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home : opinion : between the lines May 25, 2016

6/27/2014 10:07:00 AM
J. Homer Shoop Legacy Lives On Through Sports And Youth Foundation
1st Source Bank


Don't let it be forgot, that there once was a spot, for one brief, shining moment that was known as Camelot! So says Lerner and Loewe in the 1967 musical Camelot, adapted from T. H. White’s The Once and Future King.

In 1967, banker, champion tennis, champion bridge player, and prominent citizen, J. Homer Shoop got the notion of likening the North Webster area to a "20th Century Camelot" and a "Realm of Recreation". He formed the Sports and Youth Foundation, annually selected a "King of Sports" and linked festival and youth career awards to outstanding sports personalities.  Ultimately, Homer Shoop developed the International Palace of Sports as a museum attraction, which included wax figurines and sports memorabilia.

The ideals of Camelot live on as J. Homer Shoop envisioned, through the efforts and generosity of the Shoop Sports and Youth Foundation that he founded in 1970.  Mr. Shoop, enamored with the idea of North Webster becoming an archetypal "Camelot" community, offered a vision and promise of endless possibility to North Webster and surrounding areas. The value of his dream and commitment is evident through continuing gifts and support from the Shoop Foundation as well as the cultural importance of the North Webster Community Center.

The establishment of the North Webster Community Center (NWCC) in 2002 was supported through the generous contributions of the Foundation as a way to restore and preserve the former elementary school to benefit the community. This year marks the final year of the Foundation's founding gift of $50,000 per year for ten years.  Without this gift, the community center may not exist as presently known.

Today, the NWCC is home to several organizations including:  Kosciusko Community YMCA, North Webster Community Public Library, Senior Primelife Enrichment Center (SPEC), and the Tippecanoe Watershed Foundation Inc. Under the direction of Jon Sroufe, President Emeritus of the Board of Directors, the Community Center plays the vital role Homer Shoop envisioned by enhancing the community with meaningful activities for children, adults and seniors, providing a place for social interaction, volunteerism, healthy lifestyles, creativity and community focus. Just as Homer Shoop created a sense of pride and belonging for all residents, the NWCC has become the heart of North Webster and surrounding communities.

Shoop Sports and Youth Foundation, Inc. benefits recreation, sports, leisure, athletics, focusing specifically on amateur sports programs.  Among the programs the Sports and Youth Foundation sponsors is the annual Tournament of Champions event to promote youth fitness and the college scholarship award program. The foundation also sponsors the Queen of The Lakes pageant as part of the North Webster Mermaid Festival.

The Shoop Foundation, along with 1st Source Bank's Personal Asset Management Group, administers the J. Homer Shoop Memorial Scholarship which includes:

•   Four $2,000 scholarships to Wawasee High School seniors in the memory of J. Homer

Shoop.

•   Four Warsaw High School seniors receive $2,000 in the memory of J. Homer Shoop.

•                  Four seniors from Whitko High School receive $2,000 scholarships to honor the memory of Walter and Ella Shoop, Homer Shoop's parents.  The scholarship also provides an additional $2,000 for each recipient in their sophomore year of college.

 In the past 25 years, the Foundation has gifted over $3.6 million to surrounding communities in the form of grants and scholarships, almost doubling Homer Shoop's original estate gift to the foundation in support of the community.   This remarkable track record is due to the exemplary stewardship of the Foundation's Board of Directors, coupled with the investment management performance and expertise of 1st Source Bank's Personal Asset Management Group.

 Near the end of the Lerner and Loewe Camelot, King Arthur realizes that although many of his plans for tile round table have fallen through, the ideals of Camelot still live on through one young man named Tom.  Likewise, J. Homer Shoop's plans for North Webster and local communities continue to live on through the generous efforts of the foundation and all those who have benefitted from the legend of his vision.







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