It is widely recognized that the Beckley Area Foundation’s service area has always extended beyond the city limits, including all of Raleigh County. However, many people do not realize that over the years BAF has extended its administrative capabilities to several surrounding counties.
The foundation currently manages permanent endowments benefiting Fayette, Webster, Wyoming and McDowell counties.
Donors may create new BAF funds for the charitable purpose of their choice in any of these counties. Anyone may make additional gifts in any amount to an existing fund.
Currently, BAF has the following funds that generate income supporting nonprofit charitable organizations and programs serving Fayette County:
1. Appalachian Bible College Endowment Fund. ABC established this endowment to provide ongoing income for its general operating expenses.
2. Clarence and Elea-nor Hepler Bishop Memorial Fund. This fund generates income for the Fayette County Library system.
3. Boy Scouts of America Fund. Supports the work of the Buckskin Council, BSA.
4. Bradley-Prosperity Volunteer Fire Department Improvement Fund. Distributions are used to make improvements in the equipment, water lines and support apparatus necessary to maintain the ISO rating and service delivery of this volunteer fire department.
5. The Eckley Fund for Dental Health. Supports dental health education and provides funds to improve oral hygiene of school-age children in several southern West Virginia counties including Fayette.
6. Fayette County Pet Assistance Fund. Generates income to assist with the cost of spaying and neutering pets available for adoption through the Fayette County Animal Shelter.
7. Girl Scouts of the Black Diamond Council Fund.
8. The Greater Mount Hope Community Fund has its own advisory organization that raises funds and recommends annual grants from its discretionary endowment at BAF.
9. John R. and Mary B. Lilly Hornbrook Memorial Fund. Supports the work of Hospice of Southern West Virginia.
10. Kennedy Family Fund. Provides income for the Women’s Resource Center, which includes Fayette County in its service area.
11. Kirkpatrick Family Fund. Addresses needs of battered spouses by generating income for the Women’s Resource Center.
12. Larrick Family Fund. Gene Larrick and his family have established this fund, which generates income for the Women’s Resource Center.
13. Max and Wanda Martin Memorial Fund. Half of the income distributions from this fund go to the Fayette County Public Library system.
14. Mountain Heart Fund. Income from this fund is used to send Fayette and Raleigh young people with heart defects to Camp Mountain Heart at Cedar Lakes Conference Center near Ripley.
15. New River Highland Development Funds. Income is used to aid economic development in a nine-county area of southern West Virginia, including Fayette County.
16. Abbey Myers Thornhill and Sarah Bishop Thornhill Fund. Generates income that benefits West Virginia Public Broadcasting.
17. Three Rivers Avian Fund. Supports this organization that serves southern West Virginia and accepts orphaned, injured, ill or displaced birds and strives to return them to the wild.
18. West Virginia Public Broadcasting Fund. Supports both West Virginia Public Radio and TV.
19. Women’s Resource Center Endowment Fund. Established by Elmo and Betty Hurst to provide income for WRC.
20. William and Virginia Yunker Endowment Fund. Half of the income generated goes to the Fayette County libraries and half to Raleigh County public libraries.
BAF Scholarship funds that benefit Fayette County students include the Appalachian Scholarship Fund, E.V. and Eleanor Bowman Memorial Scholarship Fund for UC-Beckley, E.V. Bowman Memorial Scholarship Fund for Virginia Tech School of Engineering, William M. Harnsbarger Scholarship Fund
Hindson Family Memorial Scholarship Fund (Mount Hope), Oak Hill High School Alumni Association General Fund, Oak Hill High School Alumni association Zella Bishop Fund, Oak Hill High School alumni Association Shelton & Rita Sanger Fund, Albert Pennington Memorial Scholarship Fund, Edna May Silvers Memorial Scholarship Fund;
Natalie Jo Smith Scholarship Fund, Margaret Janey Vargo Memorial Scholarship Fund, and the WV Chapter of the International Assoc. of Arson Investigators/ R.H. Foster Memorial Scholarship.
Details about the scholarships can be found at the foundation’s website and in the BAF annual report. There are additional scholarships available for students from multi-county areas. Scholarship applications are due in the spring of each year.
“We need to emphasize that ‘area’ is the most important part of the name of our community foundation,” noted BAF Executive Director Susan Landis.
“Beckley Area Foundation serves a large portion of southern West Virginia,” Landis added. “We offer econ-omies of size, scale, time and expense for in providing the back room administrative work necessary for people to establish permanently endowed funds for the benefit of their various communities.”
Anyone who wishes to add to an existing fund or to establish a new fund may send their donations to BAF, 129 Main St. Suite 203, Beckley, WV 25801. Memorial gifts are welcome.
Contact susan@bafwv. org or call 304-253-3806 for more information.