Members of the East Tennessee Foundation, Johnson County Community Foundation presenters, and grant recipients gathered together after the 2021 Grant Reception at the Johnson County Senior Center. JCCF gave out grants totaling $77,170 to 17 groups that serve the Johnson County area. Photo by Meg Dickens.
By Meg Dickens
The Johnson County Community Foundation (JCCF) had many positives to celebrate on Monday, July 19. In addition to its annual awards ceremony, this year also marks the organization’s twentieth anniversary. Through three funds under the East Tennessee Foundation (ETF) and one set up by an anonymous donor, JCCF provided a total of $91,570 in local support this year. Officials presented $77,170 to nonprofit organizations in Johnson County during the Monday evening ceremony at the Johnson County Senior Center.
Funding was given to the following groups:
• Johnson County 4-H program
• The Barter Foundation
• Friends of the Johnson County Library
• Hometown Service Coalition
• The Johnson County Center for the Arts
• Long Journey Home
• JCHS Early Access
• JCHS Robotics
• Johnson County Humane Society
• JCMS Robotics
• MyRide Johnson County, TN
• The Johnson County Senior Center
• Johnson County/Mountain City Community Center
• The Neva Fire Department
• The Pregnancy Support Center
• Second Harvest food Bank
• Women of Mountain City
Each group, minus two that were no-shows or had to leave early, stood up and thanked the group before explaining how they plan to use the funding. Several entities will use the money for general group support, including the JCHS and JCMS robotics programs, the Humane Society, Pregnancy Support Center, Community Center, and Women of MC. Others plan to use the money for program scholarships, including 4-H, Early Access, and MyRide.
Several groups are using their funding for projects for the community. For example, the Hometown Service Coalition is breaking ground on its project to resurface the tennis courts, install pickleball courts, and replace the 1980s era playground equipment in Cunningham Park. The Senior Center is establishing a senior shuttle for local organizations’ use. The Center for the Arts is working on an attraction centered around Fiddlin’ Fred Price and a cultural heritage map for the area.
JCCF was established in 2001, although its origins date back to a Johnson County economic development task force in the 1990s. Throughout its life, the group created three funds under the ETF: The Johnson County Endowment Fund, which has awarded $429,822 so far; The Johnson County Education Growth Scholarship Fund, which has awarded $116,025 since 2002; the Wachs Youth Leadership Fund, which has provided $12,705 from its 11 total grants. The separate fourth fund, the Johnson County Scholarship Fund, has provided $1,551,240 in support for local seniors since 1999.
The funding for these entities comes from a combination of fundraising and donations. The current biggest event is the annual talent show, which will happen at Heritage Hall Theatre on October 29 this year because of COVID-19 delays. There are concerns that the home football game on the same night may cut into attendance numbers. For more information on JCCF, its fundraising projects, and its history, contact founding member Minnie miller a [email protected]