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, Tazewell County, Virginia, and surrounding area.


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.



Annual Dinner Date: October 19


The Community Foundation of the Virginias is pleased to announce that our speaker for this year’s Annual Dinner is Gayle Conelly Manchin. She was our speaker in 2005 following the election of her husband Joe Manchin as West Virginia's governor.

Gayle is an American educator who served an eight-year term on the West Virginia Board of Education from 2007 to 2015, and served a two-year stint as the President of the Board from 2013 to 2014.


On January 13, 2017, West Virginia Governor Jim Justice appointed her to his cabinet as the state Secretary of Education and the Arts.


We are pleased to welcome Gayle back to Bluefield for our Annual Dinner, which will be held October 19th at Fincastle on the Mountain, beginning at 6:00 p.m. with a Reception and social period.



Foundation begins review of Grant Applications


The Community Foundation's Grants Committee will begin reviewing the more than 50 applications in the 2017 Grants Cycle soon. After the Committee has completed its work it will make recommendation for award recipients to the Foundation's Board of Directors at its September meeting.


Those applicants chosen to receive awards will be notified by mail shortly after the Board action.


The Grants Committee consists of Bob Perkinson, Chairman, and Board members Mary Jo Babbitt, Marie Blackwell, Kathleen Blaydes, Carole Dodson, Kermit Moore, Peter Taylor and Community member Cathy Zimmerman.




Foundation awards 82 scholarships in 2017


The Community Foundation Board of Directors met May 9, and voted to approve scholarship recommendations for 2017. Awards were made from 26 separate funds to 82 individuals, totaling more than $95,000.


The funds are listed below, and those that awarded multiple scholarships are indicated by the number of scholarships awarded.


Alex B. Mahood, Jr. Scholarship - 2 Awards

Alfred and Shirley Wampler Caudill Scholarship

BHS Alumni Scholarship - 4 Awards

BHS Class of '63

C.B. and Ora Hunter Hancock Memorial Scholarship

Cyrus Leroy and Blanche Mae Nicholson Scholarship

Dr. Jack Walter Witten Scholarship - 5 Awards

E. R. Gillespie Scholarship - 3 Awards

East River Mountain H.O.G. #5432 - 3 Awards, 2 for prior recipients

Graham High School Scholarship - 3 Awards

Grants Supermarket Scholarship

Harman Masonic Lodge Scholarship

James and Rebecca Steorts Fund

James C. Ramey, Sr. Memorial Scholarship - 6 Awards

Joshua Lee Shutt Memorial Scholarship - 3 Awards

Kendrick  Scholarship - 4 Awards

Larry and Patsy Douglas Scholarship - 2 Awards

Lauren Alexis Perdue Memorial Scholarship

Margaret "Trika" Smith-Burke Scholarship - 6 Awards, 3 to prior recipients

Marsha A. Mead, Phd Scholarship

Maurice and Grace Weinberg Scholarship - 5 Awards

Max L. and Virginia S. Kammer Family Scholarship - 2 Awards

Ralph and Shirley D. Kiser Family Scholarship

Robert Austin Family Scholarship - 4 Awards to prior recipients

Rose Sinicrope Scholarship - 3 Awards to prior recipients

Roy R. Raub, MD Memorial Scholarship - 17 Awards, 12 to prior recipients


Members of the Foundation's Scholarships Committee are: Carole Dodson, Chair; Gene Bailey; George Brooks; Harry Kammer; Lisa Lineberry; Mary Raub; Bettye VanDyke; and Cathy Zimmerman.



CIP-funded upgrades to Earl Muse Park completed



The Community Foundation of the Virginias, Inc. provided a $16,500 grant to the City of Princeton Park and Recreation Department last year through its Community Impact Program for upgrades to Earl Muse Memorial Park.


The Park is located in a low income neighborhood, and is well utilized by residents as a playground for children, and also for birthday parties, family reunions and church gatherings.


The grant helped to fund a playground unit, two benches and a trash receptacle in the $19,076 project to upgrade the Park, according to Amanda McCabe, Executive Director of the Park and Recreation Department. Additional funding came from the Mercer County Commission and Mountaineer Lifelines.





Bluefield, WV Police Department receives Foundation grant



The Community Foundation of the Virginias grant to the Bluefield, WV Police Department was acknowledged at the March 14 meeting of the Bluefield City Board of Directors. The award to help fund safety partitions for five police cruisers in the amount of $5,000 was presented to Police Chief Dennis Dillow by Foundation Treasurer Julie Johnson.


Pictured above, front row, l to r: Director Ellen Peters Light, City Ambassador Marie Blackwell, Police Chief Dennis Dillow, Jr., Foundation Treasurer Julie Johnson. Back row, l to r: City Manager Dane Rideout, Director Chuck McGonagle, Mayor Tom Cole, Director Mike Gibson, and Vice Mayor Barbara Thompson-Smith.



Foundation grant supports Mercer/Tazewell Reading Bee



Foundation President Kermit Moore (second from left) presents a grant award to Michael Johnson, Chair of the Greater Bluefield Chamber of Commerce's "Mercer/Tazewell Reading Bee." Bud Clapp, Chair of the Chamber's Board of Directors, is pictured at the far left, and  Kim Allen, Immediate Past Chair of the Chamber Board, is at the far right.


The $2,000 grant used funds from the Bluefield Daily Telegraph Literacy Fund and the Foundation's Unrestricted Fund.




"Toys For Tots" Presents Plaque to the Foundation



Rod Mayberry came by the Foundation office January 10 to express the thanks of the Mountaineer Marine Corps League Detachment 957 for its support of the "Toys For Tots" program for 2016.


The Foundation has helped the "Toys For Tots" program for several years, and in 2016 awarded a $2,000 grant in support of the program.


The Foundation appreciates this acknowledgement from the local Marine Corps League.



Community Foundation Board Awards Grants



The Foundation's Board of Directors met on September 13 and approved 37 grant applications and three donor-designated awards totaling more than $74,000. Human Services grants led the list, with 17 awards, followed by 13 Arts and Humanities awards, 9 Education awards, and 1 Health award. Six applications were not funded, due to a shortage of available funding.


The Grants Committee, chaired by Bob Perkinson, includes Board Members Mary Jo Babbitt, Marie Blackwell, Kathleen Blaydes, Carole Dodson, Kermit Moore, and Community Member Cathy Zimmerman.


The recipients are:



Girl Scouts of Black Diamond, $2,800.00, "Free to Be Me" Program

Greater Bluefield Chamber of Commerce, $2,000.00, Mercer and Tazewell Reading Bee

Oakvale Elementary School, $2,000.00, To purchase Lego building kits

Appalachian South Folklife Center's Learning Day Camp,  $1,000.00, Learning Day Camp

Bluefield College New Opportunity School for Women Program, $640.00, Program expense

Career Connections:  Mercer County Schools,  $1,500.00, 7th/8th graders visit colleges and technical schools

Explore!, $2,000.00, Three hands-on exhibits at the Explore! Science Center

Satira, Inc. , $1,500.00, The Science Addiction Program

Bible in the Schools, $904.28, Donor-Designated


Human Services

American Red Cross, $1,000.00, emergencey services to Mercer county residents

Bluefield Police Department, $5,000.00, Purchase five officer safety partitions for vehicles

Bluefield WV Fire Department, $7,250.00, Jacket and trousers for 8 firefighters

Child Protect of Mercer County, $2,000.00, Well-being and health of families

Childlaw Services, Inc., $2,000.00, curriculum and service project materials

Children's Home Society of WV, $2,000.00, Twelve monthly group sessions

City of Princeton Fire Dept, $2,000.00, Senior citizen fire and fall prevention program

Family Refuge Center, $1,000.00, general support for the Mercer county office

Feeding America Southwest Virginia, $2,000.00, Food distribution program for Tazewell County

Make a Wish Foundation of Greater PA and WV, $2,000.00, Mercer County Make A Wish

Mercer County Spay Association, $1,000.00, Program costs

Princeton Board of Park and Recreation Commissioners, $1,500.00, fitness equipment and dog waste stations for new 2-mile walking trail

Save A Pet Food Bank, $3,000.00, cat food and dog food distribution

Second Chance for Cats, $2,500.00, to spay, neuter and vaccinate 40 cats

The Wade Center, $2,000.00, Help Wade Kids Thrive Program

Toys for Tots, $2,000.00, Program cost

The Wade Center, $376.03, Donor-Designated


Arts & Humanities

4 Pals Productions, $2,000.00, Annual Theatre Festival for local high schools

Alliance for the Arts, Inc., $1,500.00, Refurbish restrooms

Blue Mountain Performing Arts, $2,000.00, Birth of the Beat" opening show

Bluefield Preservation Society, $1,000.00, to purchase ten tents

Bluefield State College Foundation, $2,000.00, Pole banners and hardware

Bluewell Improvement Associates, $1,000.00, Installation of proper equipment for 60 poles used for holiday lights

Bluewell Lions Club ,$2,000.00, 42 new flags, poles and brackets for the Town of  Bluewell

City of Bluefield Beautification Commission, $2,000.00, One bench and one trash receptacle

Community Connections, $1,000.00, Paint and supplies for revitalization program

Mercer County Historical Society, $1,500.00, Expenses associated with Mercer County Heritage Festival

The Trails at Bluefield City Park, $1,690.00, Add a new children's station to the family friendly trail

Town of Bluefield, Beautification Commission, $2,000.00, Banners and seasonal decorations for downtown

Town of Bluefield, IDA, $1,500.00, Tables for the annual quilt show



Mercer Charitable Clinic, $265.19, Donor-Designated




Community Foundation Honored for Support of Child Protect


Celebrating its 15th year, Child Protect of Mercer County held a ceremony recognizing that milestone and recognized 15 individuals and organizations who had provided significant support for its mission. Foundation President Kermit Moore received the certificate of appreciation at the event on August 11.


The Foundation appreciates this recognition of its service to Mercer County and Tazewell County non-profit organizations.




Bluefield State College Foundation Receives Award

for Student Center Improvement



Pictured above, BSC President Dr. Marsha Krotseng (left) receives a $2,500 grant award from Community Foundation President Kermit Moore at the Othello Harris-Jefferson Student Center.


The grant helped to fund improvements to the  Center's patio area, including landscape shrubs, trees, mulch, solar landscape lighting, and patio pavers and substructure. The Student Center and patio are a high traffic area, used by students, faculty, staff and visitors.


This improvement will help the appearance of the outer area of the Student Center, and create a more inviting "feel" for students, college personnel and visitors.




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.



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.




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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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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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