Common Threads . . . Tucker Community Foundation news, notes and nonsuch
December 16, 2016 – For many of us the season of giving isn’t defined by a holiday, its part of who we are. A national survey has West Virginia ranked 11th overall among most charitable states; 1st in percentage of people collecting and/or distributing food, 2nd in percentage of population collecting or distributing clothes, and 8th in volunteering and service. The impact of local philanthropy is powerful and it is making a difference for communities throughout our region and our state.
Our tagline, philanthropy with a twist, was highlighted by area youth who wrote stories about local philanthropy that included helping sick neighbors, serving as a volunteer fireman, holding fund raisers for good causes, picking up trash, and a variety of every day actions.
Here are some examples of local philanthropy we’ve experienced at Tucker Community Foundation that strengthen and unite our region:
- More than $11,000 was generated from ticket sales from Uncle Sam’s Birthday Party providing additional unrestricted grant and scholarship awards. A portion of the proceeds also helps to build the USBP Fund, an unrestricted endowment for the same purpose.
- Run For It race sponsors, team sponsors, team captains, racers, event staff, and support staff generated more than $235,000 for sixty-six community causes. Their efforts continue to build a program that has captured statewide attention and reaped more than 1.8 million for the region. The incredible volunteer effort of the Event Staff continues to amaze and impress anyone and everyone who has participated in, or witnessed, the event.
- Friends and family members of Ellis Boury, III, Garrett “Dutch” Easton, Wade Mazza, Billie Armstrong, Richard & LaVerna White, and Katherine Zabriskie added close to $10,000 to existing endowments by gathering this fall to remember, unite, and celebrate as they strolled or zoomed around town in a Run For It quest to further a cause their loved one was passionate about.
- The families of Jim & Louise Cooper, Dr. Mary Alice Klein, Margaret Ann & James A. Grafton continue their own giving circle; increasing the impact of memorial endowments they created by sending multi-year donations from a variety of family members.
- Birthday gifts made in honor of Bud Sponaugle, Laurie Little, Andrea and Jake Gosa II, Diane Rader, Diane Beall, Jess Musallam, and others benefit projects they support. Terry Stone used her birthday to pay it forward, donating for each year celebrated.
- Donors are checking our Holiday Helper list to see what the needs are in different communities. Contributions to area food banks, local trails, emergency services, community enhancement projects, and local food initiatives are helping to strengthen our community.
- The Gosa family and Timberline Ski Patrol established new endowments in memory of loved ones who fueled their passion for skiing on the slopes of Canaan and Timberline. Ryan Gosa grew up racing both slopes and Randy Poole excelled in patrolling and keeping skiers safe on the slopes. The Ryan Patrick Gosa Fund and the Randy Poole Memorial Fund join the roster of 112 endowed funds currently managed by TCF.
- The Harsh Family Cemetery Fund was initiated this year by the estate of Leeorr Rosier. Estate planning plays a big role in charitable giving. The largest transfer of generational wealth is slated to take place over the next ten years. The potential is staggering and without planned giving a large portion of those assets could leave our state. The Foundation’s Estate Planning brochure provides sample language to include in your estate plan.
- Endowed funds allowed the Foundation to distribute $66,225 in competitive grant awards that benefit twenty five programs and projects and $48,650 in scholarships were awarded to forty one students from six counties. The Harman Fund provided $885,000 to benefit the City of Parsons and unrestricted income and donations to TCF exceeded $100,000 supporting a variety of programs and collaborative projects.
- Enthusiastic youth from Tucker and Preston counties participated in Penelope’s Club, a program of the TCF Youth Philanthropy Initiative. More than 80 young writers, representing three counties, competed in a Write-to-Win Contest sponsored by the Aurora Mountain Lions, Crimson Shamrock Literacy Fund, the Kep and Alice Smith Trust, and the TCF Directors’ General Fund. The book writing talents of Jacob, Sadie, Elona, Samuel, Averi, Gisella, Payton and many others shed a light on innovative approaches to philanthropy that engage them in their community.
- Youngsters from the Drazen, Meekins, and Crothers family raised money for a community enhancement project. Nate, Mason, Adelaide, Allison, Isabelle, Emma, and other youth made an impact through community service, donations, and good citizenship. Our community develop projects are meeting and exceeding expectations.
- The Tucker Boulder Park is slated to begin construction in 2017 with installation of two of the three boulders. Grant funds and private donations are creating a new recreational asset for the county, the region and the state. A fundraising effort is underway to support the purchase of the final boulder to complete the project.
- Highland Market, the retail food store launched by the Potomac Highlands Food and Farm Initiative, underwent a major expansion this year increasing freezer and refrigeration space and adding a walk-in cooler and certified kitchen that is now producing prepared foods for sale at the market.
- The Preston Community Fund, a pilot project of the Foundation, continues to build as donors become more aware of its potential. A $5,000 grant from the fund supported a program that provides court appointed advocates for children in need. The success of that endeavor has sparked interest from other counties. Plans are underway for a new community fund to launch in our region soon.
- A one-of-a-kind playground project in Preston County is capturing strong support. The community led effort to build Wades World of Wonder will result in an all- inclusive playground.
Although our region was relatively unscathed by the flood of 2016, we acknowledge donors who sent contributions to benefit flood victims. The impact of charitable disaster support cannot be overstated. Many who were affected will continue to need your help for years to come.
The board and staff of Tucker Community Foundation are grateful for the giving nature of those who live in West Virginia and those who love West Virginia. Every kind act, every volunteer hour, every dollar donated is making a difference. We wish each and every one of you a happy holiday and a healthy, prosperous, New Year.