The Community Foundation of Elkhart County has awarded Bethany Christian Schools a challenge/matching grant award of $390,000 for its spring 2019 award cycle.


Bethany is in the planning stage of a project to upgrade fields, add a track, and increase safety and accessibility to their athletic complex.  

The award will help Bethany Christian Schools accommodate an extension of the Winona Trail, a City of Goshen bicycle and pedestrian path.

The Winona Trail currently ends on Bethany property along the west side of the railroad tracks, but the new extension will cross to the east side of the railroad tracks and continue south through school grounds to Winchester Trails, Prairie View Elementary School, Waterford Crossing, and area neighborhoods.

“This trail connection will help unite the communities on the west and east sides of the railroad tracks,” said Mayor Jeremy Stutsman in regards to project.

“Bethany Christian Schools has graciously offered to allow use of some of its parking for those wishing to park and ride on the trail, thus serving as a trail head. By partnering with Bethany Christian Schools, with the support of the Community Foundation, on this project we are saving the tax payers tens of thousands of dollars in finding an alternate route and creating a new crossing. This is truly a ‘Good of Goshen’ project," said Mayor Stutsman.

The City of Goshen has been working with Bethany and the neighboring Winchester Trails community to complete plans for the trail extension through their properties.

“We believe that Bethany Christian Schools is another excellent example of our mission to improve the quality of life in Elkhart County by inspiring generosity,” said Pete McCown, president of the Community Foundation.  “We are pleased with what they’ve presented to us and we expect them to be successful in their efforts. Bethany is another vital link the chain of non-profit entities that are improving our quality of life in Elkhart County.”

“We are delighted by the excitement this matching grant opportunity generates for the project,” said Bethany’s Head of School Tim Lehman. “Our school community loves the bike trail and is happy to partner with the city on the expansion. We are grateful to the Community Foundation for helping us accommodate the trail extension. We look forward to seeing more people on the trail.”

Since 1954, Bethany Christian Schools has been a state-accredited not-for-profit school educating students out of the Mennonite perspective. Today, Bethany has a diverse group of nearly 300 students in grades 4-12.

About the Community Foundation of Elkhart County: In more than 25 years of service, the Community Foundation of Elkhart County has developed over $278 million in assets with 350-plus endowed funds.  It has awarded more than $100 million in grants. Its stated mission is “to improve the quality of life in Elkhart County by inspiring generosity.” For more information, visit

See also stories from the Community Foundation of Elkhart County, ABC-TV 57, and Goshen News.