News & Event
Terri Ann (Marshall) Gard was a well-loved Parkersburg native who devoted her life to her family and faith. She enjoyed traveling, going to the beach, volunteering, and spending time with her husband, children, and grandchildren.
Gard retired as an Autism Mentor after working at Wood County Schools for more than fifteen years. She brought to her role at the school many life experiences that helped her to connect and to communicate with her students. Her patience and understanding made her not only a wonderful mother, but an exceptional mentor for youth with autism spectrum disorders.
Terri Ann Gard passed away on May 27, 2019 following a courageous battle with cancer. To honor Gard, her family established the Autism Whispers Fund in Memory of Terri Ann (Marshall) Gard at the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation (PACF) to forever provide financial assistance to programs supporting individuals with autism spectrum disorders in the Foundation’s service area, including programs within the Wood County School system.
“If everyone whose life Terri Ann Gard impacted would make a gift to her memorial fund, it would swiftly reach the point where it could begin making an annual award in her honor for a cause that she deeply cared about,” said PACF’s Development and Communications Officer, Julie Posey.
The fund created by Terri’s husband of more than forty-five years, Tim, and their children, Austin, Lance, and Sierra, is designed to continue her caring legacy and to honor her dedicated service to area youth with autism spectrum disorders.
Individuals who would like to make a tax-deductible donation to support this new fund are encouraged to send a check made payable to the PACF with “Autism Whispers” on the memo line to: PACF, PO Box 1762, Parkersburg, WV 26102. Donations may also be made online. Individuals wishing to learn more about this fund can call the Foundation at 304.428.4438.
The Doug McLain Memorial Scholarship Fund was recently created at the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation (PACF) to forever honor the late Douglas E. McLain. McLain was a well-loved Parkersburg native, devout Christian, Air Force veteran, and retired police officer. Above all, he was a dedicated husband, father, and Papaw. McLain unexpectedly passed away on June 24, 2017. Hundreds of friends, family members, and local citizens attended his memorial service to say goodbye to a dedicated local citizen and hardworking public servant.
“Doug McLain was well known as a true servant leader and a man of high integrity,” said the PACF’s Executive Director, Judy Sjostedt. “He lived his life as an example for others. Doug's contributions to public safety and the shaping of young lives through his work as the first Prevention Resource Officer in Wood County, assigned to Parkersburg High School, will be forever remembered with gratitude through this new scholarship. We encourage gifts to help build this memorial for Doug.”
McLain retired after forty-one years of honorable service from the Parkersburg Police Department in 2016. For four decades, while serving on the police force, he was also an EMT for the St. Joseph Ambulance Service. The new scholarship fund, established by McLain’s family and friends, is designed to continue his caring legacy and honor his dedicated service to the Parkersburg region.
The Doug McLain Memorial Scholarship Fund will award annually one scholarship to a graduating senior from either Parkersburg Catholic High School, Parkersburg High School, or Parkersburg South High School who plans to pursue a public service field of study. The fund will make its first scholarship award in spring 2018.
Persons who wish to help honor Doug McLain are encouraged to make a charitable gift to the Doug McLain Memorial Scholarship Fund by mailing a check (payable to “PACF” with the fund name on the memo line) to PACF, PO Box 1762, Parkersburg, WV 26101-1762, or by donating online here. Other forms of donations may be made by calling the Foundation’s office at 304.428.4438.
George Penn was affectionately known throughout the community for his volunteering and commitment for many local organizations. Born in Alexandria, VA, George moved to the Parkersburg area in 1992 where he worked for UPS and Dover Products. A devout Christian, Penn was a United States Marine, a disabled Army veteran, and a member of the Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church and the Menelik Lodge #74 Free and Accepted Masons. In 2010, George Penn and his wife, Josepha “Chris” Penn, opened the doors to Voices of the Streets – Essentially Yours.
“Essentially Yours was created to fulfill a basic human need that George and I identified in our community,” said Mrs. Chris Penn. “The need to provide the essential home good items required to improve the quality of life for referred families and individuals transitioning from homelessness into a dwelling. Currently, the referring organizations that provide housing and furniture vouchers to homeless individuals do not provide the basic living essentials necessary for establishing a ‘home’.”
After George Penn died on March 1, 2017, an anonymous donor established the Voices of the Streets Endowment Fund in his memory. This permanent support fund becomes one of more than 350 component funds of Parkersburg Area Community Foundation (PACF) and will forever provide monetary support to allow Voices of the Streets – Essentially Yours to continue to serve its mission.
“Through Essentially Yours, we raise our clients’ self-esteem and their desire to do better for themselves,” said Penn. “We are so thankful for this anonymous donor who thinks so highly of what we are doing that he or she has established a permanent source of funding for our cause. We are extremely dependent on charitable donations to continue to provide this important service for our community.”
Persons who wish to honor George Penn and to support the long-term efforts of Voices of the Streets – Essentially Yours are encouraged to make a donation to the Voices of the Streets Endowment Fund online or to mail a gift by check to PACF, PO Box 1762, Parkersburg, WV 26102-1762 (made payable to PACF, memo Essentially Yours).
Auburn, once a bustling community, is a historic town which was first settled in 1834, before West Virginia seceded from Virginia during the American Civil War. Like many other communities throughout the state, Auburn is experiencing a population decline which has affected the monetary support available to the Auburn Community Cemetery Committee. This Cemetery is the final resting place of some of Auburn’s first settlers including the family names of Sommerville, Tharp, Hall and Watson with the earliest known grave being that of a young child, Robert Collins, who died in August, 1842. The Auburn Community Cemetery Committee provides maintenance and upkeep of the Cemetery located within the town limits.
Concerned and forward-thinking individuals with loved ones interred in the Cemetery recently established a permanent charitable fund, the Friends of Auburn Community Cemetery Fund, with the Ritchie County Community Foundation (RCCF), an affiliate of the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation (PACF). The Friends of Auburn Community Cemetery Fund will forever provide an annual monetary distribution to the Cemetery Committee to support the public maintenance and upkeep of the Cemetery. Current members of the Auburn Community Cemetery Committee include Jim Lowther, Dave Crouch and Robert Lowther.
“It is not our intention for this new fund to hinder annual contributions to the Cemetery Committee,” said Bob Sommerville. “My family and some friends started this fund to encourage others to plan for the future of our Cemetery and to provide a long-term option for other concerned citizens to include a donation to the fund through their estate plans and wills, or to use qualified retirement plans and IRA benefits to make a donation. By doing so, they are ensuring that this Cemetery is taken care of long after we have passed.”
“The fund is permanent in nature so that the fund’s principal, which includes all donations to the fund, is never invaded,” said Julie Boyce, PACF’s Development and Communications Officer. “This means the fund will forever invest and issue an annual distribution for the benefit of the Cemetery. PACF’s prudent spending-policy helps to ensure that the fund continues to grow. Annually, the Cemetery Committee spends between $3,000 and $5,000 on upkeep of the Auburn Community Cemetery. A fund valued at $100,000 could potentially issue about $3,000 each year! The fund is off to a great start to that goal. The early supporters have pledged to help raise at least $100,000 in the next ten years to help grow this fund. They are already a tenth of the way to their goal with $10,000 in gifts to date. If others in the community likewise come forward, I’m sure their goal will be met.”
Persons who wish to make a charitable gift to the Friends of Auburn Community Cemetery Fund can mail a check (payable to the PACF with fund name on memo line) to PACF, PO Box 1762, Parkersburg, WV 26101-1762 or give online by clicking here. Other forms of donation may be made by calling the Foundation’s office at 304.428.4438. The “Friends of Auburn (WV) Community Cemetery” has its own Facebook page; more details may be found on it. Annual gifts to the Auburn Community Cemetery Committee (for ongoing maintenance, rather than investment for the future) can be mailed to PO Box 92, Auburn, WV 26325.
Dennis O’Callaghan of Lowell, Ohio passed away August 2016 after a courageous battle with lung cancer. Born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio, the son of immigrant parents, O’Callaghan had a very high regard for hard work and entrepreneurial efforts. He was the progenitor of several business endeavors during his lifetime, beginning in his teens. In 1991, he started Gaskets, Packings and Seals in Parkersburg with his business partner, Tom Houck, serving the needs of local chemical and power plants. The business started as a very small company with only a few employees, but by the time of his death, Gaskets, Packings and Seals was a thriving enterprise with more than a dozen employees. O’Callaghan believed in rewarding hard work and was dedicated to his team of employees.
“Dennis was also a wonderful husband, father, son, and brother,” said his wife, Tammy O’Callaghan “He had tough standards for those who worked for him and for those who lived with him, but his great love and loyalty to both made everyone want to live up to his high standards.”
To forever honor O’Callaghan’s entrepreneurial spirit and work ethic, his family established the Dennis M. O’Callaghan Memorial Scholarship with the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation (PACF). This fund is designed to forever provide scholarship support to graduating senior students residing in Washington County, Ohio or Wood County, West Virginia. Recipients of this scholarship shall be selected on the basis of character, academic performance, work ethic, and community involvement. Preference shall be given to a qualified homeschool student. If there is not a qualified homeschool student, then a graduating high school senior with a grade point average between 3.0-3.5 on a 4.0 scale shall be considered.
The Dennis M. O’Callaghan Memorial Scholarship will help support the region’s youth forever and continue to honor an influential local entrepreneur. Persons who wish to help honor Dennis O’Callaghan are encouraged to make a charitable gift to the Dennis M. O’Callaghan Memorial Scholarship by mailing a check (payable to the PACF with fund name on memo line) to PACF, PO Box 1762, Parkersburg, WV 26101-1762, or donate online here. Other forms of donations may be made by calling the Foundation’s office at 304.428.4438.
While the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation & Regional Affiliates (PACF) is best known for partnering with local citizens to build permanent long-term charitable funds for the betterment our region, the PACF is also flexible and uniquely positioned to serve as a strong community partner in emergencies. When the Governor’s “Stay at Home” order became effective for West Virginians on March 24, the PACF’s Board of Directors quickly made provisions for its existing Hunger Fund and Safety Net Fund to serve as emergency need funds for COVID-19 relief. Despite low virus infection rates in our region, unemployment soared and the financial future for many area families was suddenly put in jeopardy.
The PACF’s leaders immediately began working with the area’s nonprofit community and other local funding organizations to determine how best to allocate resources among local needs and to raise additional funds to address community concerns. With the PACF’s commitment to grant 100% of the proceeds raised back into the region, generous local citizens and area corporations responded with donations to boost the PACF’s Hunger and Safety Net Funds.
The PACF recently awarded $101,570 in its fourth round of COVID-19 pandemic response grants, bringing the total awarded to date to more than $263,868, a total which includes many PACF Donor Advised Fund grants. Several of the recent grants were awarded through partnership with the Sisters Health Foundation (noted with an *). Agencies that received funding during the PACF’s fourth round of grants include:
The PACF is actively contacting nonprofits to assess COVID-19 impact on their communities and identifying ways to respond to these needs. Agencies seeking assistance should contact the PACF at 304-428-4438 or by email to Marian Clowes.
Donations to support the PACF’s Hunger Fund and Safety Net Fund are tax-deductible. To learn more about these funds and the work that the Foundation is doing to address COVID-19 in our region, visit www.pacfwv.com/COVID19.
The Parkersburg Area Community Foundation & Regional Affiliates (PACF) is actively partnering with its local donors and other area funders to address the critical needs of local citizens who are impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic by providing funding to a wide variety of area nonprofit organizations that are delivering essential services for their clients and families.
To date, the PACF has awarded more than $50,000 in COVID-19 emergency funds to help local nonprofits continue their critical services and programs. Food, rent and utilities assistance, and purchase of hygiene and school supplies are just a few of the things that these grants have supported and will continue to support as the PACF provides additional grants in the coming weeks.
“Many of the requests we are receiving are to support food access for area residents,” said Marian Clowes, PACF’s Associate Director for Community Leadership. “Through the quick action of the Foundation and with the help of our donors, we’ve responded swiftly to support agencies working on the front lines through this pandemic.”
One local nonprofit organization that received support recently wrote to the PACF regarding its grant support saying, “Thank you for coordinating support for our families. As the person working directly with the recipients, I want to say that it was a real lifeline for some families who were caught in the unemployment limbo.”
Grants thus far include:
“Children’s Home Society (CHS) is extremely grateful for the emergency funds received from the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation and the SHF during the COVID-19 health crisis,” said Shelley Plauché-Adkins, Children’s Home Society of WV’s Regional Director. “Many of the formerly homeless youth served through our Transitional Living Program have lost employment and are struggling with food insecurity. These funds will enable Children’s Home Society to provide food boxes to 22 youth and their children over the next 12 weeks, which will ensure that our youth are being fed and greatly reduce their stress and worries during this difficult time.”
Funding to support these programs is made possible by generous donations from individuals and businesses to the PACF’s Hunger Fund (addresses food insecurity for local people) and Safety Net Fund (supports basic and emergency needs). These two response funds concentrate on relief efforts in the Foundation’s 11-county service area.
“We are very thankful for our community’s continued support of the Hunger and Safety Net funds,” said Clowes. “These significant grants are only possible because of our great community support. We anticipate making more distributions soon and we encourage the community to continue supporting these important charitable funds. We are very grateful for our donors’ help, enabling us to meet needs in our community.”
The PACF is actively contacting regional nonprofits to assess COVID-19 impact on their clients and communities and identifying ways to respond to the needs. Agencies seeking assistance should contact the PACF at 304-428-4438 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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