News & Event
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact our community, the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation and Regional Affiliates (PACF) continues to respond. Thanks to the generous support of area residents, businesses, foundations, and organizations to its COVID-19 Relief efforts, the PACF has awarded another $38,250 in grants over the past two months, bringing total COVID-19 Relief grants to more than $390,000. This is the PACF’s seventh round of COVID-19 Relief grantmaking.
“Many families in our region still face food insecurity as a result of the pandemic, so several of our recent grants are helping organizations provide access to food to those in need,” said Marian Clowes, PACF Associate Director for Community Leadership. “We still have some limited COVID-19 Relief Funds available, particularly to address food access. Organizations impacted by COVID-19 are encouraged to reach out to us to discuss your needs.”
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 seventh round of grants include:
The PACF is committed to granting 100% of donations received for COVID-19 relief back into the region. Organizations that have needs related to COVID-19 impact can contact the Foundation at firstname.lastname@example.org or 304-428-4438 to inquire about support.
Donations to support the PACF’s Hunger Fund and Safety Net Fund are tax-deductible and greatly appreciated. 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.
When asked what was the most important gift that a person could receive, Clare Bernardine McCusker’s reply was “Education … definitely.” Bernardine was a dedicated homemaker, wife, mother of five, and grandmother to seven with a great love for crafts of all kinds. She was well-accomplished in ceramics but also enjoyed needlework, trunk restoration, community plays, and the symphony. She was a founding member of the St. Monica Parish in Lubeck, West Virginia, and was a member of St. Francis Xavier Parish in downtown Parkersburg. She was active in her church and her community, the Parent Teacher Association, and volunteered as a tutor for elementary age students.
When she passed away in July of 2020, her husband, children, and grandchildren, carefully considered how to best commemorate her lifelong devotion to caring for others and to art in our community. They decided to honor her by establishing the Clare Bernardine McCusker Memorial Fund with the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation. With this memorial fund, Bernardine’s caring legacy will continue forever as her passion for arts and crafts is carried on with support available to the community in her name.
This new charitable fund will forever provide annual support to organizations that pursue the development and education of music, arts, and crafts in the Foundation's service area, causes which were near and dear to Bernardine’s heart. Organizations may submit requests for funding from this new resource through the Foundation’s Community Action Grants process, which is currently open to applications until Feb. 15, 2021. It’s envisioned that projects involving ceramic work, needlework arts, etc., may receive funding through Bernardine’s memorial fund.
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 “Clare Bernardine McCusker Memorial” on the memo line to: PACF, PO Box 1762, Parkersburg, WV 26102. Donations may also be made online by visiting www.pacfwv.com/donate. Individuals wishing to learn more about this fund can call the Foundation at 304.428.4438.
In lieu of its traditional large-scale in-person Annual Meeting, the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation & Regional Affiliates recently held its Annual Meeting virtually on January 15, 2021 which featured a “State of the State” address from its Executive Director, Judy Sjostedt Ritchie.
Sjostedt Ritchie noted that 2021 marked the 22nd Annual Meeting that she has had the privilege of conducting. The PACF’s grantmaking capacity has grown significantly over its history. In 1964, one year after the PACF’s founding, the Foundation awarded $2,000 in community grants. By contrast, at the end of its 2020 fiscal year, the PACF awarded $2.9 million in grants and scholarships.
“As a public charity, anything and everything that the PACF can do is directly to the credit of the generous local citizens who support it,” said Sjostedt Ritchie. “Citizens working together founded this charitable foundation more than 50 years ago and it continues to be a wonderful work in progress. As each new generation builds on it, it becomes an even more impactful force for good in this community.”
Cynthia Brown, PACF Board Chairman 2019 and 2020, was honored for two years of leading the PACF’s Board of Directors through an era of great service and significant growth. A resolution commending her accomplishments and volunteer service was incorporated into the official meeting record.
New PACF Board Officers were announced as follows:
Three PACF Board members with a combined thirty years of service - Thomas Whaling, John Ralsten and Linda Gerrard - received commemorative resolutions upon “retiring” from PACF Board service after 10 years’ service each (the maximum two consecutive five-year terms).
Three new members have joined the PACF Board:
Fiscal Year 2020 Highlights included:
Sjostedt Ritchie noted that the PACF has several programs open to applications at this time. To learn more about its grants, scholarships, and other initiatives or to make online gifts, see www.pacfwv.com. The PACF serves eleven counties including Calhoun, Doddridge, Gilmer, Jackson, Mason, Pleasants, Ritchie, Roane, Wirt, and Wood counties in West Virginia and Washington County, Ohio.
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