Thursday, July 2, 2015

Foundation for Roanoke Valley Awards Major Grant to Check Elementary School

Foundation for Roanoke Valley announced today that it has awarded a $12,000 grant to Check Elementary School for the purchase of equipment and supplies for the school’s new garden project.
The grant comes from the Foundation’s Jacqueline S. (Jackie) and Shelborn L. (S.L.) Spangler Fund, which was established in 2006 through the estate of S. L. Spangler.  The purpose of this endowment fund is to address a wide variety of important needs and opportunities in the communities along the Route 221 south corridor, generally falling between Cotton Hill Road and Check, Virginia.  This designation reflects where the Spanglers lived during the course of their lifetimes.

Alan Ronk, the Foundation’s executive director, said in making the announcement:  “We are thrilled to be in a position to bring this exciting project to fruition at Check Elementary School through the Spangler Fund.  Because of the Spangler’s generosity and concern, grants totaling more than $200,000 have now been awarded in the communities where they resided.”

Principal Jessica Cromer noted: “Our garden project will give students the opportunity to connect their learning to the outside world as well as the chance to provide fresh produce for our school and the Check community.  This grant will allow us to expand the project way beyond our initial expectations as we can now purchase more tools for students and a small greenhouse.  We are grateful for the Foundation’s support, and we are very excited to see what our students will grow in the future."

Foundation for Roanoke Valley is the community foundation serving this region.  The Foundation has worked for more than two decades 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

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Services to the Elderly Receive Big Boost from Foundation for Roanoke Valley

Nonprofit organizations that provide services to the elderly received a big boost recently thanks to over $200,000 in grants awarded by Foundation for Roanoke Valley.  As part of the Foundation’s Special Interest Grants process, nonprofit organizations were given the opportunity to apply to the Foundation’s Mary Louise Home Fund and Marion S. and Willie Z. Camp Fund for Eldercare, both which support services to the elderly.

“With the aging population in the Roanoke Valley comes an increase in demand for services to the elderly.  The Foundation is thrilled to be a position to award such large impact grants in an attempt to meet the need,” says Michelle Eberly, FRV Program Officer.

The following organizations were awarded a grant from the Mary Louise Home Fund:

  •  Family Service of Roanoke Valley received $35,000 to provide access to mental health counseling for the elderly in skilled care facilities and to those in rural areas who do not have the means of transportation.   Currently, there is no funding source to provide geriatric counseling services to facility residents when in skilled care, which occurs when specialized therapy is necessitated.  Furthermore, those living in rural areas are one of the greatest at-risk groups for experiencing mental health problems.  In-home counseling can enhance quality of life, improve overall health and remove physical barriers of seeking mental health counseling.
  • Foundation for Rehabilitation Equipment and Endowment (F.R.E.E.) received $30,000 to purchase needed equipment for the elderly and to purchase a Hubscrub sanitizing machine.  F.R.E.E. depends on donations of gently used rehab mobility equipment; however, due to the constant demand there is a great need for funding to purchase equipment not in inventory.  Funding will also be used to replace its aging sanitizing machine, which is crucial to its operations.  Sonja Schaible, F.R.E.E. Executive Director said, “This funding will help many older adults in our community who desperately need equipment for their physical rehabilitation.  The equipment enables them to remain safe and independent, in part by restoring or increasing their mobility, both inside the home and out in their community.”
  • Joint Resident Council Inc. was awarded $40,000 to provide eyeglasses and teeth extractions/dentures to those elderly living in the Council’s service area.  The Joint Resident Council, Inc. serves residents who live in any property owned by the Roanoke Redevelopment Housing Authority.  A recent survey showed that eyeglasses and dentures were a critical need for the 258 elderly residents who live in those properties.  Jamice Rudd, Treasurer of Joint Resident Council noted, “For all those eligible seniors who ceased doing the things they enjoy the most, it’s time to start living again.  This grant will impact the seniors that we serve throughout the entire city.  It will provide them the means to obtain eyeglasses, dental extractions, and dentures so they once again are able to savor a good meal and see all the beauty that surrounds them.”
  • Goodwill Industries of the Valleys received $9,800 from the Mary Louise Home Fund and $19,650 from the Marion S. and Willie Z. Camp Fund for Eldercare to support its Good Choice Companion program.  The program provides in-home companion and phone check-in services to help elderly clients remain independent in their homes.

The following organizations were awarded a grant from the Marion S. and Willie Z. Camp Fund for Eldercare:

  •  Mental Health America of Roanoke Valley was awarded $35,000 to continue supporting its Senior Extravaganza for the elderly and to host two Caregiver College workshops.  The Senior Extravaganza is an annual event held in the Roanoke area and is well attended by older adults.  There are health screenings, pharmacy consults, exhibits about health and safety issues, workshops, and entertainment.  The Caregiver College workshops provide family and paraprofessional caregivers with practical information about illnesses that impact older adults, how to obtain the best care for their loved ones, and how to take care of themselves as caregivers.  Diane Kelly, Mental Health America of Roanoke Valley Executive Director said, “We are thrilled to receive funding from the Foundation to support programs for older adults in our community.  We are pleased to have the resources to again offer the Senior Extravaganza – an opportunity for health screenings, educational (and fun!) seminars, and entertainment attended by more than 450 people last year.  We also look forward to addressing and easing the toll of caregiving duties by offering separate Caregiver Colleges for professional and family caregivers of older adults with funds provided by the Foundation.”
  • Rebuilding Together was awarded $50,000 to support its Home Repairs for Older Adults program.  This organization provides free-critical home repairs to low-income homeowners to ensure a warm, safe, dry, accessible, energy efficient, and healthy home.  Currently, there are over 100 older adults on its waiting list.  This grant will be used to decrease that waiting list.

Foundation for Roanoke Valley, the region’s community foundation, has served the Roanoke Valley for more than 26 years and currently administers over 300 named endowment funds established by individuals and families on behalf of the community.  For more information about Foundation for Roanoke Valley, visit

Pictured L to R: Kendall Cloeter, Rebuilding Together; Jamice Rudd, Joint Resident Council, Inc.; Diane Kelly, Mental Health America of Roanoke Valley; Duane Smith, JRC, Inc.; Kathy Thompson, Family Service of Roanoke Valley; Sonja Schaible, Foundation for Rehabilitation Equipment and Endowment; Angela Stanfill, Goodwill Industries of the Valleys; Sarah Jones and Mary Ann Lohr, JRC, Inc.

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 or Foundation for Roanoke Valley’s website   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 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 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 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 

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