The 30th annual fundraising campaign for the Defiance City Schools Foundation (DCSF) has kicked off to solicit donations from the community and alumni.

This non-profit foundation has been fortunate to be able to provide teacher mini-grants to supplement academic programs, and provide college scholarships for recent Defiance High School graduates.

The foundation conducts only one appeal per year, and uses community donations and earnings from the investments to provide financial support for these mini-grants and scholarships.

This year’s honorary campaign co-chairs are Tom and Jean Hubbard. Tom is president of The Hubbard Company, a locally-owned, family business which has been serving the tri-state region for more than 60 years. Jean has served as the business manager at Hubbard’s since 2003, after many years in the banking industry.

The Hubbards will work to carry on the legacy of the founding members of the board of trustees of the DCSF, that include Tom, Joe Demyan, Bill Koester, Jack Palmer, Chad Peter, Greg Steyer, James Stone, Gary Dowler and John Weaner.

“Having been one of the founding board members, the opportunity is very special to me,” said Tom about being co-chair with Jean. “Thinking back now, the vision was led by Gary Dowler (former superintendent of Defiance City Schools) and the school board at that time. Establishing an endowed fund was the best choice. Building that fund has impacted a generation of teachers, students and college-bound seniors.

“It’s an opportunity for the community to have a direct impact on the lives of our children,” continued Tom. “Their donations help to grow the fund — that will benefit our schools for years to come. As an employer, we experience firsthand the impact our city schools have on our community and the quality of our work force.”

Last year, the foundation awarded $31,241 in mini-grants and scholarships to teachers and students.

Recipients of the $1,150 Claude W. Henkle Scholarships were Hannah Booth, Garrett Snyder, Amya Trent, Alexis Elwood, Alyssa Frederick, Katelyn Ham and Caroline Turner. The Marie Kauser Scholarship of $634.41 was awarded to Mallery Sullivan.

Lea Froelich and Connor Williams each received a $750 Jordan Shirey Scholarship. The $2,750 Garrit Nixon Scholarship went to Nick Herzog, Booth was presented the $500 Ray Marshall Scholarship; and Brandon Shafer was presented $208 from the Mathew Scholarship.

“It’s meaningful to us that this fund benefits DCS teachers, students and graduating seniors,” said Jean. “Scholarships and mini-grants help provide needed resources for the classroom and help make college more affordable. It is not unusual for teachers to experience out-of-pocket expenses for programs and classroom resources that aren’t available under the school’s budget. The foundation helps bridge that gap to the benefit of our students.

“On a personal level, this is an opportunity for us to show support for the Defiance City Schools and the staff that helped prepare our three children for college, for their careers and instilled a work ethic that has served them well,” added Jean.

DCSF president Chris Korhn is excited to be a part of this year’s campaign. She’s enjoyed seeing the mini-grants and scholarships make a positive impact. In addition, she is looking forward to working with the Hubbards on this year’s annual appeal.

“I am honored to be working on this year’s campaign with a very community-minded couple, Jean and Tom Hubbard,” said Korhn. “They have always been deeply grateful and appreciative of the efforts of teachers and administrators over the years as their own children went through Defiance schools. That same commitment has continued all these years later.

“Tom, one of nine founding members of the Defiance City Schools Foundation in 1989, had the foresight to envision the benefits of building this organization which accepts gifts, invests wisely, and ultimately generates profits for the various mini-grants and scholarships to benefit our city schools,” continued Korhn. “I am very appreciative that 30 years later, he and his wife, Jean, are still dedicated to take this leadership role as co-chairs and stand by the teachers and students that make this community great.”

In 2012, the school foundation’s assets were transferred into a special fund managed by the Defiance Area Foundation. Today the fund’s asset value is $814,347 as of Aug. 31 of this year.

“We are honored to have been working with the Defiance City School Foundation since 2012,” said Defiance Area Foundation executive director Chris Yoder. “We are thankful for the partnership that has been created with the Defiance City Schools, and to be a part of this initiative that supports teacher mini-grants and scholarships for Defiance students.

“Gifts to the fund can be made in a variety of methods depending on the wishes of the donor,” added Yoder. “They can make outright gifts of cash, donate stocks or bonds, and legacy gifts can also be gifted to the fund from the donor’s will, life insurance or retirement plan.”

The city school’s foundation existing board of volunteer trustees continues to set policy and provide overall direction and supervision of foundation grant and scholarship awards. All board meetings, as well as foundation records, are open to the public.

Other current officers of Defiance City Schools Foundation include 2020 incoming president Rob Lawson, and Robin Nofziger, treasurer.

Financial donations made payable to Defiance Area Foundation (mark Defiance City Schools Foundation on the check memo) can be mailed to 613 W. Third St., Defiance 43512. For more information, contact the Defiance Area Foundation at 419-782-3130.

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