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Our History

While vacationing in Naples, Florida in the mid-1980’s, Elkhart County resident Oscar Schricker observed people being approached for financial contributions by the local community foundation. Thinking about the abundant wealth in Elkhart County, he and a friend Jim McNamee began talking about the possibility of forming a community foundation in our county.

Each talked to colleagues and friends, including Bill Myers, who became the first president of what was to become the Elkhart County Community Foundation, and Dr. John Foreman, who generously made the first significant contribution. Others who became founding directors were Charles Ainlay, Jon Armstrong, Lehman Beardsley, Wilbert Budd, Arthur J. Decio, Samuel Hoover, William Johnson, Lee Martin, Richard Pletcher, Laura Rydson and Thomas Warrick.

According to Oscar Schricker, “a lot of people had foresight and saw the possibilities…” One of these caring individuals was Wilbert H. (Bill) Budd. An ECCF founding director and former treasurer, Bill was an engineer who served in many capacities at CTS corporation including that of executive vice-president and senior director. He was best known, however, for his quiet dedication to numerous Elkhart-related philanthropic causes and organizations, most notably the ECCF.

Budd is credited as the Foundation’s single largest contributor. Sadly, he died in early August of 2006 at the age of 93. While his presence and generosity are sorely missed, he is warmly remembered. Budd always hoped to inspire successful men and women to make the most of what they earned. “If you have been prosperous in this community,” he often said, “be a good steward and continue to give something back.”

Because of caring individuals like Budd, founding directors, and many other generous volunteers and donors to the Elkhart County Community Foundation, we are now in our 23rd year of service to Elkhart County. With more than $45,000,000(*) in endowed assets, 350+ endowed funds, and more than $36,000,000 in grants since our inception, we are making a positive impact for future generations.

*per the 2011-2012 fiscal year-end report


Founding Donors

Founding donors are those individuals or organizations that contributed $50,000 or more from the inception of the Foundation through June 30, 1995.

Bashor Children’s Home, Boys & Girls Club of Greater Goshen Foundation, Mr. and Mrs. Wilbert H. Budd, First Congregational Church, Mr. and Mrs. Thomas H. Corson, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Deahl, Mr. and Mrs. Arthur J. Decio, The Decio Family (Terrence, Jamee, Lindy, Reilly, Jay, and Leigh), Sherrill and Helen Deputy Family, Elkhart County Council on Aging, Elkhart County 4-H, Mr. and Mrs. Lewis Fidler, Dr. and Mrs. John Foreman, Mr. and Mrs. Clinton Hartman, Mr. F.L. Hascall, Goshen College, Goshen Rotary Club Scholarship Endowment, Greencroft Foundation, Gunden Family, Paul and Joyce Hultin Family Endowment, KeyBank, LaCasa of Goshen, Lilly Endowment, Inc., Mervin D. Lung Family, Martin Foundation, Mr. and Mrs. Frank Martin, Mr. William F. Martin, Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Naquin, Northridge High School Dollars for Scholars, Oaklawn Foundation, Mrs. Lee A. Rieth, Ms. Martha Reith, Mr. and Mrs. Marly Rydson, Mr. and Mrs. Vernon Sailor, Salvation Army of Elkhart, Mr. and Mrs. Dan Sherman, Mr. and Mrs. Oscar Schricker, Ina L. Strasser Endowment, Trinity United Methodist Foundation, Mr. and Mrs. Basil S. Turner, United Way of Elkhart County, Mr. and Mrs. Richard VanDerKarr, Maynard W. Wells Family, YMCA/YWCA Joint Community Project.