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Archive for May, 2009

Community foundation board members teach by living.  When they attend to board business and when they talk about their work on the board to friends, associates, and family, they tattoo a cultural value and civic responsibility on the minds of everyone who hears them.  Peers measure themselves by what you have demonstrated, and children, regardless of age, look to parents as role models.  The children, grandchildren, great grandchildren may not want your “you should sermons,” but they value highly your living lesson.

William James (1842-1910), great American educator, philosopher, and psychologist wrote, “Sow an action, and you reap a habit; sow a habit and you reap a character; sow a character and reap a destiny.”  When you consider this wisdom in relation to your role in the family, you know that volunteering for the community foundation is repaid in a currency never touched by inflation or economic upheaval.  Volunteering pays in family values.

Another way of living the lesson is creating a donor-advised fund involving all generations in the grant decisions.  A donor-advised fund lifts your family above the storm and stress of American life by demonstrating to generations yet unborn that their family means something to the community and that every family member has a part to play in determining what that something is.  Grants are made when the family caucuses and every voice and vote is counted.

Reflect on your involvement with the community foundation and you know you don’t need the Wall Street Journal to track this investment.  You see the increase in value when you look at your family.  To talk about all of this, call Steve Kosak, Executive Director, at (814) 677-8687, or Charles Marlin, Board President, at (814) 797-2233.  Charles Marlin

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In case you missed my post on April 22nd, What $20 Can Get You, here is your second chance if you want to double your donation to the Unrestricted Grants Endowment Fund.  Your first $20 would have done a lot of wonderful things because combined with other donations it created an endowment fund that every year into perpetuity supports charities in Clarion County.  It would have helped kids learn and play. fed families, preserved history, kept people warm in winter, and helped battered families.

Making a donation to a community foundation for the first time is not much different than a first date.  You have expectations but are not sure.  You want something to happen but you could never put it down in words.  You want a second date, but then maybe not.  No, making a donation is not like a first date.  Your good time is assured.  A lasting relationship is your for the asking.  Here now is a list of what your second $20 could do for you . . .

$2.  –  To support day camps for children from financially distressed families

$2.  –  To help immigration settlement

$2.  –  To support a Clarion County mascot contest

$3.  –  To support volunteer fire company equipment purchases

$1.  –  To support a comic book writing workshop

$5.  –  To again support food banks in the county.

$5.  –  To again support battered families programs

The procedure is easy.  Click on the Donation Page which you can find at the top and right side of this page.  Once there, click on the PayPal icon, and record amount and update total.  Then select either credit card or bank account, or your PayPal account and Log In.  If you prefer sending a check, make the check to Clarion County Community Foundation and write Clarion Friendson the memo line, send to CCCF, P. O. Box 374, Oil City PA 16301.  Charles Marlin

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The Clarion County Community Foundation Board of Directors will meet Wednesday May 20th, from 5:15 to 6:15pm in the IC Parish Meeting Room in Clarion.  If you are coming for the first time, use the rear screened door entrance to the Parish Office Building.  Once inside go down the steps to the basement entrance.  Parking is available along the side of the Building.

We will hear reports about Clarion Friends, Founders Day activities, Bridge Builders Community Foundations Trustee meetings, and Treasury reports on our investments, budget, and expenses.

New business will include the election of new Board members.  We invite every interested person to visit our meeting.  If you know you want to serve, we will act on your nomination immediately.  If you want to look us over first that also is alright.  We have three openings in the Class ending March 13, 2010, two openings in the Class ending March 13, 2011, and one opening in the Class ending March 13, 2012.  Directors are entitled to serve for two consecutive three-year terms if elected.  Completing a partial term does not impact that entitlement.

We will vote on the ratification of four amendments to the BBCF Bylaws And Operating Protocol which have been approved by the BBCF Board of Trustees.  In order to go into effect, approved amendments must be ratified by all Affilate Boards.  This means that in addition to CCCF, Venango Area Community Foundation and Forest County Community Foundation must ratify the four approved amendments.  Charles Marlin

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Memories of Childhood

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When I was growing up in New Castle, Pennsylvania in the 1950’s and early 1960’s, the lower level of G. C. Murphy Co.’s was magic. That’s where the toys were. At the base of the steps was the check out and on the counter the latest battery operated toy would be going through its moves. Dad would not buy me one. They were made in Japan and reminded him of what he, his brother, and his nephew had endured while fighting in the war.

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Fifty years later I have found a few. Teddy the Artist became an obsession. He was a gift from a dear friend about 20 years ago. When I inserted batteries he would outline the rabbit template in the mechanism. I didn’t have the other eight templates, the original box or the original instructions.  Perseverance paid off. Recently he has been completed and now if I want to transport back to the basement of G. C. Murphy Co.’s all I need do is insert a crayon in Teddy’s arm and flip the switch. John Hink

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000011I selected my most earthy ceramic cup for coffee this morning because I need to be in a color mood to write about this gentle, loving book by Joe Eck and Wayne Winterrowd, Our Life In Gardens. Beautiful line drawings by Bobbi Angell front each chapter. Their easy way with a story matches in spirit but not in labor their way of working and living in a garden. Just reading about how they structure and fill a garden lets you know that visiting their garden would be the best adventure of the year for you.

If you have worn down a trowel or two you may think you know a lot. Yes a lot compared to me but not the authors. You know a lot when you can write chapters on nerines, stewartias, sempervivums, and hellebores and base each chapter on your experience gardening in Southern Vermont. That’s right, Readsboro, Vermont, maybe three miles north of the VT/MA line.

If I lived near them I would happily pay a rental fee for permission to occasionally strowl through their garden. If you love gardens and read this book you will think of Joe and Wayne as friends, fellow pilgrims down life’s garden paths.

The picture for this review is of Rexrode and Hink’s front yard. Nothing fancy, just a couple of plants and a little ground cover. Charles Marlin

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The news has been aflutter about the $70-million recently given anonymously to 14 colleges and universities led by women.  This is only part of the story.  The Chronicle Of Philanthropy reports May 7, 2009, “during the past 10 months–a period that included a steep plunge in the stock market–the proportion of gifts worth $1-million or more that have been made anonymously far exceeds historic patterns.”  Two of the most popular reasons for giving anonymously is the donors don’t want to be hit by an avalanche of solicitations and they don’t want individuals and family knowing their business.

In contrast online giving continues to grow but at a much slower pace.  Although some large charities do well raising money online for most it accounts for a very small part of their fund raising.  The Chronicle Of Philanthropy summarized their research on what is working online as 1) including deadlines in e-mail appeals, 2) seeking small amounts, 3) combining text messages and e-mails, 4) asking businesses and affiliated nonprofits to send e-mail appeals on your behalf, and 5) using multiple approaches if available.

I don’t know what all this means this quarter for the Clarion Friends of the Clarion County Community Foundation.  A person interested in making a large donation would contact our Executive Director directly at (814) 677-5085.  We have asked for a small personal response suggesting what could be done with a $20 gift over time.  Our goal is to connect with individuals who may wish to make a small donation each quarter thereby supporting every aspect of the community foundation.

So far we have received two personal donations through our  PayPal connection for a total of $30.  It may not seem much when you read what others collect, but it was very exciting for me.  I immediately thanked each donor.  And not to fear, I have a blank notecard ready for your thank you note by our ever friendly postal service.  You just need to make a gift.

The procedure is easy.  Click on the Donations Page at the top or right of this page.  Once there, click on the PayPal icon and record amount and update total.  Next you select either credit card or bank account or your PayPal account and Log In.  If you prefer sending a check. make it to CCCF and write Clarion Friends on the memo line, and mail to CCCF, P. O. Box 374, Oil City PA 16301.  Again, this quarter your Clarion Friends gift goes to the Unrestricted Grants Endowment Fund.  Charles Marlin

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A nice letter came this week, although not personally addressed to me, offering prayers and promising the resident the power to get wealth.  There was a sealed prophecy that I could read after sending back a reply card, and if I sent the reply card back to Saint Matthew’s Churches postal box in Tulsa OK  I would get a “collectable Bible Cross.”

Nothing was stated directly but it seemed that once successful  I could join the Seed Harvest, so I googled to learn more.  I also opened the sealed prophecy, but was disappointed.  So many people had something to say about Saint Matthew’s Churches it would take some time to read them all.  The short of the story is that a 76 year old Bible thumper James Eugene Ewing and nefarious partners are behind all this.  He has grown wealthy soliciting prayers and gifts through bulk mailings.  Go to an article by Ziva Branstetter at www.trinityfi.org/press/tulsaworld01  for the unsavory history of this Western scoundrel.  Charles Marlin

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