Recipients of 2017 Dienstberger Foundation Grants include, from left, Ron Kimmet (Delphos Kiwanis), Tom Miller (Delphos Canal Commission Museum), Lindsay Nixon (Delphos Optimist Club), Pastor Harry Tolhurst (Delphos Ministerial Association), Ron Beining (Delphos Stadium Club), Alice Curth (Delphos Senior Citizen Inc.), Andy North (Delphos Rotary), Sgt. Andre McConnahea (Allen County D.A.R.E.) and Delphos Police Chief Mark Slate (Delphos Police Department). See related photos on page 12. (DHI Media/Nancy Spencer)
Recipients of 2017 Dienstberger Foundation Grants include, from left, Ron Kimmet (Delphos Kiwanis), Tom Miller (Delphos Canal Commission Museum), Lindsay Nixon (Delphos Optimist Club), Pastor Harry Tolhurst (Delphos Ministerial Association), Ron Beining (Delphos Stadium Club), Alice Curth (Delphos Senior Citizen Inc.), Andy North (Delphos Rotary), Sgt. Andre McConnahea (Allen County D.A.R.E.) and Delphos Police Chief Mark Slate (Delphos Police Department). See related photos on page 12. (DHI Media/Nancy Spencer)
DELPHOS —The Arnold C. Dienstberger Foundation spread holiday cheer Tuesday evening while handing out $320,000 in grants to local non-profits.

It was the 20th annual distribution of money raised from investments held by the not-for-profit foundation headquartered in Delphos. With Tuesday’s awards, grants have come to more than $5 million.

The Dienstberger Foundation was started with the sale of the Delphos Memorial and Sarah Jane nursing homes by Arnold C. Dienstberger to Vancrest Health Care in Van Wert in 1966. The proceeds were invested and each year since 1998, the foundation has spread the wealth to local charities, organizations and schools. In the first year, the foundation gave away $62,800 in grants.

Foundation trustee Rick Miller presided over the distribution with Outgoing President Lonnie Miller, Vice President John Nomina, Treasurer Doug Harter, Secretary Jerry Gilden and Trustees Bill Massa, Nick Clark and Doris Neumeier doling out checks.

This year’s grant recipients include:

Allen County D.A.R.E. — $2,500

Deputy Mike White accepted the donation and explained the funds would be used for awards, classroom work and activities during the annual D.A.R.E. Camp in Delphos during the summer.

Beyond Expectations of Delphos — $2,500

Rosie Hoersten said the grant will be used to expand activities for children and adults with diverse abilities and challenges get out in the community more. “You will see a lot more smiles with this donation,” she said.

Delphos Canal Commission — $9,000

Trustee Tom Miller said the grant would be used for repairs and upkeep to the museum’s corner building.

Delphos Area Chamber of Commerce — $7,500

Chamber Executive Director Maria Diltz accepted the donation and said the funds would be used for continuing downtown beautification with the ongoing flower basket and banner project.

Delphos City Parks — $10,000

Safety Service Director Shane Coleman said this year’s grants would be used for improvements to the parks.

Delphos City Schools —$50,000

Superintendent Kevin Wolfe said the district would enjoy some technology upgrades with this year’s grant money.

Delphos Community Christmas Project — $15,000

The brainchild of Marie Dorman, the project remains under her protege Edna Fischer, who said Tuesday evening that 92 families are on the list so far, with 2 1/2 weeks to go. “We had 138 families last year and I have no doubt we will reach that number again this year,” Fischer said. “I love getting up on Christmas morning and think of all those kids and their smiles.”

Community Health Professionals — $6,000

Virginia Riffle from Community Health Professionals said the group’s money goes into the Patient Care Fund and it’s used to buy medication and medical equipment for patients whose insurance doesn’t cover it.

Community Unity — $2,000

Ed Ulrich said this year’s grant would be used to support Supper’s on Us at the Delphos Eagles Lodge every Tuesday evening and to continue the quarterly Free Food On Us food distributions that serve between 100-140 families each time. A new endeavor to help people who have found employment with incidentals like steel-toed boots and gas money is an new offering in the works.

Delphos Boy Scouts — $500

Scoutmaster Doug Ditto accepted the grant along with Scout Dominic Adkins, who said the troop would be attending a camp in Wyoming next year, stopping at famous sights along the way.

Delphos Cub Scouts — $500

Cubmaster Doug Milligan said this year’s grant will be used to pay charter dues, awards and to help defray the cost of scouting for the children.

Delphos Girl Scouts — $500

Scout leader Tina Shawhan said a STEM/Robotics Day will be funded with this year’s grant. “We want to instill a love of science robotics and technology in our girls,” Shawhan said.

Delphos Habitat for Humanity — $2,500

Habitat homeowner Melanie Martin accepted this year’s grant and told the group how much it meant to her and her family to have their own home. “You helped us get our home and we helped build it and we’ll help others build theirs,” Martin said.

Kiwanis Club of Delphos — $38,250

Kiwanis President Ron Kimmet said the Kiwanis and Delphos Stadium Club were partnering for a restroom and pool entrance project at the Delphos Municipal Swimming Pool and Splash Pad. “When the pool is closed but the splash pad is still open, there aren’t any restroom facilities nearby,” Kimmet said. “We’re going to build new restrooms on the west side of the pool that will be accessible to splash users as well as anyone on that side of the park.”

Delphos Ministerial Assoc. — $2,000

On occasion, people find themselves stranded in Delphos. The Ministerial Association steps in and provides fuel or a night’s lodging in this case. Pastor Harry Tolhurst said the association has The Good Samaritan Fund explicitly for that reason and the grant is used for that purpose.

Delphos Optimists — $5,000

A new program for children 12 and under from the Optimists is in the works, according to President Lindsay Nixon. The club will unveil its new undertaking in the spring.

Delphos Police Department — $10,000

With this year’s grant, the police department will receive updated equipment, including Tasers and computers, according Chief Mark Slate.

Delphos Museum of Postal History — $9,000

A wall of stamps and continued improvements to the second floor of the museum will use this year’s grant for the museum, according to director Bob Ebbeskotte.

Delphos Public Library — $4,000

Director Kelly Rist said this year’s grant will help install a handicap ramp giving access to the original part of the library for all patrons and broadening the areas available for programs.

Delphos Rotary — $12,000

Rotarian Andy North thanked the foundation and said there was no way the club could provide the summer music program “Music in the Park” without the help of the grant.

Delphos Senior Citizens, Inc.— $15,000

Numerous projects are in the works at the senior center. Director Alice Curth said this year’s funds will be used to security cameras, new windows, lighting, Matter of Balance classes, a Caregiver Support Group and chore programs.

Delphos Canal Days/Delphos Chamber/Delphian Social Club — $28,000

This trio of groups has purchased the old Cintas property at the corner of Main and Fourth streets, which will be used for multiple projects.

Delphos St. John’s Schools — $50,000

Professional development, technology and safety and security top the wish list at St. John’s, according to High School Principal Adam Lee.

Delphos Stadium Club — $38,250

Stadium Club member Ron Beining accepted this year grant and reiterated that the Stadium Club and the Kiwanis will be starting a new project at Stadium Park next year.