Walking the Walk and Some Other Things

Last weekend had to be the peak of spring color, an amazing display of red buds, dogwoods, garden blooms, and green, green, green. We had a family gathering at the Farm and despite the rain that fell from time to time, our beautiful Owen County countryside showed well to our visitors from around the country. We think of peak color in the fall but spring is making her play for recognition.

With warmer weather welcoming us to outdoor activities once again, your Owen County Community Foundation is excited this week to see another step in the development of the MYPath Trail System. If you’re looking for something fun and healthy to do this Friday afternoon, the YMCA and MYPath are holding their inaugural First Friday Walk on MYPath.

This will be an organized group walk starting at the YMCA at 4 p.m. and then proceeding along the eventual trail route to the Trailhead in Cooper Commons. Participants will be able to see the work that still needs to be done on the eastern part of the Trail and enjoy the beauty of the town portion along Hillside and North Main. This will be a chance to ask Trail organizers questions about the proposed route. The First Friday Walk is the first of the healthy programmed activities arranged by the Y, so I hope we have good participation.

The walk will follow along the north side of West Morgan Street / Highway 46 then connect with Hillside Avenue to Main Street where the walk will head south and end up at the MYPath Trailhead in Cooper Commons. In all, the walk will be about two miles and should take about an hour.

When the group reaches Cooper Commons there will be games and other fun activities set up. If you’re not up for a 2-mile walk, just meet the group when they arrive at the Trailhead. There will be return transportation provided on the YMCA bus so you don’t have to walk all the way back.

This is the first of six First Friday walks (first Friday of each month) for 2019. We hope you’ll join us every month. The October walk will actually be on October 10th (obviously not the first Friday) which is National Walk to a Park Day. Participants who walk 4 out of the 6 months will get a MYPath t-shirt!

Other sure signs of the coming of summer are popping up like the morels were last week. Wednesday evening was the Owen Valley High School Awards Night where the Class of 2019 and another graduating class of bright young students are finishing up the first phase of their education. Now on to post-secondary and the opportunities of college, community college, vocational training, or specialty training programs that will follow for our local students. We congratulate the class of 2019 and wish them well. We’ll be hosting our first OCCF Scholarship Awards Program at Owen Valley High School this Sunday afternoon where we will be distributing scholarship awards from our 57 scholarship funds.

And a sure sign of warmth and growing things, the Farmer’s Market opens tomorrow on Saturday, May 4th just to the west of Babbs Supermarket! The Market will be open from 8:30 to 12:30 and will include the normal local vendors and the Garden Club’s annual plant sale. Get a jump on your gardening by stopping by.

I also wanted to share a cool match story as a reminder that we are still able to use a grant from Lilly Endowment Inc to match your gifts to our unrestricted funds – those that are for the general support of Owen County. I met with a couple recently and talked about their plans to found a new unrestricted fund so they can take advantage of the $2 for $1 match. So with an eventual gift of $5,000, the match will bring the fund total to $15,000 - $10,000 matched for a $5,000 gift. This couple also has the bonus of receiving matches through their employer’s charitable matching program, so her employer will also match their gift and add another $5,000 to the fund to bring the final total to $20,000. That’s the kind of matching math that really makes donors and your OCCF happy. Check with your employer to see if they offer any matching for your charitable gifts. You may be able to add a couple of multipliers to your gift.

Your Owen County Community Foundation is committed to helping our communities become better places to live, grow, and work. We value the beauty of Owen County. If you would like to know more about how you can work with this local charity to help our communities, give me a call at 812-829-1725, email me at mark@owencountycf.org, visit us online at www.owencountycf.org, or stop by and visit us in person at our office on the south side of the Courthouse Square in Spencer at 60 E. Market Street.

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