Our History

Pickaway County Community Fund History

Founded in 2001, the Pickaway County Community Foundation (PCCF) began with a conversation between two friends.  One woman was a seventh-generation farmer from Williamsport.  As a member of the board for the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Shirley Bowser had traveled across the United States and around the world evaluating the impact of Kellogg philanthropy.  The other was a transplant from New Jersey; Doris Yamarick moved to Circleville in 1953.  

As Doris Yamarick and Shirley Bowser talked about what might be done to meet the challenges facing Pickaway County, they agreed that the county needed a charitable foundation.  As the new millennium opened in 2000, they began to explore what it would take to build a community foundation for Pickaway County.  

With a tool kit called “Foundation in a Box” from the Council on Small Foundations, the two women began to chat with others in the community.  Eventually, a list of forty names developed.  Bankers, attorneys, the county extension agent, business people, politicians, nonprofit administrators, Community volunteers, educators – all were invited to meet in September 2000 to discuss the potential for a community foundation in Pickaway County.

“Doris and I talked a lot about ‘values,’ although we didn’t call them that at the time. One was we wanted this foundation to represent the whole county, not just Circleville. And it wasn’t just about who was wealthy – it was a list of people who had a stake in Pickaway County, in its quality of life.”

~ Shirley Bowser

The response from community leaders was enthusiastic.  Before too long, a steering committee was formed, with Doris, Shirley, extension agent Mike Estadt, former mayor Mike Logan, civic volunteer Marcia Hall, businessman Mike Harrison, United Way Executive Director Marti Prince, and Charles Will, a retired educator.

Start-up help came from different directions: the Ohio Grantmakers Forum offered to serve as fiscal agent until the fledgling foundation received its nonprofit designation from the Internal Revenue Service.  The W.K. Kellogg Foundation awarded a small grant to help the steering committee hire legal counsel, and to make the appropriate filings with the Secretary of State. The steering committee exercised its due diligence by meeting with other Ohio foundations to explore models for community foundations.  In October 2001 the Internal Revenue Service awarded tax-exempt status to the Pickaway County Community Foundation.

By December 2001, the Pickaway County Community Foundation had posted its first milestones: it had named a board of directors and been granted nonprofit status by the federal government and the State of Ohio.  By February 2003, PCCF made its first grants to community organizations, including support to the New Holland Tri-County Police Athletic League for a youth martial arts class, to the Teays Valley Civic Association for a stage in the village park, and to the Pickaway County Historical and Genealogical Society for improvements to the new Canal Park.