Foundation invests in organizations’ work

The Dekko Foundation, a private family foundation located in Kendallville, IN, with a mission of fostering economic freedom through education, awarded $541,000 in grants to six youth-serving organizations during its most recent round of grantmaking.

The foundation, started in 1981 by the late businessman and philanthropist Chester E. Dekko, invests in projects and programs that help build knowledge, skills, and character in children and young people from birth through age 18 so they can be self-sufficient and grow up to be economically free.

Its grantmaking is concentrated within 13 counties in four states — Indiana, Iowa, Alabama, and Minnesota — where Mr. Dekko had business or personal interests.

Organizations receiving grants were:

  • The Apple Tree Center (Kendallville, IN): $50,000 to support the organization’s early learning programs for children.
  • BABE of Whitley County, Inc. (Columbia City, IN): $5,000 to support the organization’s educational programs for parents of young children.
  • City of Murray (Murray, IA): $75,000 over two years to support an improved experience for families at the city’s recreation complex.
  • City of Athens (Athens, AL): $250,000 to support a park and splash pad that are part of a nearly $14 million project to redevelop a former industrial site in the city.
  • City of Kendallville (Kendallville, IN): $11,000 to support improvements to the disc golf course at the Kendallville Outdoor Recreation Complex.
  • Noble Trails, Inc. (Rome City, IN): $150,000 over three years to support an endowment fund that will be used to help offset the cost of trail network maintenance.

If you’d like to learn more about how investments such as these support children and young people so they can achieve economic freedom later in life, contact a Dekko Foundation program officer at 260-347-1278. Or visit to explore the foundation’s mission and funding priorities, review its grantmaking process, or send a grant proposal.

Our 2020 annual report: “Pedal to the Mettle”

At the Dekko Foundation, we believe being self-sufficient and achieving economic freedom is a lot like learning how to ride a bicycle. It takes a lot of learning, practice, and perseverance to become a good bike rider, just as it takes knowledge, skills, and character to be self-sufficient and economically free.

That’s why we invest in opportunities and experiences that support children and young people from birth through age 18 in becoming the best bike riders they can be, so that no matter what life throws at them, they can navigate around the obstacles and successfully reach their destination.

You can learn more about our investments that support the growth and development of children and young people in 2020 annual report, “Pedal to the Mettle.” And you can watch the video below to see how knowledge, skills, and character help children and young people to keep pedaling and moving forward.