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Tyson Fund Is The Gift That Keeps Giving In Versailles

Posted On September 25, 2017

By Mike Perleberg

James H. Tyson

(Versailles, Ind.) – “Uncle Jim” is helping his hometown long after his passing 76 years ago.

Versailles native James Tyson was a co-founder of the Walgreen’s drug store chain. With the fortune that came, he became an industrialist, humanitarian, and philanthropist. Tyson died on November 1, 1941 and was buried at Cliff Hill Cemetery in Versailles.

In his final years, Tyson established the Tyson Trust as a gift to town of Versailles. It funded the construction and upkeep of the Tyson Library and Tyson United Methodist Church, in addition to creating a fund which would continue to give to other organizations in the town annually.

“That’s what Mr. Tyson’s will says,” Tyson Fund board member Bob Meyer says. “It is designed to help the church, the library, the schools and the town – to lessen the tax burden on the citizens of Versailles. So we try to adhere to those guidelines every year.”

On Tyson’s 161st birthday on September 14, the Tyson Fund board announced their ten nominees of a total of more than $703,000 in grants for 2017. Requests from 14 applicants had totaled nearly $818,000.

Citizens of the Town of Versailles will vote whether to approve or disapprove of the 10 applicants chosen by the board.

The 2017 grant applicants included:

Child Evangelism Fellowship, $2,000, Scholarships for Good News Club, Shirts and supplies for Good News Club.

Dearborn Co. Hospital, $10,365.86, Purchase of a first response mobile vehicle for the athletic trainer at South Ripley, and all supplies that go with that vehicle. It would have a stretcher and other needed first aid supplies with it. It also would enhance the ability of the trainer to transport injured students from the fields or track.

Friends of Versailles State Park, $75,278, Replacement of Playground Equipment between campground loop B and loop C.

Ripley County Court Services, $4,600, Fund a new ERP Program where juveniles will have structured evening supervision at TAC. This money would be for the rent of TAC for that time and also be used to purchase food and supplies.

Ripley County EMS, $28,560, Monies being requested to remount an ambulance—replace chassis on 2005 unit. This would save them from having to buy a new unit.

Ripley County Historical Society, $973.67, New computer to run the new software they bought for searches that are done by visitors to the Historical Society.

Southeastern Indiana Mountain Bike Association, $8,500, Funding for their Hasmer Fest event. Monies would help offset costs for kids and Indiana based bands.

South Ripley Community Schools, $32,000, Dual credit classes tuition for South Ripley students at Ivy Tech and South Ripley’s portion of the RCATS Program through the Ripley County Probation Department.

Town of Versailles, $406,251, Sewer maintenance, sewer bond, Sewer camera truck payment, Crane truck payment, police car lease payment, tractor payment, street paving, sprinkler system at sports Complex, new Christmas decorations, scoreboards for Tyson Sports Complex, matching funds from Rising Sun to finish soccer fields and monies to complete Field #4 at Complex.

Tyson Activity Center, $52,614, $21,940 for program funding, $8974 for a Multi-Purpose Room and $21,700 for new entrance doors.

Tyson Library, $152,867, Ongoing support of the Library and for programs offered at the Library.

Versailles Fire & Rescue, $29,000, Monies would be used to help purchase another fire truck for the Town to replace one that has been taken out of service. First year of a two year commitment.

Versailles Lions Club, $10,000, For advertising and entertainment at the Pumpkin Show.

Versailles Lions Club, $4,800, Electrical improvements and painting of the Lions Club building.

Another $207,000 will go to the Tyson United Methodist Church and Tyson Library to support their upkeep and operation.