GREENCASTLE, September 23, 2010 – Deer Meadow Principle Gwen Morris brought tears to the eyes of those attending the annual Mary Allison Children's Trust luncheon Wednesday as she described a single parent who drove back and forth from Cloverdale with her three kids in a car that had tires so bald the metal showed through.
"It really was a safety issue for the children," said Morris explaining how the school used some of the money they receive yearly from the Mary Allison Children's Trust to buy tires for the car. "It really, really made a difference to that family," said Morris.
Since 1896, local Putnam County children have benefited from new eyeglasses, shoes, medicine and other needed items made possible through the Mary Allison Children Trust. When the Mary Allison Children's Home was sold in the mid-1980's, after serving disadvantaged children for many years, the trust was created. A sum of $1,000 is given annually to each of the nine Putnam County elementary schools. Teachers and counselors at each school determine how the money is spent on an immediate basis. The funds are unrestricted, meaning school officials can use them for any purpose, as long as it benefits the students.
On Wednesday, school representatives, Mary Allison Fund board members and contributors to the program came together for lunch at Area 30 and talked about the fund and its legacy. "We were able to fill an LP gas tank for a family who had no heat in their home," said Brad Hayes, Fillmore Elementary Principal. A Cloverdale school was able to provide safe housing for a family that had an emergency situation. South Putnam students without health insurance were able to see specialty physicians for serious health issues.
Over the years, students from all the schools were provided with items such as glasses, shoes and medicines as well as money to pay for field trips for those who didn't have funds. "We don't have to fit a certain line item with this money," said Dan TeGrotenhuis, principal at Tzouanakis Intermediate School. "The heritage of this organization is to provide what's needed."
"Safe haven, safe travel, this makes me feel so good about this trust," concluded Board President Jim Jackson. "It makes it so much easier to raise funds." Money is raised through contributions and an annual golf outing. Wabash Capital and First National Bank are the financial overseers of the trust. They sponsored the annual lunch which brings together the distributors of the funds with contributors and board members to share experiences.
Over the years, board members of the trust estimate that it financially assists at least 10 children from each county elementary school each year, totaling 100 children each year. Members of the Mary Allison Children's Trust board are Jim Jackson, Joe Ferguson, Carol Emery, Ginger Scott, Lucy Wieland, Darren Hughes, Mike Goss, Cliff Higgerson, III, Matt Headley and Jim Poor. Contributions to the Mary Allison Children's Trust can be mailed to P.O. Box 369 Greencastle, 46135. Donations should be mailed care of Treasurer Ginger Scott.
School administrators, counselors and Trust Patron from all the county schools were present to accept an annual $1,000 gift from the Mary Allison Children's Trust Wednesday afternoon. Pictured here are: Front Row Kristie McClamroch,-Bainbridge Elementary, Carol Emery-Board Member, Deborah Hutcheson- Reelsville & Central Elementary, Lucy Wieland- Board Member. Second Row: Brad Hayes- Fillmore Elementary, Christy Schmeckebier-Cloverdale Elementary, Gwen Morris – Deer Meadow Primary School, Ginger Scott- Board Member, JoAnn Linn- Trust Patron, Third Row: Mike Goss- Board Member, Brent McColgin, Tri-County Bank & Trust and Trust Patron, Joe Ferguson – Board Member, Don Edwards, Wabash Capital and Trust Patron, Dan TeGrotenhuis, Tzouanakis Elementary, Jim Poor- Honorary Board Member, Jim Jackson- Board Member.
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