Foundation in Focus: Even during pandemic, support for New Albany community has not wavered

Mike Marx
Guest columnist

As I complete my ninth and final year as a member of the New Albany Community Foundation board of trustees and the foundation celebrates its 25th year, it’s a good time to reflect on all that has been accomplished through the generosity of the people in this community.

This year was unprecedented in so many ways. Certainly, the pandemic and subsequent recession changed how we live in so many ways.

Mike Marx

When the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic began, foundation officials were concerned that fundraising, which has such a positive impact in the community, would be difficult at best, impossible at worst.

Thankfully, strong foundation leadership and the desire by so many generous families and businesses to help their neighbors and to continue to have an impact resulted in some amazing outcomes.

The foundation has raised nearly $200,000 for COVID-19 assistance.

That money flowed to organizations providing support to families in need, such as food through the New Albany Food Pantry, personal-protective equipment to health-care workers and first responders through the school robotics teams and Form5 Prosthetics Inc., cleaning stations, masks, shields and thermometers for the schools, scholarships for students in need of Wi-Fi connection or to participate in extracurricular activities and mental-health counseling for students. 

During a time of adversity, our community demonstrated extraordinary compassion.

I am so proud of the residents, businesses and students who rallied to volunteer, donate and lead.

I’m equally proud of the foundation, which serves these amazing donors and volunteers.

Over the foundation’s 25-year history, it has served at the center of so many transformational community initiatives, such as:

• COVID-19 assistance

• Mental-health programs and initiatives

• The New Albany Lecture Series

• The New Albany Student Lecture Series

• The Jeanne B. McCoy Community Center for the Arts

• The New Albany branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library and its Homework Help Center and reading garden

• The New Albany Safety Town program

• The New Albany Scholars schools author-residency program

• Healthy New Albany

• The New Albany Center for Civil Discourse and Debate

• Rose Run Park planning and amenities

More recently, the foundation broke ground on the Charleen & Charles Hinson Amphitheater and launched “Conversations on Social Justice” to promote greater understanding on the important issue.

Forward-thinking foundation leaders have a vision for our community, one reflective of the community’s aspirations and one always aimed at strengthening community bonds.

They work collaboratively with city, township, school and other community leaders to advance this shared vision.

As my time on the board ends, I step away knowing that the community only will become stronger. And always behind the scenes, the foundation will be working to serve its donors toward the betterment of this extraordinary community.

Mike Marx is a member of the New Albany Community Foundation board of trustees.  He and his family recently made a donation to the community toward the New Albany Marx Family Library Garden.