Inaugural WV Spirit of Philanthropy grants announced; awards honor legacy of Susan Landis

Susan Landis served as executive director of the Beckley Area Foundation until her death last July.

The legacy of revered and impactful state leader Susan Stevenson Landis was recently honored by Philanthropy West Virginia with the inaugural Susan S. Landis — WV Spirit of Philanthropy grant awards.

These grant awards made possible through the Susan S. Landis — WV Spirit of Philanthropy Endowment were created in 2018 in memory of the late Daniels resident.

Landis was the former executive director of the Beckley Area Foundation. She was a decades-long advocate for West Virginia artisans, nonprofits, community foundations and communities.

“Susan’s generosity of spirit, knowledge, and all things West Virginia inspired anyone that knew her. Upon her passing her friends and colleagues across the philanthropy community and state donated to create a permanent memorial with this endowment in 2018,” shares Paul D. Daugherty, president and CEO of Philanthropy West Virginia.

He added, “The generosity of many of her friends and colleagues has resulted in the endowment being large enough to award the first class of mini-grants in her honor benefiting a variety of community causes. We are thankful for all of the donors.”

Landis served as executive director of the Beckley Area Foundation for over 20 years, a distinguished board member of major statewide and national arts and nonprofit organizations and a proud mother and grandmother.

The grant recipients are selected by the WV Spirit of Philanthropy honorees that were presented in November 2019 during Philanthropy WV’s annual conference. The WV Spirit of Philanthropy awards are the state’s highest honor in recognizing philanthropic impact and each award honoree selects a nonprofit to receive the mini-grant. The six inaugural grant recipients are:

l Your Community Foundation of North Central West Virginia for general community needs (Morgantown)

l Foundation for the Tri-State Community for community and revitalization programs (Huntington)

l Nicholas County Youth Soccer League (Summersville)

l Community Foundation for the Ohio Valley for community needs (Wheeling)

l Friends of Wetzel County (New Martinsville) for hunger programs and basic human needs

l WV Child Advocacy Network (Charleston) for helping children and families affected by abuse

“The Beckley Area Foundation is honored to carry on Susan’s legacy for generations to come by stewarding this endowment for Philanthropy WV. Those who cherished memories of Susan and her impact can still contribute to the endowment to further this important work,” shared Dena Cushman, executive director of the Beckley Area Foundation and Philanthropy WV board member.

Philanthropy WV will open nominations for the 14th annual WV Spirit of Philanthropy Awards program in April 2020 which honors individual citizens, foundations and corporations for philanthropic impact. 2020 is the 14th year for these premier awards. For more information about the endowment, contact the Beckley Area Foundation at www.bafwv.org or 304-253-3806. For more information about the awards program, contact Philanthropy WV at www.philanthropywv.org or 304-517-1450.

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