Local Philanthropist Provides $100,000 Donation To Starke County Community Foundation

The Starke County Community Foundation recently received a $100,000 donation from local philanthropist Jerome “Jerry” Scherf. It will become $300,000 thanks to a $2 for $1 matching opportunity available through a Lilly Endowment contribution.

According to a press release from the SCCF, Mr. Scherf said he is thankful to Starke County because it has allowed him to become successful so he wanted to find a way to give back and help.

Mr. Scherf began coordinating with the Community Foundation when he decided to start a scholarship fund. Jerry shared that he feels education is the most important thing to have today and he started the scholarship to help others receive a quality education.

Jerry moved to Starke County with his father, mother, and two brothers, Milton and Maurice, when he was seven years old.
He attended Knox High School and graduated in 1951.
After graduation, Jerry began his career as an entrepreneur. He started his career in buying and selling cars. He later began working in real estate by selling mobile homes and renting out homes.

After seeing the impact of his fund, Jerry began giving back even more, leading to this recent $100,000 gift.

Foundation officials stated that they are thankful for Jerry’s generosity and leadership in the charitable community.

SCCF Director of Development Jessica Martinovic stated that they’re grateful for the matching opportunity through the Endowment and also for Jerry’s decision to leave a legacy with his donation to the Community Foundation.

She added that meeting the match will help them fund charitable causes in Starke County including helping children in need, funding quality of place efforts and so much more.

Mr. Scherf’s donation helps the organization significantly with their personal goal to raise $250,000. The Lilly Endowment has provided $500,000 to the Community Foundation to match gifts to community funds $2 for every $1 that’s donated through December of 2020 or until funds are depleted.

Director Martinovic emphasized that while the SCCF is so appreciative of Jerry’s generous gift, it doesn’t only take large contributions to meet their goal. She quoted one of their founders Jim Hardesty and stated, ‘If you can’t do a lot, do what you can.’

She mentioned that when we all work together and do what we can, we will accomplish great things for our community.

For more information or to make a donation, contact the Starke County Community Foundation by sending an email to starke@nicf.org or by calling 574-772-3665.