Lawrenceburg, Ind., August 14, 2014 – The Youth Philanthropy Initiative of Indiana (YPII) recently honored the Dearborn Community Foundation Youth Council as the top fundraiser among the 27 youth philanthropy council’s across the Hoosier State.

“This is a great accomplishment by a fantastic group of young people who truly care about their community,” said Fred McCarter, DCF Executive Director. “Foundation Program Director Denise Sedler has done a fantastic job engaging these youth in the community.”

The honor, which is for the funds raised by the DCF Youth Council in 2013, was announced at the recent YPII/GIFT Summer Conference in Indianapolis. Sedler and four members of the Youth Council attended the conference.

“We were very surprised when our youth council received the award,” said Sedler. “Everyone is so proud. These young people are making a difference in Dearborn County now and into the future.”

The DCF Youth Council raised $3,600 in 2013 by holding its first-ever 5K Run/Walk in April. The $3,600 in proceeds was split between the DCF Youth Council and six food pantries in Dearborn County. The Council held its second 5K Run/Walk in April 2014 and once again raised more than $3,000 to split between the DCF Youth Council Endowment Fund and the six food pantries. The Youth Council has also completed a significant number of community service hours.

“These young people are learning the value of philanthropy and that setting aside funds for the needs of future generations through endowment is vital,” said McCarter. The DCF Youth Endowment Fund, which was established in 2012, has grown significantly through the hard work of the youth and will be able to provide support for various needs in the community through grants from the endowment fund. As of June 30, 2014, the DCF Youth Council Endowment Fund had a market value of nearly $7,400. Youth Council members have input as to what they see are the needs from year to year through their grant recommendations from the fund.

“To help them in fundraising efforts and determining granting needs in the community, some of the Council members attended a youth fundraising and grant-making workshop. The training, presented by YPII, provided Council members with the necessary tools to communicate the purpose of fundraising events and to assess and recommend grants that have a meaningful impact in the community,” said McCarter.

Sedler said she’s excited about how the Youth Council has grown over the past two years.

“In that short period of time, they have developed into a strong group of young adults that have learned the importance of community service and philanthropy,” she said. “They have taken charge of fundraising and community service activities as well as formulated a structure to run the council.”

In the spring of 2014, DCF said goodbye to the Youth Council’s four co-presidents, Lauren Deddens, Laura Kuebel, Megan Platt, and Abbi Sampson, who all are leaving the council after completing their senior years in high school. The four council leaders had a chance to reflect on their involvement in the Youth Council and how it has impacted their lives over the past two years. All agreed that they have learned the importance of serving the needs of their community and the role that philanthropy plays in serving those needs.

“I will most definitely help out the community through philanthropy in the future,” said Kuebel. “I did not realize it, but I’ve been participating in and leading activities that involved philanthropy for many years. The youth council has led me to want to spend my free time using my talents to help out others.”

Council members also now understand that the Youth Council Endowment Fund have an impact on the needs of their community forever. Sampson said having an everlasting impact on the community through the youth council endowment fund is very self-fulfilling. “I know that my involvement with this council will continuously help my community and that will be with me forever,” she said.

Other Youth Council members are: Bobby Ash, Hanna Busha, Hannah Caldwell, Nathan Folop, Meghan Gray, Skye Isaacs, Morgan Jones, Shelby Lake, Moira Metz, Kailin Mitchell, Shelby Rose, Megan Sampson, Brittany Schwarz, Ashley Sedler, Rickey Simpson, Luke Ruter, Kirsten Stenger, and Sydney Yoe.

The DCF Youth Council was established in 2012 to involve youth in a meaningful way in the philanthropic traditions, to encourage young people to give and serve in their community, and to make philanthropy a habit of the heart for future generations of Dearborn County residents. The council consists of high-school age youth (grades 9-12) from across Dearborn County. The youth are nominated by individuals in our community and from recommendations from current Youth Council members. Council members exhibit qualities of energetic, caring and involved youth who want to better serve their community. It’s important to note that young people in our community don’t have to serve on the council to get involved in council activities.

Anyone can make a contribution to the DCF Youth Council Fund by visiting the Foundation office or by mailing a check to: Dearborn Community Foundation, Inc., 322 Walnut Street, Lawrenceburg, IN 47025. Check should be made out to: Dearborn Community Foundation, Inc. and include a note explaining the donation is to the DCF Youth Endowment Fund!