January 16, 2014 – Meeting Roundup
This week we will honor the state champion volleyball team and learn more about The Eastern West Virginia County Community Foundation.
The Eastern West Virginia Community Foundation (EWVCF) is one of approximately 700 community foundations across the country—and one of 30 serving the citizens of West Virginia. Community Foundations are set up by local leaders working with individuals, nonprofit organizations, businesses, and families dedicated to improving the quality of life in a specific region. They serve Jefferson, Berkeley, and Morgan Counties. EWVCF’s affiliates serve Hampshire and Hardy Counties.
They are a tax-exempt 501(C)(3) public charity that allows donors to establish charitable endowment funds within one large foundation, offering an affordable, value-added way to be a philanthropist. Depending on the type of fund crafted by a donor, annual distributions (from investment gains) can benefit local nonprofit organizations, charitable causes, scholarships, churches or government agencies.
Like so many other rural communities in the United States, the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia was slow to establish its own community foundation. Although the movement that began in 1914 in Cleveland, Ohio was immediately embraced by major cities, few rural areas set up their own community foundations until late in the second half of the 20th century.
Thanks to the vision of a number of community leaders in Jefferson, Berkeley, and Morgan Counties, the Eastern West Virginia Community Foundation was established in 1995. That same year Doug Roach was elected the organization’s first president. Doug would type meeting minutes on an old IBM Selectric typewriter in the back office of Roach Oil. He and the other board members volunteered their time and did everything those first six years while laying the groundwork for future success.
Tia McMillan followed Doug as president and recruited Amy Owen as the organization’s first paid employee. Amy was skilled at many things and thanks to Jim Denova of the Benedum Foundation was able to secure grants that covered the community foundation’s very modest operating expenses for nine years. During her decade-long tenure, Amy did a remarkable job of cultivating relationships with donors, financial institutions, and nonprofit organizations.
Near the end of 2011, after almost a decade as Executive Director of the Community Foundation, Amy Owen informed the board that she and her husband Don were moving to Virginia to build their dream house and take on new challenges. With Amy’s departure date set for May 15, 2012 the board jumped into action, appointed a Succession Committee and began the search for a new executive director. After reviewing 43 applications, interviewing 10 candidates, and narrowing the field down to a final three, the board selected Michael Whalton as the organization’s second executive director. Thanks to yeoman efforts by Amy Owen, a very smooth transition ensued and Michael is now in his second year on the job.
CCAP / Loaves and Fishes
It is divided into two parts. Loaves and Fishes distributes food ($250,000 worth) and CCAP provides emergency assistance, such as heating fuel, prescription drugs, rent, and other basic needs, to needy families. It is located in the basement of the old St. Joseph’s School with hours of 10-1 Monday through Friday. We also learned that they can provide, on a limited basis, matching tax credits for donations $500 and above.
Answer to last week’s question:
This was a tough question because our first female member moved from Martinsburg almost two decades ago. Janice Christopher, an assistant school superintendent, was our first female member.
This week’s question:
Who was the first female district governor in District 7350? And who was the first female district governor in District 7560?
Pam Wagoner won the prize for most guests. She brought Steve Truax who recently retired and volunteers at CCAP/Loaves and Fishes; Ruanna Hess who is volunteer coordinator at CCAP; and JoEllen Cannedy who is office manager and vice president of CCAP. Cassandra Nipe, a student at Shepherd, was back as a guest of her mother, Tina. Tina also brought David Darnell. Greg Smith, an Allstate agent with offices in Frederick and Martinsburg, was back as a guest of Manuel Washington. Gail Moxley brought Matt Morris, a beverage consultant with 25 years experience in the adult beverage industry. We also had a number of spouses—Joan Roach/Doug Roach; Dave Wadsworth/Joanne Wadsworth; Patsy Smith/Jim Smith; and Gwen Noll/Phil Noll.
The Taste of the Panhandle is this Saturday and it looks like it is going to be a huge success. However, the committee is still seeking items for the silent auction.
A special thanks goes to all the members who are helping make our biggest fundraiser a success—Pam Wagoner (co-chair), Gail Moxley (co-chair), Kathy Mason (co-chair), Christina Johnson, Tina Nipe, Doug Frye, Marilyn Schoon, Bill Wortley, Ross Curtis, Pam Curtis, Charlie Connolly, Jodi Frankenberry, Pat Woodson, Penny Porter, Karen Spence, and Mary Hayward. We also thank the non-Rotarians who served on the committee—Matt Morris, Ann Smith, Leotta Shillinburg, and Bonnie Refriend. It was so well organized that by the time I got around to buying tickets, it was sold out. You snooze, you lose.
Chris Knight needs greeters for the next six months. It’s an easy job as all you do is greet members and guests as they arrive, lead the Pledge of Allegiance, and give a prayer after the Pledge. It’s a great way to meet your fellow Rotarians.
One of our guests won 50/50, so the pot remains the same as does the deck of cards.