Leonhart Committee

Helen Leonhart died in 1996 at the age of 102 years.  She and her husband were lifelong members of the United Church of Christ and it predecessor, Congregational Church.  The Leonharts were farmers for their working careers.  In addition, Helen served a number of years as her church’s organist.  After moving to town from rural Henry County, she became a member of First Congregational Church of Geneseo.  She and her husband took the opportunity to travel and she maintained her interests until her passing.

Always quite generous in her giving to her own congregation, she was encouraged to consider the wider church in her estate.  Among the bequests of her estate was a gift to the UCC Association of which her home congregation was a part.  Through her generous legacy, the Helen Leonhart Fund was established to support mission causes and special projects of the Western Association and its constituent churches and partners.



The Association has determined the use of these funds to create opportunities for the people of the Western Association to experience the risen Christ through fellowship, service and education.




The Leonhart Grants are one-time grants, intended to be seed money for a new project or funds to enable a local church or church related organization to carry out a project that is beyond the organization’s financial capacity.

Demonstrate involvement of the church or organization members in the project.

Demonstrate a financial commitment from the church or organization.

The project needs to show some form for accountability and mechanism for reporting and oversight.

There will be an evaluation process for the project with a written report to the Western Association at the next spring meeting of the Association on April 25, 2009.

An organization may apply for funding for additional projects in future years.  If a project is not funded in a given year, it may be resubmitted the following year.

Committee Members

Mrs. Beth Turley, Facilitator

Rev. Randy Heckman

Mrs. Carol Miller

Rev. Jackie Perry

Rev. Lauren Padgett

Rev. Matt Noffke

Mrs. Amy O’Brien