Archive for July, 2010

Longtime leader Nancy K. Johnson transitioning to retirement

The Legacy Foundation, Lake County’s Community Foundation, has named Harry J. Vande Velde III as president and chief executive officer.

Vande Velde joined the organization in mid-June to ensure a seamless transition as longtime President Nancy Johnson transitions to retirement. Johnson announced in March she will retire this year after 11 years as president of the organization, prompting a nationwide search. Vande Velde was selected by a search committee comprised of Legacy Foundation board members and representatives of the community and Lake County nonprofit organizations from among nearly 100 applicants.

“Harry brings an extensive background in fundraising and nonprofit leadership as well as education that will benefit Legacy Foundation and the community,” said Robert Nickovich, chairman of the board of directors of Legacy Foundation. “His vision will support the strategic direction the board has set, which is focused on educational attainment for all students in Lake County.”

Vande Velde noted that he and Johnson are working collaboratively, with board support, to effect a smooth transition in leadership of the foundation. Johnson will be serving as a mentor and advisor to Vande Velde in the coming months.

During Johnson’s tenure, Legacy’s assets have grown from $8 million to more than $35 million. Since its founding in 1992, Legacy has awarded more than $20 million in grants and scholarships.

“My charge is to be the guardian of all that Nancy has brought to the Legacy Foundation, to the constituencies of Lake County, and to the impact this organization has on the community,” Vande Velde said. “I understand the dynamics of the economy and of 21st century philanthropy, and I will work diligently with the board of directors to make sure that Legacy Foundation is always positioned to be the best choice for a donor. We truly want to be the leading philanthropic entity in Lake County, for donors and for those seeking grants.”

Vande Velde previously was vice president of development for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Chicago. He also served as CEO of St. Jude League & Claretian Publications in Chicago, and as president, or headmaster, of The Schools of St. Benedict in Chicago, which has 800 students from preschool through high school.

In addition, Vande Velde’s experience includes nonprofit consulting and presenting, teaching and coaching. He earned a master’s degree in education with a concentration in supervision from Cleveland State University, and a bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Dayton.

Vande Velde and his wife, Paula, a Lake County native, look forward to relocating to the community from Chicago.

Johnson’s retirement caps a 35-year career in nonprofit development, both as a volunteer and as professional staff. She is retiring to spend more time with family, to travel and to pursue personal interests.

“The board of directors has worked very hard to develop a strategic vision, and they understand the changing role of community foundations,” Johnson said. “I think this is a very exciting time, both for me and for the organization. Change is good for an organization. It brings new ideas and different perspectives. Legacy Foundation is well-positioned to continue its tradition of growth and leadership to benefit people throughout Lake County.”

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Greater Hammond Community Services will increase its capacity to provide food for local families through a recent grant from Legacy Foundation, Lake County’s Community Foundation.

The $5,600 grant will enable Greater Hammond Community Services to purchase and install a 16-foot walk-in freezer at its food pantry, replacing seven chest freezers and a walk-in cooler. The change will increase capacity and efficiency at the food pantry, where the need for services has increased over the past several years, said Tim Cottingham, GHCS executive director.

“We’ll be able to accept more donations because we can store more food safely in the new freezer,” Cottingham explained. “We can handle more product than we could before. The walk-in freezer also will cut down on the labor required by our staff and volunteers, because it will make it easier to rotate foods, and it will save us money on utilities.”

The GHCS food pantry serves approximately 1,000 families per month from its location at 824 Hoffman Street in Hammond. The facility also stores food for several smaller food pantries in the surrounding area, so the new freezer will benefit nearby communities as well, Cottingham noted.

The grant to Greater Hammond Community Services was among $58,400 awarded by Legacy Foundation to education and community initiatives throughout Lake County during the second quarter. Others included:

From the Lake County Community Fund

Izaak Walton League of America, Diana Chapter – $10,000 commitment to support the completion of a full-length documentary on the natural and cultural history of the Grand Kankakee Marsh.

Our Family Center – $10,000 to support after-school tutoring and mentoring for at-risk children.

Northwest Indiana Habitat for Humanity – $5,000 challenge grant to support another build in the “Field of Dreams” development in Gary.

Catholic Charities – $4,500 to help fund a pilot program of vision screening for all 3- to 6-year-old children in Lake County.

Indiana Bar Foundation – $3,500 to support two pilot projects in the Gary Community School Corporation of the Project Citizen program, designed to engage students and the community in exploration of public policy and civic engagement.

From the Maria Reiner Senior Citizens Fund

Hobart Family YMCA – $10,000 for continued support of the highly successful Hobart Senior Transportation Program, which provides low-cost transportation to seniors who live and travel in Hobart.

School City of Hobart – $9,200 to support five performances just for senior citizens at Hobart High School.

Hobart Family YMCA – $600 to support a picnic open to all Hobart seniors prior to a concert in Festival Park.

To apply for funding
The next deadline for submitting grant applications to Legacy Foundation is Sept. 1, 2010.  An informational brown bag session about submitting a grant will be held from 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. on July 20 at the Munster location of the Lake County Public Library, 8701 Calumet Ave. Contact Cara Spicer at cspicer@legacyfoundationlakeco.org to R.S.V.P. for the informative session.

Download a grant application and guidelines at www.legacyfoundationlakeco.org.

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Come to the Proposal Prep “Brown Bag” Session

September 29, 2010
12:30 – 2:00
Munster Branch of the Lake County Public Library
You bring your sandwich, we’ll provide a drink, chips and a dessert!
E-mail Cara Spicer at cspicer@legacyfoundationlakeco.org to reserve your spot.

The Next Proposal Deadline is November 1st

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