Just over $50,000 in grants were awarded by the Eastern West Virginia Community Foundation to nonprofit organizations and schools in the Eastern Panhandle during the third annual Emeritus Council & Nonprofit Leaders Lunch that was held at the Purple Iris in late August. Grants from the D. Scott and Linda Roach Fund, the Bill and Nancy White Charitable Fund, the McMillan Family Fund, the Berkeley County Industrial Park Development Fund, and the Solomon Fine Memorial Fund.
The largest grant awarded came as a complete surprise to the recipient. Thanks to the generosity of Legacy Society member Solomon Fine, an endowed fund was created in his Will that is awarding grants in excess of $15,000 every year. The award is presented to a nonprofit organization that has done exceptional work in Martinsburg-Berkeley County during the previous year. The recipient of the 2018 Solomon Fine Memorial Fund grant is the Shenandoah Women’s Center for their outstanding work protecting victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking and human trafficking.
The Berkeley County Industrial Park Development Fund was created in 2009 by the Development board as all lands in its jurisdiction were developed and projects were completed. Annual distributions from the fund support economic development, job creation, workforce development, business recruitment and creation, and employability training initiatives. Seven grants were awarded from this fund in 2018:
$7,772 to Blue Ridge Community & Technical College for their JumpStart Scholarship Program for grade 12 students from Berkeley County.
$6,250 to Spring Mills High School for their Simulated Workplace Venture – Cardinal Catering Company.
$5,500 to Catholic Charities WV Migration and Refugee Services to train eight interns to serve the needs of our diverse community.
$4,690 to James Rumsey Technical Institute for their Civics Class Career Exploration and Personal Finance Program.
$2,000 to Faith Community Coalition for the Homeless for the Employment Action Team partner program with Immanuel’s House.
$2,000 to Family Resource Network of the Panhandle for their Soft Skills Training Program.
$2,000 to Horizon Goodwill Industries for the Get Onboard Job Readiness Program.
The Martinsburg Sunrise Rotary Foundation received a total of $2,000 in grants for their Read Berkeley Program that last year provided eight books and a backpack to each of 186 second graders in four Berkeley County elementary schools. The Sunrise Rotary Club hopes to double the number of students that receive books this school year.
An Outdoor Classroom at North Jefferson Elementary School will be built by volunteers from the Kiwanis Club of the Blue Ridge and Engineers Without Borders. Partial funding or $1,000 was awarded to help with the project. Walmart provided an additional grant for the project which is scheduled to be constructed in September.
Applications for the Community Foundation’s Mini Grants to Teachers are being accepted until October 19. The next Competitive Grant program which awards youth, education, healthcare, human welfare, housing, and historic cemetery grants goes live on the website in mid-October and applications may be submitted until December 5th of this year. Awards for these grant programs will be announced in February.