Washington County 4-H was named Outstanding Nonprofit of the Year 2022 by the MArietta Community Foundtion. From left, Peggy Byers, Julia Rogers Hughes, Bruce Zimmer, Maggie Ralston Webster and Heather Allender.
Dale and Jean Leeper have received Outstanding Philanthropists of the Year 2022 (Family) from the Marietta Community Foundation. From left, foundation Executive Director Heather Allender, Jean Leeper and Dale Leeper.
Photo provided. Tri-State Roofing and Sheet Metal Company in partnership with the Spartan Foundation received the Outstanding Philanthropist of the Year 2022 (Business) from the Marietta Community Foundation. From left, Heather Allender, Jason Lewis of Tri-State, Robert Kirkbride of the Spartan Foundation and Nick Squires of Tri-State.
Each year, Marietta Community Foundation recognizes outstanding philanthropic contributions by presenting three awards.
For their contributions during 2021 and prior, the following awards were given:
Philanthropists of the Year 2022 (Family): Dale and Jean Leeper
Dale and Jean Leeper began their philanthropic journey with the Foundation in 2019. They began giving primarily to the Community Impact Fund with some going to the Friends of the Foundation Fund. Prior to that, they supported various specific funds and the Foundation had worked closely with Jean for seven years in her role with the Devola Multi-Use Trail Fund. However, the Leepers took the Foundation by surprise when Jean walked in on an arbitrary Thursday in September 2021 with a staggering check. With this contribution, they established the Dale and Jean Leper Charitable fund — an unrestricted fund that allows the Foundation flexibility to respond to important or emergent needs. Jean commented that she and Dale support so many organizations in the area and they knew an unrestricted donation to the Foundation would ultimately benefit them all.
Philanthropist of the Year 2022 (Business): Tri-State Roofing and Sheet Metal Company in partnership with the Spartan
Tri-State Roofing and Sheet Metal Company in partnership with the Spartan Foundation has contributed $20,000 to the Community Impact Fund over the past 14 years, but their immense and loyal generosity doesn’t stop there. In 2021, their historic support of the Washington County Imagination Library program reached $20,000, after a five-figure gift was received right before announcing the Match the Imagination campaign. This gift was a significant driver in the overall success of the campaign, which enabled the Foundation to register more than 220 children to receive a book in the mail each month leading up to their fifth birthday, helping to build their foundation for life-long success.
Outstanding Nonprofit of the Year 2022:
Washington County 4-H
Washington County 4-H diligently serves our community through a variety of youth development programming. Their programs fuel individual’s passions, encourage exploration and discovery, and elevate our community in the process. Their dedication to service and personal development is obvious through their partnership with the Foundation. Multiple endowment funds have been established to ensure financial security in perpetuity, and they have regularly participated in Foundation initiatives such as the annual Nonprofit Challenge. The Foundation is especially pleased to recognize Washington County 4-H this year, as Camp Hervida is celebrating 100 years of camping tradition. This camp continues to be a significant benefit to those involved in 4-H, and the community as a whole.
While accepting the award, Dale Leeper disclosed that he has supported the Foundation since it was first established in 1974.
One of his colleagues, Paul T. Theisen, signed the governing documents of the Foundation and Dale assisted in creating one of the first donor advised funds.
“I’ve always been a fan of here,” said Dale. “If we didn’t believe in the organization, we wouldn’t make a contribution. We believe in the judgement. Over the years, we think that this community foundation has had an extraordinary Board, and certainly the current Board is emblematic of that.”
Hap Esbenshade, Chairman and CEO of Tri-State Roofing and Sheet Metal Company and President of the Spartan Foundation, said “The most important form of education is self-education. The foundation for self-education is reading,” when asked about the contribution that led to this award.
“We are honored to be recognized as the Nonprofit of the Year,” said Bruce Zimmer; Extension Educator, 4-H Youth Development. “Our volunteers and staff work tirelessly to provide positive development opportunities for our 4-H members and other youth through school and summer camp programs. We appreciate Marietta Community Foundation’s encouragement and financial guidance to involve and reach even more youth in Washington County.”
Marietta Community Foundation was founded in 1974 and manages more than 350 funds and has distributed more than $24.5 million to charities while meeting rigorous national standards in the community foundation sector.
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