Community Foundation Week offers open house

In 2006, the city of Tiffin was named as a recipient for a gift of about $750,000 from the estate of Clive Lupton for improvements to Hedges-Boyer Park. Clive Lupton grew up in Tiffin, graduating from Columbian High School. He retired from the General Electric Co. and lived on Prospect Street near Hedges-Boyer Park.

Clive loved the park, but it was his opinion that the old bridge was not adequate to handle the motor vehicles, bicycles and foot traffic crossing over the bridge. He wanted to replace the present bridge with an adequate and attractive bridge with two lanes for automobiles and one or more separate lanes for pedestrians and bicycles. So, in his will, he left this money to The Tiffin Community Foundation to establish a fund in his name that would provide for capital improvements in the park and hopefully replace the bridge.

In his will, Lupton specified The Tiffin Community Foundation to administer the trust and distribute funds to requests made by the city for improvements to the 78-acre park. The fund also allows for purchases of additional land to expand the park or for more equipment.

Clive so loved the park and being outdoors. He loved seeing all the people and the kids in the park. When the city of Tiffin proposed a paved trail in 2014 that would connect Hedges-Boyer Park to downtown Tiffin, The Clive E. Lupton Fund was able to provide funds for a beautiful pedestrian bridge across the Rock Creek. Brent Howard reflects on his memories of Mr. Lupton as he was making plans for this gift. “I think Mr. Lupton would have been really happy to see all these people using this new path into Hedges-Boyer Park. He was all about bringing more people to the park.”

This story — along with the countless others like it — demonstrates the importance of community foundations in this country, which are uniquely situated to improve their regions through supporting innovative solutions and creating powerful partnerships. From Nov. 12 to Nov. 18, we celebrate Community Foundation Week, a time when we can share and reflect on the stories of impact over the last year. Though you may not yet know your local community foundation, you’ve likely felt its impact.

That’s because Tiffin Community Foundation and the more than 800 other community foundations across the country help to bring donors and residents together. Community foundations work to support the efforts that will help the places we call home continue to flourish and grow.

Tiffin Community Foundation now has 78 individual funds benefitting the causes and passions of donors in Tiffin and Seneca County. Donors contributed over $1 million in 2017 to support the mission to significantly impact our community in a way that empowers every citizen of Tiffin and Seneca County to live their best lives. From the organizations working to meet community needs to the donors who have the resources to meet those challenges, collaborations are being forged around many shared interests every day.

As we enter the giving season, millions of people from every background will be looking to give back to the communities that have supported them. They’ll also look to ensure that their heartfelt giving — however they choose to give — will have the most impact. That’s why so many of them will choose to give to a community foundation.

A gift to your local community foundation is an investment in the future of your community. We like to say that community foundations are “here for good.” At Tiffin Community Foundation we don’t think about the next election or business cycle, we think about the next generation and the next after that.

During Community Foundation Week, we hope you’ll join us in recognizing our collective impact and the difference we can make together. Visit our handicapped-accessible office this week to enjoy the last few days of fall and learn more about our donors and the impact they are making. We will be closing at 1 p.m. today to get ready to “Mix, Mingle and Jingle” with all of our neighbors in downtown Tiffin as we kick off the holiday season. Stop in Thursday and Friday as we remember some very special folks on National Philanthropy Day — Nov. 15. Meet our staff, hear the stories of our donors, enjoy refreshments and learn how you can get involved at our office at 31 S. Washington St., right across from The Ritz Theatre.

Jodie Reinbolt is executive director of The Tiffin Community Foundation.