Piqua Community Foundation gives back

By Sam Wildow - swildow@aimmedianetwork.com

PIQUA — The Piqua Community Foundation gave out dozens grants during an awards ceremony Thursday evening – totaling nearly $50,000 – but there was one clear winner through it all: the community.

Held at the Piqua YWCA, this was the second year for the Hinsch Community Service Awards, which were expanded to honor four local volunteers, two more than last year.

“They were active in the community and did a lot for our citizenry,” Steve Staley, chairman of the distribution committee and member of the board for the Piqua Community Foundation, said.

Piqua natives John and Marsha Hinsch, along with family members Dr. Linda and Bob Campbell of Kansas began the Hinsch Community Service Awards as way to honor his parents, Scott J. and Margaret W. Hinsch. John Hinsch explained that his parents taught his sister Linda and him the importance of volunteering, so these awards honor local volunteers and give $1,000 grants to the organizations for which those volunteers donated their time.

“Our family wanted to honor their volunteerism,” Hinsch said.

Hinsch gave a quick background on his parents, showing how they taught them the importance of giving back to the community by being examples to their children.

His father, Scott Hinsch, was born in Piqua in 1923 and remained in Piqua until they retired to Dorothy Love in Sidney in the late 1990s. Scott Hinsch spent 49 years on the board for the Piqua Memorial Hospital, with 20 of those years as the president.

“He and many others knew medicine was going to change,” Hinsch said, explaining how his father advocated for the Piqua Memorial Hospital to combine resources with facilities in Troy to what would later become the Upper Valley Medical Center. “My dad lost friends over this.”

Margaret Hinsch spent 43 years on the board of trustees for the former Flesh Public Library, many years on local PTAs, 25 years in the Girl Scouts as a troop leader, and 15 years on the Miami Valley Council of Girl Scouts.

The Margaret W. Hinsch Awards honored two local female volunteers, beginning with Carolyn “Suzy” Hawkes from the Adult Program Committee of the YWCA Piqua.

“She’s also been a part of something in the very short run that’s been phenomenal,” Hinsch said.

Hinsch explained how Hawkes led a Knitters for Cancer group, in which over a dozen women participated to knit hats, scarves, and lap robes for those with cancer. The foundation noted how the group has donated over 700 items.

The other Margaret W. Hinsch Award was given to Wilma Earls, chairman of the Bethany Center, for her dedication to those in need.

“She basically led the effort that provided 14,000 meals at the Bethany Center,” Hinsch said, adding that 300 local families also benefit from the center’s food pantry.

For the Scott J. Hinsch Awards, the first honoree was Jim Gover, who serves as an advocate and fundraiser for Piqua Parents as Teachers, providing time, equipment, and overall support for their quarter auction events. Hinsch particularly commended Gover’s support for the group and his ability to speak on behalf of Piqua Parents as Teachers about how it impacted him on a moment’s notice.

The next honoree was Jeff Lange, a volunteer at the Miami County YMCA.

“In 2016, he revived the YMCA’s Master Swim Team for seniors,” Hinsch said. “Now they compete in swim meets.”

Prior to awarding the Hinsch Community Service Awards, the Piqua Community Foundation donated $42,000 through mini and standard grants to local schools and over a dozen organizations.

“Today, schools are receiving all five of the mini-grants,” Staley said.

Those five mini-grants were awarded to Piqua City Schools. They will provide stability balls for Piqua High School math classes, club t-shirts for the Piqua High School Key Club, teacher instructional materials for reading teachers at Springcreek Primary, and “We Both Read” take-home books for Springcreek first graders and kindergarten students.

The foundation then awarded standard grants all with the purpose of helping Piqua residents, whether directly or indirectly.

“They do a great job in the Piqua community, and we thank you for that,” Staley said about the organizations who received grants.

Standard grants were also awarded to the following organizations:

• American Red Cross for recruiting and retaining Piqua volunteers

• Dayton Children’s Hospital for assistance for Piqua patient families

• Eagles’ Wings Stable to support tuition subsidies for riders

• Edison State Community College, three grants for nursing simulations and equipment for both the medical lab tech and biology programs

• Friends of Piqua Parks for improvements to Das Park

• His Hand Extended Sanctuary for their program to neuter stray/feral cats

• Johnston Farm and Indian Agency Friends Council for a computer and printer

• Lehman Catholic High School, two grants for after-school study space and architecture design software

• Miami County Dental Clinic for cabinetry for their new offices

• Miami County Recovery Council for Project Piqua Recovery

• Miami County YMCA for equipment for their child care center

• Piqua Catholic School for a Chromebook charger station

• Piqua City Schools, two grants for an author visit from Margret Peterson Haddix to Piqua Central Intermediate School and for band-owned instruments at Piqua High School

• Piqua Compassion Network for a new computer and office furnishings

• Piqua Tourism Council to support Chautauqua events

• Southern Ohio M.D.A. for summer camp costs for two Piqua campers

• Upper Valley Medical Center Foundation to support Rachel’s Challenge in the Piqua schools

By Sam Wildow


Reach Sam Wildow at swildow@aimmedianetwork.com or (937) 451-3336

Reach Sam Wildow at swildow@aimmedianetwork.com or (937) 451-3336