A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Distinguished group of leaders kick off new Horizon Community Funds’ transformative foundation

Staff report

Over 250 Northern Kentucky business, civic, and non-profit leaders celebrated the launch of a new community foundation that will identify and fund key community needs and programs in Northern Kentucky.

The official launch event for Horizon Community Funds of Northern Kentucky was held on August 8th at the Metropolitan Club in Covington, where attendees learned about its genesis, the vision, and the goals of the new foundation.

“The formation of the Horizon Community Funds of Northern Kentucky is a major step towards bringing the wider Northern Kentucky community together at all levels in support of our local needs as well as to advance opportunities on a number of quality of life fronts,” said Bill Butler, Chairman of Corporex Companies, LLC, and Chair of the Council of Trustees for the Horizon Community Funds.

“Our commitment is to be a way for the entire population to feel they are part of making a difference in their community.”

Butler, an innovator and entrepreneur, initiated the discussions about a community foundation for Northern Kentucky with a few like-minded, philanthropic colleagues — and the concept grew.

The organization aims to increase philanthropic giving by Northern Kentucky individuals, corporations and organizations for Northern Kentucky purposes, to foster a giving community, and to build a qualified public charity resource base to better serve social needs and projects benefitting the public good.

“By bringing together those with a philanthropic interest, we can better influence and support our growing Northern Kentucky region,” stated Bob Zapp, retired CEO of the Bank of Kentucky and a founding member of Horizon Community Funds.

Big crowd on hand for the announcement

The Horizon Community Funds will focus on helping break the cycle of poverty, supporting the arts, sparking development and innovation, enriching education, and improving the health and wellness of Northern Kentucky.

The primary service area will be Boone, Campbell and Kenton Counties of Northern Kentucky.

Joe Clabes, president of the Kentucky Philanthropy Initiative, applauded the commitment to grow a community fund for Northern Kentucky. KPI is an advocacy organization that encourages private philanthropic investment in Kentucky and whose goal is a community fund for every county in the state.

“We are so encouraged by the initiative shown by civic leaders in Northern Kentucky,” said Clabes. “The opportunity has never been better for concerned citizens to be involved in solving local problems through this kind of effort.”

The Kentucky Philanthropy Initiative will be bringing its 9th annual Summit on Philanthropy to NKY August 29-30.

Butler and Nancy Grayson, president of the Horizon Community Funds, are on the agenda. (Sign up to attend here.)

Butler said the group has set a goal — $50 million in 5 years — and expects to attain that with both large and small gifts. Small gifts matter, he said, because the whole community needs to be part of the effort.

Bill Butler

“We are an organization that is truly of, by and for Northern Kentuckians, and as such, we will provide the opportunity for all people in our community to participate in building an energized culture of philanthropy, one that is easily accessible,” said Grayson.

“We seek to engage community members of all backgrounds, whether they are new to the giving process or established philanthropists.”

Chuck Scheper, Chairman of Bexion Pharmaceuticals and a founding member of the organization, agreed. “The Horizon Community Fund provides an opportunity to channel our collective resources that not only will help our Northern Kentucky neighbors today but will also lay the foundation that will impact generations to come. Be a part of it – no gift is too small!”

Trustees of the organization in addition to Butler, Zapp and Scheper are: Kit Andrews of ArtWorks; Rich Boehne, board chair of the E.W. Scripps Company; Bill Burleigh retired CEO of Scripps; Crystal Faulkner, MCM CPAs; Kim Halbauer of Fifth Third Bank; Kris Knockelmann, Judge Executive of Kenton County; Bob Kohlhepp, retired, Cintas; Jon Moeller, v.p., Procter & Gamble; Paul Sartori, Legacy Financial; Mike Schlotman, CFO, Kroger; Chuck Session, v.p., Duke Energy; Paul Verst, president, Verst Logistics; Jim Votruba, retired president, NKU; and Mary Zalla, global president, Landor.

For more information on the organization, visit www.horizonfunds.org.

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