News & Events

News & Event

Jackson County EMS Receives $1,300 Grant

The Dr. David Monroe Ritchie Memorial Fund of the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation and Regional Affiliates (PACF) recently awarded a $1,300 grant to Jackson County Emergency Medical Services (JCEMS) to assist in providing paramedic training for local citizens. This grant supports area residents pursuing paramedic training offered by Mountwest Community and Technical College, which combines classroom work with online instruction.  Last year, the Dr. David Monroe Ritchie Memorial Fund awarded a $6,000 grant that enabled six students to pursue training.  This year, one student is pursuing training, resulting in seven individuals trained over two years.

Mr. and Mrs. Ray Ritchie, parents of Dr. David M. Ritchie, presented the grant to Steve McClure, of the JCEMS, at the Jackson County Commission meeting on November 29.

“With the paramedic shortage that is spread across West Virginia, this grant money has allowed JCEMS to send more EMTs to Paramedic Training than what we could budget for,” said McClure.  “This, in turn, has assured JCEMS the ability to provide advanced life support on almost 100% of the calls we make. Hats off to the Ritchie family for providing this funding!”

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 grant to the JCEMS, 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, EMTI, or nursing degrees. Since the Fund’s inception, in addition to the grants to JCEMS this year and last, nine scholarships have been provided to train paramedics and nursing students.

The grant support to JCEMS 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 also 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.

Donations to support the important work of the Dr. David Monroe Ritchie Memorial 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  Please call 304.428.4438 for more information.

Permanent Scholarship Fund Established in Memory of Dennis M. O’Callaghan

Dennis O’Callaghan of Lowell, Ohio passed away August 2016 after a courageous battle with lung cancer.  Born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio, the son of immigrant parents, O’Callaghan had a very high regard for hard work and entrepreneurial efforts.  He was the progenitor of several business endeavors during his lifetime, beginning in his teens.  In 1991, he started Gaskets, Packings and Seals in Parkersburg with his business partner, Tom Houck, serving the needs of local chemical and power plants.  The business started as a very small company with only a few employees, but by the time of his death, Gaskets, Packings and Seals was a thriving enterprise with more than a dozen employees.  O’Callaghan believed in rewarding hard work and was dedicated to his team of employees.

“Dennis was also a wonderful husband, father, son, and brother,”  said his wife, Tammy O’Callaghan  “He had tough standards for those who worked for him and for those who lived with him, but his great love and loyalty to both made everyone want to live up to his high standards.”

To forever honor O’Callaghan’s entrepreneurial spirit and work ethic, his family established the Dennis M. O’Callaghan Memorial Scholarship with the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation (PACF).  This fund is designed to forever provide scholarship support to graduating senior students residing in Washington County, Ohio or Wood County, West Virginia.  Recipients of this scholarship shall be selected on the basis of character, academic performance, work ethic, and community involvement.  Preference shall be given to a qualified homeschool student.  If there is not a qualified homeschool student, then a graduating high school senior with a grade point average between 3.0-3.5 on a 4.0 scale shall be considered. 

The Dennis M. O’Callaghan Memorial Scholarship will help support the region’s youth forever and continue to honor an influential local entrepreneur.  Persons who wish to help honor Dennis O’Callaghan are encouraged to make a charitable gift to the Dennis M. O’Callaghan Memorial Scholarship by mailing a check (payable to the PACF with fund name on memo line) to PACF, PO Box 1762, Parkersburg, WV 26101-1762, or donate online here.  Other forms of donations may be made by calling the Foundation’s office at 304.428.4438.  

Nonprofit Leadership Workshop – November 15

It is more important than ever that nonprofit organizations are able to translate their worthy missions into lasting positive impacts for the people and communities they serve, and arguably it has never been more difficult to do so.  To help nonprofits address these challenges, the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation and Regional Affiliates (PACF) is bringing national consultant David Grant to the area to provide training for nonprofit staff and board members on Wednesday, November 15, from 9:00 a.m. – noon at the Parkersburg Country Club. The program is co-sponsored by the West Virginia Nonprofit Association (WVNPA) and Nonprofits Lead, a nonprofit capacity building program based at Marietta College.

This interactive workshop, Leadership for Nonprofit Success, will explore how effective nonprofit leaders think about organizational development; measuring success in areas that resist quantification; forming strategic partnerships, building effective boards; overcoming resistance to change; and creating cultures of reflection and learning.

“I heard David Grant speak at the West Virginia Nonprofit Association conference last year and, ever since then, I have been wanting to bring him here to share his expertise,” said Marian Clowes, PACF’s Senior Program Officer. “David’s perspective on the sector, which he re-frames as the “social profit sector,” and his methods for assessing success are impactful. I encourage nonprofit organizations from through the region to attend and to bring a team of staff and board members to get the most out of the workshop.”

David Grant served as President and CEO of the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation in Morristown, New Jersey from 1998 to 2010.  Now based in Vermont, he consults with people and organizations around the world that have a social or educational mission. He is a member of the Leap Ambassadors Community, a group of over 150 people nation-wide who support nonprofit leaders in creating high-performance organizations.  His book The Social Profit Handbook: The Essential Guide to Setting Goals, Assessing Outcomes, and Achieving Success for Mission-Driven Organizations was published in March 2015.

Cost to attend is $20 per person ($15 for WVNPA Members), or $50 for teams of three or more. To register, go to Online registrations must be made by credit card. For those unable to pay by credit card, contact Marian Clowes at the PACF to register, 304-428-4438 or The first fifty to register for the workshop will receive a free copy of The Social Profit Handbook.


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