Lerner Theatre Project

Bob Deputy, past Chairman, ECCF Board of Directors and member, Lerner Theatre Restoration Project committee

Creating a Margin of Excellence and Leading us Forward

Building on the success of the ECCF/IUSB-Elkhart project, fund-raising for the next large-scale downtown venture moved forward in the same manner: the restoration of the historic, 86-year-old Elco/Lerner Theatre.

Knowing how efficiently ECCF had housed the funds for the IUSB-Elkhart, Deputy says it was a logical step for ECCF to also become the fiscal agent for this initiative. “Again, this is the value of a community foundation, especially when you know what results are possible. We know that tax-deductible funds raised for the Lerner Theatre Project will be handled judiciously and with transparency,” he says. “So the Lerner team is using the same template in its fund-raising approach. Without it, either project could have been a nightmare.”

“Down the road,” Deputy says, “the role of the ECCF will be more and more important as its potential for excellence beyond basic funding is recognized.”

He believes ECCF is an ideal conduit within the community because it serves its donors by respecting their philanthropic intent and fulfilling what donors want to accomplish, not its own projects. “ECCF’s key advantage is that its value will be seen more 25 years from now than it is today… and 25 years from then. It is truly a unique organization in our community.”

In the next decade, ECCF will continue to educate potential donors about our role in the community, showing what we can do through the generosity of others, building our discretionary funds to deal with emerging community topics and promoting ECCF as the ideal tool for performance and endowment.

Catherine Wells-Bentz