The Weekly Column

Well, here it is – another weekly column from your Owen County Community Foundation. We’ve been at this little communications endeavor now since March of 2007. Since that time we’ve offered up over 600 columns with over a half a million words for you to chew on. We’ve told stories about generous people, promising youth, and great works by our local non-profits, schools, and governments. Luckily for your humble columnist, we’ve always had lots of stories to tell about good things going on in our Sweet Owen County.

We’ve missed a few weeks due to vacations, illness, and an occasional miscue like the time I sent the wrong file to the Spencer Evening World so you could all read a very rough draft of my intended message. We’ve hosted a guest column from time to time and shared some great ideas from other communities that have inspired our work.

Much to the chagrin of my children who cringe at my “dad jokes,” you even seemed to enjoy some of my corny stories. I’m gratified to still receive comments about our April Fool’s Day message about animating the giant chicken down at the fairgrounds. You’ve even allowed me to rant more than a few times which an old curmudgeon always needs and appreciates.

The weekly column has been a way for us to share the good works of our community of good people who are making real progress at improving so many aspects of life here in Owen County. Through this small space in our local paper, we’ve celebrated success, mourned loss, lamented the negative and cheered the positive. After 500,000 words, we certainly hope we are a positive voice here. And we hope to continue to tell our story and the stories of more generous people and good local organizations.

Our local Spencer Evening World has been the vital platform that gave us this valuable opportunity to tell our stories. We are so fortunate to still have a daily newspaper here. I’ll be writing about this more in the next few weeks, but we need to rally around this paper before we learn the sad truth about how important local journalism WAS to Owen County. Keep our paper current – subscribe to it and read it. We are incredibly lucky to have a local daily and we thank our friends at the World for their generous support through the years. I’m an unpaid contributor so no conflict of interest here – support local journalism.

Our weekly message is an important connection between the community and our organization and we always want to improve it. Let us know if you have story ideas or think there’s a topic that needs more discussion. Tell us your stories of good work and generosity. We would love to help tell them.

So, as I start the thirteenth year of OCCF columns next Friday, please accept our thanks for reading. We hope you come back to read and learn more about this wonderful community and the local charity that we’ve built up to support this beloved place. Thank you.

We also want to thank all of the members of our community who joined us for our 25th anniversary open house last Saturday. We had a nice crowd, great treats thanks to Heather Herrington, a good event thanks to our staff of Maria O’Connor and Suzi Summerlot, and fantastic support from our donors and community supporters. We also collected almost a pick-up truck bed full of goodies for Spencer – Owen Schools’ Backpack Buddies Program to help ensure our students have food when they’re away from school. You can still help with Backpack Buddies by making donations at Babbs Supermarket. They have a collection barrel set up there. Thanks to everyone for your help.

We’ll be continuing our celebration of 25 years of support and generosity throughout the year. We are hoping to join in at fairs and festivals to help tell the story about how your Owen County Community Foundation has grown from our first dollar in 1994 to our current asset value that just topped $8 million. We truly are committed to helping our communities become better places to live, grow, and work. We value community involvement and charitable spirit.

If you would like to know more about how you can join in this local philanthropic effort, give me a call at 812-829-1725, email me at, visit us online at, or stop by and visit us in our new office at 60 E. Market Street on the south side of the Courthouse Square in Spencer. We’d love to hear from you.