Hamilton Community Foundation

On August 20th 2010 time stood still for the Monnin family when they heard the news their son Daniel died while having fun with his buddies diving off a cliff and swimming at an abandoned rock quarry.

He had just turned 21 and was pursuing his dream of becoming a police officer. He had received his Associate’s degree in criminal justice from Columbus State and had gotten his first job as a corrections officer at West Central Corrections Community in Marysville, Ohio. His goal was to attend Ohio University in the spring to get his Bachelor’s degree and then to become a full-time police officer.

Susan and Steve Monnin had heard of the Hamilton Community Foundation. They knew that the Foundation was a charitable organization and that it helped people achieve charitable goals. But they thought the Foundation was primarily for wealthy individuals and families. They didn’t think they would ever be directly involved with the Foundation. That changed when their son Daniel died.

The Monnins soon learned that the Foundation could help them honor Daniel’s memory by establishing a scholarship to support students with interests similar to Daniel’s. Susan and Steve created the Daniel Monnin Memorial Scholarship which provides financial assistance to students who share Daniel’s love for baseball.

“Daniel lived life to the fullest. He had an intensity about life, about having fun, and about baseball,” said Susan. “He pushed himself and others to live their dreams, especially if they weren’t expected to do great things, like Daniel. …But Daniel had a great heart”. The Daniel Monnin Scholarship was created by Susan and Steve, but it has been supported by many, many individuals and families throughout the community.

The Monnins found that the community that was their home for many years was now supporting this important scholarship fund. “Without the help of the Monnincommunity, the family and the Hamilton Community Foundation, there would be no Daniel Monnin Memorial Scholarship Fund,” said Steve. At first the scholarship was funded solely by numerous direct contributions, but soon grew to include a golf outing dedicated to the cause. “The last two years have been golf outings, along with a steak dinner and a Silent Auction of gift-filled baskets,” said Susan. “It is wonderful so many of Daniel’s friends and community members volunteer to help with the outing.

It takes a ton of work, but the kids treat it like a reunion. And I get to keep up with what his friends are doing.” This year, the golf-outing fundraiser and gifts from donors was so successful that they raised $14,000 for the fund, so they gave away three scholarships — two to local graduating high school seniors, and one to the Hamilton City Police Officers or trainees, for additional training, preferably for drug and alcohol training.

Although Steve and Susan Monnin don’t consider themselves as philanthropists, they want to continue their annual fundraisers with the HCF until the scholarship fund is self –sustaining. “The years we have awarded the scholarship to area students has been very rewarding,” said Susan. “It’s fun to give away money.” Steve agreed: “If I hit the lottery, I’d give it all away. There’s no better feeling in life, than giving to someone.”
Go To The Hamilton Community Foundation