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.




Foundation Board approves 2018 grants




The Community Foundation of the Virginias, Inc. Board of Directors acted on recommendations from the Grants Committee on Tuesday.


The Board approved 48 applications through the traditional Grants Cycle, and an application for the Foundation's Community Impact Project.


Applications in all four areas of charitable giving were approved for grant awards: Education - eight awards; Health - six awards; Human Services - twenty awards; and Arts and Humanities - eleven awards. The Board also approved awards from three Donor Designated funds, and one application for the Community Impact Project.


Members of the Grants Comittee are: Bob Perkinson, Chair; Mary Jo Babbitt, Marie Blackwell, Kathleen Blaydes, Gina Boggess, Carole Dodson, Deborah Garton, Craig Hammond, Kermit Moore, Foundation President; and Peter Taylor.


Letters to successful applicants have been mailed. The awards will be provided to recipients upon request.



Foundation awards nearly 100 scholarships


The Community Foundation of the Virginias, Inc. will assist dozens of area students pursue their goal of a college education this fall with 93 Scholarship awards in the 2018 Scholarship Cycle.


These awards total $142,200 from 26 individual scholarship funds. Graduating seniors from the following high schools benefited from Foundation scholarship funds: Bluefield, Graham, Montcalm, Pikeview, Princeton, Richlands and Tazewell.


The Foundation acknowledges and appreciates the devotion to their task of the members of the Scholarships Committee: Carole Dodson, Chair, and Members Gene Bailey, George Brooks, Tom Chaffins, Harry Kammer, Lisa Lineberry, Mary Raub, Becky Steorts, Bettye VanDyke, and Cathy Zimmerman.




Foundation grant funds fireworks event

to celebrate the Fourth of July



A large and enthusiastic crowd was on hand for fireworks after the Bluefield Blue Jays game on July 3rd, which was funded by a Foundation grant from the Payne-Cofer Fund for Bluefield.

Thank you Bluefield Baseball Club for the wonderful acknowledgement of the Foundation's grant for this event!



Foundation presents award to Bluefield High School Theater Department for stage production


The Bluefield High School Foundation Fund, administered by the Community Foundation of the Virginias, Inc., recently granted an award of $7,000. The grant was presented to the BHS Theater Department, and will be used to fund the production of "Grease," with two showings, on Saturday, May 5 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, May 6 at 3 p.m.



Pictured, left to right, Michael Collins, Bluefield High School Principal; Steve Hopta, Chairman of the Bluefield High School Foundation; Shawn Williams, English and Drama instructor; and Kermit Moore, President of the Community Foundation of the Virginias, Inc.


The Community Foundation is pleased to be able to support educational activities and the arts in the Mercer/Tazewell area through endowments interested individuals and groups have funded at the Foundation.



Foundation funds Greater Bluefield Chamber of Commerce Mercer-Tazewell Reading Bee project with grant award



Shown above receiving the $2,000 grant for the Mercer-Tazewell Reading Bee are (l to r) Becky Ritter, GBCC Board Chair and Michael Johnson, Community Life Division Chair. Gene Bailey (at right), Vice President of the Community Foundation of the Virginias, Inc., made the presentation at the March Chamber meeting.


The Reading Bee project is one of the annual projects that the Foundation has been funding for several years, and one of the ways the Foundation supports education in our area.



Town of Bluefield, Virginia receives grants


Community Foundation of the Virginias, Inc. Executive Director James Shott recently presented two grant awards to the Town of Bluefield from the 2017 Grants Cycle.




In photo at right, Executive Assistant Kim Hernandez receives the $2,100 award to the Beautification Commission to install basketball goals at the Pinehill Park Playground.








In the left photo, Community Development Coordinator Billie Roberts receives the second award for $730 which went to the IDA for banners and cards for marketing purposes.






Young Life receives Foundation grant



Erin White, a staff associate with Young Life, receives a Foundation grant in support of the organization's 2018 camp for Graham High School students from Foundation Executive Director James Shott.


The grant will help defray transportation costs, and thereby reduce the costs for participants to attend the camp. About 40 students will attend the camp in Goshen, Virginia.




Two recipients acknowledged Foundation grants





Abel Crisis Pregnancy Center employees and clients were on hand November 9th to display items purchased with a $1,900 grant.


These items are sold to clients to help them take care of their newborn children, and are paid for with "dollars" earned by attending educational classes at the Center.











Four members of the East River Amateur Radio Club came to the Foundation office on November 13th to receive a $2,800 award.


The award will help the Club update its equipment to be used in emergencies to provide emergency communications when other methods are unavailable, such as in power outages.








Foundation grant assists Bluefield State College




The Community Foundation awarded the Bluefield State College Foundation $3,530 for the purchase of five gonfalons (banners and poles), one for each of the five schools on campus, to assist the College in its rebranding project.


Pictured at right, BSC President Dr. Marsha Krotseng receives the award from Foundation Executive Director James Shott.





Bluefield College ACE receives Foundation Grant




Wayne Pelts, Assistant Director of the Academic Center for Excellence at Bluefield College, receives a grant from The Community Foundation's Executive Director, James Shott, for funding for improvements to the Center.


The $1,995 grant will be used to provide furniture for outdoor study spaces just outside of the Center.







Foundation Board Approves Grant Requests


The Board of Directors of the Community Foundation of the Virginias, Inc. has approved 51 applications for Grant Awards totaling more than $120,000.


The awards are broken down into the following Areas of Interest:

22 - Human Services

15 - Arts & Humanities

10 - Education

  4 - Health


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.




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

     Program Support

Oakvale Elementary School, $1,699.00, Playground equipment

Oakvale Elementary School, $1,946.11,STEM (science, technology, engineering & mathematics)

Academic Center for Excellence - Bluefield College, $1,995.00, Outdoor furniture for student study


Appalachian South Folklife Center's Learning Day Camp, $2,000.00, free cultural, educational and

     social opportunities to low income

Bluefield College - The Rampage, $2,000.00, Printing costs of the student newspaper

Bluefield High School, $3,981.93, To purchase two water cooler and bottle filling stations

Bluefield State College Foundation, $3,530.00, to purchase 5 banners and poles

Richlands Elementary School, $1,155.00, Microphones for musical performances

Mercer County Bible in the Schools, $1950.75, Donor-Designated




Greater Bluefield Community Center, $2,445.00, To purchase a new upright bike

Virginia Dental Association Foundation, $2,000.00, Mobile dental clinic services in Wise and


WVU Foundation, Inc. / Children's Vision Rehabilitation Program, $2,000.00, Low vision clinics

     in Mercer County

Mercer Charitable Clinic, $565.76, Donor-Designated


Human Services


Abel Crisis Pregnancy Center, $1,900.00, Cribs, mattresses, pack'n plays, and car seats

Appalachian Agency for Senior Citizens, $1,867.26, Daycare supplies

Bluefield Police Department, $2,000.00, Radar units for new police cruisers

Bluefield WV Fire Dept., $3,124.00, New gloves and hoods for 16 firefighters

Child Protect of Mercer County, Inc., $2,000.00, Items for the Family Resource Center

Children's Home Society of West Virginia, $2,000.00, Fostering Families Support Group

Communities in Schools of Southwest Virginia, $2,500.00, Hidden Closet for Richlands High

     School students living in poverty

Community Connections, $2,000.00, Camp Mariposa

East River Amateur Radio Club, $2,800.00, Two amateur radios for emergency situations

Friends Unlimited, $3,000.00, 2018 Spring Prom for disabled adults

Make a Wish Foundation of Greater PA and WV, $2,200.00, To help fulfill a Mercer County wish

Mercer County Royal Family Kid Camp, $2,000.00, Kids Camp

Mercer County Spay Association, $2,000.00, Help with spay and neutering costs for low income

Princeton Board of Parks and Recreation, $1,063.00, Golf course kiosk and disc sets

Princeton Police Department, $1,740.00, Promote positive interaction of police and youth program

Save a pet Food Bank, $2,000.00, Pet food to be distributed to low income families

Second Chance for Cats, $1,500.00, Spay and neuter 45 cats

The Salvation Army - Princeton, $2,000.00, Spring break and Summer Day Camp for 2018

Wade Center, $2,000.00, Purchase Ipads for homework

WISE, $1,000.00, Training material only for workshops

Young Life, $2,000.00, Transportation for summer camp 2018

Wade Center, $854.35, Donor-Designated


Arts & Humanities


4 Pals Productions, Inc., $3,000.00, Support for the 6th Annual 4Pals Theatre Festival

Alliance for the Arts, $1,500.00, Repair and refinish the stage in the Summit Theater

Blue Mountain Performing Arts, $2,000.00, To help defray costs of Irish Celebration"

Bluefield Beautification Commission, $2,000.00, One bench and trash receptacle for Durhing


Bluefield Preservation Society, $2,000.00, Repair of two garage doors

Bluewell Improvemt Assoc., $3,000.00, LED Information town sign

Bluewell Lions Club, $3,000.00, Town Directory Sign

Charles T. "Chuck" Mathena II Foundation, Inc., $2,000.00, To help subsidize reduced rental rates

     for schools and non-profits in Mercer County

Graham Historical Society, $2,000.00, Repair, seal and cap the chimneys on the Sanders House.

Mercer County Fair, $1,000.00, Train or other exhibit for 2018 fair

Mercer County Historical Society, $2,000.00, Installation of air-conditioning units

Mercer County Historical Society Heritage Festival, $2,000.00, Professional storyteller fees for


Tazewell County Tourism, $2,000.00, A sign for the new Welcome Center

Town of Bluefield, VA Beautification Commission, $2,100.00, Two basketball goals at the Pinehill

     Park Playground

Town of Bluefield, VA IDA, $730.00, Banners and cards for marketing

Trails at Bluefield City Park, $2,000.00, Children's music station



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 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