Community Foundation of the Virginias, Inc.     

"We make a living by what we get; we make a life by what we give." - Winston Churchill



The Community Foundation of the Virginias, Inc. promotes philanthropy by fostering charitable giving, serving our donors' interests, and effectively responding to the needs and opportunities of communities in Mercer County, West Virginia and Tazewell County, Virginia.


Through scholarships and grants in the areas of Education, the Arts, Culture and the Humanities, Health, and Human Services, the Community Foundation matches the generosity of the people of our area with the needs of area organizations and individuals.



Community Impact Project:

Applications Now Being Accepted


The Community Impact Project (CIP) funds projects of non-profit/public organizations that benefit low income residents of Mercer County or disadvantaged neighborhoods in Mercer County. This program enables the Foundation to award larger grants than the traditional Grants Program.


To be eligible for the Community Impact Project grant applicants must be a non-profit tax-exempt organization under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code or other non-profit as defined by section 501(c), or must be a public institution, and be located in and serve the residents of Mercer County, West Virginia.


The CIP is funded in large part by donations received for the West Virginia Department of Commerce Tax Credit Program.


More information about the CIP is available in the Guidelines.


The Application for the program must be received or postmarked by May 31, 2016.



College Students Spend Spring Break Helping the Wade Center


Twenty-nine young adults and two adult supervisors from St. Joseph's University in Philadelphia, PA traveled to Bluefield, and spent their spring break working with children at the Wade Center. This activity is part of SJU's "Appalachian Experience," where students and associates travel to communities in Appalachia to work with local organizations to support community initiatives. The "Appalachian Experience" is guided by the mission of Saint Joseph’s University and the Catholic Jesuit tradition, and is in its 24th year.


The SJU students and the children of the Wade Center are shown enjoying after school activities, including a wholesome snack.


Mission trips like the one the SJU students participated in are a key element in spiritual growth the Wade Center provides, offering opportunities both in community improvement and relational ministry to mission trip participants.


The Wade Center exists to nurture Bluefield’s children, youth and their families spiritually, physically, emotionally and intellectually through practical programs and mentoring relationships. The Center seeks to be a centerpiece in the community for spiritual, educational, recreational, and cultural resources.


A $2,000 grant from the Community Foundation helped fund the Center's Blessings in a Backpack program. The grant was funded by the Community Action Grant Fund, the Jeffrey Edward Shott Memorial Fund, the American Electric Power Community Services Fund, and the Judge Jerome and Hilda R. Katz Memorial Fund.


Community Foundation elects Officers and Board Members

At its Annual Meeting on Wednesday, February 17, 2016, the Board of Directors of the Community Foundation of the Virginias, Inc. elected the following Officers:

President: Kermit Moore

Vice President: Gene Bailey

Treasurer: Dan Shortridge

Secretary: Betty Bailey

The Board also elected the following Directors to a term ending in 2020:

Mary Azzo, Betty Bailey, Marie Blackwell, Gina Boggess, Kermit Moore, Bettye VanDyke


Other Directors are:

Class of 2017 - Gene Bailey, Carole Dodson, Jim Ferguson, Craig Hammond, Eugenia Hancock, Harry Kammer, Rick Kendrick, Frank Sinicrope 

Class of 2018 - Frank Brady, Kathleen Blaydes, Sam Hill, Bob Perkinson, Mary Raub, Jim Steorts, Larry Douglas, Sara Whitt

Class of 2019 - Jack Asbury, Mary Jo Babbitt, Charlie Carter, Julie Johnson, Doris Sue Kantor, Dan Shortridge


The Board members expressed their appreciation for Julie Johnson for having served as president of the Foundation for the last three years, and welcomed incoming president Kermit Moore.




Notes of Appreciation and Photos Received from Grant Recipients



Mercer County WE CAN Outings ―


As part of its "In Our Own Backyard" monthly activities, WE CAN sponsored activities for Mentors to share with their Mentees. Activities included the Pumpkin Patch, the Ridge Runner, Chestnut Springs, Tate Lohr Fishing, Pipestem State Park, Wolf Creek, Back to School, and four other activities.





Girl Scouts of the Black Diamond Council


The  Girl Scouts of the Black Diamond Council offered girls the opportunity to build courage, confidence and character while they make the world a better place. Among the activities the girls participated in are learning to make healthy snacks (upper left), learning the importance of exercise (lower left), and playing parachute games, having fun and exercising at the same time (right).






Foundation Receives Certificate of Appreciation



Many thanks to the City of Princeton Fire Department for its acknowledgement of the Community Foundation of the Virginia's grant support of $2,000 to update their aging Automatic External Defibrillators (AED’s) for the treatment of sudden cardiac arrest.


At the City Council meeting on Monday, December 14, the City presented Foundation Board members Marie Blackwell and Jim Ferguson with the above certificate of appreciation for the grant.  


The Foundation also awarded grants to the Park and Recreation Department in the amount of $1,176 for youth size basketball goals, and the Princeton Police Department in the amount of $2,080 for its "Friends for life Program."



2015 Grant Recipients Receive Awards



During the meeting of the Board of Directors of the Greater Bluefield Chamber of Commerce, Representatives of the Mercer/Tazewell Reading Bee were presented a Foundation award of $2,000 for this year's event. Pictured are, left to right: Carole Dodson and Marie Blankenship, members of the Community Foundation Board of Directors; Michael Johnson, GBCC Reading Bee Chair; Becky Ritter, Vice Chair, GBCC Community Life Division; Teresa Barringer, Chair of GBCC Board of Directors; and Randy Moonie, Publisher, Bluefield Daily Telegraph, a Reading Bee sponsor.



New River Community and Technical College requested $1,138 for improvements at its Mercer County Campus in Princeton, and received the award at a Business After Hours at their facility. In the photo, left to right, New River President Marshall Washington and VP for Institutional Advancement & College Foundation Karen Harvey receive the award from Foundation Vice President Gene Bailey.



Above, Connie Saunders, director of WISE Women's Resource Center, receives a $2,800 Foundation award for materials and refreshments for seminars from Foundation Executive Director James Shott.



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Recognizing the Impact of Community Foundations

Community Foundation Week November 12-18, 2015

During the week of November 12-18, 2015, the Community Foundation of the Virginias, Inc. will join more than 750 community foundations across America celebrating Community Foundation Week. For more than 25 years, the effort has raised awareness about the increasingly important role of these philanthropic organizations in fostering local collaboration and innovation to address persistent civic and economic challenges.


“Community foundations impact lives, solve problems, and improve futures,” said Community Foundation of the Virginias President Julie Johnson. “As many residents grapple with limited resources and a growing need for services, we are more determined than ever to bring our community partners together to find innovative and effective solutions for some of our most challenging social problems.”


Community foundations are independent, public entities that steward philanthropic resources from institutional and individual donors to local nonprofits that are the heart of strong, vibrant communities. The Community Foundation of the Virginias awarded 52 grants and 61 scholarships totaling more than $180,000 in 2015, the 19th year of supporting local nonprofit groups and area students.  


Community foundations represent one of the fastest-growing forms of philanthropy. Every state in the United States is home to at least one community foundation—large and small, urban and rural—working to advance solutions on a wide range of social issues.


Community Foundation Week, created in 1989 by former president George H.W. Bush, recognizes the work of community foundations throughout America and their collaborative approach to working with the public, private, and nonprofit sectors to address community problems.



Grants approved in the 2015 Grants Cycle


The Community Foundation of the Virginias awarded 52 grants totaling more than $103,000 in 2015 , the 19th annual Grants Cycle supporting local nonprofit groups.  


With the inclusion of the 2015 awards, the Foundation has returned more than $1,180,000 to the area since 1997 in grants and scholarships.


The Grants Committee is chaired by Robert Perkinson and comprised of: Mary Jo Babbitt, Marie Blankenship, Kathleen Blaydes, Carole Dodson, Kermit Moore, and Doris Sue Kantor.



Appalachian South Folklife Center's Learning Day Camp - $2,000 - activity supplies for camp, Warren Ashby and Elizabeth Featherstone Thornhill Memorial Fund

Bluefield College New Opportunity for Women - $1,275 - leadership sessions, Alfred and Shirley Wampler Caudill Fund

Greater Bluefield Chamber of Commerce Reading Bee - $2,000 - Reading Bee Mercer and Tazewell counties, Jeffrey Edward Shott Memorial Fund, Charles A. and Marjorie M. Peters Fund and the Bluefield Daily Telegraph Literacy Fund

North Tazewell Elementary School - $2,000 - to purchase stability balls, Unrestricted Fund


Greater Bluefield Community Center - $2,400 - exercise equipment for cardiac rehabilitation, American Electric Power Community Services Fund and the Charles A. and Marjorie M. Peters Fund

Preferred Hospice DBA Legacy Hospice - $2,000 - to assist Tazewell county patients who are under-insured or uninsured, Unrestricted Fund

III-Human Services   

Abel Crisis Pregnancy Center - $2,000 - to purchase diapers, wipes and pack n' plays, Unrestricted Fund

American Red Cross Southeast WV Chapter - $2,000 - emergency services in Mercer County, Charles A. and Marjorie M. Peters Fund and the Unrestricted Fund

Appalachian Agency for Senior Citizens, Inc. Generations Childcare Program - $2,000 - equipment for child development for Tazewell county residents, Unrestricted Fund

Bluefield State College Foundation - $2,500 - update and enhance the Student Center patio, Unrestricted Fund

Brain Injury Services of SWVA - $2,000 - concussion prevention program in Tazewell county, Unrestricted Fund

Child Protect of Mercer County, Inc. - $2,000 - items to improve the safety of children, Jeffrey Edward Shott Memorial Fund and the Unrestricted Fund

City of Bluefield - $2,000 - to help with costs associated with fencing at the dog park, Unrestricted Fund

City of Princeton Fire Department - $2,000 - to update cardiac treatment capabilities, Unrestricted Fund

Friends Unlimited F.U.N. - $2,500 - spring prom for disabled adults, Sandra Gayle Monk Memorial Fund

Girl Scouts of Black Diamond Council - $3,000 - Healthy Habits Program, Jeffrey Edward Shott Memorial Fund and the Unrestricted Fund

Kanawha Valley Fellowship Home, Inc. - $1,000 - Substance abuse counseling to those through the drug court in Mercer County, Unrestricted Fund

Make a Wish - $3,900 - wish-maker grant for a Mercer County wish, Unrestricted Fund

Mercer County Civil Air Patrol - $2,000 - air force style uniforms for cadets, Ghia M. Borg Memorial Fund

Mercer County Spay Association - $1,500 - to help low income with spay and neutering costs, Unrestricted Fund

Mountaineer Marine Detachment 957 / Toys for Tots - $2,000 - program support, Ghia M. Borg Memorial Fund

New River Community and Technical College Foundation - $1,138 - repair and restore chandeliers, Unrestricted Fund

Oakvale Elementary School - $2,000 - letters and installation of a gymnasium sign, Unrestricted Fund

Princeton Board of Parks and Recreation Commissioners - $1,176 - two youth size basketball goals, Unrestricted Fund

Princeton Police Department - $2,080 - Police, Your Friends for Life program, Unrestricted Fund

Richlands High School - $2,000 - field tarp for newly constructed softball field, Unrestricted Fund

Royal Family Kids Camp - $2,000 - to provide a "Constant Person" for children, Unrestricted Fund

Save a Pet Food Bank - $2,400 - to provide free dog and cat food for low income, The Fannie Kate and Betty Gardner Bailey Fund and the Unrestricted Fund

Second Chance for Cats - $1,850 - spay/neuter and vaccinate 30 cats, The Fannie Kate and Betty Gardner Bailey Fund and the Unrestricted Fund

Sparks - $2,000 - to support field trip expenses, Jeffrey Edward Shott Memorial Fund and the Unrestricted Fund

Tender Mercy Ministries - $2,200 - copying machine, American Electric Power Community Services Fund and the Unrestricted Fund

The Salvation Army - $2,197 - purchase a utility trailer and security system, Anonymous Fund and Unrestricted Fund

Town of Bluefield, VA Rescue Squad - $2,000 - replace stove, paint and repair floor for a community room, Unrestricted Fund

Wade Center - $2,000 -  backpack program, Community Action Grant Fund, Jeffrey Edward Shott Memorial Fund, American Electric Power Community Services Fund, and the Judge Jerome and Hilda R. Katz Memorial Fund

WISE - $2,800 - materials and refreshments for seminars, Unrestricted Fund

IV-Arts & Humanities           

4 Pals Productions - $3,000 - portable stage, Unrestricted Fund

Alliance for the Arts - $2,500 - clean and renovate basement of the arts building, Unrestricted Fund

Blue Mountain Performing Arts - $2,000 - support for the Young Irelanders, The Fannie Kate and Betty Gardner Bailey Fund and the Unrestricted Fund

Bluefield Beautification Commission - $2,000 - benches and trash receptacles on Commerce Street, Ammar Family Memorial Fund and Unrestricted Fund

Bluefield Preservation Society - $2,996 - tables and chairs for The Historic Granada Theater, Rotary Club of Bluefield, WV Fund

Bluewell Lions Club - $1,399.96 - four solar powered light for new welcome signs, Unrestricted Fund

Chuck Mathena Center - $2,000 - to help cover donated and reduced rates for the facility for Mercer County schools, Unrestricted Fund

Craft Memorial Library - $4,000 - 3D Printer, Unrestricted Fund

Historic Crab Orchard Museum & Pioneer Park - $2,000 - security cameras and monitoring equipment, The Fannie Kate and Betty Gardner Bailey Fund and the Unrestricted Fund

Mercer County Historical Society - $2,000 - expenses for professional storytellers and presenters, Unrestricted Fund

The Sanders House Charitable Trust - $2,000 - restoration of historic mural, Unrestricted Fund

Town of Bluefield, VA Beautification Commission - $2,044.24 - replace worn material on benches throughout town, Unrestricted Fund

Donor Designated Fund Grants


I-Education:  Bible in the Schools - $2,328.90 - The B. G. and Rachel Blalock Fund

II-Health: Mercer Charitable Clinic - $735.80 - The Charles E. and Jerry Ann Myles Fund

III-Human Services: The Wade Center - $1,012.15 - The Sylvester C. and Janice M. Myers Fund



Two more 2015 Grants Cycle recipients receive their awards










Two local organizations have received their grant awards in the 2015 Grants Cycle. Community Foundation Executive Director James Shott presented the awards to Dwayne Harwick of the Abel Crisis Pregnancy Center in the left photo, and to Rodney Mayberry of the Mountaineer Marine Detachment 957 Toys for Tots project in the right photo. Abel Crisis received a $2,000 award for the to be used to purchase materials for its female clients, and Toys for Tots received a $2,000 award for program support.



Two recipients receive awards in 2015 Grants Cycle


Representatives of the Mercer County Historical Society, Heritage Festival and the American Red Cross, Southeast West Virginia Chapter, have received their awards to fund their individual projects from Foundation Executive Director James Shott.




In the photo at left, Fred Powers receives the Historical Society's award and displays a newspaper section about the Heritage Festival that the Foundation helped fund with a $2,000 grant aimed at defraying expenses for professional storytellers and presenters.


In the photo at right, Stephanie Meadows, Executive Director of the Red Cross office, receives her organization's award of $2,000 targeted at costs associated with provision of emergency services in Mercer County.




Community Foundation awards scholarships for 2015


The Community Foundation of the Virginias, Inc. awarded 61 scholarships totaling more than $79,000 in the 2015 Scholarships Cycle.


The scholarships were awarded from 18 different funds, and were awarded to graduating seniors from seven high schools, as noted.


Alex B. Mahood, Jr. Scholarship – 2 recipients (GHS, BHS)

Bluefield High Schools’ Alumni Scholarship - 2 recipients (BHS)

C.B. and Ora Hunter Hancock Memorial Scholarship - 1 recipient (BHS)

E.R. Gillespie Scholarship - 4 recipients (3 PSHS, BHS)

East River Mountain H.O.G. #5432 scholarship - 1 recipient (GHS)

Graham High School scholarship - 1 recipient (GHS)

Harman Lodge #222 scholarship - 1 recipient (GHS)

James and Rebecca Steorts Fund - 1 recipient (PSHS)

Joetta Collins Hooker Memorial Scholarship - 4 recipients (3 prior, River View)

Kendrick Scholarship Fund - 4 recipients (Concord University)

Lindsay Rebekah Haun Memorial Scholarship - 1 recipient (PSHS)

Margaret “Trika” Smith-Burke Scholarship - 3 recipients (Richlands)

Marsha A. Mead, PhD. Scholarship - 1 recipient (Bluefield College)

Maurice and Grace Hanna Weinberg Scholarship Fund - 2 recipients (BHS)

Robert Austin Family Scholarship Fund - 3 recipients (GHS)

Rose Sinicrope Scholarship Fund - 3 recipients (2 prior, PSHS)

Roy R. Raub Memorial Scholarship - 25 recipients (24 prior, Hurley)

William G. Skewes Memorial Scholarship - 2 recipients (Mercer Christian, PSHS)


Prior recipients currently attend a variety of schools, including (alphabetically): Bluefield State College, Concord University, Covenant College, James Madison University, Marshall University, University of Maryland, University of Virginia, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest University, and West Virginia University.


Many thanks to the Scholarships Committee, chaired by Carole Dodson: Gene Bailey, George Brooks, Mary Raub, Jim Steorts and Bettye VanDyke.



Community Foundation of the Virginias, Inc.

128 North Street  ● P.O. Box 4127  ● Bluefield, WV 24701

Phone: 304-324-0222  ● Fax: 304-324-7716



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Community Foundation

of the Virginias, Inc.

128 North Street  ●  P.O. Box 4127 

Bluefield, WV 24701

Phone: 304-324-0222 

Fax: 304-324-7716











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