Community foundations are the fastest growing form of philanthropy and are often the first to support new and emerging needs. The Defiance Area Foundation provides a means for addressing community problems and opportunities by maintaining a broad grant program available to charitable organizations in the Defiance County area. Each of us can make a difference in creating a vibrant and healthy community.
The Defiance Area Foundation has been serving communities within Defiance County for the last 36 years. In these 36 years, the Defiance Area Foundation has been able to touch thousands of lives of those families residing within Defiance, Hicksville, Ney and Sherwood Ohio through many different funds for many different needs.
Cletus Vetter gave endless hours of volunteerism and was active in many organizations. He was elected to the Defiance Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) Board of Supervisors and served from 1961 – 1981. He was also an Area 1 SWCD Director from 1979 – 1981. Clete received numerous awards and distinctions, not only at the local level but at the county and state level as well. He definitely had an impact on soil and water conservation through his farming practices and his leadership. During Clete’s lifetime of being a farmer, he loved to nurture the soil and watch his crops grow.
In 1998, staf members (Jim Harris, Mike Bof, Rick Hall, Kevin Hancock and Terri Agler) of the Defiance SWCD were interested in establishing a college scholarship fund for a Defiance County student. With this in mind, they decided to “pay it forward”. The Defiance Soil and Water Conservation District established a fund in memory of Cletus Vetter. This annual $1,000.00 college scholarship is meant to bring back into focus the vital necessity and passion for resource conservation by encouraging college-bound students to consider a career in conservation, natural resources, agriculture or a related field.
Together, we can ensure that the legacy of love and respect to not only his family but to the many people Clete Vetter selflessly gave himself to lives on forever through Defiance County. Thank you to the SWCD and the entire Vetter Family for your gifts!
Pictured (L t o R) Jason Roehrig, District Administrator – Defance Soil and Water Conservation District, Alice Vetter, and Daniel Vetter.
In 2016, we were happy to receive funding toward stage lighting, auditorium lighting that was coordinated with the tech booth, and speakers placed under the balcony. These items have been noticeably effective in assisting with sound for those patrons sitting under the balcony and the stage viewing is much sharper with the addition of the Ellipsoidal lighting. Thank you to The Defiance Area Foundation and The Hicksville Community Fund for your support.
Many local individuals, businesses and organizations donated to the Veteran’s Memorial Park. We were pleased that The Defiance Area Foundation and the Hicksville Fund recognized the worth of this project. This generosity allowed the memorial to be completed and dedicated on November 12, 2016.
The Veterans Memorial is a grand entry into our community park where thousands from the area go for sporting events and family fun. It so properly recognizes the patriotism rendered by brave men and women who put country above self. Your financial support was important and is appreciated.
“I was extremely honored to represent The Defiance Area Foundation at the ceremony to honor the Hicksville Area Veterans and the construction of their Veterans Memorial Park. As a Veteran myself, the hearing of TAPS brought tears to my eyes, as it did to many of those who attended. Leesa Battershell, Hicksville Mayor Diane Collins and Senator Cliff Hite surely distinguished themselves with their remarks, as did the Color Guard that raised Ol’ Glory during the singing of the Star Spangled Banner. The Hicksville community has a lot to be proud of with the completion of this beautiful area. Mary and I enjoyed our visit and are thankful The Foundation supported this park to honor all branches of the military. Take a trip to Hicksville to see what an impact your grant dollars have made.”
“We want to get more people involved in the Hicksville Community. We continue to have on-going needs and creating the Hicksville Community Fund in 2011 has allowed us to address some of those needs.”
-Jim and Karen Schmidt
The Stroede Center – 2016
Your grant has helped us to begin a new look, and service, to the greater Defiance area! Because of the generosity of the Defiance Area Foundation we have begun the renovations at The Stroede Center for the Arts, at 319 Wayne Avenue. In December, 2015, a group of volunteers started “demo-ing” the nearly 5,000 square foot basement of the Stroede Center for the Arts. Originally built in 1894, as the First Baptist Church, the building was inherited by the City of Defiance in 2007. Dick Stroede’s vision of service to the greater Defiance area, enriched through cultural programs for the arts. With over 300 volunteer hours of work, we have hauled out more than 14 tons of debris! Here’s a “sneak preview” of our progress.
Phase 1 — a new 100-year guarantee, roofing job. The steel roofing looks like asphalt, but wears like iron. We have approximately two-thirds of the job done and are hoping to finish the rest this fall. Local Winegardener Roofing, is the contractor for the job.
Phase 2 — has been completed with local contractor, The Baker-Shindler Contracting Co. They have transformed the former dungeon of what was, at best, disgusting bathrooms with roots growing through the floor, into modern, light, bright and pleasant dressing rooms and restroom facilities. Beyond the contractual specifics, Doug Shindler was able to save Defiance Community Cultural Council (DCCC) thousands of dollars by having the State of Ohio, reapprove the previously submitted (2010), architectural drawings for $100. Doug also joined in on the volunteer days of lugging debris up the stairs and out the door! With your help we have been able to initiate a $62,000 roof job, a $54,000-bathroom renovation job and other additional improvements totaling nearly $10,000.
Phase 3 — is anticipated that the Community Meeting/Rehearsal Room and a Caterer’s kitchen will be completed by mid-winter of this year, or spring of 2017.
Phase 4 — of our plan is for a new handicap accessible front entry to the Center from the Wayne street side at a cost of $45,000.
Phase 5 — of the plan is the renovation of the set design, construction and storage area, estimated at $10,000.