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April 14, 2014

Community Foundation of Southern Indiana honors teens, awards grants at Golden Acorn event

Award ceremony recognizes teens, organizations for going above and beyond

NEW ALBANY — Part-time jobs, more than 100 hours of volunteer time, extra-curricular activities and high-grade point averages were just some of the many achievements held by attendees of Sundy’s Golden Acorn award ceremony.

The Community Foundation of Southern Indiana and the Youth Philanthropy Council hosted the event.

Linda Speed, president and CEO of the foundation, said the purpose of the Golden Acorn event is to honor nonprofit organizations and student volunteers who have gone above and beyond.

“These teens are showing their full support for causes they care about by dedicating their time and energy to volunteering,” Speed said.

The Youth Philanthropy Council [YPC] consists of 22 students and adult volunteers in Clark and Floyd counties. The adults in the group mentor the youth to help instill leadership qualities by teaching them about nonprofit organizations.

Sally Newkirk, director of the Carnegie Center for Art and History in New Albany, nominated 13-year-old Griffin Hardy, a student at Hazelwood Middle School, for his work at the museum.

“We really enjoy working with him,” Newkirk said. “I get teary-eyed nearly every time he comes in, and to see how hard he works.”

The YPC funds grants that go toward organizations run by teenagers or those that serve the teen community. This year the YPC awarded $4,500 in grants to nine nonprofit organizations. The money comes from a fund supplied by the Community Foundation.

Students join the YPC at the beginning of the fall. The final event for the year for the group is the Golden Acorn banquet, where it presents the grants to the organizations it has funded. Some of the grants went toward projects such as Borden Elves, which is a program that provides supplies to make homemade toys for those in need during Christmas.

At the event, each student volunteer was given a certificate and an acorn-shaped pin, which was pinned on to him or her by a member the nominating organization.

According to the Community Foundation’s website, the golden acorn represents “the seed that is planted and bears the mighty oak. Our young people are planting the seeds of service and giving among their peers.”

They include students like Hardy.

Carnegie Center Curator Karen Gillenwater, who also nominated Hardy, said the teen has done various activities at the museum, from greeting visitors to organizing the supplies for workshops.

“He is an outstanding young man,” Gillenwater said. “It’s great to have events like this one in order to recognize young folks like Griffin who work so hard.”


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