News & Event
The Parkersburg Area Community Foundation and Regional Affiliates (PACF) is once again making an investment in our region by providing $243,171 in grant support to area nonprofits. A reception was held at the Foundation’s office on Wednesday, May 15 to highlight the grant recipients and the good work they are doing in the community.
"We had a really strong, and also diverse, pool of grant applicants this cycle,” said Marian Clowes, PACF Associate Director for Community Leadership. “When I look at the grants we have awarded, the word that keeps coming to my mind is service. Our grantees are all deeply dedicated to serving our community and especially to serving those in need.”
Through the Foundation’s bi-annual Community Action Grants Program, area nonprofits seek grant assistance to address organizational needs and programs. To be considered for a Community Action Grant, an applicant must be a private, nonprofit organization, tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or a public institution. Either the applicant or program to be funded must be located in the Foundation’s eleven-county geographic service area (Calhoun, Doddridge, Gilmer, Jackson, Mason, Pleasants, Ritchie, Roane, Wirt, and Wood counties in West Virginia, and Washington County, Ohio). Submitted applications are considered for support from charitable funds managed by the Foundation that are designed to support a wide variety of projects and causes throughout the region.
The spring 2019 Parkersburg Area Community Foundation & Regional Affiliates grant recipients, including those organizations receiving support from the Ritchie County and Doddridge County Community Foundation affiliates, are:
The Parkersburg Area Community Foundation (PACF) is among ten nationwide winners of an award recognizing innovative partnerships between foundations and government that have been critical in transforming communities and improving the quality of life for low- and moderate-income residents across the country.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Council on Foundations announced the 2019 winners of the Secretary's Award for Public- Philanthropic Partnerships on Tuesday, April 30. Awards were given to place-based funders for initiatives executed in partnership with a local, regional, or federal government agency, according to the release.
"Congratulations to our award winners for their efforts to bridge the gap between government and philanthropy," HUD Secretary Ben Carson said in a prepared statement. "These awards celebrate what we can achieve together and the drive that unites us all to expand opportunity so more Americans can succeed and thrive."
HUD highlighted the PACF’s Civic Leaders Fellowship Program, which provides summer employment and civic leadership development for college students who reside in the PACF's service area. Founded in 2011, the PACF's Civic Leaders Fellowship Program builds area students’ personal skills and ability to find meaningful employment in our region upon college graduation. Area nonprofit organizations, government entities, and businesses are given the opportunity to meet hard-working students eager to stay in the Mid-Ohio Valley and are given the opportunity to work collectively to improve our region’s potential workforce for the future.
"This award places West Virginia on the national map, and the Mid-Ohio Valley region, in particular, as a place where many good people, working in partnership with the PACF, are creating a brighter future for our next generation,” said Judy Sjostedt, PACF’s Executive Director. “It's a true testimony to the efforts of our donors, employer partners, board leaders and others to their great work to ensure that our next generation of citizens has opportunities to thrive.”
The other award winners were: California Community Foundation, Citi Foundation, Community Foundation of Utah, Greater Minnesota Housing Fund, The Home Partnership Foundation, Medtronic Foundation, National Church Residences Foundation, Puerto Rico Community Foundation, and The Cleveland Foundation.
"This year's honorees embody the true spirit of philanthropy and the power of collaboration," Kathleen P. Enright, President and CEO of the Council on Foundations, said in a prepared statement. "With a common goal to serve the community, these award recipients are working to improve the lives of citizens around the country. Their accomplishments illustrate what can be achieved with dedication, strategic vision and innovative partnerships."
Photo: (left to right) Judy Sjostedt, Executive Director, PACF; Cynthia Campbell, Director for International & Philanthropic Affairs, HUD; David Byrd, Deputy Assistant Secretary, HUD; Megan Hardway, Civic Leaders Fellowship graduate; Kathleen Enright, President & CEO, Council on Foundations
Born in 1886 in Doddridge County, Walter Blaine Swentzel was a teacher by profession, and after a long career in the classroom, retired as the last Doddridge County, West Virginia Superintendent of Schools to be elected by the voters of the county. Mr. Swentzel passed away in 1968 at the age of 81.
In 1983, two of Walter B. Swentzel’s children, June Swentzel Stout and Kipling Clark Swentzel, met with representatives of two banks, Cornerstone Bank (formerly First National Bank of West Union) and West Union Bank, and the administration of the Doddridge County High School with the goal of honoring their father’s memory by creating a scholarship in his name to support students excelling academically who wished to pursue post-secondary education. Their initial contributions to establish the scholarship were met with community support and the first Walter B. Swentzel Scholarship award was made in 1984.
A nonprofit organization, the Walter B. Swentzel Scholarship, Inc. was formed by and led by a group of local citizens. Between 1984 and 2018, the Swentzel Scholarship produced nearly $190,000 in awards. To ensure the perpetual existence of the scholarship and to provide support for its selection process, the Walter B. Swentzel Scholarship, Inc.’s Board of Directors recently partnered with the Doddridge County Community Foundation (DCCF), a regional affiliate of the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation (PACF).
“The Foundation has more than fifty-five years of history and a long-standing positive reputation of professionally managing charitable funds, including scholarships,” said Josh Weekley, Treasurer of Walter B. Swentzel Scholarship, Inc. “They already manage many scholarships for our local students -- including the Janice Michels Scholarship and the Cathy McClain Nursing Scholarship -- and they have the administrative and investment resources to ensure that the Walter B. Swentzel Scholarship will continue to provide meaningful, renewable scholarships for students graduating from Doddridge County High School forever.”
The Walter B. Swentzel Scholarship, now administered by the Doddridge County Community Foundation (DCCF), is currently open to applications. Graduating seniors from Doddridge County High School are encouraged to visit the Foundation’s website, www.pacfwv.com/scholarships, and complete the Consolidated Scholarship Application to apply to this fund and more than 160 other scholarship funds administered by the Foundation. The application deadline is March 1, 2019. An additional benefit of completing the Foundation’s Consolidated Scholarship Application is that students need only complete one form to be eligible for many different awards within the Foundation.
“We are very honored to manage this significant scholarship fund that has already made a meaningful impact for 167 Doddridge County High School students. We greatly appreciate the trust that the Swentzel Scholarship Board has shown in DCCF with its partnership,” said Julie Posey, DCCF’s Development and Communications Officer. “We look forward to continuing to engage with local citizens to annually award this scholarship and to share and highlight Mr. Swentzel’s legacy of commitment to education.”
Individuals who wish to make a tax-deductible donation to the Walter B. Swentzel Scholarship may send a check (made payable to “PACF” with the fund name in the memo line) to: PACF, PO Box 1762, Parkersburg, WV 26102. To learn more about the Walter B. Swentzel Scholarship or to make an online donation, please visit www.pacfwv.com/Swentzel.
Picture Caption: Walter Swentzel and his wife, Lovie, during their 50th wedding anniversary in 1959.
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