Finalists for Pitch Piqua present projects


PIQUA — The Piqua Community Foundation announced today that tickets are now on sale and community voting is now open for its Pitch Piqua community grant presentations on March 2 as the three finalist organizations compete for the $50,000 top prize.

The three finalist organizations presenting at the initiative’s culminating event are:

· Edison State Community College — represented by Laura Larger, Criminal Justice coordinator/instructor, & Dr. Andy Runyan, dean of Professional & Technical Programs.

· Health Partners Free Clinic — represented by JoAnn Barhorst, certified nurse practitioner, & Deborah Miller, executive director.

· Upper Valley Career Center — represented by Tim Cordonnier, instructional supervisor, & Sara Plozay, cosmetology instructor/skillsUSA advisor

The finalist teams have been developing their concepts alongside The Foundation since the summer of 2022. Topics covered include project scope, budgeting, capacity-building and storytelling presentation skills.

The finalist teams are now ready to present their concepts at a community event from 4:30 to 7 p.m. Thursday, March 2 at the Fort Piqua Plaza Banquet Center. Event tickets are $20 and include event entry, hors d’oeuvres and two drink tickets for the cash bar.

“We hope to fill Fort Piqua Plaza with community members who support these organizations and our community,” said Emily Shawler, Foundation president and Resource Committee chairwoman. “Pitch Piqua is all about building capacity within our non-profit community, making a huge impact with Foundation assets and engaging the community around local philanthropy. This event is the high-energy, feel-good community gathering that you don’t want to miss!”

The teams will present to a crowd of supportive community members as well as a panel of four in-person judges representing various sectors of our community. All finalists will also be eligible for pass-through designated donations made by community members, who collectively act as the fifth judge.

“The three finalist teams have been hard at work since last summer on their project concepts and are ready to share their big ideas with our community,” said Foundation Executive Director Michelle Perry. “And while there are big dollars at stake in this competition, we know that local philanthropy is for everyone. Any pass-through donation of $10 or more to the finalist organization of your choice counts as a vote for their success. You can help decide who wins the grand prize!”

The judges will evaluate the project concepts on their impact on Piqua residents, evidence of a demonstrated community need, readiness for launch, sustainability of the project and quality of the presentation.

The top-scoring organization will secure the $50,000 grant award for their proposed project. The other two finalist organizations will each be awarded a $5,000 unrestricted award.

The funding for the grant awards is supplied by the fundholders of The Foundation — The French Oil Mill Machinery Company Fund, The Richard Donnelly Personal Gifting Account and Steven K. & Gail P. Staley.

The event is made possible by the generosity of sponsors — Edison State Community College, Koverman Staley Dickerson Insurance, Miami Valley Steel Service, Inc., Park National Bank and Upper Valley Medical Center/Premier Health.

To purchase event tickets, vote for your favorite finalist organization(s) and to learn more about how Pitch Piqua and The Piqua Community Foundation benefit our community, visit

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