Our foundation, created in 1960, has worked diligently to establish permanently endowed funds for the benefit of the local communities. As a 501(c)(3) organization, we cultivate and invest public money for disbursement to a variety of projects and programs. Our Foundation makes grants to qualifying local organizations that work to meet the needs of community residents. We fund scholarships for students attending post-secondary school. Also provided are interest-free loans to students advancing their education.
The Mercer County Civic Foundation is a Community Foundation committed to enhancing the quality of life for the people of Mercer County, Ohio, by cultivating, managing and disbursing charitable resources.
Board of Directors
President, Elizabeth Muether, Celina
Vice President, V.J. Westerheide, Coldwater
Sec./Treasurer, Dina Bertke, Maria Stein
Barbara Hamilton, Mendon
Dave Kaiser, St. Henry
Karla Butler, Rockford
Evin Bachelor, Celina
Phil Fullenkamp, St. Henry
Sharon Green, Executive Director
Evelyn Vian, Office Administrator
The Mercer County Civic Foundation was founded in 1960 by local professionals C.A. Stubbs, Homer J. Hinders and William Meikle. They realized that a not-for-profit corporation dedicated to strengthening the lives of our citizens would be a tremendous asset for the community.
The first bequest to the Foundation in 1962 benefitted both the Boy and Girl Scouts and the first capital campaign for the Mercer County Council for Retarded Children. Gifts in 1963-65 for the Montgomery and Walter Mersman Funds established the first of several interest-free loan funds for county students. Since those initial years, a multitude of funds have been established allowing the Foundation to better serve our residents.
Those three original founders followed the example of the very first community foundation, created in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1914. Donors make a gift or leave a legacy to the Foundation. That gift is pooled with other donations to establish a permanent trust. The yearly interest earned by the trust is used to make grants to area non-profit organizations, often with specifications suggested by the donor. The principal amount remains intact and continues to grow, assuring the future of the charitable gift.
Assets of the Mercer County Civic Foundation totaled over $27 million at the close of 2020, with $7.6 million received in gifts in that same year. Charitable payouts for scholarships, grants and loans for the year totaled over $1.3 million.
Throughout the 60-year history of this Foundation, the Board of Directors has worked diligently to ensure that each donor’s charitable intent is honored. The Mercer County Civic Foundation continues to provide continuity, integrity and expertise in local philanthropy.