New Ross Community Foundation tells school board about mission

There is a new way to help the needy in the Ross community, as the head of the area’s first community charitable organization used a recent local school board meeting to reach out to the public.

Formed in July, officials from the Ross Community Foundation (RCF) used the Ross school board’s last meeting of 2022 at Ross High School to spread the word about the new non-profit’s work and its need for financial donors.

Dana Mehl, a foundation board member who assists his wife Martha Mehl as she chairs the RCF, told the Ross board members the foundation in up and running and seeking financial contributions.

The foundation is affiliated with the more than half-century old Hamilton Community Foundation, which has funneled millions of dollars into philanthropic causes in that adjacent Butler County city to help thousands of needy families.

The Mehls are residents in the Ross community.

“The RCF mantras are ‘give where you live’ and ‘local people, local gifts, local impact,’” Mehl told the school board members.

The foundation is attempting to raise $500,000 by Dec. 31, and Mehl said the new Ross organization will use the Hamilton foundation’s fund managers to invest the donated money to raise funds to invest in non-profit groups in the Ross area.

“It is the intent of the RCF to grant funds in 2023 and this will be conducted by non-profit organizations submitting online applications,” he said.

Possible recipients for the new RCF funds may be Ross athletic booster organization, local food pantries, churches, boys and girls scouts, garden clubs, scholarships for Ross High School graduates and Future Farmers of America (FFA).

“The Ross community has many needs and the RCF will help fill those needs.”

Mehl thanked donors who have already contributed to the RCF and Ross Board of Education President Sean Van Winkle said the foundation’s formation is coming at a key time given the inflationary pressures being felt by not only local school families but all other residents in the Ross community.

“As you know the economy is not really good right now for everyone in the country. We’re all feeling it in many different ways. Their (foundation’s) message wasn’t entirely to the board but more to the entire community through the board meeting” and its YouTube broadcast, he said.

“It’s something Martha and Dana started about a year ago and they have been a giving family for many years in the Ross community and not only to the school system,” said Van Winkle.

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