Awesome Piqua continues with awesome grants


By Haylee Pence

[email protected]

PIQUA — “If you can dream it, you can do it,” Walt Disney said, which is the quote for one organization in Piqua, Awesome Piqua.

Awesome Piqua was inspired by a workshop hosted by Peter Kajeyama who had discussed the Awesome Foundation, which is the overarching organization. Awesome Piqua was started shortly after, which according to Swisher, was the “first Ohio Chapter.”

Co-Dean, Lorna Swisher stated, “Our Awesome Piqua Chapter is focused on projects which will make the Piqua community a better place in which to live and work – this is the mission of Positively Promoting Piqua, which is the creator and main supporter of our chapter.”

Awesome Piqua sponsors these projects by providing a $1,000 grant to help individuals, groups, or other organizations put on events that benefit the community. The projects can either be educational or recreational, but overall, the goal of the events is for the community members to have an enjoyable time.

The organization is made up of a “diverse group of Trustees,” according to Swisher, which allows for a multitude of ideas of what is “awesome.” At this time, the board is made up of seven trustees, Joe and Kazy Hinds, Gordon and Susie Wise, Spencer Peltier, Andrew Snyder, and Frank Evans, a social media manager, Amanda Brown, Treasurer Jim McMaken, and Co-Deans, Dan French and Lorna Swisher.

The organization meets almost every month on the third Wednesday to discuss grant applications, vote, and award those grants. To be considered for the grant, one must fill out and submit an application through the Awesome Foundation website. A link is available through the Awesome Piqua website ( Applications should include enough information to “demonstrate that you’ve given your idea some thought,” according to the website.

One previous project that Awesome Piqua donated a grant to was for Piqua Central Intermediate School art teacher Sarah Fromholt. Fromholt is painting a mural in the halls of Piqua Central Intermediate School featuring “men and women who have made a lasting impact on our county and our community,” which includes Ghandi and Martin Luther King Jr. The mural is still in progress and will feature QR codes near the portraits to allow individuals to find more information on each portrait.

Another grant was for “Toni Riley’s Night Out” for Piqua Junior High School. They are currently funding a project to install telephones in local cemeteries where individuals can talk with their deceased loved ones.

For those who are interested in becoming a trustee and contributing, please contact Awesome Piqua at [email protected].

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