Over the years, Jane Burdette has been involved with a wide variety of charitable organizations throughout our community. She has been very active in disability awareness programs and groups, social service and women’s groups and numerous other community organizations. Several years ago, in order to provide support for important charitable causes she cared most about, Ms. Burdette established the Jane E. Burdette Advised Charitable Fund with the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation.
“I have been involved with many community groups and have been able to see worthwhile ideas become reality with the Foundation’s assistance,” said Ms. Burdette.
As the daughter of the late Jewel and C. Richard Burdette, Jr., also fund founders at the PACF, Jane was educated in Wood County schools, being the first student to attend regular classes while using a wheelchair for muscular dystrophy, and graduated from Parkersburg High School. She earned college degrees from Parkersburg Community College and Glenville State College and her master’s degree from West Virginia University. She also received an honorary Doctorate of Divinity.
The Jane E. Burdette Advised Charitable Fund provides financial assistance to worthwhile community projects, with special attention to projects that are new, innovative, and creative and those that respond to important community needs.
“In life, all of us are given a torch to carry,” said Ms. Burdette. “It’s up to each and every one of us to keep it burning bright as long as we have it and until we turn it over to someone else.”
The Doddridge County Park offers something for everyone at its site of nearly 250 acres of land and many amenities. With many features and multiple acres to maintain, the Doddridge County Parks and Recreation Commission took a proactive step this year to secure its financial future by establishing a permanent charitable fund with the PACF’s Doddridge County affiliate.
The new Friends of Doddridge County Parks and Recreation Commission Endowment Fund is a long-term permanent source of funding for the park. The Fund will make an annual distribution to the Doddridge County Parks and Recreation Commission to help preserve and maintain the park.
“This permanent support fund enables us to focus our attention on providing an excellent venue for recreational and educational opportunities for visitors,” said Greg Cottrill, Director of the Doddridge County Parks and Recreation Commission. “We’ve been very fortunate to receive grant support from the Foundation. With the $5,000 grant which we recently received, we built the park’s first-ever ‘Yurt,’ a form of lodging for rent beginning in 2017. The Commission’s decision to partner with the Foundation to establish this fund was an easy decision and one we know will prove beneficial for years to come. Once the fund reaches a minimum fund value of $10,000 set by the Foundation, it will annually generate a distribution to the park. The beauty of this setup is that the principal of the fund is never invaded, so it can forever invest and annually issue a distribution to the park. We hope, over time, our initial investment will be paid-back and then some.”
Nick Endrizzi grew up in St. Clairsville, Ohio. He attended West Virginia University prior to serving in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II. After serving, he graduated from The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 1950. Ann Mahoney grew up in Columbus, Ohio, and graduated from The Ohio State University in 1943. She worked as a laboratory technician at the Battelle Institute of Technology and the OSU College of Veterinary Medicine, where she met Nick.
Nick and Ann were married in 1951, and moved to Parkersburg, West Virginia. Nick established the Parkersburg Veterinary Hospital, while Ann managed the office accounts. Nick practiced large and small animal medicine until retiring in 1984.
Nick and Ann were married for 58 years, and raised five children and were both delighted in their ten grandchildren. Ann passed away in 2009, and Nick passed away in 2014. As both of their birthdays were in December, and in the spirit of giving that is Christmas, their children provided a gift in December 2014 to create the Dr. Nick and Ann Endrizzi Memorial Fund.
Their children said that it was their parents’ hope that others in need would benefit from their lifetime of hard work through a memorial fund. Nick and Ann were always faithful supporters of their parish church and its Catholic schools. Nick, in particular, was always very sensitive to persons in need, because of the significant struggles his family faced as a child.
This new memorial fund with the PACF is intended to continue the Endrizzi’s legacy of generous giving for the causes that were most important to them. In honor and memory of Nick and Ann Endrizzi, the annual grants from this new charitable fund will benefit Parkersburg Catholic Schools, St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church, and the Salvation Army of Parkersburg.
“My father made sure that any kids who came into his store who needed shoes, left with a new pair on their feet,” Rob Fouss said. “It is a humbling feeling to help others less fortunate and this charitable fund is a way that I can honor my father’s lifelong ambition to help those in need.”
The story of Rob’s father, Robert E. Fouss, began with his birth to Margaret Kehl and William Jacob Fouss on June 20, 1920 in Casey, Illinois. When he was just a young boy, his family moved to Marietta, Ohio. For many years, Fouss walked past a corner store in Marietta and became intrigued with the idea of operating a store of his own. During World War II, Fouss enlisted and became a quartermaster in Manila in the Philippines. He was placed in charge of dispensing equipment for the war effort, including clothes, food and truck parts for the Army.
Upon returning from the war, he began working at Fort Pitt Shoes on Market Street in Parkersburg and, later, opened Ford Shoes in the Grand Central Mall. During his 46 years in business, Fouss only missed a few days of work. After retiring in 1983, he began woodworking, making hundreds of items, including bowls, lamps, candlesticks, kitchen cabinets and arts and crafts pieces.
After his death in 1995, his son, Rob Fouss, said people started telling him stories about how his dad had provided them with shoes through trades for fresh eggs, bacon or other arrangements when they couldn’t afford to pay. These stories touched the family deeply.
In 1999, Rob and his sister, Pam Fouss Wenmoth, established the Robert E. Fouss Memorial Fund, which supports the general charitable purposes of the PACF, with a particular emphasis on providing shoes to children in need, in partnership with area schools and charitable organizations. Since its establishment, hundreds of children throughout the community have received shoes in the name of their father.
A passionate crusader for animal welfare, Ruth Hornbrook was born in Marietta, Ohio, more than a century ago. She crossed the Ohio River in 1913 and settled in Parkersburg.
During the 1950’s, Ms. Hornbrook assembled a 25-member group of local citizens to discuss the idea of establishing a humane society for Parkersburg to create a better environment for animals in her community. Ruth spearheaded their efforts to raise funds and to determine a location for the Humane Society of Parkersburg, Inc. She continued her support by serving on the Society’s Board of Directors and helping to initiate many of the programs that remain important components today in the Society’s success, including promoting spaying clinics and youth educational programs.
Her involvement extended far beyond Parkersburg’s city limits. She was influential in crafting key state legislation concerning animal rights and active in the Humane Society of the United States and the American Humane Society.
To ensure support would continue for humane societies statewide, she included a bequest in her will that established the Ruth Hornbrook Memorial Fund with the PACF. This Fund benefits humane societies across West Virginia with preference given to new societies’ needs. Through the grants from this permanent fund, thousands of stray and unwanted animals receive improved care throughout West Virginia annually.
While Ms. Hornbrook passed away in 1989, her kindness and lifelong commitment to the well-being of animals and the humane society movement continues, thanks to the support generated by her fund for the needs of West Virginia’s Humane Societies today and tomorrow.
Kitty Woods, a stenographer for a Ritchie County attorney wrote in her will that, “It is not the purpose of this bequest to relieve the taxpayers of any part of their burden of furnishing schools for the children of the district, but for the purpose of enabling the Board of Education to give to the children of said district advantages they might not otherwise have because of lack of funds.”
Born in 1884 and raised in Ritchie County, WV, Kitty Woods was the daughter of Isaiah Wells Woods and Ella Victoria Lambert, both of whom were lifelong residents of Ritchie County. Ms. Woods was the granddaughter of Salina Wells Woods and Philip Woods, a minister who was born in Pennsylvania and eventually settled in Ritchie County.
Ms. Woods never married or had any children of her own but was very concerned about education and the welfare of children in her area. In 1963, when Ms. Woods passed away, she made a gift to the Ritchie County Board of Education through her estate plans to permanently benefit the students of Harrisville High School (now Ritchie County High School) and Harrisville Elementary.
In 2014, the Ritchie County Board of Education used Ms. Woods’ gift to create the Kitty Woods Support Fund for Ritchie County High School and Harrisville Elementary School with the PACF. This fund is assigned as part of the Foundation’s Ritchie County affiliate collection of funds, the Ritchie County Community Foundation.
Ms. Woods’ generosity allows this fund to continue to make a grant each year to both schools to address educational opportunities for students.
Dr. Robert C. Robinson was a long-time supporter of the Foundation. During his lifetime he joined the Foundation’s Legacy Society and established a charitable remainder trust naming the Foundation as one of the charitable beneficiaries. His planned gift started the Dr. Robert C. Robinson Memorial Fund.
“Bob was a very kind man and quite the rapscallion,” said Mr. Robinson’s step-daughter Suzy McKenna. “He loved playing cards with my mother, dancing, telling jokes and of course was an accomplished optometrist.”
Dr. Robinson was born in 1916 in Marietta, OH. He graduated from Marietta High School, then in 1938, from the Illinois College of Optometry. In World War II, he was commissioned as a Lieutenant in the United States Navy. He served in the Pacific Theatre aboard the hospital ship U.S.S. Sanctuary. Upon Dr. Robinson’s return to Parkersburg, he practiced optometry until his retirement in the 1990’s.
Seven years after its creation, the Dr. Robert C. Robinson Memorial Fund has given over $24,000 in funding to organizations in the Mid-Ohio Valley serving women and children in crisis and families affected by domestic violence. Additionally, the fund itself is now worth nearly 25% more than the original gift value. Dr. Robinson’s initial gift will continue to grow and continue to make a positive impact in our region and to help address a troubling need.
Mr. James and Mrs. Trudie Schaughency will forever have a legacy in our region thanks to Mrs. Schaughency’s contribution to our community through a planned estate gift to the PACF. By naming the Foundation as a beneficiary of her estate, Mrs. Schaughency has created the James F. and Trudie A. Schaughency Charitable Fund.
When asked why she made such a commitment Mrs. Schaughency said, “Jim and I had a most interesting, exciting and wonderful life. Hopefully we can in some small way enable others to enjoy a more interesting and productive life.”
Through her gift, Mrs. Schaughency will continue she and Jim’s ongoing support to several organizations plus provide support for the arts in our region. The PACF is thankful for their commitment and we are humbled to welcome Mrs. Schaughency to the Foundation’s Legacy Society.
Tyler Milam Westbrook was many things – a beloved son, husband, father, brother, grandson, son-in-law and uncle; Promise Scholar and 2002 honors graduate of Williamstown High School where he excelled at multiple sports. He was an avid West Virginia University fan and magna cum laude graduate with a Bachelor’s Degree in 2006 and a highly decorated member of the U. S. Army, a Green Beret, graduating as the Distinguished Honor Graduate from the Special Forces Weapons Sergeant Course.
Tyler served in many difficult and challenging assignments over an eight-year period of duty which included multiple tours in Iraq. SFC Tyler Milam Westbrook was 31 years old at the time that he ended his life in the summer of 2015.
Many people wanted to do something to commemorate Tyler’s special life and to remember his leadership and many friendships. While Tyler will be forever remembered for his heroism as a Green Beret and sniper and his dedication to serving our country, his family and friends want to honor his legacy at Williamstown High School and recently initiated the Tyler Milam Westbrook Scholarship Fund with the PACF. Gifts toward Tyler’s scholarship were made to the PACF to form a perpetual memorial award in Tyler’s name each year.
The scholarship was awarded for the first time in May 2016 to the student who earned fourth position among the Williamstown High School graduates, as that was Tyler’s class rank at graduation, with the award continuing in that manner every year thereafter. In this way, Tyler’s legacy will be forever honored at Williamstown High School—his high school in his home town—a place that has meant so much to Tyler and his family over many years.
A new community bicycle safety program is underway in Wood County working to make it safer for those who prefer to pedal around the region. The Wood County Alternative Transportation Council, part of the Wood County Commission, is working to raise awareness about the importance of bicycle safety between cyclists and motorists.
“We are able to do this thanks to the partnership that the Commission formed with the PACF,” said Lloyd Roberts, Chair of the Wood County Alternative Transportation Council. “We’re all local volunteers and establishing a fund with PACF was the best option for us. The PACF folks have been great, helping us through the legal issues, helping us establish the fund, recordkeeping, and basically ‘spoon feeding’ us through our first fundraiser, Give Local MOV.”
Thanks to the new Wood County Trails Fund established at the Foundation by the Wood County Commission in February 2016, the Council now has a structure it can use to fulfill its mission. The Council raised $4,000 through Give Local MOV on May 1, 2017, all which will be used to support the Program. The campaign highlights West Virginia’s bike safety laws that require drivers to allow a three-foot clearance when overtaking cyclists.
“We want both cyclists and motorists to feel comfortable out on the road,” said Roberts. “In addition to this Program, we are working on other projects to make Wood County bike friendly, including installing bicycle racks in the region.”