One Year

A year ago this week, your Owen County Community Foundation gave up our comfortable office space at the Owen County State Bank, our generous hosts for 24 years, and struck out on our own. While we didn’t go too far, just over to the Courthouse Square, our new office has seemed like a great adventure.


Things change for a small non-profit when you get your own space and your own front door. Life on our own is not unlike when we move out of our parent’s home. I’ll never forget the first night in my own house and the walk to the front door to lock up for the night. Taking on the responsibility of having your own place is a rite of passage.


We love living on the Courthouse Square. Like any twenty-something, we wanted to move to a trendy area and we found it. Not a day goes by without one or all of us enjoying a walk around the Square to get food, visit the post office, deliver a grant check, go to meeting, or to just enjoy the sights and clear our minds.


Life is good on the Square. There’s nothing better than coming into the office before sunrise and watching the neighborhood slowly come to life and maybe get a tasty breakfast delivered from Main Street Coffee. The food options are great. Jit’s Thai Bistro, Spencer Coffee House, Civilian Brewing Corps, our old favorite Chambers, or Food Truck Mondays at the Library are all great lunch options. For a treat, Diamond K Sweets is just around the corner.


We have plants to take care of so we feel kind of grown up . . . some days. We’re proud of the Spencer Main Street hanging flower baskets out front that we’ve adopted. We get to watch and participate in festivals from our front door and decorate for the changing seasons. The Courthouse Square is very photogenic, so we take and post lots of pictures to the delight of our social media followers.


Having our own place has given us more opportunities to invite our friends over, whether it’s our next-door neighbors at Our Community Bank and Sweet Owen Tourism stopping in for coffee or hosting events, we get to party. We started with our new office open house then celebrated our 25th birthday here and enjoyed visits from our donors, volunteers, and the community. In our spacious meeting room, we’ve held retirement (or re-firement) parties and good bye parties.


Our meeting room serves as a great spot for our board of directors meetings. We wouldn’t normally encourage longer meetings, but discussions tend to linger a bit longer in the cozy confines of our own office. Our Executive, Grants, Scholarship, and Finance Committees all use our new space to conduct their business.


And we welcome use by our partner organizations around the county. We’ve hosted the Vandalia Community Preservation Association, the MYPath Advisory Committee, the design team for the Regional Opportunity Initiative Workforce Attraction Plan, the initial meeting for the Economic Development Planning Committee, and a couple of focus groups for our community research.


But our most important visitors are our donors. We’ve enjoyed a big increase in visits from folks who want to talk about their giving plans. These special visits are the real reason we wanted to open up in our own place and be easily accessible.


During our first year here, we have been gratified to watch the progress of our community and your OCCF. We’ve watched new businesses open up, the clock tower project proceed courtesy of the Cook family, and seen the fruits of the work being done by Spencer Main Street. We love our new home.


Administrative director Maria O’Connor, donor relations manager Karah Bobeck, and I love strong coffee, so if you stop by, count on full pot and join us for a cup. We love our coffee time with neighbors.


Your Owen County Community Foundation is committed to helping our Owen County communities become better places to live, grow, and work. We value community involvement and charitable spirit.

If you’d like to know more about how you can work with this local charity to improve our communities, give me a call at 812-829-1725, email me at, visit us online at, or stop by and visit us in person at our office on the Courthouse Square in Spencer, 60 E. Market Street.