Paul and Avanell Stagg Community Fund Established

When determining how to best preserve their parents’ legacy, Carol Stagg and Marsha (Stagg) Haley decided it was only appropriate that they begin a named fund in their memory at the Rush County Community Foundation.  After their father’s recent passing, Carol and Marsha established the “Paul and Avanell Stagg Community Fund,” an unrestricted endowment fund that will forever give back to the community that has given so much to their family.


The “Stagg” name is a familiar name to most Rush County residents.  If you aren’t fortunate to know a member of the Stagg family personally, it’s likely you’ve been to the infamous “Stagg’s Dairy Treats and Restaurant” to enjoy a meal or treat.  Their family-owned restaurant, began by Paul and Avanell in May 1960, has become a community staple throughout the past 59 years.  Generations of Rush County residents and families have frequented the restaurant for more than just food:  the Stagg family and employees (known as “Stagg’s Chicks”) have become friends and family to their customers.  As Carol fondly recalled, “When things have been good, the community has been there to celebrate.  When things have been bad, the community has been there to support us.”   It’s fair to say the community would reciprocate that anecdote:  whether it’s to share in a celebratory baseball/softball team win, a family dinner, or a well-known and loved “benefit” day, the Staggs have provided more than a place to gather:  they have welcomed the community into their family.


Alisa Winters, Executive Director of the Rush County Community Foundation stated, “Carol, Marsha, and the Stagg family have been an extension of my family for years.  When we sat down to discuss the best way to honor Paul and Avanell’s legacy we really explored the various options and the fund type that would best match their contributions to Rush County and the family’s charitable goals.  Through a few tears and a lot of laughter, Carol and Marsha felt that a fund that supports the entire community is the “perfect” fund type to remember their parents.  And I couldn’t agree more.”


Unrestricted endowment funds, commonly referred to as “community grant funds”, provide support to the community at-large through competitive grant disbursement.  Because of their flexibility, these funds provide a wide range of impact.  Since the first award in 1994, these funds have impacted 112 nonprofit organizations serving Rush County through $1.1 million in grants.  Community grant dollars enable programs, projects, and improvements that enrich and enhance Rush County.  As stated by Carol, “A community fund is the perfect way to remember our parents’ legacy.  This fund will give back to the community that has supported our family and given us so much.”


Rush County is already a better place because of Paul and Avanell Stagg, and the creation of this fund will keep their community and charitable spirits alive.  If you would like to make a donation to this Fund you may send your donation to the Rush County Community Foundation, 117 N Main St, Rushville, IN 46173, or online at  Donations to the Stagg Fund, and other unrestricted endowment funds, are being matched $2 for $1 by Lilly Endowment Inc.’s GIFT VII initiative for a limited time!


Meeting the philanthropic needs of Rush County since 1991, The Rush County Community Foundation, Inc. is a nonprofit public charity established  to serve donors, award grants and scholarships, and provide leadership to enrich and enhance the quality of life in Rush County, Indiana, not only today, but for our future generations.  For more information please visit or contact the office at 117 N. Main St., Rushville, IN 46173, or call (765) 938-1177.

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