Awards given at RCCF meeting

Linda Chandler

Friends of the Ripley County Community Foundation including donors, board members, volunteers, grant and scholarship recipients, gathered June 22 for the foundation’s annual dinner meeting at the Napoleon Community Center.

Guests received the foundation’s annual report and several people were recognized for their work and commitment to the foundation.

President of the RCCF Board of Directors, Brenda Wetzler, presented this year’s President’s Award to John Kellerman, attorney and long time advocate for RCCF. “John has been an integral part in the growth and the development of the foundation, he has been an ambassador, educator and a true friend that we depend on,” stated Wetzler. In accepting the award, Kellerman noted that he loves what he does for the foundation and that is has been a fantastic group to work with.

Deb Locke who has served as a past president of the board and has served on the board for the past ten years, was the recipient of the Executive Director’s Award presented by Sally Morris, executive director of RCCF. Morris listed the many committees and events that Locke has served on and chaired over the past several years, adding, “Deb has had a huge impact on the foundation with her many new ideas and enthusiasm, it has been a blessing to work with Deb.”

Gregory Rust of Hilliard Lyons, gave a short overview of the financial report and was followed by Sally Morris who recognized the new funds which were started in the foundation this year. This includes the Matthew Obendorf Memorial Soccer Fund, the Milan ’54 Museum Fund, the Wayne Q. Fischer Southeast IN YMCA Fund, The Versailles Baptist Church Fund, the James W. and Wilke A. Lemon Memorial Scholarship Fund, the SE IN Natural Gas Scholarship Fund and the Dan Hillenbrand Memorial YMCA Fund.

Janet Hansen, chair of the volunteer committee, recognized the many volunteers who help the foundation throughout the year. Ripley County Community Scholars Jessica Bosse, Oldenburg Academy; Brooke Gilland, Jac-Cen-Del; Arielle Noel, Milan; and Rebecca Wagner, Jac-Cen-Del, along with Lilly Endowment Scholar, Elizabeth Smith, Milan, were recognized and introduced by Janet Moore, chair of the scholarship committee.

Moore also introduced last year’s Lilly Scholars, Trisha Lecher and Luke Shaw who spoke to the audience about their college experiences.

This year the Ripley County Community Foundation will distribute over $100,000 in large grants and $24,000 in small grants according to Mark Collier, chairman of the grants committee. He went on to announce the recipients of the 2010 grants who received $40,662 in large grants and $10,000 in small grants.

The meeting concluded with the recognition of retiring board members Bud McGowan, Deb Locke, Jenny Darnold and George Junker.

For more information about the Ripley County Community Foundation or to access the annual report, go online to

Pictured above: Brenda Wetzler, left, president of the Ripley County Community Foundation Board of Directors presented the President's Award to John Kellerman, right, attorney and long time advocate for the foundation.

Pictured above:
Sally Morris, left, presented the Executive Director's Award to Deb Locke, right, who has served as past president of the board and served on the board for the past ten years.