135 E. Washington Row 
Making a place to gather and grow

We love it when a plan comes together, and the vision of the Erie County Community Foundation (ECCF) did just that. 

More Than a Location -A Place
In last year’s series, we wrote about the ECCF embarking on a substantial renovation project in downtown Sandusky. Their building had recently changed ownership, and the Foundation recognized this as an opportunity to rethink its location and also as an opportunity to make an impact. The Foundation is a convener of donors, activists and facilitators, all of whom have a passion for place and a desire to make a difference in our community, and their hope was that their new home would embody this idea. 

The paint has dried and ECCF has beautifully created "a place for the community to gather and grow."  With the support of generous donors and the work of Jannotta & Herner Inc. substantial facility renovations transformed 8,000sf and the building exterior at 135 E. Washington Row Sandusky. The makeover of an old bank into a modern and thriving space created a new home for the Foundation and three other local non-profits – the United Way of Erie County, the Sandusky Education Foundation and offices for the Boys & Girls Club, extending their capacity to do good in our community. Furthermore, a Class A conference space equipped with state-of-the-art technology and other smaller professional meeting spaces are now available for the community’s use. It is already being put to good use by area leaders as they come together to address pressing needs and big ideas.
After - Comfortable conference and meeting spaces
A Team Effort
Thanks go out to the Randolph J. and Estelle M. Dorn Foundation that supported the bulk of the $700,000 project. Additional support for the building and outfitting of the new conference room and an updated façade came from the Foundation’s Board of Directors and Staff, Laurence and Karen Bettcher, Sidney Frohman Foundation, Mylander Foundation, City of Sandusky, Melvyn J. and Mary P. Stauffer Donor Advised Fund, Sam S. and Rose Stein Foundation, Michelle Wightman/Karrie Wieber Charitable Foundation, and many friends of the Foundation.
A unifying space is yet another way the Foundation will convene this community.  At its core, a community foundation is created and steered by members of that community. Individuals and companies of any means and interest can participate with a gift to a community foundation. Their tools and grant making can help anyone achieve charitable giving goals, and we’d be remiss if we didn’t encourage you to take a look during this season of giving. Their assets are managed by a capable staff and board of advisors so that gifts will make a forever impact in the community. 
It’s nothing unusual to see the Erie County Community Foundation working to improve the quality of life in our region. With gifting over $1M in annual grants and scholarships, there is not a person or place in Erie County that has not been impacted by the generosity of the Foundation’s donors and stewards over the last 23 years. This latest endeavor is a new role and path for ECCF to better the community, but improvements to a historic property in Sandusky’s city core will have an impact on residents and the community for decades to come. 
Did You Know?
Facade improvements in commercial districts, such as the new awnings at Erie County Community Foundation, are proven to attract new businesses and individuals, increase sales and sales taxes, and motivate other building owners or tenants to make improvements, all of which strengthen locally owned businesses, keeping dollars in the local economy . ECEDC assists businesses ready to make investments in these improvements. Contact us to learn more.
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The 12 Days of Development email series recognizes and celebrates another year of progress in Erie County, Ohio. Throughout the month of December, you will receive email spotlights on a company investing, improving and innovating in our community. We can't capture it all, so let us know a neighbor we missed or what activities you've got planned to make the 2019 list! #ErieCounty12Days