‘GODSEND’: Wortman foundation doles out $429,000 in grants

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Childhood sweethearts Bob and Sue Wortman always taught their children the importance of giving back. The Wortman Family Foundation recently awarded $429,000 to 25 organizations throughout Hancock and Shelby counties.

Submitted photo

GREENFIELD — The Wortman family name has long been synonymous with generous local giving.

Twenty-five organizations throughout Hancock and Shelby counties recently won grants totaling $429,000 from the Wortman Family Foundation Fund, which was established to serve the communities the family long called home.

Childhood sweethearts Bob and Sue Wortman raised a family while building a successful business in Bob’s hometown of Morristown.

Throughout their lives, they taught their children the importance of giving back to the community.

The couple’s generosity has funded a multitude of projects throughout Hancock and Shelby counties over the years, most notably the Sue Ann Wortman Cancer Center in Greenfield and the Sue Ann Wortman Nephrology Center in Shelbyville.

The family foundation continues to grant hundreds of thousands of dollars to various organizations each year.

Nonprofits serving Shelby and Hancock counties were invited to submit proposals focused on health and education and projects and programs that enhance the quality of life in the area.

Community members from both counties, including staff from the Community Foundation of Hancock County, participated in evaluating the applications in January.

This year’s grants will support a wide range of causes throughout both counties, from community wellness to supporting those with special needs.

Ten of the recipients are based in Hancock County.

Hancock County‘s Special Olympics program will use the funds it received to send athletes to the Summer Games this summer in Terre Haute.

“The Wortman Family Foundation grant takes some of the pressure off to raise enough money to send our athletes,” said Patty Glover, county coordinator for Hancock Special Olympics.

“This is a wonderful experience for our athletes to compete with Special Olympians from the State of Indiana. They have the opportunity to see friends from around the state once a year during this weekend,” said Glover, who expressed her gratitude to the family foundation for selecting her program as a grant recipient this year.

A grant will also make a big impact at Nameless Creek Camp and Event Center in rural Greenfield, where the funds will be used to build a bathroom in the Kinnaman Walker Rec Hall, which will expand the event center’s ability to host events.

“This year’s grant will help us get the septic line connected and water to the building from our new well. We have a lot of work ahead to secure the funds to complete a restroom inside,” said Nameless Creek’s president, Jerry Bell, who called the most recent Wortman grant a “Godsend.”

Jennifer Wright expressed the same sentiment for the funds received by Agape Therapeutic Riding Resources.

“We’re so excited to be awarded such an incredible grant by the Wortman Family Foundation,” said Wright, who manages Agape’s Greenfield site.

Agape plans to use the grant to support local community groups attending this summer for our Equine Assisted Learning programs.

“These are curriculum-based interpersonal skill building sessions that partner participants with our equines. The classes focus on skills like trust, communication, building relationships and working together. The Wortman Family Foundation grant will graciously allow us to reach new participants at Agape this season,” Wright said.

The same hope is true at Hancock County’s Purdue Extension office, which plans to use its funds to bring 4-H based programming into local schools.

“We plan to strategically partner with classroom teachers to teach 4-H curriculum that aligns with classroom standards and assist students in the creation of 4-H projects, which would then be on display at the Hancock County 4-H Fair,” said Amber Barks, an extension educator and local director of 4-H Youth Development.

“The grant will allow us to pay for the supplies needed to do the program as well as the 4-H membership fees for any of the students enrolled in the 4-H Class to Clover Program, while funding lasts,” she said.

A Wortman grant was also awarded to the Boys and Girls Clubs of Hancock County, based in Greenfield.

“We are thankful to the Wortman Family Foundation …f or their assistance in helping to improve the health of the members we serve in Hancock County,” said the club’s executive director, Chantel Fowler.

“This grant will help go towards the Jim Andrews Unit Youth Fitness & Gaming Center at our club site in Greenfield,” she said.

The gaming center will combine young people’s inevitable interest in technology with an assortment of fun fitness equipment get hundreds of youth get excited about physical activity.

The Wortman foundation is also making an impact on the Greenfield Central Education Foundation, which funds teachers’ requests for classroom supplies and programming through education enrichment grants.

“We have $87,000 in requests but only $50,000 in our budget. This amazing grant will allow us to fund even more,” said the foundation’s executive director, Ginny Brown.

A Wortman grant will also benefit Love INC of Greater Hancock County, which is using its latest grant to support its Faith & Finances program.

“The program … provides financial literacy classes to help participants evaluate their finances, create a spending plan, and understand the factors that drive their spending, savings and giving,” said Love INC’s executive director, Debra Weber.

“Thanks to the Wortman Family Foundation’s generosity, we can offer the classes free of charge and provide childcare and a meal for attendees. Love INC is grateful for their support and for sharing our vision of empowering families to achieve financial stability,” she said.

Following are this year’s Wortman Family Foundation grant recipients based in Hancock County:

– Agape Therapeutic Riding Resources

– Boys & Girls Clubs of Hancock County

– Greenfield Central Schools Foundation

– Hancock County Children’s Choir

– Hancock County Food Pantry

– Hancock Health Foundation

– Love Inc. of Greater Hancock County

– Nameless Creek Youth Camp

– Purdue Extension-Hancock County

– Special Olympics Hancock County

For more information about the Wortman Family Foundation, which is administered by the Blue River Community Foundation, visit blueriverfoundation.com/wortman-family-foundation.