Community Foundation of Elkhart County receives $200,000 grant

ELKHART COUNTY, Ind. – The Community Foundation of Elkhart County has received a Community Leadership Grant of $200,000 from Lilly Endowment Inc.

This grant is a part of the seventh phase of Lilly Endowment Inc.’s Giving Indiana Funds for Tomorrow initiative (GIFT VII).

The Community Foundation of Elkhart County will use the grant for a new and improved Tolson Center & Park.

Pete McCown, President of the Community Foundation of Elkhart County, shares how grateful the community is to have received the grant.

“Our work in Elkhart County is strengthened by the generous support of Lilly Endowment Inc. We are deeply grateful for their support as we work with the new Tolson board to envision and rebuild this valuable community center in Elkhart,” said McCown.

The planning process resulted in a collaboration between the City of Elkhart, the Community Foundation of Elkhart County and the Greater Elkhart Chamber of Commerce to proceed with an $11-million project to rebuild the center and add additional amenities and recreation features on the surrounding property.

Chief Program Officer for the Community Foundation and a new board member for the Tolson group, Candy Yoder, explained why they chose to improve Tolson Center & Park.

“The initial grant helped us take time to learn and listen what the community wanted from this neighborhood center,” said Yoder. “We were able to both hire experts and create spaces where the community could offer feedback.”

The Community Foundation of Elkhart County was awarded a planning grant of $100,000 in 2019 to convene local stakeholders to identify, prioritize, and assess opportunities and challenges in Elkhart County.

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