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 

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 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 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 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.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Foundation for Roanoke Valley Awards Grant for Meals on Wheels Program

Foundation for Roanoke Valley announced today it has granted $23,724 to the Local Office on Aging (LOA) to support the organization’s Meals on Wheels program.  The grant comes from the Foundation’s Marion S. and Willie Z. Camp Fund for Eldercare, which addresses the needs of the elderly in the Roanoke Valley. 

The Meals on Wheels program enables seniors to stay in their home by providing a daily meal during the weekdays, and it also serves as a safety check provided by the volunteers.  One of the primary goals of this program is to increase the nutritional intake of each recipient by providing a healthy meal.  However, budgets cuts through federal sequestration forced LOA to decrease the number of clients it could serve and to eliminate its emergency meal bag program for snow days and other closings.     

“Thanks to this generous grant from the Foundation of Roanoke Valley, we are able to alleviate our waiting list so we no longer have anyone waiting to receive a meal.   This is the first time in a year that we can say that we do not have any clients on a waiting list and that everyone who needs a hot meal is getting one.  Additionally, we will have the resources to accept a number of new clients into the program instead of placing them on a waiting list as the need arises” said Michele Daley, LOA’s Director of Nutritional Programs.

 “The Meals on Wheels program plays such an important role in our community, and we are thrilled to be in a position to support it in this way through the generosity of Mrs. Camp ” added Alan Ronk, Foundation Executive Director.

For more information about LOA contact Aimee Lawson at 540-345-0451, or visit

Foundation for Roanoke Valley is the community foundation serving this region.  The Foundation has worked for 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 or call 985-0204.

L to R:  Susan Williams, LOA Executive Director; Michele Daley, LOA Director of Nutritional Programs; Michelle Eberly, Foundation Program Officer.

Foundation for Roanoke Valley Awards $50,000 To American Red Cross

Foundation for Roanoke Valley announced it has awarded $50,000 to the American Red Cross - Roanoke Valley Chapter to support the organization’s Hope is Fireproof Campaign.  The grant comes from the Foundation’s Earl D. and Carrie Leigh Doran Fund, which, among other purposes, supports agencies that help individuals and families confronting catastrophic, life-altering circumstances. 

The local American Red Cross serves families in crisis by providing emergency hotel stays, food, clothing, toiletries, and other immediate needs after a fire.  In the light of total devastation, the Red Cross is there to help before first responders leave the scene.  There has been a major spike in fire events lately, with the Red Cross responding to events in the local region impacting 1,114 individuals since October 2013.  In addition to the increase in the number of fires, the number of individuals in impacted households has also risen.  The current average number of local people assisted after a fire is 5.4 compared to 3.2 a year ago.  

Lee Clark, Regional CEO for the Red Cross, noted: “With this unforeseen spike in house fires, as well as the unexpected burden it has placed on our local disaster relief account, we are especially thrilled Foundation for Roanoke Valley has stepped forward in such a significant way to help American Red Cross replenish our Disaster Relief Fund as part of our Hope is Fireproof Campaign.  This grant not only maintains the ability of American Red Cross to continue to respond to our neighbors but also encourages others to help as well.  House fires are the most common disaster American Red Cross responds to, and with more cold weather remaining, we anticipate there will be a continued need.”  

 “Part of the mission of the community foundation is to step forward quickly when there is a critical need facing the residents of our Valley.  Through the foresight and generosity of folks like Earl Doran, we are in a position to help the Red Cross do their vitally-important work to bring comfort and some sense of stability to these families in crisis.  It is our hope that the Foundation’s grant will bring attention to, interest in, and additional support for the Hope is Fireproof Campaign” said Alan Ronk, Foundation Executive Director.

For more information about the local American Red Cross contact Lee Clark, CEO, at 540-985-3540, or visit

Foundation for Roanoke Valley is the community foundation serving this region.  The Foundation has worked for 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 or call 985-0204.

L to R: Alan Ronk, FRV Executive Director; Christina Hatch, American Red Cross Regional Chief Development Officer; Lee Clark, CEO American Red Cross; Carly Oliver, FRV Associate Director; Michelle Eberly, FRV Program Office; Steve Musselwhite, FRV Board Member

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

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

Foundation for Roanoke Valley announced today it has awarded a $40,000 grant to the City of Roanoke under the Foundation's three-year, $300,000 Arts & Culture Initiative.  The grant will provide major underwriting for the City's "Parks and Arts" program for 2014.  This program, offering free arts events in underserved neighborhoods parks, provides venues for varied artists, musicians, dancers and arts organizations to showcase their talents while engaging the surrounding residents in the arts and promoting local neighborhoods' many cultural and historic resources.  National studies show that to build and diversify audiences the arts need to go where people live and congregate, and the City and the Foundation together are making that happen.

“Parks and Arts is a collaborative program designed to take the arts into the city's neighborhoods giving citizens up- close experiences in their own environment,” says Susan Jennings, Arts and Culture Coordinator for the City of Roanoke. “The grant from Foundation for Roanoke Valley will allow the Roanoke Arts Commission to build on the first year's success in strengthening our neighborhoods, rejuvenating our parks and developing new audiences for our artists and arts organizations."  

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 arts, 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, Fanklin, and Roanoke.  It will award its next round of multiple grants in the Spring of 2014 with applications being online.  

Foundation for Roanoke Valley, the community foundation serving this region, has worked for 25 years to administer and make grants from hundreds of named endowment funds to benefit the community.  For information, visit Foundation for Roanoke Valley's website at or call 985-0204. 

The Roanoke Arts Commission pictured L to R: Sue Egbert, Scott Crawford, Margaret Hannapel, Lucy Lee, Greg Webster, Amy Moorefield, Tom McKeon, Susan Jennings, Rupert Cutler, Carly Oliver (FRV Associate Director), Michelle Eberly (FRV Program Officer), Charlene Graves, and Cari Gates.


Thursday, November 21, 2013

Roanoke Women’s Foundation Announces Grant Recipients

For the ninth 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 $288,000 awarded at a luncheon held at Roanoke Country Club on November 20th, brings to $1,794,000 the total in grants funded since the organization’s inception in 2004.

“In our ninth year, with 144 members, The Roanoke Women’s Foundation has now contributed close to $1.8 million in total giving to area organizations; a significant achievement during challenging economic times” 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 New River Valleys to pool their philanthropic goals and resources in order to make significant gifts to the community.  

“The growth of The Roanoke Women’s Foundation over the years has been exceptional, and 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 35 organizations and programs since it began.  This year, 36 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 2013 grant cycle: 

Children’s Trust - $75,000 to help child abuse victims find their “forever” homes, either by returning the children to their biological families or becoming adopted.  Funds will be used to expand the role of the Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) program manager in order to serve 50% more children in the program.  CASA volunteers are often the primary, consistent source of support for children.  Without a CASA volunteer, child abuse victims often spend years in the foster care system, moving from one foster home to another.  The Roanoke community ranks high in the state in founded cases of abuse and neglect; the devastating effects on children’s development reverberate in every aspect of their lives. The RWF grant will further build the capacity of Children’s Trust to serve more children in need.

Family Service of Roanoke Valley - $60,000 to fund a technology upgrade to allow the agency to replace its aging computer network in order to be able to implement the requirement for electronic medical records (EHRs).  Currently used software will not be supported after the end of the year and EHR is strongly encouraged for all health care providers (including mental health providers like Family Service). This upgrade was necessary for HIPAA compliance and is expected to increase staff productivity and ultimately strengthen client outcomes. 

Free Clinic of Franklin County and Bernard Healthcare Center - $50,000 to support a move to become a Rural Health Care Center in order to strengthen the safety net and expand its services to the underserved in Franklin County, one of the highest populations of uninsured in the state.  Funds from the RWF will serve as seed money to cover start up costs for an on-site laboratory, medical equipment for additional exam rooms, office equipment and partial salaries for a Physician’s Assistant and office staff to be located in an already funded, new 7500 sq. ft. facility.

Rebuilding Together Roanoke - $60,000 to fund its first full-time staff person who will work to increase the capacity of the organization and ultimately work to further RTR’s impact on the community by serving low-income homeowners in the Roanoke Valley.  RTR works to maintain affordable home ownership while also revitalizing the community. The newly hired Program Administrator will be charged with identifying new funding sources, furthering RTR’s permanent supportive housing program, and establishing new fundraising activities in order to continue the growth of the organization’s operations.  With a multi-year waiting list, the goal is to increase the number of homeowners RTR can serve each year.  In 2012, 93 homeowners were served with more than 80% of those being 65 or older.  

WVTF Public Radio - $43,000 to offset significant funding cuts and to encourage new members to support WVTF, especially from those listeners who have never contributed to WVTF in the past.  Currently, only 13% of WVTF’s active listeners contribute to its work.  Government support has declined by 31% since fiscal year 2011 and corporate underwriting support has been affected by the economic recession.  RWF funds will be used to develop new marketing projects to attract the more than 160,000 unduplicated weekly listeners to WVTF, 89.1.

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 or Foundation for Roanoke Valley’s website   Foundation for Roanoke Valley, the region’s community foundation, currently administers over 260 named endowment funds on behalf of the community.

L to R:  Glenn Gleixner and Cindy Gray with WVTF Public Radio; Ed Murray and Kendall Cloeter with Rebuilding Together Roanoke; Janice Dinkins-Davidson and Nancy Fralin with Children’s Trust Roanoke Valley; Alise Culbertson and Rhonda Rousch with Free Clinic of Franklin County; and (seated) Jenny Lee and Sharon Thacker with Family Service of Roanoke Valley