History of TMCS

In June of 1969, Tipp City began a new dimension in school use and community cooperation – the Tipp City Community School Program. It was the beginning of a unique program of cooperation among the school board, the city council, and the township trustees. Following a year of preliminary study and planning, the efforts of innumerable individuals and organizations became a reality. Efforts were spearheaded by Dr. John Lorms.
It was the dawning of a new era in which school buildings and other public facilities were to be used for educational, recreational, and social gatherings for all ages, from any area of the community, for daytime and evening use. The varied programs, facilities, and educational resources gave all community members, regardless of economic status, religion or age, an opportunity to plan, work, learn, and have fun together within these public facilities.
Seed monies from the Mott Foundation, together with local financial support and widespread community acceptance, provided the base for this “people’s” program. The first director, John Oda, implemented the first year’s activities, which totaled twenty-four classes and recreational programs. Today the agency offers over three-hundred programs in the areas of education, recreation, and special events.
Tipp City’s Community School program became a model for others in the state. The second director, Gerald Huntsberger, began management of the program in September of 1971. In addition to the educational and recreational activities, the program expanded into cultural areas with the creation of the Tipp City Players.
During the spring of 1975, Ken Frisch, Jeannie Parsons, and Claudia Pankake met with the Community School director and decided to bring Community Theater to Tipp City in the form of “Music Man”. Through the support and assistance of the Community Schools, in less then 10 weeks hundreds of people enjoyed the experience of live musical theater. The Tipp City Players was incorporated in 1976.
The Community School program soon found itself in the fortunate but disturbing position of increased curricular offerings and growing enrollments. Classrooms and gymnasium use had little or no reprieve. Serious problems began to develop. The program was about to die, or at least undergo radical changes, when some local private leadership exerted some positive effort.
Organizational structure changes resulted in the formation of Tipp-Monroe Community Services in 1976. The goals included broad-based community involvement and community problem solving. The long-range goals of community education remained intact and the program revitalized. In October of 1976 a new director, Mary Lou Wilson, was employed.
The green umbrella was adopted as the Community School logo and is still used today. The color green symbolizes the color of hope, and the umbrella represents the pooling of all community needs and resources into one central agency.
Once again the program saw extensive expansion with the addition of a myriad of services not provided earlier.
Human service agencies were provided an information and communication network for the delivery of services as well as an opportunity to become decentralized through a local service center.
A meals program was developed in 1977 for people who were confined to their homes. The funds for this program were generated from local sources. The service provided the delivery of a hot meal each day at noon, Monday through Friday, to the elderly and ill people of the community.
In November of 1977 the people of Tipp City and Monroe Township passed a half-mil township recreational levy to provide administrative funding for Tipp-Monroe Community Services for five years. For the first time since the inception of the program in 1969, there was a solid foundation upon which to continue this unique program.
Under the direction of Jean Rogers, from 1983 to 1987, Community Services underwent more changes as the Youth Center was remodeled, summer programs were made more efficient, and flyer distribution was changed from the “block system” of personally delivering the flyers to inserting them in the local newspaper. These changes reflected the growth of Tipp City and Community Services’ efforts to keep up.
Mary Klopf moved to the area to become Tipp-Monroe Community Services’ director in the Fall of 1988. The agency had been without a director for over a year and was literally staffed by one person – Kathy Taylor – for a good part of that time. Immediate concern was to update most of the programming and to revitalize the Youth Center. The number of classes increased by 25 percent and included new topics such as: infant massage, computer classes, dog obedience, Aikido, and hunter safety. A new Youth Center Director was hired and new life was added to a sagging program. Attendance jumped from five kids a night to fifteen, and weekends found thirty kids using the pool tables, Foosball, and Ping-Pong games. In 1990 the youth center was moved from one location to another. Attendance was falling and it was finally decided that since a permanent home for the center could not be obtained, it would close.
For six months during 1991, William Myer was the Director of Tipp-Monroe Community Services.
From 1992-1999, Jacqueline L. Wahl was the Director of Tipp-Monroe Community Services. During her tenure a number of positive changes occurred in the agency; the first being the restructuring of the agency’s by-laws and policies. The second change was to get back in touch with the community needs by doing a community-wide survey. Again a change was made in flyer distribution. A full-page advertisement was placed into nine area newspapers. Besides being more cost efficient, we reached not only the citizens of Tipp City and Monroe Township, but also the surrounding areas. This helped to increase programs and participants. As we continued to strive to meet the community needs a number of new activities were developed: 3rd-4th-5th-6th Grade Boys’ and Girls’ Youth Basketball League, Men’s Industrial Softball League, Men’s 35 and over Basketball League, and the Community-Wide Garage Sale. Administrative assistance was provided to the Lion’s Club Eye Glass Program, the Dayton Metro Basketball Program, and Mum Festival. Other services that are now provided include registration for Tipp City Junior Baseball, SAY Soccer, and Safety City.
In the 1980’s, it became apparent that a “Community Relief” fund was needed to assist residents with temporary financial needs. The Fellowship of Churches gave TMCS the authority and financial aid to administer this fund. The Christmas Gift Giving program began in the mid 1990 and still assists families in need with Christmas gifts for their children
Sofia Evans worked as director from 1999-2002. During that time, the agency’s program listing which was published in the newspaper was replaced with a brochure and given the name Community Connection. To insure that all residents of Tipp City and Monroe Township would receive the brochure, the Community Connection began being mailed to every home.
Kathryn L. Taylor became the Executive Director in 2002. During her tenure Tipp Monroe Community services has continued to evolve. Projects, programs, events and classes continually change to match the needs of the community.
In 2007, Tipp City schools approached TMCS about the need of a before and after school program. Tipp Monroe Community Services was able to fund the program and together with Martha Weaver, the Tipp City Enrichment Program was formed. This program is dedicated to the enrichment and care of pre-kindergarten –sixth grade youth in our community. It has continued to grow and expand over the years.
Long time Tipp City resident, Ellen Cotterman came to the agency with an idea about holding an outdoor Art Display in downtown Tipp City. TMCS, The Downtown Tipp City Partnership and a group of interested citizens worked together for 4 months to make the project happen. In the summer of 2008, Windows on Tippecanoe was born. The display remained up on the wall of Midwest Memories from June through September. In October, the art pieces were auctioned off at an elegant cocktail party. The profit from the auction was used to start the Tipp City Area Arts Council.
The Tipp City Area Arts Council is housed under Tipp Monroe Community Services. This Council has flourished since it beginning and now includes: Four Concert Series, Short Story Contest, Poetry Contest and Jam, Student Digital Photography Class, Art for the Heart (Art Show), Chalk Art, Plein Air Paint Out, Gingerbread Decorating Contest, Student Art Contest and the Arts’ Gala held each winter.
In 2009, The Community Connection was redesigned and over the years has continued to evolve to meet new technology, current formats and community preferences.
Tipp Monroe Community Services is always concerned about the well-being of each resident of our community. To help meet a number of financial issues facing our citizens, Tipp Monroe Community Services reviewed the social service program in 2010 and developed the Summer Lunch Program that provides one hot meal a day during the summer months to the area school children. It also initiated a School Supply program, Eyeglass Program and the Diaper and Formula fund.
After 43 years, Tipp Monroe Community Services continues to provide an array of services to our community. The agency also provides support to community groups with their local community projects and/or programs: Veteran’s Memorial Park (2005-2006 & 2012-2013), K-9 Fund (assisting Police Dept with a purchase of a new Drug dog), Destination Imagination, Tippecanoe Community Band, Becky’s Bench, Tree Fund, DARE, planning and implementing a Disc Golf Course and Skate Park.
The motto for Community Services has always been “We can’t do it without you!” This has held true throughout the evolution of one terrific idea to create a programs so unique that it has gained statewide recognition for Tipp City.