Reynolds family, firm donate $1M to Conner Prairie

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The family behind Hamilton County mainstay Reynolds Farm Equipment has pledged $1 million to Conner Prairie Interactive History Park. The gift was announced Thursday evening during a ceremony honoring the company and its leaders for their generosity.

The no-strings-attached donation will come from the business, second-generation company President Gary Reynolds and his wife, Cindy. Gary Reynolds has served on the living-history museum’s board since 2011.

“It’s really a gift to the community,” said Conner Prairie CEO Ellen Rosenthal. “I don’t know if Hamilton County has a bigger cheerleader than Gary Reynolds.”

Conner Prairie has a number of improvements planned over the next five years, Rosenthal said, and the Reynolds gift likely will be applied to one of them.

“I think we’ll save it for a big project—which I can’t tell you about yet,” she said with a laugh, interrupting herself to answer the inevitable next question.

Thursday’s announcement came at the Legacy Fund’s Celebration of Philanthropy, where the Reynolds family and their business won the 2014 Living Legacy Award.

Outside of farming circles, the John Deere dealer is probably best known for its elaborate Christmas light display in Fishers, which draws a steady stream of drive-by oohs and aahs and raises over $30,000 a year for Fishers United Methodist Church’s food pantry.

Founded in 1955 by A.W. “Mac” and Arline Reynolds (Gary’s late parents), Reynolds Farm Equipment has seven locations in Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky. Its headquarters moved last year from Fishers to a new facility off U.S. 31 north of Westfield.

Still, Reynolds remains committed to Fishers—and Conner Prairie, which Mac and Arline began supporting in 1987. The family has been involved for the years, and the business routinely provides equipment used on the museum’s sprawling campus.

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