Columbus Grove Sequicentennial Committee chairman Nick Gilgenbach (left) and Columbus Grove Mayor Ken Wright (right) accepted a check from Garnet Smith for $5,000 towards next year's 150th celebration.Smith is a trustee for the J. Earl Charitable Trust which has donated ore $150,000 to various charities and scholarships in the past seven years (Putnam Vidette/Nancy Kline
Columbus Grove Sequicentennial Committee chairman Nick Gilgenbach (left) and Columbus Grove Mayor Ken Wright (right) accepted a check from Garnet Smith for $5,000 towards next year's 150th celebration.Smith is a trustee for the J. Earl Charitable Trust which has donated ore $150,000 to various charities and scholarships in the past seven years (Putnam Vidette/Nancy Kline

COLUMBUS GROVE - Trustees for the Earl Belch Chartitable Trust stepped forward to become the first major doner to the Columbus Grove Sesquicenntennial Committee. The trust has donated $5,000 toward the fund.

On Wednesday, trustee Garnet Smith, presented the check to Columbus Grove police chief Nick Gilgenbach, who is serving as the chairman of the Sesquicentennial Committee.

J.Earl Belch is the former owner of Columbus Grove Telephone Company. A trust was established in his name in 2002. Belch passed in 2004. The trustees of the fund, Garnet Smith, Gary FIckel and Tom Deredeman, as previsiouly appointed by Belch, assumed their duties.

Beginning in 2007 until July of 2013 the fund donated to charities in excess of $150,000. Donations to graduation seniors towards their college tuition have exceeded $58,000. Other worthy charities were recipients of the balance. These includ The Lord's Pantry, Columbus Grove EMS, Columbus Grove Fire Department, Columbus Grove Chamber of Commerce, Putnam County Fair, Defiance Fair, St. Anthony's School, Putnam County Hospice, Columbus Grove American Legion, Challenged Champions, Putnam County YMCA, Putnam County Hospice, Columbus Grove Library, Putnam County 4-H and TV Station WTLW.

"We really appreciate this donation," Gilgenbach said.

Smith said the leadership and volunteerism involved with the planning committee are one of the reasons they chose to give the money to the Columbus Grove Sesquicentennial Committee. She commended Gilgenbach on the work that has been done so far.

A craft show, car show and kids rides are only a few of the activities members of the Columbus Grove Sesquicentennial committee hope to have during their week of celebration next year from June 15 to June 22.

The committee is hosting a Monte Carlo night on Oct. 26 to raise funds for the celebration. They began selling tickets for the event after Sept. 1. Cost for the tickets are $15 each or two for $25. With each ticket purchased, individuals will receive a meal plus $3,000 gambling "money" for the event. Patrons will then be able to use their winnings during the evening to bid on numerous items.

The tickets are available by calling the Columbus Grove clerk-treasurer's office or committee members.

Committee members indicated this would be the only major fund-raiser for the event. They also plan smaller fund-raisers including an ongoing gun raffle that has raised funds and a possible purse auction.

story created on Wednesday 9/4/2013 at 2:17:49 pm by Nancy Kline
story modified on Wednesday 9/4/2013 at 3:17:49 pm by Kirk Dougal