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Matching Funds Available for Donations to the Williamstown Fund for Excellence

Founded in 2015 as a Donor Advised Fund with the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation, the Williamstown Fund for Excellence has supported many projects in the Williamstown area.  The Fund seeks to stimulate projects and causes which help the people of the Williamstown area rise above the average and achieve excellence. 

The Williamstown Fund for Excellence is a permanent endowment in which the principal remains intact and invested, generating earnings to help support area needs.  Annually, an advisory committee of Williamstown residents recommends awards from a portion of the Fund’s earnings as grants to local organizations and causes working to strengthen the community.

The Williamstown Fund for Excellence has granted more than $95,000 to charitable endeavors in the geographic area served by the Williamstown Public School District since 2015.  Such grants include support to the Williamstown Community Pool Days during summer 2020; to the City of Williamstown to purchase a drug investigation vehicle and equipment; to Williamstown High School to begin its Robotics program; to Williamstown Elementary School playground; and to the Williamstown Community Association for the ball fields.

“Our goal is to grow the Fund to $500,000 so that we can make meaningful grant awards and can have resources available for future opportunities,” said Lynn Erb, a member of the Fund’s advisory committee.  “Gifts to support the Williamstown Fund for Excellence will make a lasting, meaningful impact for the Williamstown area now and forever.”

An anonymous donor wants to help the Williamstown Fund for Excellence grow and will match donations to the Fund.   The first $5,000 donated to the Williamstown Fund for Excellence by November 1, 2021 will be matched.  Individuals who would like to donate are to mail a check, made payable to the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation (PACF) with “Williamstown Fund” on the memo line, to PACF, PO Box 1762, Parkersburg, WV 26101 or make an online donation

To learn more about the Williamstown Fund for Excellence, its advisory committee, and its recent grants, visit:  www.pacfwv.com/wfe

“On behalf of the Williamstown Fund for Excellence, we thank this anonymous donor for their support,” said Erb.  “When we work together, we can truly create wonderful things for our community.”

Foundation’s 2021 Civic Leaders Fellowship Program Concludes

The Parkersburg Area Community Foundation (PACF) celebrated the successful completion of its tenth year of its Civic Leaders Fellowship Program.  A celebratory gathering was recently held at the Parkersburg City Park with members the PACF Board, Civic Leader hosts, initiative sponsors, and Civic Leaders in attendance. 

Eighteen students were placed with host employers throughout the PACF service region to gain work experience in their respective fields.  Students participated in leadership training on Mondays during the program.  More than 75 community members contributed their time to help the students learn about civic engagement, leadership, career options, and nonprofits organizations in our community. 

“I’ve learned so much during my program,” said Zoe Pingley, a first year Civic Leader.  “I’ve learned passion, leadership, art, love, hard work, dedication, and so much more.  The program was not just a ‘summer internship.’  It was an opportunity to see and love my community around me and allow me to place myself into some of the most important things it has to offer.  I learned so much about my field and future career, but also so much more about myself as a person.” 

During the seven-week Program, each Civic Leader spent their Mondays engaging with one another, learning about the community’s needs and issues, and exploring personal and professional development opportunities.  Second-year Civic Leaders spent their Mondays furthering their leadership studies, visiting area nonprofit organizations, assessing community needs, and learning about community grantmaking.  The second year Civic Leaders visited many different nonprofit organizations over the course of the summer evaluating where to award $5,000 in grant funds.  The following grants were awarded to area nonprofits

  • Old Man Rivers was awarded $2,500 to support its food pantry.
  • Wood County Society was awarded $2,500 to develop an Emergency Preparedness Plan to help individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities during a national and local emergency.

Students completed the summer inspired to contribute to their communities and more knowledgeable about their fields of interest.  To learn more about this year’s Civic Leaders and about the program, visit the Foundation’s website at www.pacfwv.com/CLFP.

Memorial Fund Created to Forever Honor Bernardine McCusker

Clare Bernardine McCuskerWhen 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.

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Office: 304-428-4438
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PO Box 1762
1620 Park Ave.
Parkersburg, WV 26102-1762
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