Three nonprofits receive Pillar Award grants


Three local nonprofit organizations received Pillar Award grants from the Hamilton County Community Foundation last month during the annual Festival of Philanthropy.

The Nov. 15 event at Ritz Charles in Carmel celebrated the work of more than 50 nonprofits, while those in attendance selected three nonprofits to receive Pillar Award grants, according to the HCCF. Each organization received $5,000.

The Pillar Award winners are Agape Therapeutic Riding, Brooke’s Place and Fueled for School, according to the HCCF. Agape Therapeutic Riding is an organization that cultivates personal growth by strengthening the mind, body and spirit through unique horse-assisted experiences, according to the HCCF, which noted that the nonprofit served 1,369 individuals through 6,928 lessons in 2021.

Brooke’s Place provides support groups, therapy services and education to empower children, teens, young adults and their families to thrive in the midst of grief, according to the HCCF, which focuses on three initiatives that overlap and influence each other: mental health, family and youth empowerment and inclusive economic growth. In 2021, 2,708 individuals received grief support and education through Brooke’s Place.

Fueled for School works to eliminate hunger among Hamilton County students by providing youth who are food-insecure with nutritious meal packs, promoting the educational value of nutrition, increasing access to local food and instilling hope, according to the organization. In 2021, Fueled for School provided 350 students with 2.5 pounds for the entire school year, while the organization also provided 40-pound holiday break boxes during spring, fall and winter breaks.

“We were so excited to be back at the Ritz Charles this year to celebrate more than 50 not-for-profits serving Hamilton County and making transformative changes throughout our community,” said Tom Kilian Jr., president of Hamilton County Community Foundation. “The highlight of the evening was the announcement of our pillar grant awards. Thanks to the support of our pillar sponsors and voting from Festival attendees, three not-for-profits serving Hamilton County have some additional unrestricted operating funds to support their incredible mission work.”

For more about HCCF, visit