CFHC Announces Youth Philanthropy Award Recipient


CONTACT: Janet White, Education Officer

Pictured:  left to right: Johnna Bridges, President of Eastern Hancock Education Foundation, parents Bobbie and Jon Lawrence, Griffin Lawrence, and Mary Gibble, President of CFHC.

CFHC announces Youth Philanthropy Award recipient

The Community Foundation of Hancock County is honored to announce the 2022-23 Martha Beckenholdt Youth Philanthropy Award recipient, Griffin Lawrence of Eastern Hancock High School. This award, named in honor of long-time Hancock County resident and philanthropist Martha Beckenholdt, recognizes a Hancock County high school junior who has contributed outstanding time, talent, and energy to philanthropic endeavors. These are the true attributes of the woman whom the award honors.

Each year, the award recipient selects a Hancock County nonprofit organization or agency to receive a $1,000 grant in his or her name, donated by the Community Foundation of Hancock County. Griffin chose to support the Eastern Hancock Education Foundation’s Green Team Program, which encourages recycling in the school corporation. Griffin and some of his classmates were responsible for starting this initiative.

The applicants for this award each gathered a letter of recommendation from a local nonprofit leader or Hancock County high school staff member. Griffin’s recommender was Lorrie Edwards, Visual Arts teacher at Eastern Hancock High School. Edwards had this to say about Griffin, “He impresses me with his compassion, thoughtfulness and all of the committees he serves on, all of his extra-curricular activities and his multiple, weekly volunteerism and excitement to give back to our community and make it a better place.”

Griffin volunteers weekly at the Hancock County Food Pantry and Hancock Regional Hospital, but the volunteering outlet that speaks to him the most is the Eastern Hancock Green Team. Griffin spearheaded the EH Green Team recycling club at his school to fill a void he noticed in recycling. Griffin serves as president of the club and organized the entire endeavor. Griffin has also volunteered for Greenfield Head Start, been a member of the Eastern Hancock Marching Royals, VOICE, and student council for the last three years. Griffin stated, “I try to volunteer all around my community and help as many people as I can, because I know that everyone should be willing to dedicate some time to those around them.”

The 2023 award recipient was chosen via a two-step process. The blinded applications were evaluated first by CFHC staff who used a scoring rubric to narrow the field to four finalists. These finalists were then interviewed and chosen by a committee from the CFHC Board of Directors and Mary Gibble, CFHC President & CEO.

CFHC provides philanthropic leadership by encouraging giving, learning, community pride and civic engagement. Working with caring individuals, families, and organizations to create or grow existing permanent endowment funds is critical to the organization’s mission. These funds generate income that is distributed in the form of grants and scholarships to enrich and enhance life in Hancock County, as well as support the donor’s favorite charitable causes, both at home and afar forever. CFHC has granted millions of dollars since their inception in 1992.

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