An Influence for Good

Post by
March 17, 2023

An Influence for Good is a documentary film that tells the life story of Helene Foellinger and the three generations of Foellingers who preceded her in Allen County. Through four generations, its members overcome tragedy to leave an irreplaceable and enduring legacy of opportunity for their community’s residents. The film premiered on March 16 at the Arts United Center.

OLG and Foellinger Foundation spent almost two years researching, writing, interviewing and scripting the documentary film. An Influence for Good was produced with Red Tide Productions..

Thank you, Foellinger Foundation, for trusting us in documenting this important story! 


Watch the Film

About the Film

Beginning with the immigration of Jacob Foellinger, in 1836, the Foellinger family succeeds for four generations as business-men and -women, with a deep commitment to civic involvement. After the tragic passing of her father, Oscar, the ambitious and driven publisher of The News-Sentinel, Helene Foellinger—just 25 years old at the time—leads the newspaper to even greater levels of success.

She and her mother, Esther, form the Foellinger Foundation, formalizing their commitment to uplifting the lives of the residents of Allen County. When Helene passes away with no heirs, the Foundation receives her estate.

Today, the Foellinger Foundation continues the family’s visionary commitment to championing opportunity.

Project Background

An Influence for Good features interviews with nearly 20 individuals, including those who worked with Helene Foellinger, and those who carry her vision forward.

It was filmed in many iconic locations of importance to the Foellinger family, including the Arts United Center, Brightpoint (formerly the offices of The News-Sentinel), Ernest E. Williams Theatre at Purdue University Fort Wayne, Foellinger-Freimann Botanical Conservatory, Foellinger Theatre, Fort Wayne Museum of Art and more.

On behalf of Foellinger Foundation, One Lucky Guitar engaged in extensive research to understand the family’s history, including consulting with the Genealogy Center and the Allen County-Fort Wayne Historical Society.

In addition, when Helene Foellinger passed away in 1987, she left not only her financial assets, but also her and her family’s personal belongings, to the Foellinger Foundation. These artifacts capture the family’s history—including their sense of duty to their community, and each other, as well as their adventurous spirit. To preserve their legacy, the Foundation embarked on an initiative to digitize thousands of negatives, photos and video reels, as well as protect the family’s personal belongings. Foellinger family archives and artifacts are featured in the film. View the film’s full credits here.

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