Press release

Heritage Fund is pleased to partner with the Alliance for Substance Abuse Progress in Bartholomew County in launching a new fund and gift-matching opportunity with the goal of raising $1 million to confront the long-term challenge of substance abuse in the community.

The Mark and Wendy Elwood Substance Abuse Prevention Fund has been established by the Columbus couple to provide financial support for educational programs with the goal of preventing substance abuse among children and young adults. The couple is offering to match community donations dollar for dollar up to $500,000. The Elwoods hope their gift will help raise $1 million for this important cause.

"Mark and I feel strongly that efforts to educate and prevent kids from using drugs is the best way to combat the growing epidemic in the community," commented Wendy Elwood, a HFBC board member.

The Elwoods expressed urgency in gathering the resources necessary to support these programs because "every day we delay, another life, another family and our community are negatively impacted," said Mark Elwood.

Community members are encouraged to make donations. All donations between now and March 31, 2018, will be matched by the Elwoods dollar for dollar.

Jeff Jones, executive lead for ASAP, said at the group's update to the community this week that the community is facing a long-term challenge in reversing the drug epidemic. The ASAP team shared a number of projects and initiatives, and he believes this fund will help maintain the momentum of these programs for years to come.

"Mark and Wendy's generous commitment will enable ASAP to launch important projects aimed at substance abuse prevention, and the timing is perfect. This will also energize the community in support of the many actions required to address this crisis," Jones said.

Jones added that the community is fortunate to have two trusted organizations like the Columbus Regional Health Foundation and Heritage Fund that are willing to lend technical and financial assistance to this important work.

Donations can be made to Heritage Fund via check to 538 Franklin Street, Columbus, IN 47201 or online at (Type "Mark & Wendy Elwood Substance Abuse Prevention Fund" in the "Name" field.)

For more information, contact the Heritage Fund at 812-376-7772.

To learn more about ASAP's programs and initiatives, visit