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Helping Others

Newly formed foundation
hopes to establish a legacy

Oldham County group is
an affiliate of Louisville chapter

By Helen E. McKinney
Contributing Writer

LA GRANGE, Ky. (May 2010) – Most people want to leave behind a legacy – something that will be meaningful and make life better for others. Concerned citizens in Oldham County have established a non-profit that will enable charitable funds to be distributed where they are really needed.
The Oldham County Community Foundation is “a way for people to give money to any cause or campaign in the community or anywhere,” said Lambert Franklin, chairman for the newly established foundation. The process has been “a grass roots effort.”
A year ago, individuals were pulled together from all over the county, and a steering committee formed to look into the creation of a community foundation. Franklin said people were sought from “every area of the county, every area of life.” The volunteer board is made up of ministers, attorneys, bankers and people in the construction field.
When choosing board members, “We looked at people who have roots in the county,” said Jon Bednarski, the foundation’s treasurer.
Based on the business knowledge shared among the board members, they will be able to provide technical expertise to manage donated funds that will benefit different areas of the community, he said. The primary objectives of the foundation are to enrich quality of life within the county, administer charitable funds, and build a collective community endowment.
To let the public know what they are all about, the Oldham County Community Foundation will officially announce themselves to the community at 7 p.m. on May 17 at Yew Dell Gardens in Crestwood. Guest speakers include Susan A. Barry, President and CEO of the Community Foundation of Louisville, and Travis Rice, a member of the Community Foundation of Louisville.
“We’re searching for groups to share our story with,” said Bednarski. Carol McMahan rounds out the four member Board of Directors as secretary.
The tax-exempt foundation is an affiliate of the Community Foundation of Louisville, a philanthropic endowment for the Louisville Metro region. For the Louisville Foundation, education and scholarships have been a priority in the grants awarded each year.
Even though it may be a while before the foundation will have funding to give away, said Franklin, it will be awarded to the people and projects that will benefit the most from it. Areas in which the foundation may benefit the community are in the arts and humanities, education and scholarships.
“Any gift amount is acceptable,” said Ted Merhoff, vice chairman. Although restricted and unrestricted funds are encouraged, “We’d like to have as many unrestricted funds as possible.”
Restricted donations can be made up to the amount of $5,000 and are restricted for use in Oldham County. The board of directors will decide how to use this type of donation, said Merhoff.
Unrestricted donations begin at $25,000. These types of donations would benefit a certain, specified entity. The foundation would like to see funding benefit Oldham County first, said Franklin, but donors “can designate where the money goes.”
Once firmly established, “Other charitable organizations can come to us,” said Bednarski. “If we had started 10 years ago, we would have had something by now. Why wait any longer?”
The foundation board members believe there are philanthropic individuals within the county who would be willing to make donations but haven’t come forward yet. Franklin encourages any such individual to establish a legacy by “leaving their money to outlast them and us.”

• For more information, contact Lambert Franklin at (502) 376-5826 or Ted Merhoff at (502) 241-0303 or visit: www.OldhamCountyCF.com.

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