The Little Kanawha Area community received a lasting year end gift as the 2012 Little Kanawha Area Community Challenge came to a successful completion over its $7,000 goal. Over the past month several generous gifts were added to previously committed donations from community residents and businesses to bring the community challenge total to $7,800 ($800 over the $7,000 goal) by year end.

The Little Kanawha Area Community Challenge was launched by Our Community's Foundation - Little Kanawha Area (LKACF) in May of this year when representatives from Calhoun Banks and members of the WV Leadership Class of 2006 made generous challenge gifts totaling $7,000 which offered a 1 to 1 match to the residents and employers of Calhoun, Gilmer and Wirt Counties. These challenge sponsors recognize the importance of growing a permanent funding source to address local needs. 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 working to build a community grant fund to serve needs in Gilmer County.

At year end a total of $14,800 was committed to the Little Kanawha Area Community Challenge. Designated gifts of $13,200 will be added to the Little Kanawha Area Grant Fund and $1,600 in earmarked funds will be added to the Gilmer County Grant Fund. As these local grant funds grow they 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 three counties.

"Since LKACF is a young community foundation, the local grant funds for these counties are small and therefore cannot provide the level of support needed to adequately address growing needs. Currently LKACF is only able to provide funding for about 10% of the local requests it receives. Our goal was to add at least $14,000 to these community grant funds by year end. We were thrilled to receive $7,800 from community supporters and $7,000 from our challenge leaders, Calhoun Banks and the WV Leadership Class of 2006. We would like to thank Calhoun Banks and the WV Leadership Class of 2006 for stepping forward with generous challenge gifts to kick off our efforts.

We are also grateful to the many generous individuals (many who wish to remain anonymous) and businesses that supported the community challenge including WesBanco and Wirt County Health Services employees (payroll deduction program). A community that has a strong community foundation growing local funds is a more self-reliant and vibrant place to live and raise a family," commented Jane Winters, Regional Affiliates Manager of Our Community's Foundation.

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 continue to support the Little Kanawha Area Grant Fund and Gilmer County Grant Fund by contacting Jane Winters at Our Community's Foundation, 304-372-8588, jane.winters@pacfwv.com or any of the LKACF board members.

All donations to Our Community's Foundation - Little Kanawha Area (LKACF) are acknowledged as tax deductible. For more information about LKACF, contact Our Community's Foundation or visit the organization's website at www.pacfwv.com

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