News & Event
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
The Ritchie County Community Foundation (RCCF), an affiliate of the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation (PACF), recently awarded two grants: $1,000 to the Harrisville Volunteer Fire Department to support public safety efforts and $700 to the Harrisville Women’s Club to assist with the holiday lighting project in Harrisville.
The grants were made possible through the Harrisville Civic Club Improvement Fund, created in 2011 by the former Harrisville Civic Club, to provide support for charitable programs or projects undertaken in Harrisville.
The Harrisville Civic Club was formed in 1950 for the purpose of constructing a facility to house the Myles Manufacturing Company, a garment manufacturing business. In 1966 the Harrisville Manufacturing Company purchased the building from the Civic Club after Melvin May had acquired the business. Proceeds from the Civic Club’s first business venture were utilized multiple times to attract and aid other businesses in the area which provided hundreds of jobs for area residents. The Civic Club also made a significant impact on the quality of life in the community by purchasing and donating the property for the Harrisville Town Park; providing donations to the area’s fire departments and emergency squads; and providing the funds for the town mural in downtown Harrisville. When the Civic Club disbanded, it used funds remaining in its treasury to make a lasting impact on the Harrisville community through the creation of the Harrisville Civic Club Improvement Fund.
“This fund continues the commitment of the Harrisville Civic Club to improve the lives of residents of Harrisville,” said RCCF advisory board chair Alan Haught. “The volunteer fire department works hard every day to help our residents, and the lighting project, which is made possible through the Women’s Club and many volunteers, beautifies our town for the holidays. The Ritchie County Community Foundation believes support for both organizations helps to carry on the mission of the Harrisville Civic Club.”
Photo Caption: Pictured, from left to right, are Noah Hinzman, RCCF advisory board member; Craig Mullen, Harrisville Volunteer Fire Department; Mayor Alan Haught, RCCF advisory board chairman; Mary McElroy, Harrisville Women’s Club; and Jean Freeland, RCCF advisory board member.
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.
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