The Eastern West Virginia Community Foundation hosted a special reception to celebrate multiple new scholarship funds to help support education within the community.
The first fund was created by Richard Durham for the Boys and Girls Club of the Eastern Panhandle. The second was the C. David and Barbara L. Miller Technical Education Fund, while the third was a fund to help support James Rumsey Technical Institute’s ACE program.
Durham was an important member of the foundation and a part of the Boys and Girls Club of the Eastern Panhandle’s board. Durham helped create the Boys and Girls Club of the Eastern Panhandle Fund in 2006 and was instrumental in bringing the different clubs around the area together to form a larger group.
When Durham passed away last year, he left instructions to give his house at Stonebridge to the foundation so it could be sold. He requested that half the proceeds be used to create the Durham Family Scholarship Fund, while the other half be added to the club’s fund.
“Durham always believed in us,” said Stacie Rohn, executive director at the Boys and Girls Club. “He would always pop in at the club to see how we are doing. He really had a heart for the kids and would do whatever he could to help. He always said that the kids would be taken care of.”
The C. David and Barbara L. Miller Technical Education Fund was established with a legacy gift from the Millers. They wanted to help support schools that provide technical training for students who are pursuing a career in the trades, such as Blue Ridge Community and Technical College or James Rumsey Technical Institute. In 2024, teachers can start applying for grants to help support these students.
Advisors from the Berkeley County Industrial Park Development Fund suggested creating the fund to support James Rumsey Technical Institute’s ACE program for adult continuing education. In 2024, 10 students will receive scholarships for $500 to go toward their education. Donna Van Metre, director and principal at James Rumsey this fund is so important for students.
“We have a lot of nontraditional students,” Van Metre said. “Many of them are adults going through a career transition. Any type of financial help can make the difference between finishing their education or not. We want to help serve the community, but we couldn’t do it without the community coming together to support us and our students.”
The Eastern West Virginia Community Foundation was happy to be a part of these funds as they support children and technical education within the community. As the foundation continues to grow, they hope to support more people in the area to help people flourish.