Representatives from Calhoun Banks made a generous challenge gift of $2,500 to launch the 2nd Annual Little Kanawha Area Community Challenge Program. This lead gift shows how important it is to employers like Calhoun Banks to grow permanent funding sources to address the local needs.

Our Community's Foundation - Little Kanawha Area (LKACF)'s goal is to utilize the 1 for 2 challenge match campaign to add $5,000 of community donations to Calhoun Bank's $2,500 challenge gift to provide a total of $7,500 for local grant and scholarship resources by November 1st.

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 Foundation is also building a LKACF Scholarship Fund that will provide general scholarship awards that will rotate between Calhoun and Wirt County High Schools. Since LKACF is a young community foundation, these local grant and scholarship funds are small and therefore cannot provide the level of support needed to address the growing needs in these communities. The LKACF Community Challenge will provide resources needed to build these funds.

"Right now LKACF is only able to provide funding for a small portion of the local requests it receives each year. It is our goal to add at least $7,500 to these community grant funds this year. We are truly grateful for the generous challenge gift from Calhoun Banks.

Calhoun Banks has always been a strong supporter of the Little Kanawha Area Community Foundation and their employees take great pride in serve as our challenge partner to help the Foundation secure matching resources for future community improvement grants. It is our hope that other businesses operating in the area and the county residents will now follow their lead and meet their challenge," commented Jane Winters, Regional Affiliates Manager of Our Community's Foundation.

"The employees at Calhoun Banks were happy to be a part of the 2012 challenge which added $14,700 to the Little Kanawha Area and Gilmer County Community Grant Funds. It is our hope that this year we can add $7,500 through the community challenge to continue to build the local grant funds and help build our general scholarship fund. 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 Calhoun, Gilmer and Wirt Counties become 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 and scholarship funds. By working together as a regional team, 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 & 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; Deb Hartshorn; 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, jane.winters@pacfwv.com or the LKACF board members who are spearheading this program: Jim Bennett, Calhoun Banks (304-354-2000 or jbennett@calhounbanks.com) or Diane Ludwig (304-275-4231or dludwig@littlekanawha.com) by November 1, 2013. 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 sponsor 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 challenge program or LKACF, contact Our Community's Foundation or visit the organization's website at www.pacfwv.com

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