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Solvay, the Belgian chemicals company with a specialty polymers manufacturing plant employing 350 people locally, is known for its innovative solutions and emphasis on cultivating sustainability. Its local leaders recently offered to match gifts made by Solvay employees to support their area community foundations’ COVID-19 relief fundraising in the Mid-Ohio Valley.
Parkersburg Area Community Foundation (PACF) Executive Director, Judy Sjostedt Ritchie, said that community foundations have a history of working collaboratively to create innovative and sustainable solutions for some of the most pressing concerns in their communities. She said, “We welcome partnerships from civic-minded companies like Solvay Specialty Polymers. While their facilities are located across the river from Parkersburg, the company’s interests and those of its employees span both sides of the river. Thanks to the support of Solvay and Solvay employees, the PACF received an additional $7,050 for our ‘Hunger Fund.’ Since Solvay awarded its matching check to us on May 5th, the same day that we were also participating in Philanthropy West Virginia’s (PWV) “Take Five to Give Five” challenge, the Company’s gift also generates an additional $1,760 from PWV.”
Wally Kandel, Senior Vice-President and Marietta Site Manager for Solvay Specialty Polymers said, “We applaud our employees’ generosity in responding to the needs of their fellow citizens. We are proud to partner with our local community foundations in Marietta and Parkersburg to help to provide relief to our communities.”
Sjostedt Ritchie added that the gifts that PACF has received are being swiftly distributed from PACF’s Hunger Fund and Safety Net Funds, to help meet essential individual and community needs.
“We are very grateful to our area’s citizens. Because of their generous help, we’ve been able to grant more than $108,000 to date to address hunger relief and support emergency needs related to COVID-19,” Sjostedt Ritchie said.
To contribute to the PACF’s regional Hunger Fund, mail a check (payable to PACF, with “Hunger Fund,” on the memo line) to PACF, PO Box 1762, Parkersburg WV 26102 or make an online gift at www.pacfwv.com/HungerFund.
As needs of West Virginia citizens, nonprofits, and communities grow in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, West Virginia businesses and citizens are stepping up with bold acts of generosity to respond to these needs.
This week the EQT Foundation has announced COVID-19 response grants to support West Virginia citizens and nonprofits in the communities where the company is located. The EQT Foundation is donating $160,000 in total to West Virginia communities with grants to the Mountaineer Food Bank and relief funds at three West Virginia community foundations including the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation & Regional Affiliates.
On announcing the grants EQT Foundation President Ellen Rossi said, “The EQT Foundation is pleased to alleviate the burdens of this pandemic on West Virginia’s citizens and nonprofits. Our commitment is to support the food bank and relief funds serving the communities of the state that we are working in.” She added, “Our partnership with the community foundations and Mountaineer Food Bank helps us deploy rapid response funds to numerous organizations serving those in need within the communities we serve in West Virginia.”
100% of the EQT Foundation gift to the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation will be used to support nonprofits and citizens in need in the Foundation’s eleven county service area.
“EQT Foundation’s generosity and continued partnership with the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation will ensure that local needs that arise due to this COVID-19 pandemic are supported in a prompt and efficient way,” said Judy Sjostedt Ritchie, Executive Director of the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation. “This gift will support our Hunger Fund and Safety Net Fund which are designed to provide timely relief funding to respond to the growing needs across our service region.”
The PACF is awarding grants from its Hunger and Safety Net Funds to address food access and emergency needs of individuals and to provide operating support to nonprofit agencies delivering critical community services. The need to support area nonprofits has increased significantly, as the demand for their services has risen while many of their fundraisers and events have been postponed due to the pandemic.
“Support for the Foundation’s Hunger and Safety Net Fund is a direct investment in our community’s work right here in the Mid-Ohio Valley,” said Sjostedt Ritchie. “In times of crisis, the Foundation remains committed to connecting donors with community needs effectively and efficiently. Our community’s collective generosity is essential now more than ever.”
For more information about the EQT Foundation, visit: https://www.eqt.com/community/eqt-foundation/ . For more information about the Parkersburg Area Community, visit: www.pacfwv.com or call 304-428-4438.
Doddridge County, WV – EQT Corporation is providing support for charitable projects in Doddridge County through a contribution to the Doddridge County Community Foundation (DCCF), an affiliate of Parkersburg Area Community Foundation (PACF). Funds will be used to help build the Doddridge County Community Support Fund, providing an ongoing source of support for charitable needs in the county, and to make grants in fall 2016 in response to the current needs of Doddridge County and its residents.
“EQT plays an important role in developing the region’s abundant source of natural gas – and Doddridge County is an essential part of that,” said Linda Robertson, EQT Spokeswoman. “But for us, it’s not about ‘just doing business.’ Many of our employees live here or grew up here. And we all have great respect for our neighbors here. Supporting the Community Foundation is just one way we’re making a positive investment in the wellbeing of Doddridge County.”
“These funds will make a difference in Doddridge County both in the present, through grants made to support important projects that meet the immediate needs of residents, and in the future, by building a permanent fund that will perpetually support Doddridge County. We are grateful to EQT for this gift, which we know will make a difference here in our county,” said Tom Whaling, DCCF Advisory Board Chairman.
Organizations interested in applying for grant support through DCCF can complete the Foundation’s online Community Action Grants Program application, available beginning July 15 through PACF’s web site, www.pacfwv.com. The grant application deadline is September 15. For questions about grants, contact Marian Clowes at 304-428-4438 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo Caption: Ellen Rossi, with EQT, presents the EQT donation to DCCF Advisory Board members. Pictured, from left to right, Matt Alexander, Marian Clowes (PACF), Zona Huston, Ellen Rossi (EQT), Tom Whaling, Brad Wilt, and Rick Oyler.
About EQT Corporation: EQT Corporation is an integrated energy company with emphasis on Appalachian area natural gas production, gathering, and transmission. With more than 125 years of experience, EQT continues to be a leader in the use of advanced horizontal drilling technology – designed to minimize the potential impact of drilling-related activities and reduce the overall environmental footprint. Through safe and responsible operations, the Company is committed to meeting the country’s growing demand for clean-burning energy, while continuing to provide a rewarding workplace and enrich the communities where its employees live and work.
About Doddridge County Community Foundation: The Doddridge County Community Foundation (DCCF) works with individuals, families, businesses, and civic or non-profit organizations to make a positive and permanent commitment for the future of Doddridge County, West Virginia. DCCF is an affiliate of the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation (PACF), which is a single 501(c)(3) public charity. PACF works in partnership with its local affiliates to provide leadership and develop philanthropic resources to meet the needs of an 11-county service area. Since 1999, DCCF has helped local citizens support charitable needs and touch every aspect of life in the community in a variety of lasting ways. For more information about PACF and its affiliate, DCCF, visit www.pacfwv.com or call 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 email@example.com.
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.
As competition for funding increases, many nonprofit organizations face challenges with securing support for their ongoing programming. In addition, when organizations face a financial challenge, or are going through a growth period, general operating support can be of great assistance to ensure that resources are in place to maintain programs and services.
Recognizing this, the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation offers operating support grants to nonprofit organizations through its Community Action Grants Program, a bi-annual competitive grant application process. A number of local organizations have received operating support through this important program of the Foundation, but the need continues to grow.
A $15,000 operating support grant to the Boys and Girls Club of Parkersburg helped them to provide programs for 946 members in 2018. The Club's services are particularly critical on days of unexpected school closings, such as snow days.
"Thank goodness you're here today.," said one mother of a Club member at the recent closing of schools for the Day of Mourning in honor of President Bush. "I don't know what I would have done today if the Club wasn't open."
According to Ben Shuman, Executive Director, "Providing programs on the days schools are closed is unusual for a program like ours - more than half of Clubs across the country close their programs on those days." Operating support helps to ensure that the Boys and Girls Club of Parkersburg can remain open on those days, providing critical support to children and families.
To learn more about how you can partner with the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation to support your favorite area nonprofits with operating support needs, please call us at 304-428-4438.
A recent donation from Erie Insurance® to the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation (PACF) will help boost the region’s "Hunger Fund” that provides a permanent and dedicated source of monies from which grants can be made to support our communities’ backpack feeding programs, summer and after-school feeding programs, and other related needs for children, senior citizens, and other vulnerable populations.
“Food insecurity is a significant issue regionally; too many individuals and families experience hunger,” said Judy Sjostedt, the PACF’s Executive Director. “Our area's data shows a great need to improve the Foundation’s grant resources, so we can better meet essential human needs and improve family and economic stability to relieve conditions of poverty. Our broad service area's overall poverty rates exceed the West Virginia State average and are well beyond the national rate, but statistics for children under 18 are even more compelling. Looking at the seven counties for which the PACF is the only community foundation funder -- Calhoun, Doddridge, Gilmer, Ritchie, Roane, Wirt, and Wood – poverty rates in five far exceed the State's rate for young children.”
Created a year ago, The PACF’s Hunger Fund began with generous support from many donors in response to a challenge grant from the Ketelsen family. In addition to building this important charitable fund, the PACF has held partnership meetings since 2016 with the various area organizations working to address this need, to help identify gaps in service and new resources, and identify ways in which its leadership can be applied to address this critical community issue.
“This gift to the PACF is to build the Foundation’s permanent charitable fund specifically to help address hunger-related projects in our communities,” said Kam Lawson, Erie Insurance’s West Virginia Sr. Business Support Specialist. “We are honored to support the Foundation with this initiative and thankful to know that more individuals experiencing hunger can be helped through this Fund”
To support the PACF’s regional Hunger Fund, mail a check (made payable to PACF, with “Hunger Fund” on memo line) to the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation, PO Box 1762, Parkersburg, WV 26101. Or give online here.
Representatives from Erie Insurance present a check for $10,000 to the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation. Left to right, Ben Rucker, Dan Hurley, Jay Simon, Greg Hoffman, Julie Posey - PACF, Kam Lawson, and Carolyn Reger
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.
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