On the Ides of March, over 170 nonprofit and community leaders from throughout the Greenbrier Valley attended a reception hosted by the Greenbrier Valley Community Foundation (GVCF).
At this event, GVCF disbursed 2017 annual reports and 2018 distribution checks to charitable organizations in Greenbrier, Monroe, and Pocahontas counties. Grants totaling over $340,000 were presented to 70 different recipients including educational institutions, arts organizations, churches, and groups assisting the needy. These awards were made from earnings on the funds administered by the community foundation.
Notable among the awards that evening were grants made through a new initiative from the Greenbrier Valley Community Foundation’s discretionary funds. Nonprofits organizations were asked to submit a short explanation of their most pressing use for $1,000. The GVCF board then funded ten of these requests which it believed addressed the most important community needs, had a clear scope as well as the ability to be completed in a year, serviced significant numbers of people, and did not have other substantial resources outside of GVCF to assist with the need. Recipients included the Alderson Artisans Gallery, Communities in Schools Greenbrier County, Greenbrier County Public Library, Greenbrier Youth Camp, Renick Community Center, Ronceverte Main Street, Wellspring of Greenbrier Valley, White Sulphur Springs Public Library, Monroe County Coalition for Children and Families, and the Humane Society of Pocahontas County.
The Community Foundation also announced that evening an endowment challenge grant funded by a grant from the James F. B. Peyton Fund. The purpose of the program is to help nonprofit organizations in Greenbrier County become more financially stable and self-reliant through the establishment of endowed agency funds. Endowed agency funds are administered by GVCF for the benefit of the nonprofit organization which creates the fund. They are comprised of irrevocable contributions that are invested with local trustee banks according to GVCF’s policies. Nonprofits in Greenbrier County who wish to establish or build an endowed fund with the Greenbrier Valley Community Foundation may apply to contribute $2,500 and receive a $7,500 grant toward an endowment.
The reception was held in the WVU building at the State Fair of West Virginia. In accordance with the theme of the day, attendees sampled food and wine representing Romania. The food was prepared by Sanctuary Living of White Sulphur Springs and included traditional Romanian dishes such as Mititei (small skinless sausages), Zacusca (roasted pepper spread served with toast points), Merdenele (puff pastry pockets filled with feta cheese and ricotta), Mini Savarine (mini syrup soaked cakes topped with whipped cream), and Plancinta cu branza dulce (sweet cheese sheet cake). Paired with these tasty treats were cucumber-mint infused water and orange-lemon infused water, as well as Italian wines. The wine was supplied by the Country Vintner and selected by sommelier Banks Jesser. In addition, a Roman temple made from canned and boxed goods helped decorate the room. The canned goods were donated jointly by GVCF and the Business Department at Greenbrier East High School. When the event was over, the food was donated to the Greenbrier/Fairlea Food Locker.
In addition to financial information about GVCF, the foundation’s annual report includes a 2018 Directory of Philanthropy. The directory includes information about over 70 local nonprofits as well as 11 area funders. Free copies are available to the public at GVCF’s office on the second floor of the City National Bank building at 809 Jefferson Street South, Lewisburg, as well as online at www.gvfoundation.org.
The Greenbrier Valley Community Foundation was incorporated in 1999. It is a collection of over 100 funds, each with a separate agreement, donors, and charitable purpose. At the start of 2018, the foundation had $15 million in assets. For more information about GVCF or to learn how to establish a fund to benefit a cause you are passionate about, contact Courtney Smith, Executive Director, at 304-645-5620 or firstname.lastname@example.org.