Community Foundation Awards $1.5 Million

The grants, made possible by a huge donation from David Gundlach, are the largest the organization has made.  Don Yost of Maple City Health Care Center explains the new Patient Care Team concept to be used at the new clinic in the old Abshire Mansion in Goshen Friday, Dec. 12, 2014. Renovations are ongoing at the site for the non-profit clinic, which received a $500,000 contribution from the Elkhart County Community Foundation. (Jennifer Shephard/The Elkhart Truth)

Etruth – Tim Vandenack
Dec. 12, 2014

The multi-million dollar donation to the Elkhart County Community Foundation by David Gundlach is really starting to filter into the community.

The organization on Friday, Dec. 12, revealed the recipients of its first batch of “key initiatives” grants — large-dollar awards meant to help non-profit groups with more visionary initiatives. A total of $1.5 million will initially be distributed to six organizations per the first grant installment, with $500,000 earmarked for the ongoing $2.2 million expansion of the Maple City Health Care Center, a non-profit health care clinic in Goshen geared to low-income and uninsured people.

The individual awards are the largest ever made by the organization, made possible by the posthumous 2012 gift of about $150 million from Gundlach. “We want to have this transformational effect in our community,” said Pete McCown, the ECCF president.

Other awards for this cycle of ECCF’s 2014-2015 fiscal year include:

  • $250,000 to the Oaklawn Mental Health Center to launch a program, the Partnership for Children, to help at-risk kids in problematic situations, before things get really tough for them. The funding, which will cover about 80 percent of the initial program costs, also includes $250,000 per year for two years after the initial award.
  • $250,000 to help launch a Positive Parenting Program, or Triple P Program, which will provide varied offerings to aid parents in raising their children. That’ll cover about 80 percent of initial program costs. Child and Parent Services of Elkhart County will actually run the program with the Horizon Educational Alliance acting as financial administrator.
  • $250,000 to the Life Center of Elkhart County for a planned $2.5 million expansion of its Elkhart facility. The organization houses a residential drug and substance abuse program and offers skills training as well.
  • $150,000 to the Friends of the Pumpkinvine Nature Trail to help with a $750,000 project to complete an unfinished portion of the trail, which goes from Goshen to Shipshewana. The group is required to match the $150,000 with funds of its own and it’s also in line to receive another $150,000 in a year, which also must be matched.
  • $100,000 to the Elkhart River Restoration Association to aid in the dredging of Goshen Dam Pond, a $2 million project. The group also received $100,000 from the ECCF as part of a different grant cycle.

To offer perspective on the significance of the Gundlach gift, the typical overall ECCF distribution via its Fund for Elkhart County before the donation reached a total of $500,000 per year. That’s to grow to $4.5 million for fiscal year 2014-2015, which ends June 30, $6.5 million in 2015-2016 and $8.5 million in 2016-2017.

Individual “key initiatives” grants, which complement smaller cyclical ECCF grants to a range of non-profit Elkhart County groups, could reach $1 million or more in years to come, said McCown.



James Gingerich, a doctor and the medical director at Maple City Health, said the $500,000 ECCF grant is significant. “It’s a huge part of making the capital project possible,” he said.

Of the $2.2 million project total, another $1.2 million is coming from IU Health Goshen Hospital and $500,000 more is coming from the IU Health Goshen Foundation.  The $2.2 million will be used to buy Abshire Mansion at 803 N. Main St. in Goshen and to renovate and expand the building, which will complement the existing facility at 213 Middlebury St., also in Goshen. When done, perhaps by next summer, the clinic will be able to accommodate 5,000 new clients.

McCown said the number of people impacted by Maple City Health and the organization’s track record factored in the large size of the grant.