Morgan County Community Fund Works with Donors and Citizens
to Make Dreams a Reality
McConnelsville, OH – Hazel Syphers had a dream that every child in Morgan County would have a present to open on Christmas morning. When she passed away in 2014 at the age of 100, she left behind a gift that will have the children of Morgan County unwrapping presents for years to come. Thanks to a gift in her will and the dedication of the Morgan County Community Fund, Hazel’s dream became a reality this past Christmas.
Hazel and Gerald Syphers lived a quiet and simple life on their farm in Morgan County. While the couple had no children of their own, they shared their farm and the distinct experiences it offered with other children in their lives.
“I spent summers with Hazel and Gerald as a child, helping with farm chores, walking on the backs of sheep, and letting my imagination run while in the woods with their dog, Rover,” said Marsha Syphers Long, Hazel and Gerald’s grand-niece. “She was good with kids and adored them – I think I left ten pounds heavier from all the food Hazel fed me.”
In addition to her gift to the Morgan County Community Fund, Hazel also invested in the Morgan County Historical Society, Morgan County United Ministries, and the Pennsville Church of Christ through her estate.
Because of Hazel Syphers’ generosity and love of children, the Morgan County Community Fund’s committee, as well as a number of community volunteers and partners, 261 children of all ages in Morgan County received a Christmas gift this year who would not have otherwise. Morgan County Community Fund committee members wrapped and delivered gifts to local service organizations to be shared with local families. The youngest children in Morgan County received books to inspire a love of reading; elementary age children were given easels to unleash their imaginations; and the oldest group of children received Kindles to encourage a love of reading and support their education.
“The sense of joy and excitement was palpable as these presents were purchased, wrapped, gifted, and opened,” said Becky Jarvis, a committee member with the Morgan County Community Fund. “It is an honor to ensure that Hazel’s memory lives on through presents given to our community’s kids, bringing them joy. We hope many others across Morgan County will join us in supporting this work so we can share Christmas joy with our county’s children for many years to come.”
The Morgan County Community Fund was started in 2008 as a charitable community endowment fund for the purpose of improving the quality of life of people living in Morgan County. The Fund is supported by generous donors who wish to give back to their fellow Morgan Countians, just like Hazel did through her estate. Their goal is to raise $1 million by 2020 to invest in programs, starting with those focused on youth, including vocational job training; entrepreneurship; cultural arts; travel; history appreciation; and drug prevention. All contributions to the Fund stay in Morgan County.
Like many other community funds in the 32-county Appalachian region of Ohio, the Morgan County Community Fund is affiliated with the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio, a regional foundation that supports local funds and the tax-free gifts made to them through management of investments and preservation of the philanthropic assets dedicated to the local community. For more information about how you can help the Morgan County Community Fund grow to serve all citizens throughout Morgan County, please contact FAO at www.AppalachianOhio.org or call 740.753.1111.
About the Morgan County Community Fund
The Morgan County Community Fund was started in 2008 as a charitable community endowment fund for the purpose of improving the quality of life of people living in Morgan County. The Fund is supported by generous donors who wish to give back to their fellow Morgan Countians . Their goal is to raise $1 million by 2020 to invest in programs, starting with those focused on youth, including vocational job training; entrepreneurship; cultural arts; travel; history appreciation; and drug prevention. All contributions to the Fund stay in Morgan County.
About the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio
The Foundation for Appalachian Ohio (FAO) is a regional community foundation serving the 32 counties of Appalachian Ohio. A 501(c)(3) public charity, the Foundation creates opportunities for Appalachian Ohio’s citizens and communities by inspiring and supporting philanthropy. For more information about FAO, visit www.AppalachianOhio.org.