The Michael and Tina Bennett Fund

By Maura Teynor

February 11, 2020

Longtime Shelby residents Michael and Tina Bennett wanted to do something to give back and help their community. That was their motivation in establishing a donor-designated fund to benefit Shelby Help Line Ministries at the Richland County Foundation. 

“We have always been involved in the community and it’s important to us to assist those who may need a helping hand,” said Michael. 

Tina said over the years, they helped with many projects at Shelby Help Line Ministries. Tina created financial spreadsheets and taught a financial literacy class. The couple volunteered with the Community Christmas Program and the Summer Lunch program. 

Tina retired from the Crestview Local School District where she served as treasurer and Michael retired from the Shelby Police Department where he was the chief. 

“I liked being an officer and helping people. That was my life. This fund helps continue what Tina and I did professionally and personally,” said Michael. 

Shelby Help Line Ministries serves the community with a Community Christmas Program and food boxes clothing ministry, financial literacy, school supplies and clothes, medical equipment, free summer lunches for children and a community dinner. 

Michael served on the Richland County Foundation Board of Trustee from 2007 to 2016 and served as chairman from 2012-2014. He played an integral part to find a permanent home for the Foundation. During his tenure as chair, the Foundation purchased and renovated the historic William Ritter House. The Foundation moved to its new location at 181 South Main Street in 2015. Before then, the Foundation rented office space at various locations in Mansfield over a 70-year period.

“Michael helped lead the board to develop the Ritter House as the new home for the community foundation, creating a physical representation of the Richland County Foundation tag line For Good. For Ever,” said Foundation President Brady Groves.

One of the Bennett’s favorite hobbies is hiking. They hiked the Appalachian Trail in 2015 which took them about six months to accomplish. This summer they will attempt to tackle the Buckeye Trail, which is a 1,400-mile loop around the state of Ohio.

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