Foundation Fact Friday: Getting Better with Age

Next week, on May 21st, the Rush County Community Foundation will celebrate its 27th birthday!  Like any birthday, this date provides us with the opportunity to both reflect and look ahead.  Today’s Foundation Fact Friday celebrates the years, and all of the inputs, that have lead us to another birthday.


When three visionary Rush County businessmen accepted the challenge to invest in their own county and dream for the future, given by Lilly Endowment Inc.’s Giving Indiana Funds for Tomorrow (GIFT) Initiative, they never fully anticipated what would be achieved in a short 27 years.  Paul Barada Sr, Rick Levi, and Dan Earnest’s collective efforts formed the not-for-profit Rush County Community Foundation on May 21, 1991, laying the Foundation and creating a vision and a vehicle in which to enrich the lives of Rush County citizens in a directly meaningful way. 27 years later, RCCF continues to make a real difference in every aspect of Rush County life.


From RCCF’s first days in a donated office space by Jim Payne, to its current location at 117 N Main, a building graciously donated by Terry Smith with Norwest Bank, RCCF has built a solid presence and strong foothold in Rush County. From the first dollar RCCF accepted in 1991 by an individual donor, through the six Lilly Endowment GIFT initiatives and the continued support of thousands of Rush County citizens, RCCF’s assets have grown to over 17 million dollars.


This birthday marks 27 years of individual citizens donating their personal time, their personal talents and their personal treasure to forever benefit Rush County.  Hundreds of donors have come forward to this vehicle, RCCF, providing personal investment to support their home.  These investments have established 192 named endowment funds that impact special interest groups, nonprofit organizations, charitable causes, and our students.  These funds have infused more than $11 million in to our community throughout the past 27 years, a number that will grow exponentially with each birthday we celebrate ahead.


Fortunately, we know each birthday we have to celebrate in the years to come will only be better than the birthday before due to our prudent investment structure and grant making philosophy.  As we age, we will award more grants and scholarships, accept more donations, and hopefully, establish additional meaningful funds, increasing our capabilities to enrich and enhance the quality of life in Rush County.


If you are interested in donating to RCCF, please contact us!  Stop in to visit us at 117 N. Main St. (we’re open 9a-4p), call (765) 938-1177, or email

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