The People’s Defender
The Adams County Community Foundation, in partnership with the Scioto Foundation, has been founded to improve the quality of life in the community.
The ACCF was founded in 2019 by trustees John Condon, Kent Gulley, John Lawler, Mike Pell and Paul Worley. It is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt public charity eligible to receive tax-deductible bequests, transfers and gifts.
The group, being longtime friends and associates, had always talked about their desire to give back to the community. One day, as Worley, Condon and Gulley were having a conversation, they decided it was time to commit to those aspirations.
“It’s been quite a learning experience,” Gulley said. “I think a lot of our efforts have been in getting the processes in place between us and the Scioto Foundation, and establishing a partnership with them. They have really been generous in helping us do that. We’ve got a pretty good partnership in place, and they’re going to provide guidance for us until we can stand alone. We don’t know exactly when that will be, but that is our objective.”
The Foundation has filed their articles of incorporation, established a website, a social media page, and put together a marketing plan. In the past year, the Foundation has started focusing on their marketing.
“We have several funds established, we’ve made several grants,” Condon said. “We’ve got one fund that we’re particularly proud of that a local couple established, the Adams County Scholarship Fund. A local couple donated $100,000 to create the scholarship fund. We have also received two really nice contributions from First State Bank.”
The Foundation also received another $100,000 donation and a multitude of smaller donations of $10 and up, which will be invested into Adams County.
“We want to see the quality of life improve in this area, in Adams County,” Condon said. “That means education, standard of living, income, all those things. How do you make that happen? Well, you encourage good things in your community, you support good things in your community and you support education.”
One of the things they really wanted to see and are most proud of is the scholarship fund.
“We’ll have our first distributions this year that will be four $1,000 scholarships,” Gulley said. “It will take time to build the scholarship endowment fund as donations come in, but someday we hope to do like Scioto, who provided $500,000 in scholarships last year. Also, with our scholarship fund, we support vocational training as well.”
They are particularly proud that the Adams County Scholarship Fund supports both traditional college education and vocational training, and anyone can donate to the fund.
“We see a lot of opportunities for people in Adams County to become aware of the educational opportunities in our community,” Condon said. “Not only is there Southern State Community College and Shawnee state University, but there’s Maysville Community College, there’s the Great Oaks system, there’s a Kentucky Welding Institute and the Scioto County Career Technical Center. There’s a multitude of vocational training opportunities within an easy driving distance of Adams County.
“I’m not sure that young people and their families are aware of those opportunities and what they can accomplish by nine months or a year of training and be qualified for a job that’s within or within driving distance of Adams County. We intend to try and help make them aware of that.”
Individuals can establish other funds also.
“That’s just one of several funds that we have, and it’s an endowment fund; all of our funds are endowment funds,” Condon said. “An endowment fund is invested, the principal is invested forever, and only the income is spent for grants and scholarships. The principal stays there forever. Any money that you put in an endowment will stay there and earn forever and provide a benefit to the community forever.”
Two of their large funds were created with qualified charitable distributions from individual retirement accounts.
“It’s a great way for older people to give,” Gulley said. “They may realize they have a pretty nice-sized IRA account and they’re in a position in their life where they don’t really need all of the money and would like to help their community. If over the age of 70 and a half, distributions of any amount up to $100,000 can be transferred from their IRA directly to the Foundation. It’s that simple.”
Qualified Charitable Distributions can be used to satisfy Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) from an IRA account; however, the Foundation always encourages donors to consult with their tax advisers.
“Probably that is the most effective way to make a significant contribution that someone in our age group can do, because you don’t pay taxes when it comes directly from the custodian into the Foundation and it begins to be used promptly,” Gulley said.
Anyone can donate to the Foundation, however, and donating through the website, www.accfo.org is as easy as clicking the “donate” button on the header. Along with learning more about the Foundation through their website, their Facebook page also has valuable information, such as scholarships.
“How can I give back to a community that’s been so good to me? What can I do? The Foundation will give that opportunity to people who want to give back to their community,” Gulley said.