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Smiths Named 2024 Stephen Decatur Recipients

The Greensburg Adult Center was the site for Decatur County Community Foundation's 2023-24 Annual Meeting.

Dozens of donors, volunteers, and grant recipients gathered to hear a report on the Foundation's 2023 activities. Attendees had a chance to hear from two grant recipients, including Monty Shields of the Adult Center and Jeanne Wiseman from Speranza House. Shields shared how the Adult Center has benefitted from a floor scrubber and chair racks purchased through a DCCF grant; Speranza House reported on progress with their capital campaign to purchase a second home for women in recovery. Speranza is the first organization to receive a newly created capital campaign grant from DCCF.

The 21st Stephen Decatur Award was presented to Merrill and Linda Smith. Merrill is a member of the Greensburg Optimist Club, where he currently serves as Lt. Governor for Zone 2. He is a 20+ year member of Greensburg Kiwanis, and is a sponsor of the Aktion Club helping adults with special needs.  He has been an impactful volunteer with Bread of Life, where he started the Farmers Feeding the Flock program in 2018. That program has received statewide recognition. Merrill is a past board member of the Greensburg/Decatur County Chamber of Commerce and introduced the Shopping Scramble event during his tenure. He is an FFA volunteer livestock coach for Greensburg High School, a Sunday School teacher at First Christian Church, and has been a parade organizer for both the Tree City Fall Festival and Decatur County Bicentennial. He is also a past recipient of Greensburg Rotary’s Paul Harris Community Award. Linda is the STEM Curriculum director for North Decatur Schools where she introduced Camp Invention and co-organized the NASA program, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for North Decatur students to talk to an astronaut aboard the International Space Station. She also serves as Decatur County Community Schools teachers’ union President. For all of these efforts she received Greensburg Rotary’s Educator of the Year in 2022. Linda serves as deaconess at the First Christian Church. She’s spent 10 years volunteering for People Assisting Animals in Need, fostering over 1,000 dogs in Decatur County.

The Smiths are the 21st recipients of the Stephen Decatur Award, which is designed to

recognize volunteerism in the community.

The 2023 annual meeting highlighted the grants, scholarships, memorial gifts and the new Lilly challenge introduced last year. To receive a hard copy of the 2023 annual report via mail, contact the DCCF office at 812.662.6364, or

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