News & Event
At the Foundation's 2019 annual meeting, Huntington Fire Chief Jan Rader spoke about the complexity of the substance use disorder (SUD) crisis facing West Virginia; Rader emphasized that SUD impacts not just individuals, but families and communities, employees and employers, first responders and health care providers. At the 2020 annual meeting, the Foundation further explored the impact of this issue on our community, as keynote speaker Kathy Szafran, President and CEO of Crittenton Services, spoke about the collateral damage that the SUD crisis is having on West Virginia's children.
Szafran shared research about the long-term negative impact on health and well being for individuals who have faced adverse childhood experiences, or ACES. ACES are traumatic experiences that an individual has experienced before adulthood, including experiencing violence, abuse, or neglect or growing up in a home where families members have substance use disorders or mental health concerns or who are in jail or prison. ACES are linked to chronic physical and mental health problems and substance use disorders in adulthood.
Szafran explained how children with adverse experiences react in what she referred to as "survival mode" when making decisions - they go straight to "fight, flight, or freeze." Understanding why children might react in this way is a first step in providing support; implementing trauma-informed care practices in our schools, healthcare facilities, and social service organizations is a key to promoting a culture of safety, empowerment, and healing for children who have experienced ACES.
Local organizations also spoke at the meeting about the ways in which ACES are affecting the children that they serve. Cathy Grewe with Wood County Schools shared how teachers have been trained in trauma informed care and how schools are implementing programs including counseling, yoga, and calming rooms to help children learn to self- regulate.
Foundation Executive Director Judy Sjostedt encouraged attendees to consider ways in which they can positively impact the lives of children in our region, through engaging with schools, nonprofit organizations, and faith-based institutions in programs that support the needs of children. In addition, the Foundation is building a "Fund for Recovery" to support initiatives related to substance use disorder, including ACES. Contributions to the Fund for Recovery can be sent to PACF, P.O. Box 1762, Parkersburg, WV, 26102 or made online here.
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.
“By working together, we can do so much more good for our region,” said Marian Clowes, the Senior Program Officer for the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation & Regional Affiliates.
The Foundation is once again making an investment in our region by providing over $220,000 in grant support to area nonprofits! A reception was held at the Foundation’s office on Wednesday, December 6 to highlight the grant recipients and the good work they are doing in the community.
Through the Foundation’s bi-annual Community Action Grants Program, area nonprofits seek grant assistance to address organizational needs and programs. To be considered for a Community Action Grant, an applicant must be a private, nonprofit organization, tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or a public institution. Either the applicant or program to be funded must be located in the Foundation’s eleven-county geographic service area (Calhoun, Doddridge, Gilmer, Jackson, Mason, Pleasants, Ritchie, Roane, Wirt, and Wood counties in West Virginia, and Washington County, Ohio). Submitted applications are considered for support from charitable funds managed by the Foundation that are designed to support a wide variety of projects and causes throughout the region.
The fall 2017 Parkersburg Area Community Foundation & Regional Affiliates grant recipients are:
· Auburn Community Association - $1,280 to repair the roof on the Auburn community building;
· Actors Guild of Parkersburg - $20,000 for the installation of a sprinkler system as part of a multi-year capital renovation project for the theatre.
· Arnoldsburg Elementary School - $6,500 to support the development of a community garden to serve Calhoun County schools and residents.
· Arnoldsburg Volunteer Fire Department - $9,000 toward the purchase of breathing apparatus;
· Belpre Area Multi-Use Trail Committee - $1,200 to provide matching funds for an Ohio Department of Highways Transportation Alternatives Program grant to purchase abandoned CSX railways to expand area trails.
· Boys and Girls Club of Parkersburg - $15,000 to provide operating support for educational and recreational programs and services to benefit area youth.
· Building Bridges to Careers - $1,000 to support marketing efforts related to the organization’s move to a larger facility in order to reach new audiences for youth and entrepreneurial programs.
· Circles Campaign of the Mid-Ohio Valley - $1,300 for staff training through attendance at the Circles Annual Conference.
· Doddridge County 4-H Teen Leaders - $7,824 to purchase new bedframes for the County Park, the site for community residential camps including 4-H camp;
· Doddridge Board of Education - $4,300 to support the backpack feeding program, which provides food on weekends and holidays to Doddridge County students in need.
· Friends of the Gilmer County Public Library - $2,000 to purchase equipment and materials for a new maker space at the library.
· Hope, Inc. - $5,000 for renovations to the shelter’s children’s activity room.
· Jackson County Commission - $2,500 to support the purchase and storage of a mobile cattle unit to be used regionally for 4H and agricultural programming.
· Jefferson Elementary Center - $11,000 for new playground equipment to provide students with a safe place for recreation and physical activity.
· Marietta Community Foundation - $2,500 to support publications and publicity efforts to market the Mid-Ohio Valley’s assets to attract new businesses and jobs to the area through the Shale Crescent initiative.
· Normantown Historical Community Center - $8,000 to help with facility renovations, including a stair-lift and restroom renovations.
· Parkersburg Area Coalition for the Homeless – House to Home - $1,200 to purchase laptop computers to assist the homeless with job and housing searches.
· Parkersburg and Wood County Public Library - $10,240 to construct computer stations as part of the library’s capital renovation project.
· Parkersburg Art Center - $8,020 to provide matching funds to replaces fire-suppression sprinkler heads and the HVAC unit that serve the third floor of the center.
· Regeneration - $3,780 to support the Packs of Plenty backpack feeding program, which provides food on weekends and school holidays to Ritchie County students in need;
· Ritchie County Integrated Family Services - $1.095 to support the purchase of a security system;
· Ronald McDonald House Charities of Morgantown, Inc. - $4,000 to support the Hoss Lodging Fund, to defray the costs of stays for families from the Foundation service area whose children are receiving medical care in the Morgantown area.
· Smithville Community Resale Shop - $1,800 to replace the roof on the thrift shop building.
· SW Resources - $20,000 to expand their facility to provide additional employment opportunities for individuals with significant disabilities.
· The Arc of the Mid-Ohio Valley - $5,012 to purchase audio and video equipment, related technology applications, and telecommunications devices to strengthen and extend opportunities for training on issues that impact children and adults with disabilities.
· The Salvation Army - $15,000 to purchase new bed frames for the emergency shelter, which houses families and individuals who are homeless.
· Washington County Career Center - $5,000 to complete the construction of Phase 1 of an outdoor industrial training facility.
· Waverly Elementary School - $1,900 to purchase slides for the school playground.
· Wesley United Methodist Church - $1,550 to support the Snack Pack Ministry, which provides food for weekends for students in-need at Neale Elementary School in Vienna.
· West Central Beekeepers - $3,000 for purchase of bees and treatments to expand the bee population.
· West Virginia University at Parkersburg Foundation - $9,875 to upgrade the sound system serving the multi-purpose room on campus.
· West Virginia University Foundation - $5,000 to support the Children’s Vision Rehabilitation Program, which provides support and mentoring to students with visual impairments in the Foundation’s service area.
· Wirt County Solid Waste Authority - $2,600 to rebuild a loading dock, which is the link between processing recyclables and loading them for transportation to processing stations.
· Wood County Historical and Preservation Society - $4,000 to stabilize the stucco surface on the historic Phelps-Tavenner House.
Since 1963, the Foundation has served as a model of grantmaking and philanthropic giving in our region. To ensure that the Foundation is best meeting the needs of its eleven-county service area, it has three affiliates that focus their efforts on local fund development and grant making to strengthen their defined communities.
The Foundation’s Doddridge County affiliate, the Doddridge County Community Foundation, awarded $12,000 in grants to the following organizations:
· Doddridge County 4-H Teen Leaders - $1,500 to purchase new bedframes for the County Park, the site for community residential camps including 4-H camp;
· Doddridge Board of Education - $9,500 to support the backpack feeding program, which provides food on weekends and holidays to Doddridge County students in need.
· Hope, Inc. - $1,000 for renovations to the shelter’s children’s activity room.
The Foundation’s Ritchie County affiliate, the Ritchie County Community Foundation, awarded $4,260 in grants to the following organizations:
· Auburn Community Association - $1,220 to repair the roof on the Auburn community building;
· Regeneration - $1,520 for the Packs of Plenty backpack feeding program, which provides food on weekends and school holidays to Ritchie County students in need;
· Ritchie County Integrated Family Services - $300 to support the purchase of a security system;
· Smithville Community Resale Shop - $1,220 to replace the roof on the thrift shop building.
The Foundation’s Little Kanawha Area Community Foundation affiliate, serving Calhoun, Gilmer and Wirt counties, awarded $2,950 in grants to the following organizations:
· Arnoldsburg Volunteer Fire Department - $1,000 toward the purchase of breathing apparatus;
· Normantown Historical Community Center - $400 to help with facility renovations, including a stair-lift and restroom renovations.
· Pleasant Hill Elementary School - $550 for playground improvements;
· West Central Beekeepers - $1,000 for purchase of bees and treatments to expand the bee population.
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.
Maybe you’ve never thought of our region’s nonprofits as our “hometown team?” Nearly 1,300 people stepped up for the team recently with their gifts to 43 different causes through the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation (PACF)’s Give Local MOV 2017 online fundraiser.
Many of us regularly support our State’s colleges and universities, having attended them for a relatively brief time. What keeps us linked long past graduation is often our ongoing allegiance to their teams. As we cheer the team on, we reinforce that connection. Our communities could be incredibly strengthened if we adopted the same connective mindset toward our own hometowns—if we thought of these places where we’ve lived for twenty or thirty or more years, as being similarly worthy of cheering on with our support.
Consider our local nonprofits as making up our “team.” They’re the groups that connect with people to give hope, food or shelter to folks in need; create safe and caring places for children; build homes for families and improve lives for vulnerable individuals; ensure stray animals receive humane care; provide great community facilities; and bring arts, culture and meaning into our lives. Their team uniform is service to others. Our communities are better—more economically, culturally and socially vibrant places—because they exist.
And, as we build our hometown team, let’s remember to add our local businesses, many which are already cutting their margins pretty tightly to stay in business in our small communities that don't offer the sales volume or capacity of big cities on which to base prices. When we buy outside of our area and drop these vendors from our team, we undercut the local market, making it even more difficult to remain in business here. Does anyone really think Amazon’s going to step in to replace local businesses in supporting our youth recreation and school teams, local food pantries, or arts groups and other good things that make this a great region in which to live and raise families? Or that some Columbus dealer will sponsor our local fundraisers? It’s not likely.
When we remove our sales dollars from local merchants whether buying online or out of area, we are also sending the profits elsewhere. While we may save something, we short-change our own community in the long run. Any extra amount we may pay should be considered a small price to help our hometown team. When we buy local, businesses can give local—it’s that simple.
Give Local MOV 2017 gave us a great start to building an even stronger hometown team. Going forward, let’s each buy a season ticket and cheer the team on. We’re going to spend a lifetime here so it’s time to join and support the team that’s working to make our region a place where our citizens will have greater opportunities to thrive.
Parkersburg Area Community Foundation & Regional Affiliates
With over 250+ acres of land and many amenities including a recreation complex with a swimming pool, a tennis court, basketball courts, a volleyball court, baseball fields, playground structures, picnic shelters, hiking trails and numerous camping areas, the Doddridge County Park has something for everyone! With all of these features and with multiple acres to maintain, the Doddridge County Parks & Recreation Commission has taken a proactive step for their financial future by establishing a permanent charitable fund with the Doddridge County Community Foundation affiliate of the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation
The new Friends of Doddridge County Parks & Recreation Commission Endowment Fund is a long-term permanent source of funding for the park. This fund will make an annual distribution to the Doddridge County Parks & Recreation Commission for the preservation and maintenance of 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 & Recreation Commission. “We have been very fortunate to receive grant support from the Foundation. Recently, we received a $5,000 grant to build the park’s first-ever Yurt. 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 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, meaning the fund will forever invest and issue a distribution to the park. Over a few years, our initial investment will be paid-back and some”.
Persons who wish to support the future of the park are encouraged to make a charitable donation to the fund and can mail a check (payable to the Friends of Doddridge County Park Fund) to: PACF, PO Box 1762, Parkersburg, WV 26102-1762. Other forms of donation may be made by calling the Foundation’s office at 304-428-4438.
The Parkersburg Area Community Foundation & Regional Affiliates (PACF) announced its grant awards for spring 2018. The Foundation awarded a total of $209,056 region-wide through its 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. Of this total, the Foundation’s Ritchie County Community Foundation affiliate awarded $2,890; the remainder of grants came from PACF funds.
Grant recipients gathered at the Foundation’s office on Monday, May 21, to celebrate their grant awards. Among the grants awarded in this cycle, several support programs designed to address food insecurity and to provide healthy food choices for area residents. The West Virginia University Extension Service - Family Nutrition Program, will use a $10,000 grant to provide “pop-up” farmers markets for school children in Wood County in an effort to increase consumption of fruits and vegetables by children and families with limited income. A $5,000 grant will enable the Doddridge County Farmers Market to offer the “Double Up Bucks” program to SNAP beneficiaries, enabling individuals who benefit from SNAP to double the amount of produce that they can purchase at the market. In Calhoun County, the new “Nourishing Networks” coalition, led by the Calhoun County Family Resource Network, will improve access to healthy, whole foods for youth, resource-limited families, and seniors. Lubeck United Methodist Church is receiving a $6,650 grant to expand its Lunch SAK program, which provides food to children in need for weekends, school holidays, and in the summer, to students at Blennerhassett Elementary School and Lubeck Elementary School.
“At our annual meeting this past January, several speakers highlighted the problem of food insecurity in our state,” said Senior Program Officer Marian Clowes. “Hunger is a real issue, as is access to healthy foods. We are excited that these grant-funded programs will help bring healthy food to children, families, and seniors on our region.”
Other grants in this cycle supported area parks and recreational facilities, programs addressing substance abuse and access to oral health care, equipment needs of volunteer fire departments, and a variety of projects in education, arts, and human and youth services.
Grants awarded through the PACF’s Community Action Grants Program are made possible by generous individuals and businesses who have established a charitable fund with the PACF. The Program uses the resources available through the Foundation’s general grantmaking 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
· Adolescent Health Initiative, Region 5 - $7,000 to support the “Developing Star Leaders” program, which engages students from the Mid-Ohio Valley in developing individual and team leadership skills.
· Calhoun County Family Resource Network - $7,120 to support the Calhoun County Nourishing Network’s efforts to improve access to healthy, whole foods for youth, resource-limited families, and seniors.
· City of Parkersburg - $10,000 to purchase and install an aquaflex surface for the new splash park at the City Park pool.
· Consumer Credit Counseling Service of the Mid-Ohio Valley - $5,000 to support a series of financial education programs across the Mid-Ohio Valley.
· Doddridge County Elementary School - $600 to plant trees and to teach students about the life cycles of plants.
· Doddridge County Farmers Market - $5,000 to enable the market to participate in the SNAP “Double Up Bucks” program and to promote the market to the public.
· Elizabeth Volunteer Fire Department - $7,250 to purchase new turnout gear for firefighters.
· Ely Chapman Education Foundation - $5,183 to repair and replace downspout at the facility.
· Faithlink/Community Resources - $2,150 to support the purchase of a vehicle for the new Senior Ride Link program.
· Family Crisis Intervention Center - $10,000 to support operating expenses for the Kids First Program.
· Fourth Circuit Public Defender Corporation - $4,000 to support the cost of transportation for clients admitted to substance abuse treatment facilities.
· Harrisville Volunteer Fire Department - $1,210 to purchase new firefighting nozzles and a fire hose.
· Horizons Center for Independent Living - $5,000 to build an ADA compliant ramp to the facility.
· Little Hocking Fire and Rescue, Inc. - $6,396 to purchase scuba diving masks for the rescue diving team.
· Little Kanawha Area Development Corporation - $2,000 to purchase security cameras to be placed in Wirt County to combat an increase in crime.
· Lubeck Elementary School - $4,845 to purchase playground equipment for Pre-K students.
· Lubeck United Methodist Church Lunch SAK Program - $6,650 to help supply, on weekends, school holidays, and summer break, food for children from Lubeck Elementary School, to expand service to Blennerhassett Elementary School, and to assist Blennerhassett Middle School with their food and hygiene pantry.
· Mid-Ohio Valley Regional Council - $2,300 to repair and/or replace sewing machines used by the Retired Senior Volunteer Program to sew items that they donate to agencies throughout their communities.
· Minnie Hamilton Health System - $11,600 to assist with the purchase of medication carts.
· NFS Ministries – Latrobe Street Mission - $7,500 to purchase new bed frames and mattresses for the women’s dorm.
· Pennsboro Volunteer Fire Department - $7,000 to assist with the replacement of rescue tools.
· Ritchie County Family Resource Network - $1,000 to create a Necessity Closet, to provide hygiene items for those in need.
· Roane County Commission - $7,200 to purchase bunk beds with safety railings for the Roane County 4-H Camp.
· Rotary Club of Parkersburg - $1,500 to support the Drug Free Clubs of America program at Parkersburg High School and Parkersburg South High School.
· Schrader Youth Ballet - $4,000 to purchase a vinyl marley floor to be used at performances.
· Smithville Elementary School - $610 to create hands-on science experiments for the Pre-K through 5th grade classes.
· Town of Reedy - $7,500 to purchase and install a coin-operated bulk water machine to serve citizens who must haul water for use in their homes in Roane, Wirt, and Jackson counties.
· United Way Alliance of the Mid-Ohio Valley - $2,500 to install a security system.
· Voices for Children – CASA Program - $9,000 to provide operating support.
· Voices of the Street/Essentially Yours - $1,000 to provide operating support.
· Washington Bottom Community Building Association - $4,500 to provide new flooring and upgraded lighting in the community building.
· West Virginia Health Right - $2,500 to purchase dental supplies for the mobile dental clinic serving Roane County.
· West Virginia University Extension Service – Family Nutrition Program - $10,000 to provide pop-up farmers markets at schools in Wood County to increase consumption of fruits and vegetables by children from families with limited income.
· West Virginia University School of Public Health - $1,500 to provide students with practical learning experiences by undertaking community health projects in the Mid-Ohio Valley.
· West Virginia University Foundation/Energy Express - $3,552 to provide take home books to children enrolled in Energy Express in Calhoun, Gilmer, Roane, and Wirt counties.
· West Virginia Symphony Orchestra – Parkersburg - $5,000 to support operations and programming.
· Wood County 4-H Leaders Association - $12,000 to purchase a new stove and kitchen equipment for the Wood County 4-H Camp.
· Wood County Parks and Recreation Commission/Mountwood Park - $15,000 to replace the roofs on cabins at the park.
Ritchie County Community Foundation Grants
· Harrisville Volunteer Fire Department - $1,650 to purchase new firefighting nozzles and a fire hose.
· Smithville Elementary School - $1,240 to create hands-on science experiments for the Pre-K through 5th grade classes.
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