News & Event
The PARS Brain and Spine Institute was founded in 2005 with a vision of increasing the access to highly specialized neurological and neurosurgical care for the Mid-Ohio Valley’s citizens. While PARS has grown tremendously, its core values remain focused on promoting comprehensive, compassionate and patient-centered care. To celebrate more than ten years of service to the region, PARS established the PARS Brain and Spine Institute Charitable Fund with the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation (PACF).
Originally founded by Houman Khosrovi, M.D., Rammy Gold, M.D., and Abdi Ghodsi, M.D., PARS has grown to include five board-certified physicians, nine mid-level practitioners, and over seventy highly trained medical professionals. Each year, over 3500 new patients are referred to PARS with a variety of neurological disorders. With multiple locations, most patients travel less than twenty-five miles for specialized care typically only offered in major metropolitan areas.
“Our community has been very supportive of PARS and we are so appreciative,” said Dr. Khosrovi. “Because of this support, we feel it is imperative to give back to the place we have called ‘home’ for many years. We are excited to launch this charitable giving partnership with the PACF so that as the fund grows, we can address important needs/causes in the region through grantmaking and community engagement.”
Established in 1963, the PACF is a single 501(c)(3) public charity that manages more than 350 charitable funds established by individuals, families, businesses, and civic or nonprofit organizations with the goal of making a positive and permanent commitment to a better future for our community. The new PARS Brain and Spine Institute Charitable Fund of the PACF allows PARS to address key community issues while gaining the community grantmaking expertise, administrative management and investment services offered by the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation.
“One of our first endeavors is to assist in engaging the region’s unserved youth, primarily elementary students, with art and music and connecting them to educational opportunities,” said Lynn McCormick, Director of Community Outreach and Charitable Giving at PARS. “We are currently working to establish a free after-school program at Jefferson Elementary in Parkersburg that will begin in September. At PARS, we fully believe that music education is an integral part of development of a child’s mind and we want to take a proactive step to ensure music and art education is available to all elementary students. This is a grassroots effort to help battle drugs, improve attendance at school, grow children’s talent, improve self-esteem, expand higher-cognitive creative thinking skills, and help children find their personal voice through creative expression.”
To learn more about the PARS Brain and Spine Institute’s charitable giving program, please contact McCormick at (304)865-3602. To learn more about the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation, please contact Julie Boyce at (304)428-4438.
During the week of November 12-18, 2018, the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation and Regional Affiliates (PACF) will join more than 800 community foundations across America celebrating Community Foundation Week. For nearly 30 years, the effort has raised awareness about the increasingly important role of these philanthropic organizations in fostering local collaboration and innovation to address persistent civic and economic challenges.
Community Foundation Week, created in 1989 by former president George H. W. Bush, recognizes the work of community foundations throughout America and their collaborative approach to working with the public, private, and nonprofit sectors to address community problems.
“Community foundations impact lives, solve problems, and improve futures,” said Judy Sjostedt, PACF’s Executive Director. “As many residents grapple with limited resources and a growing need for services, we are more determined than ever to bring our community partners together to find innovative and effective solutions for some of our most challenging social problems here in the Mid-Ohio Valley region.”
Community foundations are independent, public entities that steward philanthropic resources from institutional and individual donors to local nonprofits, agencies, churches, civic groups, etc. that are the heart of strong, vibrant communities. The local PACF works with individuals, families, businesses, and civic or nonprofit organizations to make a positive and permanent commitment for the future of our region.
The PACF currently manages more than 350 charitable funds with nearly $43 million in assets and works in partnership with its local affiliates to provide leadership and develop philanthropic resources to meet the needs of an 11-county service area. Last year, the PACF awarded $2.3 million in grants and scholarships for the benefit of that service area. Since 1963, the PACF has helped local citizens support charitable needs and touch every aspect of life in the community in a variety of lasting ways.
Sjostedt noted, “These grants and scholarships are made possible by individuals living right here in our communities. This week and every day, the PACF celebrates the generosity of local people and the impact that their giving has on improving our Mid-Ohio Valley area’s quality of life. With the year-end fast approaching, it’s a tremendous time for citizens to make an investment to advance their communities by supporting their local community foundation.”
To learn more about the PACF visit its website or stop by its office at 1620 Park Avenue in Parkersburg during regular business hours.
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.
The Parkersburg Area Community Foundation & Regional Affiliates (PACF) announced today its grant awards for spring 2016. The Foundation awarded a total of $143,740 through its Spring Community Action Grants Program to organizations within the Foundation’s eleven-county service region of Wood, Wirt, Ritchie, Doddridge, Mason, Calhoun, Gilmer, Roane, Pleasants, and Jackson Counties in West Virginia, and Washington County, Ohio.
The Parkersburg Area Community Foundation (PACF) awarded grants totaling $142,740 to 36 different organizations, and its Ritchie County affiliate, Ritchie County Community Foundation affiliate (RCCF), awarded $1,000 in grant support. On Thursday, June 2, representatives of organizations receiving grants from the PACF and RCCF and other supporters of the Foundation attended a Spring Grant Award Program at the Foundation’s central office location in Parkersburg. Grant recipients had an opportunity to discuss their grant-funded projects with the attendees.
Grants awarded through the PACF’s Community Action Grants Program are made possible by generous individuals/businesses who have established a charitable fund with the PACF. The Program uses the resources available through the Foundation’s Unrestricted and Field of Interest Funds to meet the ever-changing needs of its service region. The Foundation works with volunteers region-wide to review the grant applications and select the recipients. Additionally, the Foundation consults with individuals who have established Donor Advised Funds through the PACF and works with these individuals to provide additional grant support for the projects proposed through the Community Action Grants Program. To learn more about the Program, individuals should call the Foundation at 304.428.4438 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Parkersburg Area Community Foundation Grants
Ritchie County Community Foundation Grants
The Little Kanawha Area Community Foundation (LKACF) recently awarded a $400 grant to Gilmer County Elementary School’s Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) to help purchase staff t-shirts that will help promote school unity and spirit. LKACF advisory board members Martha Haymaker and Bob Radabaugh attended the April 24 PTO meeting to present the grant.
The role of the Gilmer County Elementary School’s PTO is to build strong working relationships among parents, teachers and the school to maximize student’s experiences. Having recently opened its doors for the first time, the new school’s PTO recognizes that now is the time to unify and celebrate.
“The staff members really appreciate the unity the t-shirts have created,” said Shelly Mason, Assistant Principal and PTO member. “Staff wear the t-shirts on Fridays and the students’ haven taken note. Recently, a first grade student happily said, ‘All the teachers are dressed the same -- everyone is a twin!"
The Little Kanawha Area Community Foundation (LKACF) works with charitable individuals to make a positive and permanent commitment for the future of Wirt, Calhoun, and Gilmer counties in West Virginia. LKACF is an affiliate of the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation (PACF). PACF is a single 501(c)(3) public charity that manages a philanthropic endowment of more than 350 funds amounting to nearly $34 million in assets, each representing a unique giving partnership with an individual, a family, or a business, civic or non-profit organization. Since 2004, the Little Kanawha Area Community Foundation has helped local citizens support the causes that are most important to them and touch every aspect of life in our communities in a wide variety of significant and lasting ways. For more information about PACF and its affiliate, LKACF, or to learn more about creating your own charitable fund, visit www.pacfwv.com or call 304-428-4438.
Photo Caption: Pictured, from left to right, area Vickie Allman, Tanya Stewart, Bob Radabaugh, and Sharon Jones.
Born in 1886 in Doddridge County, Walter Blaine Swentzel was a teacher by profession, and after a long career in the classroom, retired as the last Doddridge County, West Virginia Superintendent of Schools to be elected by the voters of the county. Mr. Swentzel passed away in 1968 at the age of 81.
In 1983, two of Walter B. Swentzel’s children, June Swentzel Stout and Kipling Clark Swentzel, met with representatives of two banks, Cornerstone Bank (formerly First National Bank of West Union) and West Union Bank, and the administration of the Doddridge County High School with the goal of honoring their father’s memory by creating a scholarship in his name to support students excelling academically who wished to pursue post-secondary education. Their initial contributions to establish the scholarship were met with community support and the first Walter B. Swentzel Scholarship award was made in 1984.
A nonprofit organization, the Walter B. Swentzel Scholarship, Inc. was formed by and led by a group of local citizens. Between 1984 and 2018, the Swentzel Scholarship produced nearly $190,000 in awards. To ensure the perpetual existence of the scholarship and to provide support for its selection process, the Walter B. Swentzel Scholarship, Inc.’s Board of Directors recently partnered with the Doddridge County Community Foundation (DCCF), a regional affiliate of the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation (PACF).
“The Foundation has more than fifty-five years of history and a long-standing positive reputation of professionally managing charitable funds, including scholarships,” said Josh Weekley, Treasurer of Walter B. Swentzel Scholarship, Inc. “They already manage many scholarships for our local students -- including the Janice Michels Scholarship and the Cathy McClain Nursing Scholarship -- and they have the administrative and investment resources to ensure that the Walter B. Swentzel Scholarship will continue to provide meaningful, renewable scholarships for students graduating from Doddridge County High School forever.”
The Walter B. Swentzel Scholarship, now administered by the Doddridge County Community Foundation (DCCF), is currently open to applications. Graduating seniors from Doddridge County High School are encouraged to visit the Foundation’s website, www.pacfwv.com/scholarships, and complete the Consolidated Scholarship Application to apply to this fund and more than 160 other scholarship funds administered by the Foundation. The application deadline is March 1, 2019. An additional benefit of completing the Foundation’s Consolidated Scholarship Application is that students need only complete one form to be eligible for many different awards within the Foundation.
“We are very honored to manage this significant scholarship fund that has already made a meaningful impact for 167 Doddridge County High School students. We greatly appreciate the trust that the Swentzel Scholarship Board has shown in DCCF with its partnership,” said Julie Posey, DCCF’s Development and Communications Officer. “We look forward to continuing to engage with local citizens to annually award this scholarship and to share and highlight Mr. Swentzel’s legacy of commitment to education.”
Individuals who wish to make a tax-deductible donation to the Walter B. Swentzel Scholarship may send a check (made payable to “PACF” with the fund name in the memo line) to: PACF, PO Box 1762, Parkersburg, WV 26102. To learn more about the Walter B. Swentzel Scholarship or to make an online donation, please visit www.pacfwv.com/Swentzel.
Picture Caption: Walter Swentzel and his wife, Lovie, during their 50th wedding anniversary in 1959.
The Washington Bottom Community Building has a new floor and new lighting, thanks, in part, to a $4,500 PACF grant. The Community Building serves as a focal point for the area and is the meeting place for the local Lions Club.
"Thanks to generous support of the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation, the McDonough Foundation, and volunteer help, we were able to complete the originally proposed work - and more!" said Sam Tanner, with the Community Building.
A local Boy Scout took on the flooring project and painted the kitchen as an Eagle Scout project.
"Since an Eagle Scout project involves the whole troop, all of the Scouts learned that hard work pays off in the job well done," said Tanner.
With the help of a retired electrician and State Electric, the organization also was able to rewire all the lights in the front of the building and add new kitchen lighting. Rentals of the building have increased since the improvements have been made.
Ted McPherson, one of the charter members of the Lions Club, said, "the building looks the best it has in years."
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