Scioto Foundation holds annual meeting


WEST PORTSMOUTH- The Scioto Foundation Board of Governors and Staff greeted donors, representatives of local school districts and nonprofit organizations, business and community leaders and the community at large when they gathered at Shawnee State Lodge for their annual meeting on April 20. Attendees heard reports about the Scioto Foundation’s 2022 activities and plans for 2023.

Welcoming annual meeting guests, Scioto Foundation board member and past chairperson Debra Esham recognized and thanked those in attendance, as well as other board members, volunteer committee members and staff. She gave an overview of who the Scioto Foundation is, explained its mission and introduced the Board of Governors members, the staff and the Foundation’s committee system.

Board member and past chair Josh Howard gave a review of the Scioto Foundation’s vital statistics for 2022. As of December 31, 2022, the Scioto Foundation’s assets were $46,348,112, growing from $200,000 when the Foundation was established in 1974. During 2022 a total of $1,406,167 in contributions was received. Twenty-five new funds were established and $1,686,832 million was paid out in grants, disbursements and scholarships, according to Howard.

UCAN College Advisor Christy Wilcox described the importance of the program’s mission and noted several school systems’ participation in payroll deductions to help raise their invested endowment funds. She reported that the total of all invested UCAN scholarship funds for area Scioto County school systems established at the Scioto Foundation through the UCAN (University/College Network Access) program is has grown to $2,901,857. In addition to the 12 Scioto County school districts, that total includes funds set up by Manchester, Wellston, Jackson City, South Point, Symmes Valley and Ironton Catholic Schools in the UCAN Neighbors program. The Clay School System continues to lead with its endowments now valued at $351,666.

The UCAN program also includes mini-grants to schools for college prep activities, college fairs and military night programs to help students and parents learn more about college opportunities and one-on-one college/post-secondary coaching sessions with Wilcox.

From 2008 – 2022 the total of all UCAN scholarships awarded equaled $789,910 while the Scioto Foundation has awarded $5.85 million in scholarships during that time, reported Scioto Foundation Grants & Scholarships Coordinator Ginnie Moore. During the past year the Foundation continued its AP UCAN program by awarding grants to local school districts for a total of $31,996 for AP and pre-college testing expenses and college visits, she said.

2022 marked the seventh year for the Foundation’s UCAN Internship Program. Four undergraduate-level interns were placed with host sites in Portsmouth for five weeks in the summer where they gained meaningful work experience and learned about the public and nonprofit sectors. Since 2017 the Foundation has supported 41 internships at a total cost of $80,772. For 2023, six outstanding students will be placed with local host sites for the internships, said Moore.

Toni Dengel, Program Officer – Marketing announced that Scioto Gives, FS’s annual one-day matching funds campaign for the benefit of area nonprofits, raised a grand total of $227,219 in 2022 with $175,219 in donations and a $55,000 match from the Foundation. Since its inception in 2013, the program has raised $1,362,202.

Patty Tennant, Program Officer – Donor Services, told those in attendance that the 2022 Scioto 365 program, launched in 2017 from the Foundation’s strategic plan to focus upon

community and economic development, was based on the theme, “Let’s Get Going to Unite Our Community.” Growing Lucasville Opportunities (GLO) submitted the winning grant application, receiving $15,000 to assist with its “Unique Amphitheatre Venue.”

“Strong Families Make Strong Communities” is the 2023 Scioto 365 theme.” Tennant encouraged the nonprofit representatives to submit grant applications for this year.

Cutlip explained the “Rethinking Downtown Portsmouth” program which began with a community strategic planning session in April 2019 to create a vision for downtown Portsmouth. Since that time, the Scioto Foundation has funded four projects for a total of $250,000 and two planning projects in the amount of $62,500 for a grant total of $312,500. The 2022 project, building assistance for the “Market Street Park,” was funded for $65,000.

In conclusion, Therese Egbert, Staff Accountant, thanked everyone for attending the annual meeting and gave a preview of two new projects coming up in the future. They included a new website for the Scioto Foundation expected to be up by June 1 and a new location for the Foundation office. Plans call for the complete renovation of the building at 409 Chillicothe Street which is anticipated to be finished by the end of 2023 or early January. The 5,000 square feet three-story building will provide ample space for staff offices, a board room, a conference room and a meeting room, as well as much-needed storage areas for records and files.

Upcoming Scioto Foundation programs noted were the Scioto Gives campaign day, Thursday, October 19, 2023; Military Night Academy, 4:30 p.m., Wednesday, September 13 at the Holiday Inn and the fall reception for Scioto Gives and Scioto 365, 5 p.m., Thursday, November 24, at the Holiday Inn. Further information about the coming events may be obtained by telephoning the Scioto Foundation staff at (740) 354-4612.

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