Supported by Community Foundation grant, Town of Leesburg puts local history on display
From tornado sirens and tennis courts to display cabinets and playground equipment, seven local towns will make progress on their goals this year, thanks to funding from the Kosciusko County Community Foundation’s Go Forward! grant. The initiative awarded a total of $100,000 to the towns of Leesburg, Etna Green, Claypool, Mentone, Milford, North Webster, and Pierceton.
“Go Forward! was a special, one-time opportunity,” said Alex Hall, vice president of programs at the Community Foundation. “The grant was designed to support objectives, goals and projects outlined in these towns’ FORWARD Kosciusko strategic plans, which were completed in 2022.”
Leesburg has already completed a portion of their town project. Aided by Go Forward! grant funding from the Community Foundation, the town installed three new display cabinets in the Leesburg Town Hall, a registered historical building, to preserve town artifacts and photographs. The custom display cabinets were constructed by a local carpenter. The grant also supplied them with funding for minor construction as well as print materials and photo reproductions.
“Over the past five years, local people have donated numerous items to be included in the collection,” said Christina Archer, president of the Leesburg Town Council. “We’re truly working together as a community to make this happen. Go Forward! funding has helped us take the next step in preserving our town’s history,” Archer said.
Many items have already been collected: A working organ, upright piano, paintings and photographs, a Plain Township ballot box, stacks of books, school memorabilia, and much more. “I’ve got several more items to bring from my own home,” said Christina. “I’m sure others do, too!”
The Town Hall will host a soft opening on Monday, May 29, after the Leesburg Memorial Day parade and service. Information about the soft opening and regular hours of operation will be made available by town officials.
Go Forward! grants were also awarded for the following projects:
- Claypool: Updated emergency response system
- Etna Green: Heritage Park enhancements
- Mentone: Mentzer Memorial Park revitalization
- Milford: New Waubee Lake Trail
- North Webster: Connector trail to Wawasee Middle School
- Pierceton: New tennis and pickleball courts
The Community Foundation offers several grant opportunities, including Community Funds, KEYS, and Kosciusko REMC Operation Round Up. Non-profit organizations and other agencies serving Kosciusko County are encouraged to apply. For more information about grants available through the Community Foundation, visit kcfoundation.org/grants or call 574-267-1901.