The Ariel Foundation partners with community organizations in the preservation and enhancement of the cultural heritage of our neighborhoods.
The Ariel Foundation encourages and promotes the preservation expansion, protection and proper maintenance of the community’s parks and public areas.
AFP Photo
The Ariel Foundation provides funding support for education especially in the areas of arts, engineering and science.
Office meeting with notepads
The Ariel Foundation will allow the philanthropic vision of the Buchwald-Wright Family to continue long into the future directed toward improving the quality of life in the Mount Vernon, Ohio area especially its parks, the arts and education.
AFP Schnormeier Event Center Photo
Welcome to

The Ariel Foundation

Founded in 2009 by Karen Buchwald Wright, as a private family foundation, The Ariel Foundation focuses on improving quality of life throughout Mount Vernon, Ohio. Through grant partnerships with local organizations committed to creating opportunities that provide for a better life for area residents, visitors to the community and future generations.

The Foundation partners in promoting arts, culture, education, health & wellbeing while fostering community preservation balanced with community revitalization. For more than 10 years, the Foundation's impact has been felt far and wide in Mount Vernon and Knox County by more than 80 service, government, education and economic development organizations.
AFP Photo


Ariel Foundation is proud to support the people and projects whose missions are to improve the quality of life in the Mount Vernon, Ohio area.


Engineering Scholarships are available through the Foundation annually. The yearly submission deadline is May 1.


Since 2010, The Ariel Foundation has partnered with 80 local grantees to provide more than 600 grants aimed at enhancing the quality of life in and around the City of Mount Vernon.

Board of Directors

Tom Rastin

Tom Rastin

Tom Rastin
Tom Rastin
Tom Rastin was born in Iran. He visited the US for the first time, all by himself, when he was 9 years old. Tom’s father was head of the Iranian Swimming Federation, and at the time, in the late 1960’s, Iran and the US enjoyed a good relationship, a decade before the Iranian Revolution. A swim coach, who lived in Corpus Christi, TX and had coached in Iran, agreed to host Tom for the summer so that he could continue his intense swim training (with the Olympics in mind). Three years later, the coach moved to Lafayette, LA and Tom continued to visit in the summers and pursue his swimming training there, eventually finishing high school in Lafayette and going on to Louisiana State University to earn a doctorate in engineering science. He became a US citizen in his late 20’s, worked in Louisiana for an oil field service company and eventually came to Ariel Corporation in 1994 as an applications engineer.

Because of his experience as a first generation American, Tom is deeply grateful for the unique opportunities offered only in the USA. He believes it’s important to provide similar opportunities, through the foundation’s engineering scholarships, to young people wanting to pursue careers in engineering. Additionally, he supports programming for restoring mental health to traumatized children (in partnership with the county court system), with the intention of breaking the cycle of generational incarceration. He greatly respects the military, veterans, and first responders, and supports a variety of funding to provide equipment for the protection, health and well-being for local first responders, as well as his own personal support for numerous national military and veterans organizations.