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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.
West Union, WV - The Parkersburg Area Community Foundation and Regional Affiliates (PACF) has awarded a $4,000 grant to Doddridge County Community Educational Outreach Services (CEOS) for the development of a heritage art quilt trail in Doddridge County. The PACF’s Senior Program Officer, Marian Clowes, recently spoke to the CEOS about the grant and the philanthropic work that the community foundation undertakes in Doddridge County though the Doddridge County Community Foundation.
The grant will enable the CEOS to design and implement a quilt trail consisting of 10 hand-painted quilt blocks on 8’ by 8’ sign boards to be installed on or near historically significant buildings or sites in Doddridge County. The first block has been installed at the Doddridge County Park. The heritage art quilt trail will encourage tourism to the area and help preserve the county’s Appalachian heritage.
The West Virginia Community Educational Outreach Service (WVCEOS) has a strong tradition of education, service, and community development, dating back to 1914 when the first club was established. Doddridge County initiated their first club in 1925. The primary purpose of the CEOS is education. The vision of CEOS is to be leaders in strengthening individuals, families, and communities to become productive contributors to meet the needs of a changing and diverse society. Doddridge County has seven community clubs dispersed throughout the county, with an open membership of 138 individuals. Current programs include community service, family, health, leadership, personal development, heritage, environmental, and literacy programs.
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.
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