Established in 1975, the Mohican Area Community Fund (MACF) was created by local leaders to supplant the Loudonville-Perrysville area’s involvement in the United Way of Ashland County. The complaint at the time was that the United Way provided support for youth-oriented sports activities only through the Ashland YMCA, but not for local youth baseball, softball and football groups. Community leaders were also of the opinion that donations contributed by residents and businesses in Loudonville and Perrysville through the annual United Way Campaign were not finding their way back into our community, but were concentrated in helping more traditional Ashland area charities.
Loudonville businessmen Bob Leedy, Irvin Mumper and Bob Perrone, and Perrysville’s Marjorie Atkinson were among the original members of the Board of Trustees which evolved over the years to include dozens of area businessmen and women, community volunteers and area philanthropists. Throughout the years, MACF has operated as a mostly volunteer effort without benefit of a full-time paid staff, although a part-time business manager has been retained from time to time.
In 2008, partially because of stricter regulations and closer scrutiny of nonprofit organizations, administrative requirements for the MACF increased. The MACF needed help from its neighbors in Ashland with this burdensome administrative work, and the United Way leadership was willing to accept the MACF back into its organization, while allowing a certain amount of autonomy as an “affiliate partner,” instead of as a regular member-agency.
This autonomy has allowed MACF to maintain funding for local sports groups, which have grown beyond football, baseball and softball to include swimming and soccer, as beneficiaries, and add other community charities that would not qualify as United Way members, including groups that offer services in support of academic excellence, the arts, health and human services, youth sports and recreation, and recognition of our area’s historic past. This alliance has been in place for five years and started to pay dividends in 2012, when MACF achieved its fundraising goal before year-end, the first time this has occurred in more than seven years.
Credit: Jim Brewer, Editor, The Loudonville Times