its “Messiah” performance, supplying and serving meals at both The Ha*ven and the Salvation Army meal programs, the United Way of Fayette County, the Connersville High School Key Club, Historic Connersville and the new Fayette County Historical Musuem, the Fayette County Humane Society and Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis.

“We’re very community-oriented,” Burchett said. “Every cent of (the Yake endowment grant) is spent on community efforts.”

Another effort was supplying wheelchairs for some of the veterans participating in last year’s Honor Flight.

“One of the biggest things we did last year was the Honor Flight,” Burchett said. “It was said they needed wheelchairs for the veterans who couldn’t walk, so however many we bought, another area company would match it.”

And all that is just one little portion of the many efforts being made, through the various FCF endowments, by local organizations to improve life in Connersville and Fayette County.

This year Kiwanis received a grant from their endowment for $890.07 and the Kiwanis Club Service Committee received $1,130.05 from Bill and Julia’s endowment.  The Kiwanis Club can now choose the best use of those funds for the year.


Anna Dungan, Kiwanis Club Treasurer Ralph Burchett, and Kiwanis President Beth Butsch.