About Us

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MCCF Founding President
Raymond W. Thomas

In 1985, area civic leaders established the Zanesville Development Corporation to generate ideas that would enhance the quality of life in Zanesville. One of the group's suggestions was to establish a community foundation. The Zanesville Foundation was incorporated in 1985 and awarded tax-exempt status from the Internal Revenue Service in January 1986.

The organization's first executive director, David Mitzel, was a loaned executive from Ohio University-Zanesville, where the Foundation's office was initially located. The Board of twenty-five Founding Trustees elected Ray Thomas as the first president in 1986.



The Zanesville Foundation took the name "Muskingum County Community Foundation" in 1988 to reflect a broader mission of serving the entire county. In 1989, the Foundation celebrated the contribution of $1 million from the Founding Trustees.

Through the support of The J. William and Mary Helen Straker Charitable Foundation, MCCF moved to its current home at 534 Putnam Avenue, Zanesville in June of 1999.

The Foundation celebrated the success of a $3 million campaign in May 2000, increasing its assets to more than $12 million.

With the help of Trustee Emeritus J. William Straker, MCCF established Scholarship Central in 2000 to increase access to higher education in Muskingum County by providing students, parents and residents a one-stop for information about colleges and universities, scholarships, and financial aid opportunities.


In October 2002, Governor Bob Taft visited MCCF
for the official opening of Scholarship Central. Taft is pictured here with
Muskingum County high school guidance counselors. (Photo by Joe Clark)

Through the support of MCCF and generous gifts from the community, the Putnam Underground Railroad Education Center (PURE Center) opened in 2004.


Celebrating the opening of the PURE Center.
(Photo by Daniel Vincent)

The Foundation purchased Park Central (formerly Armco Park) in April 2008 with funds from an anonymous donation, the Longaberger Quality of Life Endowment, the Muskingum Family Y and the Foundation's general fund. The Muskingum Family Y is currently leasing the park to conduct summer programs. For information on facility rental, please contact the Muskingum Family Y at (740) 453-9622.


Park Central provides the opportunity for outdoor recreation during the summer months.


In the spring of 2009 the Foundation partnered with the Muskingum Family Y, Genesis Health Care System and Ohio University-Zanesville to develop the Muskingum Recreation Center, which opened for business in May of 2014. Later that same year, the Foundation hosted the Zanesville Prize for Contemporary Ceramics which attracted artists from around the world and offered a prize of $20,000 for “Best of Show.” The show was held again in 2015. 


In the fall of 2014, David Mitzel stepped down as executive director and 20 year volunteer and former board member Brian Wagner was named CEO of the Foundation.

Brian Wagner

Since its founding, MCCF has awarded more than $8 million to local charities and currently has over $22 million in assets. For more information about MCCF's history, view past annual reports or contact us.


Masthead Photo: The Muskingum County Community Foundation office located at 534 Putnam Avenue in Zanesville

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