Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The Roanoke Women's Foundation Awards $302,000 in Grants to Local Nonprofits

Celebrating its tenth year, The Roanoke Women’s Foundation (RWF), a component fund of Foundation for Roanoke Valley,  has announced the recipients of its grant awards, the largest total given to date.

The latest grants, a total of $302,000 awarded at a luncheon held at The Shenandoah Club on November 17, 2014, brings to $2,096,000 the total in grants funded since the organization’s inception in 2004.

“There can be no doubt that the work of The Roanoke Women’s Foundation has had a notable impact in our community.  Celebrating ten years of grant making, with 151 members, The Roanoke Women’s Foundation has now contributed over $2 million in total giving to area organizations,” says Kandy Elliott, co-founder of the RWF.  Elliott and co-founder Ginny Jarrett established the RWF as a way for women in the Roanoke and surrounding communities to pool their philanthropic goals and resources in order to make significant gifts to the community.
 
“As one of the funds of Foundation for Roanoke Valley, we continue to be impressed with the work of The Roanoke Women’s Foundation and are excited this year’s recipients represent each of its areas of support: Arts and Culture, Health and Human Resources, Education and Environment.  These latest awards continue the tradition that RWF has built of making high-impact, transformative grants,” added Alan Ronk, executive director of Foundation for Roanoke Valley.

RWF has funded 41 organizations and programs since it began.  This year, 38 organizations applied for funding from the RWF.  Through a rigorous grant making process, that number was narrowed to a group that was presented to the membership for their vote.  Based on those results, the following grants were awarded in the 2014 grant cycle:

LEAP for Local Food - $100,000 to complete the LEAP Community Kitchen located at the new West End Village on Patterson Avenue.  The Kitchen, the first of its kind in Virginia, will be located within Freedom First’s West End branch, adjacent to the West End Farmer’s market and next door to the West End Center.  The Community Kitchen will be ideally situated for serving this needy neighborhood, considered a food desert and an area poised for neighborhood revival.  Once the facility is fully developed, it will include four parts: a hot kitchen, a cold food preparation area, cold storage and dry food storage areas.  As part of the grant, LEAP will also serve as a food distribution hub, as LEAP plans to use mobile market vehicles to distribute fresh healthy food to other food desert areas in Roanoke.  LEAP will use the Community Kitchen to extend their impact to benefit more children, more families, more local farmers and more neighborhoods in Roanoke.

New Horizons Healthcare - $72,000 to fund their new, state of the art dental clinic; specifically, a hygienist position who will provide comprehensive oral health care services to uninsured and underserved individuals, regardless of their ability to pay.  In 2012, the Roanoke Community Health Care Needs Assessment cited access to affordable dental care as one of the most acute community needs.  In addition to funding a hygienist position for one year, funds from the RWF will provide equipment for him/her and a mobile dental unit to bring prevention services to designated early learning centers in the area. 

Brain Injury Services of Southwest Virginia - $40,000 to fund research and provide operational support for two years that would allow the expansion of their internet based program called CLiC (“Community Living Connection”.)  Brain Injury Services provides case management for brain injured patients at their Roanoke office.  They offer counseling, life skills education, training, education and support groups for clients and their families.  Unfortunately, many of these patients live far from Roanoke and do not have necessary transportation to get to Roanoke.  Through CLiC, trained facilitators will be able to work with clients on problem solving, social skills, memory development and planning through activities.  CLiC Beyond pilot programs intend to test several versions of CLiC directly impacting hundreds of brain injury survivors over a two year period.

Healing Strides of Virginia - $30,000 to help fund its first covered roof to ensure an environment safe from outside stimuli for the young, medically fragile and elderly clients they serve.  Healing Strides serves children and adults with a variety of complex physical and cognitive disabilities, such as autism spectrum disorder, cerebral palsy, spina bifida and dementia.  Therapeutic riding lessons, offered by 10 accredited instructors and 23 therapy horses, integrate students who live with disabilities with able-body students, the horse providing an equal opportunity to participate in activities.  With this grant, Healing Strides will be able to increase summer and winter enrollment by 50%. 

Mill Mountain Theatre - $30,000 – to help fund up-to-date sound and lighting technology and replace equipment installed in 1983, some of which was “pre-owned” at the time.  Currently, they cobble together equipment they need.  While the actor or singer creates the dramatic center of a play or musical, the lighting and quality of acoustics support their presentation.  It is anticipated the theatre will be able to reduce electric costs as well once enhanced and updated equipment is in place.  The goal is to continue to draw even wider and more patrons to the renewed Mill Mountain Theatre.
 
The Music Lab at Jefferson Center - $30,000 to fund additional space and extra workstations at the Jefferson Center.  Due to the tremendous growth of the Music Lab and an increase in requests for services, funds will help cover construction costs for the expansion, technical upgrades, laptops and cameras, as well as additional equipment for expansion of the Mobile Music Lab and outreach services throughout the region.  The Music Lab is a Youth Enrichment and Arts Education Program that provides mentoring from award winning musicians who are invited to Roanoke to perform concerts on the Jefferson Center stages.  From these interactions, students learn music production, recording arts, sound engineering, video production, and performance skills, while composing original music, recording it on professional grade equipment, and mastering the disciplines of teamwork.

The Roanoke Women’s Foundation is open to any woman who makes the commitment to support the RWF for at least three years at a level of $2,100 per year.  Members have no other obligation than to fulfill the annual contribution and to participate in the voting process determining the recipients of the pooled fund grants.  For more information, visit www.roanokewomensfoundation.org or Foundation for Roanoke Valley’s website www.foundationforroanokevalley.org.   Foundation for Roanoke Valley, the region’s community foundation, currently administers 300 named endowment funds on behalf of the community.


Top Row: Dylan Locke and Cyrus Pace, Jefferson Center Foundation; Cynthia Lawrence and John Levin, Mill Mountain Theatre; Krystal Thompson and Fran Rooker, Brain Injury Services of Southwest Virginia; William Lee, New Horizons Healthcare; 
Bottom Row: Brent Cochran and Maureen Best, LEAP for Local Food; Dee’Anna Wright and Carol Young, Healing Strides of Virginia; Eileen Lepro, New Horizons Healthcare

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Foundation for Roanoke Valley Awards Grant to LEAP for Local Food

Foundation for Roanoke Valley announced today it has awarded $26,420 to LEAP for Local Food to support its community market in the West End Neighborhood.  This grant comes from the Foundation’s unrestricted Community Catalyst Funds and will be used to enclose the outdoor market so that vendors can sell their products year-round.

“Foundation for Roanoke Valley’s Community Catalyst Funds will allow the West End Community Market to be more permanently rooted in the community.  Enclosing the market pavilion has a tremendous impact on food producers, food consumers and the West End Community,” said Maureen Best, LEAP Executive Director. She added “A permanent year-round market space allows food producers to invest in their own businesses and extend their growing season.  The market provides consistent access to fresh produce for residents in the West End neighborhood and the community at large and strengthens LEAP’s SNAP double program to make local, healthy food more affordable.  The Foundation’s investment will nurture a stronger and healthier community in the West End!”

“One of the specific priority areas within our Basic Human Needs grants focus is promoting nutrition,” noted Alan Ronk, the Foundation’s Executive Director.  “This market will now be in a position to offer healthy, fresh food throughout the year, and we look forward to seeing the benefit it has on the community.”


Foundation for Roanoke Valley, the region’s community foundation, currently administers 300 named endowment funds on behalf of the community and works diligently to help local individuals and families establish permanent charitable legacies that will touch the community now and for generations to come.  For more information, visit Foundation for Roanoke Valley’s website at www.foundationforroanokevalley.org or call 540-985-0204. # # #

Pictured L to R: Dave Prosser, Freedom First Credit Union VP of Community Development and LEAP Board Member ; Tee Reynolds, Market Manager; Lucy Ellett, FRV Board Member; Michelle Eberly, FRV Program Officer; Susan Still, FRV Board Chair; Nancy Dye, FRV Board Member; Pat Young, LEAP Board Member, Brent Cochran, LEAP Board Chair; and Maureen Best, LEAP Executive Director

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Foundation for Roanoke Valley Announces Major Grant from its Arts and Culture Initiative

Foundation for Roanoke Valley announced today it has awarded a $40,000 grant to Mill Mountain Theatre under the Foundation’s three year, $300,000 Arts & Culture Initiative.  The grant will underwrite Mill Mountain’s Summer Theatre Program in Roanoke’s Market Square.

“Funding by Foundation for Roanoke Valley enables Mill Mountain Theatre to do two important things, said Ginger Poole, MMT’s Producing Artistic Director.  “It is critical to our ability to launch a whole new program of summer performances that animate Market Square and entertain Roanokers and tourists who are visiting our community.  It also is part of our core mission since 1983 when MMT was the anchor organization at the then-new Center in the Square.”

The Foundation's Arts & Culture Initiative, funded through its unrestricted Community Catalyst Funds, has two distinct focus areas.  "Arts at Work," through which this current grant is awarded, provides one major grant annually to a carefully selected Roanoke Valley arts and cultural project that has an important and identifiable economic development component, strongly contributes to the overall vibrancy of the community, and which otherwise might not be possible.  The production of public art work, the production of community-wide arts and cultural events and performances and bringing major arts and cultural exhibits to the Valley will be funded under this portion of its initiative.  "Educate. Inspire. Create." is designed to significantly enrich the arts and cultural experiences of preK-12 students of public and private schools within the cities of Roanoke and Salem and the counties of Botetourt, Craig, Franklin and Roanoke.

Foundation for Roanoke Valley, the region's community foundation, currently administers 300 named endowment funds on behalf of the community and works diligently to help local individuals and families establish permanent charitable legacies that will touch the community now and for generations to come.  Unrestricted endowments are particularly powerful as they provide the Foundation with the flexibility over time to seek out and fund highly effective programs across a wide range of community needs.  Individuals interested in establishing their own personal or family legacy through an unrestricted endowment or any of the many other types of endowment funds offered by the community foundation should visit www.foundationforroanokevalley.org or call (540) 985-0204.
  



 
Pictured L to R: Cynthia Lawrence, MMT Board Vice-President; Ginger Poole Avis, MMT Producing Artistic Director; Nancy Dye, FRV Board Member; Michelle Eberly, FRV Program Officer

Foundation for Roanoke Valley Awards Major Grant to New Horizons Healthcare

Foundation for Roanoke Valley announced today it has awarded $50,000 to New Horizons Healthcare to support its new Dental Clinic.  This grant comes from the Foundation’s unrestricted funds and The Hope Fund. The Clinic will provide affordable, accessible dental care to low-income uninsured and underinsured individuals and families of all ages.

“We are thrilled and grateful to receive this grant from Foundation for Roanoke Valley to help meet the community’s critical need for basic affordable dental care.  In particular, many adults without dental insurance and facing financial challenges have been waiting for months or years to find a ‘dental home.’  This funding will go a long way to enable low-income individuals and families to access dental care services that will relieve pain, improve overall health, and restore smiles!” said Eileen Lepro, Executive Director of New Horizons Healthcare.

“One of the specific priority areas within our Basic Human Needs grants focus is promoting quality oral health care for those in need.  We are in a position to provide this significant grant to New Horizons because of the concern and generosity of our endowment fund donors.  We look forward to seeing the positive impact that the grant will have on the community,” noted Alan Ronk, the Foundation’s Executive Director.



Foundation for Roanoke Valley, the region’s community foundation, currently administers 300 named endowment funds on behalf of the community and works diligently to help local individuals and families establish permanent charitable legacies that will touch the community now and for generations to come.  For more information, visit Foundation for Roanoke Valley’s website at www.foundationforroanokevalley.org or call 540-985-0204. # # #

Pictured L to R: Alan Ronk, FRV Executive Director; Kathleen Northern, New Horizons Dental Care Office Manager; Richard Newton, New Horizons Dental Care Dental Director;  Sherman Stovall, Vice Chair of New Horizons Board of Directors; Tim Steller, Chair of New Horizons Board of Directors; Linda Manns, New Horizons Healthcare Board Member; Eileen Lepro, CEO of New Horizons Healthcare; Lori Mullen, New Horizons Healthcare Finance Director; Damon Williams, FRV Board Member; and Michelle Eberly, FRV Program Officer


Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Local Students Make a Big Decision

Foundation for Roanoke Valley’s Youth Leadership Committee (YLC) announced today that it has awarded a $15,000 grant to Family Promise of Greater Roanoke located in Salem, VA. 

The overall goal and purpose of Family Promise is to provide children and their families with safety, shelter, food, basic needs and assistance as they seek permanent housing.  Family Promise of Greater Roanoke is unique in that it does not split up families during their crisis and is the only emergency shelter in the Valley that serves only families.  This grant will provide intensive case management and child care subsidies to enable the families in the program to move into permanent housing and obtain self-sufficiency.

Marie Muddiman, Executive Director added, “For the able-bodied parents in our program, obtaining employment and finding affordable housing is a full-time job. But those with young children simply cannot afford quality childcare while seeking employment. This grant will allow parents to pay for childcare so they can focus on learning job-seeking skills and actively pursue employment with the help of our Program Manager. The children will benefit from the consistency of a stable, enriching environment, helping them cope with the stress of homelessness and prepare them for success in school.” 

The YLC received 16 grant requests totaling $240,000 and were charged with the very tough task of gaining consensus among the group on a single project to fund.  “Part of Family Promise’s mission is to change people’s understanding about homelessness, so I think involving students in deciding a grant allocation is a great idea.   The Youth Leadership Committee asked thoughtful questions and showed true concern about the well-being of the children. I enjoyed seeing the dawning of their deeper understanding of the barriers faced by families living in poverty. These are students who may become our community leaders, and taking part in The Philanthropy Project is an important step not only in the development of their empathy and compassion but also their ability to effect practical and positive solutions.  It was rewarding to learn that the students said they were interested in giving a ‘hand up not a handout,’ and they felt that Family Promise does just that,” said Muddiman.

The Philanthropy Project was established in 2006 by Foundation for Roanoke Valley to introduce high school students to the world of philanthropy, both in terms of philanthropy’s role in being a productive citizen of the community and philanthropy as a possible career option.  The program also develops leadership and consensus-building skills.  This latest large-impact grant has now taken the YLC over the $125,000 level in cumulative grants.  For more information about the Youth Leadership Committee, please visit www.foundationforroanokevalley.org. 














Pictured L to R: Carly Oliver, FRV Associate Director; Marie Muddiman, Family Promise Executive Director; Aaron Dowdy, Family Promise Program Manager; Will Robinson, Family Promise Board Member

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Foundation for Roanoke Valley Announces Grant to Franklin County YMCA

Foundation for Roanoke Valley announced today it has awarded $17,720 to the Franklin County YMCA to support the organization’s Senior Advantage Program.  The grant comes from the Foundation’s Mary Louise Home Fund, which primarily supports and cares for elderly residents of the Roanoke Valley.  The grant funds will be used for a number of programs specifically available for older adults.

Jim Currie, YMCA CEO, noted, “Foundation for Roanoke Valley's award of this grant is the next step in the turnaround of the Franklin County YMCA.  The Foundation's trust and investment in our work is further confirmation that our programs are crucial in Franklin County and to the seniors we serve through our Senior Health Advantage Program.  Due to the tremendous growth in the population of seniors in our area, this grant from the Mary Louise Home Fund will help us meet the ever-increasing health needs of our community."

 “One of the Foundation’s primary interest areas within our Basic Human Needs focus is promoting healthy lifestyles, nutrition, and fitness.  We felt that the Mary Louise Home Fund was a perfect fit with helping the older adults of Franklin County stay healthy and active,” added Alan Ronk, Foundation Executive Director.

Foundation for Roanoke Valley is the community foundation serving this region.  The Foundation has worked for over 25 years to administer and make grants from hundreds of named endowment funds on behalf of the community.  For more information, visit Foundation for Roanoke Valley’s website at www.foundationforroanokevalley.org or call 985-0204.


Pictured L to R: Michelle Eberly, FRV Program Officer; Jim Currie, YMCA CEO; and Pam Turman, YMCA Director of Fitness

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Foundation for Roanoke Valley Awards Second Year Grants from Educate. Inspire. Create.

Foundation for Roanoke Valley announced today it has awarded $60,000 in grants as part of its three-year Arts & Culture Initiative.  This initiative, funded through the Foundation’s Community Catalyst Funds, provides grants to non-profit organizations or local school districts based on two objectives: 1) Educate. Inspire. Create. and 2) Arts at Work.  The following grants were awarded through objective Educate. Inspire. Create:

Jefferson Center Foundation was awarded $15,000 to support its interactive Song project.  This project will focus on expression, literacy, self-esteem, collaboration and cultural awareness.  Artists will lead students in the processing of songwriting, from brainstorming to writing lyrics, creating musical accompaniment, performing and recording.  Students will complete the project with performances and the production of a CD that can be sold to support the schools.

Roanoke Children’s Theatre (RCT) was awarded $5,000 to support RCT Kaleidoscope camp.  The camp will allow Roanoke Children's Theatre to partner with local school resource/special education teachers to conduct theatre arts educational programming with and for developmentally disabled K-12 students onsite at RCT.

Smith Mountain Lake Good Neighbors, Inc. was awarded $5,000 to support a free four-week summer day camp and after school programs at Burnt Chimney Elementary School and Sontag Elementary School in partnership with the Roanoke Children’s Theatre.  RCT will use theatre to enhance participant reading, writing and communication skills.

VH1 Save the Music Foundation was awarded $25,000 to restore an instrumental music education program in one Roanoke City Elementary School and assist with the purchase of new instruments.  The VH1 Save The Music Foundation is dedicated to creating systemic change in the American public school system by rebuilding instrumental music programs in public elementary and middle schools and by raising awareness about the importance of music education.

Boys and Girls Clubs of Southwest Virginia was awarded $10,000 to support its ImageMakers program.  ImageMakers encourages Club members to learn and practice black-and-white, color, digital and alternative process photography. The program exposes youth to cutting-edge technology curriculum and provides opportunities to showcase their artistic talents. It enables them to express and develop their creativity with still-images and videos and equips them with essential digital literacy skills.

“The SML Good Neighbors strategic plan calls for development of after-school programs for elementary school children from families with limited resources,” says Russ Baskett, at SML Good Neighbors, Inc. “The Educate. Inspire. Create. funding is allowing us to implement an out-of school theatre program in Franklin County—Student Enrichment in the Theatre Arts—in partnership with the Roanoke Children’s Theatre. We will have activities in our Summer Enrichment Day Camp program and after-school programs during the school year in two elementary schools. This program in the arts adds excitement, depth and texture to the programs for our Good Neighbors children.”  

"Our work in Roanoke City Public Schools is an inspiring story," adds Paul Cothran, Vice President & Executive Director of the VH1 Save The Music Foundation. “Through a successful partnership with the Roanoke City Public School District that began in 2009, we are one step closer to completing our major rebuild in all 17 elementary schools in the District, ensuring that all Roanoke students have access to the many benefits of comprehensive instrumental music education.  This is possible because of the generous support of donors like Foundation for Roanoke Valley; and we eagerly look forward to joining the District and community in celebrating the success of our efforts in the coming year.”

Applications for objective Arts at Work will be available online at www.foundationforroanokevalley.org beginning August 1st


Foundation for Roanoke Valley is the community foundation serving this region.  The Foundation has worked for more than 25 years to administer and make grants from hundreds of named endowment funds on behalf of the community.  For more information, visit Foundation for Roanoke Valley’s website at www.foundationforroanokevalley.org or call 985-0204.
Photo L to R: Laurie Gibbons, Chief Operating Officer at Boys and Girls Clubs of Southwest Virginia; Amanda Mansfield, Director of Development at Roanoke Children’s Theatre; Cari C. Gates, Supervisor of Fine and Performing Arts at Roanoke City Public Schools; Dylan Locke, Artist Director at Jefferson Center; Amy Milberger, Director of Development at Jefferson Center; and Russell Baskett, Executive Director at SML Good Neighbors, Inc.