The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

April 13, 2014

BAF approves community grants


— Beckley Area Foundation Board of Directors has approved $160,737 to fund forty-four projects throughout Raleigh County between April 2014 and March 2015.

The 2014 Distributions Committee was led by Chair Conrad Cooper and Vice-chair D. F. Mock III.   “Representing a diverse group with regard to age, occupations, concerns and residency within the county, these 30 committed volunteers review and discuss recommendations to cover the maximum number of appeals submitted.  The decisions are not quick or haphazard.”   stated Cooper.

Vice-chair Mock commented on the importance of volunteers to the Community Grant program, “It begins with donors recognizing the value and impact of making gifts to unrestricted endowments. It continues with those persons engaged and dedicated to preparing requests; followed by committee members donating time to evaluating proposals and recommending awards.  And, last but not least, a host of individuals that execute the projects. An increase at each of these junctures benefits the Foundation, our community and our citizens.”

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The 2014 grant awards, recommended by the committee and approved by the BAF Board of Directors follow:

Arts:  CODA Mountain Academy of Music, music camp support, $5,000; Raleigh County Board of Education in collaboration with WV Dance Co, dance residency for students, $5,500; School of Harmony, computer purchases, $3,160; West Virginia Dance Company, dance specific flooring, $3,850; West Virginia University Foundation, Inc., support for jazz and classical music seminar for Raleigh County students/teachers, $2,250.

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Health and Human Services: Beckley Dream Center, replace commercial dishwasher and stock pots, $6,000; Burlington United Methodist Family Services, Inc., road construction assistance, $4,700; Childhood Language Center, speech therapy assistance, $2,500; Coal City Volunteer Fire Department, Inc., purchase of gas meters and calibration unit, $4,092; Crime Stoppers, support for public awareness campaign about fighting crime, $1,700; Helping Hands Resource Center, program support for food pantry, $3,500;  HOPE Restored Community Enrichment, backpack program, $2,500; Hospice of Southern West Virginia, Inc., assistance with purchase of van, $7,000; Humane Society of Raleigh County, spay/neuter program for facility animals, $7,000; Just for Kids, supplement costs of seminar speakers, $3,500; Lillian James Learning Center, purchase of supplies for water distribution program, $2,314; Raleigh County Animal Rescue, spay/neuter program support, $7,000; Rhodell Volunteer Fire Department, smoke detectors for public safety program, $1,800; Southern Appalachian Labor School, underwrite cost of supplies for Raleigh Re-Build program, $3,500; Stormhaven, replace electrical wiring in shelter housing, $3,310 and WVU Eye Institute, assistance for low-vision program in Raleigh County, $2,500.

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Civic Beautification: Beckley Renaissance, replacement banners and event tables/chairs, $900; HOPE Restored Community Enrichment, mentoring garden and property reclamation, $2,000; Raleigh County Historical Society, protect and restore historic gravestones at Wildwood Cemetery, $4,238; Raleigh County Make It Shine, purchase of litter grabbers sticks, bags and stands, $4,238; Shady spring Library, book support for 2014 summer reading program, $3,000; and Shepherd’s Center, purchase of replacement computers for senior citizens’ Internet media course, $1,500;

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Education:  Business Resource & Information Center, Inc., support for “ABC’s of Starting a Business”, $3,500; College Summit, Inc. support student attendance and peer group training, $4,000; Health Sciences and Technology Academy, computers for low-income graduating seniors, $2,000; Liberty High School, purchase of equipment for digital media arts program, $2,314; Ohio-West Virginia Youth Leadership, support for entrepreneurship/leadership camps, $1,500; and Youth Museum of Southern West Virginia, planetarium software for preschoolers, $2,000.

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Public Recreation: Appalachian Bible College, soccer score board, $4,234; Beckley Babe Ruth League, Inc., field improvements, $1,466; Beckley Raleigh County Convention Center, popcorn machine, $5,260; Brian’s Safehouse, pave walking track, $4,700; Marsh Fork High School Alumni Association, Inc., support for Marsh Fork Park development, $5,000; Piney Creek Watershed Association, support for improving access to historic Beckley Mill, $7,000;  and United Methodist Temple, C4 equipment for community fitness program, $2,000.

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Special Projects:  VH1- Save the Music, $7,500; Labor Day Concert, $5,000; Raleigh County Teachers Recognition Program, $3,500; Students First Mini-Grant Program, $6,000; Raleigh County School Service Personnel Recognition Program, $260; New River Park Renovations, $15,000; TWV Act II, $1,000; BAF Special Project, $2,000.

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Field of Interest Endowments providing supplemental funding for the grants listed above include: Buckner Woodford Clay III Memorial Fund, $2,500; Flying Eagle Economic Development, $7,200; Ford Family Fund, $490; William Harris Memorial Fund, $2,200; Lewis McManus Fund, $2,900; New River Highlands Fund 1, $2,500 and New River Highlands Fund 2, $1,400; Nancy Rickards Crippled Children’s Fund, $3,000; Nancy Rickards Fund for Animals and Prevention of Animal Cruelty, $9,000; David Bleeds Tieche Fund, $200.

Anyone interested in growing the pool of discretionary funds used to respond to requests submitted in BAF’s Annual Community Grant Program may make donations in any amount to any of these funds; mail contributions to BAF, 129 Main St. Suite 203, Beckley, WV  25801.

If you are interested in starting a named unrestricted fund, call the foundation at 304-253-3806 or e-mail info@bafwv.org.