Making A Difference in Greene County

Greene Giving continually strives to enhance the Greene County region and the lives of its residents. That includes opportunities to give back to the causes and people working tirelessly to make a difference. One of the ways we are able to give back to our community members is through the Herman Menapace Difference Maker Award. This award is a way to recognize those in Greene County who regularly try to “make a difference,” all while giving back to local charitable organizations. To further understand the award and its origin, you must first know who Herman Menapace was.

Who Was Herman Menapace?

Simply put, Herman Menapace was someone who was always trying to “make a difference” in his community and for those around him. He did this through his involvement in many organizations and groups such as the Advisory Board for American Heart Association, American Hospital Association, American Red Cross as well as Boy Scouts of America (Tecumseh Council) and former First Frontier (Blue Jacket Outdoor Drama.)

As part of his initiative to “make a difference,” Menapace co-founded the Greene County Community Foundation in 2001. He wrote before his death:

In 2001, Fred Gibson, Reed Madden, John Saraga and I had a concept because we believed we had a real opportunity to advance Greene County, and the idea blossomed into Greene County Community Foundation. Fred Gibson was the editor of the Greene County Dailies; Reed Madden was an insurance professional in Spring Valley and a member of the Board of County Commissioners; and John Saraga was mayor for the City of Xenia. From an initial $5,000.00 grant by the Greene County Community Improvement Corporation, over the years, a geographically diverse Board of Directors, caring and knowledgeable donors and volunteers moved Greene Giving to growth in assets as well as distributions and grants to the region.

The Herman Menapace Difference Maker Award

Herman Menapace and his wife Marjorie “Marge” Menapace, who passed away in 2018, wanted their memory to live on through contributions to the Greene County Community Foundation. They truly believed that the foundation was an opportunity to advance Greene County and the region, and to continue to help make sure everyone may enjoy the future of a healthy and productive life.

In addition to these contributions, they designated a part of their estate be given unrestricted to the Greene County Community Foundation through a trust, which became the GCCF-MENAPACE ENDOWMENT. It was soon recommended by Matt Pauley, Chair of the Greene County Community Foundation, that the income be designated by the Board of Directors for the annual Menapace Award.

This award is unique in that it recognizes and celebrates those who “make a difference” throughout the community through nominations for the award, as well as gives back to charitable organizations of the winner’s choosing by way of a grant. Nominations can be made for any individual in the community you feel lives up to the standard Herman Menapace, his wife, and his colleagues set, and one winner will be named each year.

The award’s first recipient was the late Francis “Frank” James, award-winning economist, Founder of James Investment Research and philanthropist.

Nominations for 2022

If you know of someone who is deserving of this award, you can nominate them by filling out the form on our website and emailing it to [email protected], or by mail to 941 West Second Street, Xenia, OH 45385. All nominations must be received by March 31, 2022 to be eligible for the Menapace Award. The winner will be announced at the Annual Luncheon Meeting for the Community Foundation held on April 28, 2022, where all finalists will be invited to join. The individual that wins the award will be able to choose a charitable organization to receive a grant of $1,000.00.

If you would like to make a donation to the Difference Maker Award, credit card gifts may be made through our secure online portal.

You can find more information about the Herman Menapace Make a Difference Award on our website or by contacting us by phone at 937-458-2064.

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