Community Foundation of the Virginias, Inc.      Click for Bluefield, West Virginia Forecast

"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.




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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.



P. Buckley Moss to speak at 

Foundation's Annual Dinner


The Community Foundation of the Virginias, Inc. will hold its Annual Dinner on Tuesday, October 6, 2015 at Fincastle on the Mountain.


Artist P. Buckley Moss is this year's keynote speaker. An alumna of New York's prestigious Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, Pat Moss is a formally educated and accomplished artist, highly regarded by academics and collectors alike. With her art displayed in more than 200 galleries worldwide, she is one of America's most prized living artists.


The Reception and Social Period will begin at 6:00 p.m., with the dinner beginning at 7:00 and the program following dinner.


Tickets are $100 per person, $150 for couples, and $1,000 to be a sponsor and a premium table.


Pat has graciously donated a unique, one-of-a-kind print based on one of her works to the Foundation, which will be raffled off, and the winning ticket will be drawn at the Dinner.


Raffle tickets are $5 each, and you can get 5 tickets for $20!


You need not be present to win this print!  



Reserve your seats today! 


Contact the Foundation office at 304-324-0222



Grant applications for 2015 now being reviewed


The Community Foundation's deadline for Grant applications has passed, and the Grants Committee will begin tomorrow reviewing the 46 applications, seeking more than $130,000 in funding.


The Grants Committee is chaired by Robert Perkinson and comprised of: Mary Azzo, Mary Jo Babbitt, Marie Blackwell, Kathleen Blaydes, Carole Dodson, Craig Hammond, Doris Sue Kantor, Kermit Moore, and Bettye VanDyke.


The Committee's recommendations will be presented to the Foundation Board of Directors in September, and successful applicants will be notified shortly thereafter.






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.




Michael Ammar returning to Bluefield

to benefit the Community Foundation



West Virginia native and Bluefield High School graduate Michael Ammar last dazzled area fans with his “close-up” slight-of-hand magic performance, in August of 2011. The Community Foundation of the Virginias, Inc. is thrilled to announce Michael’s return for an appearance to benefit the Foundation on May 14, 2015.


Michael, who is the son of the late A.S. "Buddy" Ammar and Betty Ammar, became interested in magic as a child, and developed his interest to a level achieved by only a few in his field.


Called "the magician's magician" by David Copperfield, Michael earned the designation as one of the 100 most influential magicians of the 20th Century by The Magic Magazine, and many regard him as the greatest sleight-of-hand magician in the world.


His performance blends a unique combination of skill, humor, and motivation for an extremely entertaining evening.  His television credits include two appearances on “The Tonight Show,” “The Late Show with David Letterman,” CNN Headline News, Worlds Greatest Magic, Travel Channel: Magic of LA, International Magic Awards, The Worlds Best Magic Tricks EVER, and several appearances on Japanese and Korean television specials.


Michael writes books, lectures, performs and teaches all over the world, and has a long list of awards and honors, including these: Magician of the Year; six awards from the Academy of Magical Arts; FISM Gold Medal in Close Up Magic; two awards from the International Magic Awards; Dragon Award; and West Virginia University's Distinguished Alumni award winner in 2005, for achieving international recognition in his profession. 


The event takes place at the Bluefield Elks Lodge on Thursday, May 14 beginning at 6:00 p.m. with a social period and cash bar, dinner at 6:45 p.m., and the show follows dinner. This event is one of the Foundation’s two major fundraisers this year, the second being the Annual Dinner later this year.


Seating is limited and tickets are $60 each, and are available from the Community Foundation of the Virginias, Inc., 304-324-0222.





Featured Grant Recipient:

Foundation Grant Assists Abel Crisis Pregnancy Center





The Community Foundation awarded the Abel Crisis Pregnancy Center $1,500.00 to purchase Pack N Play and car seats, in the 2014 Grants Cycle. The award came from the Fund for Mercer County.


Abel Crisis is a life-affirming Christian ministry that provides services for pregnant women, providing information about alternatives to abortion. Clients who decide to carry their baby to term receive help throughout their pregnancy and afterwards, helping them meet material, emotional and spiritual needs.


The Center provides pregnancy testing, education about pregnancy and childbirth, about parenting and adoption, information about abortion and associated health risks, and a variety of other valuable information for pregnant women.




Community Impact Project benefits The Wade Center,

Blessings in a Backpack and Friends Unlimited


The Community Community Foundation's Community Impact Project (CIP) for 2014 awarded funding to three area projects. The CIP is the vehicle that turns donations made for NIP tax credits into support for valuable community projects.


The Community Impact Project supported the efforts of The Wade Center in providing educational, recreational and nutritional support for low income families in the Bluefield area, as well as local volunteers who raise money locally for the Blessings in a Backpack food program, and supported the efforts of Friends Unlimited to improve the lives of Mercer County's developmentally disabled residents.


The largest of these three projects involved helping The Wade Center provide recreational and relational activities for 100 residents of its general neighborhood in a family-friendly, safe environment.


In the photo at right, The Wade Center's Darius Carper, Director of Missions and Missions Coordinator and Jessica McDaniel, Director, receive the $32,000 award for their project recreational and relational project. The Foundation also funded the Center's Backpack program with a $2,000 grant.


The CIP also assisted Friends Unlimited provide monthly activities for 100-150 developmentally disabled residents to help develop personal habits, social skills, nutritional selection, in safe and appropriate activities with a grant of $2,000.


Another grant of $2,000 helped provide backpacks containing weekend food supplies for children of low-income families in several elementary and middle schools in the Bluefield area.


Applications for the Community Impact Project will be accepted through the last business day of May. Non-profit organizations and government agencies interested in applying for for the CIP should call or email the Foundation for information and an application.





Two New Funds Established in December



Area students now have two more potential funding sources from the Community Foundation that were established just before the end of 2014.


The Margaret "Trika" Smith-Burke Scholarship Fund was established to benefit graduating seniors at Richlands High School, Richlands, Virginia, and to college students who graduated from Richlands High School and have received this award in one or more previous years. This Fund was started by a trust fund established by Margaret Smith-Burke, a descendent of Thomas Righter, who founded Pocahontas Mining Company in 1906, which operates today under the name Pocahontas Resources, LLC.


The Bluefield High School Class of 1963 Scholarship Fund benefits graduating seniors at Bluefield High School, Bluefield, West Virginia who will pursue one of two major courses of study. It was started by Bill Daugherty, a 1963 graduate of BHS, who wanted to provide assistance for graduates wishing to study business or education. Preference is given to students majoring in Business, and if no qualified applicants for Business are found, applicants majoring in Education will be considered.





Foundation Grant Assists

Town of Bluefield, Virginia



A $2,000.00 grant from the Foundation's Unrestricted Fund assisted the Town of Bluefield, Virginia Beautification Commission in replacing playground equipment at the Pinehill Park Playground.


Pictured left to right, James Shott, Foundation executive director, and representatives of the Town and the Beautification Commission Donna Kelly, Linda Heneger, and Kim Hernandez.





Grant Recipients for 2014


The Community Foundation of the Virginias, Inc. is pleased to announce the award of 38 grants for 2014.These awards totaling $72,818.20 represent the Foundation’s 18th annual grant cycle supporting local nonprofit groups. The Foundation received a total of $97,012.50 in requests from applicants. 


With the inclusion of the 2014 awards, the Foundation has returned more than $1,000,000 to the area since 1997 in grants and scholarships.


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


The Board of Directors of the Foundation unanimously approved the following grants on September 9, 2014, and are listed below by Area of Interest, and alphabetically:


I - Education:

Bluefield College New Opportunity School for Women - $1,275.00 program support, Alfred and Shirley Wampler Caudill Fund and the Ghia Borg Memorial Fund

Memorial Primary School - $2,743.00 to purchase 200 Wiggle Seats, Warren Ashby and Elizabeth Featherstone Thornhill Memorial Fund

Memorial Primary School - $575.00 to purchase stability balls for classroom of 25, Jeffrey Edward Shott Memorial Fund

North Tazewell Elementary School - $2,000.00 to purchase stability balls for classrooms, Ruth Creasy and A. Elmo Fleshman Fund

Quick Start Tennis of Central Virginia, Inc. - $2,000.00 to purchase tennis equipment for Tazewell County Schools, Ruth Creasy and A. Elmo Fleshman Fund

Read Aloud West Virginia, Mercer County - $2,000.00 to provide books to low income children in Mercer County, Bluefield Dailey Telegraph Fund and the Ghia Borg Memorial Fund

Bible in the Schools - $2,151.37 - Donor Designated, B. G. and Rachel Blalock Fund


II - Health:

Mercer Charitable Clinic - $722.63 - Donor Designated, Charles and Jerry Ann Myles Fund


III - Human Services:

Abel Crisis Pregnancy Center - $1,500.00 to purchase Pack N Play and car seats, Fund for Mercer County

Appalachian Agency for Senior Citizens, Inc. - $2,000.00 to purchase cribs, refrigerator, microwave and other items for the child day care, William D. Evans Fund

Blessings in a Backpack (Dudley, Graham Intermed., Ceres) - $2,000.00 to fill backpacks with food every Friday for low income children at Ceres Elementary, Graham Intermediate & Dudley Primary; Judge Jerome and Hilda R. Katz Memorial Fund and Community Impact Project

Blessings in a Backpack (Memorial, Whitethorn and Blfd. Intermed.) - $2,000.00 to fill backpacks with food every Friday for low income children at Memorial, Whitethorn & Blfd. Intermediate; Community Impact Project and the AEP Fund

Bluefield State College Foundation - $2,100.00 planters for the entrances to campus, Charles A. and Marjorie M. Peters Fund and Unrestricted Fund

Buckskin Council Boy Scouts of America - $2,000.00 to fund membership fees in Tazewell and Mercer Counties, Charles A. and Marjorie M. Peters Fund and Unrestricted Fund and the Perkinson Family Fund

Child Protect of Mercer County - $2,000.00 to purchase car seats, Pack N Play and clothing for families in need, Fund for Mercer County

Children's Home Society of West Virginia - $2,000.00 monthly Family Support Group expenses, Jeffrey Edward Shott Fund and the Fund for Mercer County

Children's Home Society of West Virginia WE CAN - $1,747.00 support of activities for low income children, Jeffrey Edward Shott Fund, Rotary Club of Bluefield Fund and the Community Impact Project

F.U.N. Friends Unlimited - $2,000.00 support for the annual prom for disabled adults, Community Impact Project and the Sandra Gayle Monk Fund

Marine Toys for Tots - $2,000.00 Toys for Tots Program support, Fund for Mercer County

Princeton Police Department - $2,040.00 Friends for Life packet for children Unrestricted Fund

Royal Family Kids Camp of Mercer County - $2,000.00 Constant Person Program for children in poverty, Ghia Borg Memorial Fund

SATIRA - $1,000.00 to support the "PURPOSE" program for crafts and snacks, Unrestricted Fund

Save A Pet Food Bank - $2,000.00 program support, Unrestricted Fund

Second Chance for Cats - $1,050.00 program support, Fannie Kate and Betty Gardner Bailey Fund and Unrestricted Fund

Sunrise Center - $2,000.00 to purchase classroom supplies, Unrestricted Fund

The Wade Center - $2,000.00 support of the back pack program, Judge Jerome and Hilda R. Katz Fund Community Action Grant Fund, Bluefield Rotary Club Fund and Community Impact Project

Young Life of Bluefield - $2,000.00 expenses for Young Life Graham High School, Ghia Borg Memorial Fund

The Wade Center - $994.20 - Donor Designated, Sylvester C. and Janice M. Myers Fund


IV - Arts & Humanities:

4 Pals Productions, Inc. - $2,000.00 support of the Annual 4 Pals Theatre Festival for high school students, Unrestricted Fund

Alliance for the Arts, Ltd. - $1,320.00 Banners for the Bluefield Area Arts Center, Janie Poteet Light Fund for Art Studies and the Unrestricted Fund

Blue Mountain Performing Arts - $5,000.00 to help fund "Live From Nashville" concert, Fannie Kate and Betty Gardner Bailey Fund and Unrestricted Fund

Bluefield Beautification Commission - $2,000.00 to purchase benches and trash receptacles for Commerce Street, Ammar Family Fund

Bluefield Fine Arts Commission - $3,000.00 program support for several fundraising projects, Unrestricted Fund

Bluefield Preservation Society - $2,000.00 to purchase 20 white canopy tents and 20 sets of LED decorative lights, Unrestricted Fund

Bluewell Improvement Association - $3,000.00 to purchase 4 new welcome signs in Bluewell, Unrestricted Fund

Charles T. "Chuck" Mathena, II Foundation, Inc. - $2,000.00 to provide tickets to low income in Mercer and Tazewell County, Unrestricted Fund

The Trails at Bluefield City Park - $600.00 to build a footbridge on the Creek Trail at the City Park Trail, Unrestricted Fund

Town of Bluefield, VA Beautification Commission - $2,000.00 playground equipment at Pinehill Park Playground, Unrestricted Fund




Foundation Grant supports Quilters Jamboree




The 3rd annual Patchwork Quilters Jamboree was held July 18 and 19 at the Carlock-Pruett Fieldhouse at Graham High School. Co-Chairs of the event Betty Kuppusami and Betty Watson thanked the Foundation for its support of the project, consisting of a $1,500 grant for the purchase of 75 quilt stands.





Marine Corp League and Foundation exchange "gifts"





In the photo at left, Rodney Mayberry of the Marine Corps League receives a check for $2,000 from Foundation Executive Director, James Shott.


The award came from the Fund for Mercer County to support the League's efforts in the Toys for Tots program that provides toys for disadvantaged children each Christmas.


In the photo at right, James Shott receives a plaque expressing the appreciation of the Marine Corps League from Rodney Mayberry.






Featured Grant Recipient:

Beautification Commission of Bluefield, Virginia


James Shott, Executive Director of the Community Foundation of the Virginias, Inc.,  presented two checks to support the Town of Bluefield, Virginia.



Janet Gunn (left) and Donna Kelly, Co-Chairs of the Bluefield, Virginia Beautification Commission, receive the award for the replacement of picnic tables in Jack Asbury Park.



Lesley Catron, Town Clerk (left), and Kim Hernandez, Executive Assistant, receive the award to help fund the installation of audible pedestrian signals at the four-way intersection downtown.



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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