A Look Back at the Wins of 2022

Opportunities that pitted our assets against our community’s challenges defined 2022. We were up to the contest because of our excellent team, headed by you – our generous supporters. Take a look back at what we’ve accomplished together to enhance life for all in Rush County. We are in this to win and making real progress.


Quality of Life

Quality of life is important to the well-being and happiness of our community. But it also helps bring new folks to the community. With population growth come more new amenities, businesses, jobs, and economic opportunities.


  • The REC Center is poised to become one of the most impactful projects in Rush County’s history. RCCF reignited the decades-long dream of building a community center when we received a $5M grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. in late 2020. Former RCCF Executive Director Alisa Winters was instrumental in attaining the award and served on the REC Center committee until her departure in November 2022. RCCF board member, Phil King, and interim executive director, Gerald Mohr both sit on the committee. With construction costs fully funded, groundbreaking is set for the first half of 2023 and completion in the second half of 2024. SEE MORE >


  • Community Based Action Planning‘s (CBAP) Parks Programming Committee gave Kathi Jackley the final push and validation to bring a plan to the Rushville Parks Department, creating a position to provide programming that residents have requested. She was hired as Natural Resource and Program Coordinator. In 2022 your gifts to RCCF provided $11,000 for 2023 programming. Follow their Facebook page for the latest events.
  • Rush County Soil & Water Conservation District received a $1400 grant to partner with other area agencies to provide a series of gardening and conservation programs to be held in our local parks this spring.


  • Milroy Elementary School, in cooperation with the Milroy Economic Development Corporation, received a $12,620 grant to create the Milroy Community Walking Path as part of their Project Based Learning initiative. Once completed, this will be open to the community.
  • Rush County 4-H Horse & Pony Club received $10,000 to add sidewalk access to the restroom facilities and repair cracked sidewalk to the office and concession stand to provide accessibility and safety for all members and guests.


  • CBAP’s Internet Access Committee received a $10,000 grant for the creation of a fiber development agreement. This is a necessary step in their efforts to extend reliable and affordable high-speed internet access to the entire county.


  • Surprise grants were awarded to imagine:nation, the arts & cultural council of Rush County ($1500) and to the Rushville Animal Shelter ($500).
  • The Rushville Regional Theatre is expanding their repertoire and received a $2432.10 grant for a production of skits and songs from Broadway.


  • Milroy Economic Development Corporation’s community mural project was completed in the spring. Artist Lance Woskobojnik worked with community members and students to transform a run-down wall into an awesome work of art. READ MORE >
  • Rushville Animal Shelter shared the incredible transformation of Loki, a dog in their care, made possible by the camera equipment they purchased to help prevent abuse and keep animals safe. READ MORE >



There’s a saying – “safety is small investment for a rich future.” None of us ever expects to need emergency services. But knowing they are available, well-equipped and staffed is a comfort. RCCF’s donors have a long history of supporting our county’s first responders.


  • The City of Rushville Fire & Rescue received a $10,279.99 grant to purchase the Ambu Man Advanced Training Manikin. They extended training to departments throughout the County.
  • The Manilla Volunteer Fire Department received a $7,000 grant to purchase two sets of turnout gear and boots to outfit two new volunteer firemen.


  • The Carthage Volunteer Fire Department purchased grain bin rescue equipment and provided training for its crew with their 2021 grant. With their new facility up and running, they have offered training to surrounding mutual aid departments as well. READ MORE >


Health + Wellness

Although health and wellness is one the biggest challenges many communities face, we’re proud of the work the CBAP committee is doing to address youth mental health, while still exploring new options. No one should ever go hungry. Help is widely available in Rush County, and we’re so grateful for the generosity and legacy of Helen and Jim Ewing.


  • CBAP’s Mental Health committee worked with Rush Memorial Hospital and Drew Hahn to provide mindfulness journals and training to all 7th and 8th grade students. They are learning new tools to cope with depression, anxiety and overwhelming emotions. READ MORE >
  • Anna Jo Richards from Rushville Elementary School West (RESW) knows how to help her students manage their emotions and stress. She has created “Calming Corners” that children can utilize and not disturb other students. Her latest grant of $1429.92 added color changing bubble lamps to all RESW classroom Calming Corners.


  • Firefly Children & Family Alliance received a $5,000 grant to purchase diapers and supplies for the From the Bottom Up Diaper Bank. By eliminating stress and helping low-income families meet basic needs, the instances of abuse and neglect decline.
  • Psi Iota Xi received a grant for $13,974 to purchase hearing aids for low-income citizens.


  • Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana received $12,500 to support the school-based pantries at Milroy Elementary and Rushville Consolidated High School.
  • The Rush County Community Assistance Food Pantry and the Milroy Community Food Pantry each received $10,000 to continue their important work of providing nutritious food to those in need.


Milroy Elementary received a $1,675 grant to purchase the stencils to create a sensory path inside the school. This space helps students regulate their emotions and enhances their success. SEE MORE >


Having identified early learning as a community priority in 2018, RCCF is committed to addressing this multifaceted issue affecting individuals, families, and businesses.


  • To further the work of First5 Rush County’s Early Learning Coalition, RCCF’s board of directors allocated $30,000 to fund it for 2023.
  • The Robert and Gleela Baldwin Fund for Early Learning was established to provide scholarships for preschool students attending accredited programs. READ MORE >
  • The CIRCLe Fund reached the $100,000 threshold of impact with their grantmaking in 2022. They awarded a $19,519 grant to a new intiative, “Child Development: At Home & In the Workforce.” This is a collaboration between Rushville Consolidated High School’s (RCHS) Family and Consumer Science Department (FACS) and First5. It gives Rush County students hands-on experience in the realities of childcare with a new concentration on childcare as a viable business option. They purchased infant simulators and corresponding curriculum. READ MORE >


  • RCCF’s CIRCLe Fund awarded a grant to the Rushville Public Library (RPL) program, 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten.” RPL and First5 have teamed up to engage as many infants and toddlers as possible by involving partners throughout the community. Caregivers are encouraged to sign up through an app to track each book they read with their children. To date 22,396 books have been logged. SEE MORE >


RCCF donors continue to make a difference for students and educators with nearly 80 scholarship and education funds.


  • $227,474 in scholarships were awarded to 66 students. SEE MORE >
  • Kelby Roberts received the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship for 2023 providing her with 4 years tuition and $900/year for books and supplies to her college of choice, Purdue University. READ MORE >
  • Two new scholarship funds were established – the John Foster Memorial Scholarship Fund and the Marion & Lois Liggett and Family Education Scholarship Fund.
  • CBAP’s Post-Secondary Skills/Trade Education committee continues to meet and explore options.


  • Shantel Cartwright, Family and Consumer Sciences (FACS) teacher at Benjamin Rush Middle School (BRMS) received a $3884 grant for her project. She led a field trip for all 8th graders at BRMS to learn about career opportunities right here in Rush County, including a farm-to-table meal.
  • Brooke Edwards, RCHS science teacher, makes science relevant and fun. With a $1000 grant, she was able to provide project-based STEM learning to develop skills for the real world in an exciting and engaging way with “Project Lead the Way.”
  • Kelli Koors, Title I Teacher at RESW, received a $1980 grant to purchase benchmark leveling kits to help with reading instruction.
  • Melissa Crowe, Title I Coordinator at RESE, used a $2267.53 grant to purchase books for Family Literacy Night.
  • Kate Schwertfeger, 7th grade teacher at BRMS, received a $1,691.96 grant to upgrade technology and communication in her Digital Citizenship class.


  • Girls Inc. of Shelby County used their $7,500 grant to support 50 Rush County girls with a Girls thInc. Outside the Box subscription. Each box is filled with fun, educational literacy, math and self-esteem boosting activities. READ MORE >
  • The Open Resource received a grant of $16,190 to start its Digital Navigator program. Since then, they have given away more than 110 free devices and provided workshops on and technical assistance to more than 188 people. READ MORE >


With so much growth and positive change in recent years, it’s great to see an increase in local pride. And now we have a great resource for visitors to discover Rush County, too.


  • CBAP’s Tourism Committee created a new website – visitrushcounty.com is live! They also worked with a designer to create a logo and have set up visitor info and merch available at Mocha Moose in downtown Rushville.
  • CBAP’s Downtown Beautification Committee awarded 4 microgrants of $3250 for projects to improve the curb appeal of four businesses. SEE MORE >
  • CBAP’s Local Pride Committee continues looking into gateway “Welcome to Rush County” signs.


Carthage Lions Club used a grant to update their town gateway signage. It had been 24 years! SEE MORE >

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