KOSCIUSKO — The Kosciusko County Community Foundation hosted a luncheon celebrating philanthropic women on Wednesday, May 15.
During the luncheon, three stories regarding local women who have given back to the Kosciusko community were shared. To start the recognitions, Michelle Yeager shared a story about Lily Love.
Love was born in Chicago and moved to Warsaw in 1963. She worked as an office manager and secretary to the president of Da-Lite Screen for 47 years. Love was also fluent in five languages and loved to travel.
Upon her passing in 2011 at the age of 99, Love left several bequests in her will to continue supporting organizations such as the Warsaw Community Public Library, Pierceton Public Library, Pierceton Presbyterian Church and Grace College. She also donated to the KCCF’s Good Samaritan Fund, which helps families in medical crisis.
“All of her life, Lily had gone out of her way to help those who needed it,” said Yeager. “In fact, her obituary stated that ‘Anyone wanting to give a gift in memory of Lily Love should donate to the charity of their choice or perform simple acts of kindness for others.’ Lily Love led a life that lived after her name.”
Lisa Frazzetta-Manning shared Jackie Shilling Tucker’s story. Tucker was born in Warsaw and graduated from Warsaw Community High School. As a teenager, she worked at Penguin Point.
“Jackie just loved to sing,” said Frazzetta-Manning. “She was often found singing into her spatula while flipping hamburgers.”
Tucker retired in 2009 from a position at Rohm and Haas after 33 years of working with the company. In her retirement, she went back to working at Penguin Point.
“Family was the center of Jackie’s universe,” said Frazzetta-Manning. “She went out of her way to make every one of her nieces and nephews feel valued and loved. She loved the one-on-one time with them.”
Tucker passed away in 2014 at the age of 57. In regards to her life insurance policy, Tucker instructed her niece, Teresa Craig, on what to do with it.
“Pay off any bills and funeral expenses and then take the rest and do something wonderful with it,” read Frazzetta-Manning.
Craig came to the KCCF and started a scholarship fund in Tucker’s memory. The Jackie Rae Shilling Tucker Memorial Scholarship Fund provides scholarships for graduates of Warsaw Community High School who participate in the school’s choir program and are family-oriented.
Michelle Smith LeDrew, owner of Glam in Warsaw, shared her story about the creation of the SmithStrong Foundation Fund.
The scholarship fund was established in memory of LeDrew’s father, Charlie Smith; and her brother, Scott Smith. Charlie and Scott both passed away in 2015. For the past three years, LeDrew has dedicated Glam’s anniversary gala to support and fund SmithStrong Foundation. The annual scholarship fund awards student athletes at Tippecanoe Valley High School who exemplify leadership, dedication and service to the community.
While addressing the luncheon attendees, LeDrew reflected on her grief while also encouraging people to focus on what’s important and live in the moment.
“You win in life with people,” said LeDrew. “Love is always stronger than death. I encourage you to get your pilot’s license in life. Explore, live, love, laugh. I want you to map out your route and evaluate that often. Don’t let the fear of anything keep you stuck on the ground.”
To end the luncheon, the KCCF held a door prize drawing. Seven designer handbags were given away. The luncheon was held at the Winona Heritage Room in Winona Lake. RUA catered the lunch and desserts for the event were made by The Cake Lady.