(06/13/2012)

(L-R) Neva Bailey, Jane Winters, and Diane Ludwig

Neva Bailey, Calhoun Banks Assistant Vice President; Jane Winters, Regional Affiliates Manager for Our Community's Foundation; and Diane Ludwig, LKACF Advisory Board Member, made an annoumcement at the Wood Festival in Grantsville to launch the Little Kanawha Area Community Challenge.

This important community challenge program, which has received $7,000 in community challenge gifts, will work over the next six months to build much needed local grant funds for Wirt, Calhoun and Gilmer Counties. Please run this story and photo and help us spread the word in these counties.

These lead gifts show the community how important it is to Calhoun Banks, other area employers and residents to grow a permanent funding source to address the local needs.

Our Community's Foundation - Little Kanawha Area (LKACF) will run the three county campaign to build permanent local grant resources through November of this year. In addition to other designated grant and scholarship funds, LKACF holds a community grant fund for Calhoun and Wirt Counties that currently provides a modest amount of annual funding to address local needs and is currently building a community grant fund to serve needs in Gilmer County.

These local grant funds will provide vital annual support for local projects and programs in Health, Human Services, Education, Arts & Culture, Recreation, and Economic Development to continually improve the quality of life in these counties. The LKACF Community Challenge will provide resources needed to build these funds and work to create a heightened awareness of the need to grow the local community grant funds.

"Since LKACF is a young community foundation, the local community grant funds for the three counties are small and therefore cannot provide the level of support needed to adequately address growing needs. Right now we are only able to provide funding for about 10% of the local requests we receive each fall. It is our goal to add at least $14,000 to these community grant funds this year.

We are truly grateful for the generous challenge gifts from Calhoun Banks and the WV Leadership Class of 2006/Proud to be a West Virginian Fund. It is our hope that other businesses operating in the area and the county residents will now follow their lead and meet their challenge with a $1 for $1 in matching funds.

A community that has a strong community foundation growing local funds is a more self-reliant and vibrant place to live and work. We are grateful to Calhoun Banks and the members of the WV Leadership Class of 2006 for providing generous challenge gifts for this effort. Calhoun Banks is always been a strong supporter of the Little Kanawha Area Community Foundation.

The Proud to be a West Virginian Fund was created by the Leadership WV Class of 2006 as its signature 'class project' as a way to encourage civic involvement and community pride.

The donors take pride in donating these funds to help the Little Kanawha area to help secure matching resources for future community improvement grants," commented Jane Winters, Regional Affiliates Manager of Our Community's Foundation.

"The employees at Calhoun Banks are happy to be a part of this important Community Challenge. As a local employer we are invested in the Little Kanawha Area and we enthusiastically support and endorse the efforts of LKACF to build permanent funds.

It is in our best interest to see these counties become stronger and more vibrant places to live. We would like to encourage other employers and residents to support the LKACF Community Challenge and help the community foundation build our local community grant funds for Calhoun, Gilmer, and Wirt Counties.

By working together, we can provide more substantial local grants that will improve the quality of life in these counties for those living here now and for the generations to follow," added Jim Bennett, Calhoun Banks President and CEO.

The Little Kanawha Area Community Foundation is a tax exempt public charity that was created in 2004 as an affiliate of Our Community's Foundation - the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation (PACF) and its Regional Affiliates. As a component part of the PACF organization, LKACF operates as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and is accredited as meeting National Standards for Community Foundations.

LKACF builds and manages permanent funds to benefit Calhoun, Gilmer and Wirt County residents, causes and non-profit organizations. LKACF has its own local advisory board which includes: Jim Bennett, Chair; Fred Rader, Vice-Chair; Diane Ludwig, Secretary; and members Jean Simers; Karen Caltrider; Alvin Engelke; Pat Lydon; Rick Sampson; Ron Blankenship and Dee Scritchfield.

The LKACF volunteers encourage the community to support the Little Kanawha Area Community Challenge by contacting:

Jane Winters at Our Community's Foundation, 304-372-8588 or jane.winters@pacfwv.com

Or the LKACF board members who are spearheading this program by October 31, 2012.

Jim Bennett, Calhoun Banks (304-354-2000 or jbennett@calhounbanks.com

Jean Simers, FRN (304-354-7177 or ccfrn@frontier.net

Diane Ludwig (304-275-4231or dludwig@littlekanawha.com

LKACF volunteers will be working over the next six months to secure matching donations. The challenge program will conclude with a fall grant reception held in November where the community challenge partners and donors will be honored, the program's success will be celebrated, and local fall community action grants will be awarded.

All donations to this program will be acknowledged as tax deductible and WV tax credits can be obtained for gifts of $500 or more if available at the time of the donation.

For more information about this program or LKACF, contact Our Community's Foundation or visit the organization's website at www.pacfwv.com


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