There is possibly no better way to celebrate an anniversary than to establish a legacy. That’s what the Class of 1969, the first all Rushville Consolidated High School graduating class, accomplished with the help and guidance of Alisa Winters, the Director of the Rush County Community Foundation (RCCF).

When Jennifer Harcourt Buchanan contacted the RCCF about how the Class of 1969 could make a lasting impact in the community. Alisa shared that the foundation had recently received $500,000 from Lilly Endowment to match donations to their unrestricted grant funds $2 for $1. Equipped with this information, she went back to classmates Michael and Susan (Schneider) Howard and Steve and Lynda (Curtis) Solomine, and together, they established the Class of 1969 Fund at the Foundation. This fund is an unrestricted endowment fund at the foundation that supports the changing needs of Rush County through grants made to support nonprofit organizations’ work, programming, projects and the changing community needs – forever.

With the Lily Foundation matching donations two to one and funds paying out once, $10,000 has been donated. The goal of the reunion weekend was asking Alumni of the 1969 Class to donate $3,400 in total. With matching Lily dollars, the $10,000 goal would be met.

The class invited Alisa to speak on behalf of the class fund at the alumni banquet. Saturday morning the fund had $825 in donations. After Alisa’s presentation, an anonymous donor wrote a $10,000 check. The total of the fund, with matching dollars is currently $34,425, with more donations pledged. The class sponsors of this fund are overwhelmed with gratitude.

The message to other classes, join us. The challenge is to surpass the Class of 1969 fund total.

As Mike Howard said at the Friday night class dinner, "We are all from Rush County. It gave us our solid start in life. Many of us still have family here. Let’s all join together in supporting this community who first supported us."

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