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Scholarships Available for Area Students

 The Parkersburg Area Community Foundation & Regional Affiliates (PACF) is excited to launch its 2016 Scholarship Application!  The Foundation administers more than 175 scholarship funds for the benefit of students in its 11-county service area (Calhoun, Gilmer, Doddridge, Roane, Wirt, Wood, Ritchie, Jackson, Mason, and Pleasants Counties in West Virginia and Washington County, Ohio).

 Through the Foundation’s online scholarship application, students are given the opportunity to apply for multiple scholarships through one easy application.  To apply, students must visit www.pacfwv.com/scholarships to review the full list of available scholarships and their eligibility criteria.  Students must then proceed to the online application form available at www.pacfwv.com/applications-forms.  This application must be completed and submitted online by midnight on March 3, 2016.

 During the PACF’s 2015 scholarship application process, the Foundation awarded 308 scholarships totaling over $320,000 to our region’s students.  These awards were made possible by many generous donors who established scholarship funds with the Foundation to help our local students fulfill their educational goals.  Each year, more than 215 community volunteers residing throughout the PACF’s service area assist the Foundation in reviewing the submitted scholarship applications.

 “With hundreds of applications, we are very grateful for the volunteer support that we receive each scholarship season,” said PACF’s Regional Scholarship Coordinator, Rachel Brezler.  “It is awe-inspiring to work with donors who are passionate about our region's next generation and helping them achieve their post-secondary education goals.”

 To learn more about the 2016 scholarship application process, please contact the Foundation office by calling 304.428.4438 or by emailing info@pacfwv.com.

  • Investing in Our Next Generation

    The Parkersburg Area Community Foundation (PACF) celebrated the successful completion of its sixth year of its Civic Leaders Fellowship Program.  A celebratory gathering was held at the Foundation’s office – Vasan Center for Philanthropy – with members of the community, PACF Board of Directors, Civic Leader Hosts, Civic Leaders, and program funders in attendance.

    This summer, twenty-five students were placed with host employers throughout the PACF service region to gain meaningful work experience in their respective fields.  During the seven week Program, first-year Civic Leaders spent their Mondays engaging with one another, learning about the community’s needs and issues, and exploring personal and professional development opportunities.  Second-year Civic Leaders used their Mondays to further their leadership studies, visiting area nonprofit organizations and assessing community needs, and learning about community grantmaking.  Third year students participated in shadowing activities and developed networking skills in preparation for work following graduation.

    Katie Hoover, a recent West Liberty University graduate from Mineral Wells, received her bachelor's degree in human biology and plans to attend optometry school.

    “I participated in this Program to gain experience in my field of interest and to learn more about what my community has to offer,” said Hoover.  “This Program introduced me to the different opportunities this area can offer for a young person, the nonprofits that serve our community, and how civic engagement can lead to a better community.  I also learned more about the optometry field and how an optometry office operates with my placement at Vision Care Associates.” 

    During the reception, a few participants in the Program spoke regarding their experiences.  First-year Civic Leader, Emily Athey, shared about her experiences with Mountain River Physical Therapy.  Jacob Daley discussed his second year with Program and his placement with Wood County Schools.  Tiffany Harvey, who was placed with the Wood County Extension Office, spoke on behalf of the third year class. 

    The seven second year Civic Leaders visited many different area nonprofit organizations over the course of the summer evaluating where to award $5,000 in grant funds.  After much deliberation, the second year Civic Leaders announced that they are awarding a $5,000 grant to Calhoun County Family Resource Network to purchase outdoor playground equipment, picnic tables, toys, a greenhouse, and other supplies for their new Family Education Center.  The new center will offer child care for children ages 0-5, before and after school care, and family programming.

    “The Civic Leaders Fellowship Program is the Foundation’s deliberate effort to address our community’s out-migration of educated young people,” said Judy Sjostedt, the PACF’s Executive Director.  “This is a highly collaborative effort involving many different funders, private individuals, and business leaders who recognize the importance of investing in our region’s next generation.  We have had some great success stories from this Program over the past six years and I know this year’s graduates will go on to do great things in our area”.

    Students completed the summer inspired to contribute to their communities and more knowledgeable about their fields of interest.  Those wishing to learn more about this Program are to call the Foundation at 304.428.4438 or email info@pacfwv.com.


  • Jackson County EMS Receives $6,000 Grant

    The Dr. David Monroe Ritchie Memorial Fund of the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation and Regional Affiliates (PACF) recently awarded a $6,000 grant to Jackson County Emergency Medical Services (EMS) to assist them in providing paramedic training. This significant grant supports six area residents in pursuing paramedic training through a new program offered by Mountwest Community and Technical College, which combines classroom work with online instruction. The program enables students to complete the course in a shorter time-frame, and at a lesser cost, than traditional paramedic training. The training expands the number of qualified and trained emergency medical services personnel serving the region. Mr. and Mrs. Ray Ritchie, parents of Dr. David M. Ritchie, presented the grant to Steve McClure, of the Jackson County EMS, at the Jackson County Commission meeting on November 9.

     Established in 2001, the Dr. David Monroe Ritchie Memorial Fund honors Dr. Ritchie’s caring presence and commitment to the care of others, particularly in the area of emergency services. In addition to this specific major grant to the Jackson County EMS, the Dr. David Monroe Ritchie Memorial Fund has historically granted support to students from Jackson or Kanawha Counties who are pursuing certification in paramedic, EMT or EMTI or nursing degrees. Since the Fund’s inception, in addition to this grant, nine scholarships have been provided to train paramedics and nursing students.

    This is the largest grant that the Dr. David Monroe Ritchie Memorial Fund has made to date and reflects the importance of the Ritchie family’s commitment to honoring the legacy of Dr. David M. Ritchie in the field of emergency medicine and their concern for quality emergency medical care for their community.

    Growing up in Ravenswood, West Virginia, David Monroe Ritchie served his community in many different ways. In addition to his family practice, he maintained a strong interest in emergency medicine, working in the emergency rooms in Ripley, Charleston and Parkersburg.  Dr. Ritchie graduated from Ravenswood High School and received his undergraduate and medical degree from West Virginia University. He became an Emergency Medical Technician while he was still a student at WVU, and participated in ambulance runs and assisted the squads while attending classes. David has two younger siblings, S. Douglas Ritchie of Ravenswood and Shelley Ritchie of Chicago. He was married to Dr. Caroline Williams at the time of his passing; he and Caroline have four sons.

    Dr. Ritchie’s family recall his great love of his patients and note that he was sincerely interested in them as individuals. The Dr. David Monroe Ritchie Memorial Fund was created to commemorate his special interest in the field of emergency medicine and his compassionate care for others.

    "I'm extremely grateful to the Ritchie family for establishing this charitable fund,” said Steve McClure.  “As a personal friend of David, I know he would be proud that other people can have a means to assist in the provision of emergency care for the citizens of Jackson County."

    The Dr. David Monroe Ritchie Memorial Fund is a part of the Jackson County Funds of PACF, Inc.  Donations to support the important work of this Fund in the field of emergency medicine and nursing may be made by check in the Fund name to the PACF, PO Box 1762, Parkersburg, WV 26102-1762 or online at www.pacfwv.com/Donate-Now.  Please call 304.428.4438 for more information.



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