Wayne and Diana Bennett are retired educators from Raleigh County. Together they have spent over 70 years working with children and volunteering to support their community. Though they are retired, they have continued to give back to Raleigh County and now have established the Wayne and Diana Bennett Family Fund as an unrestricted endowment, utilizing BAF’s “Building over Time” option, to support the community grant program for Raleigh County.
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BAF Susan Landis Youth Philanthropists (SLYP) presented grants to three local non-profit organizations. Students presenting the grant awards were Ryan Vaught, David Maiolo, Dillon Ewing, and Amber Meadows. On hand to accept the grant awards were Scott Hill from Theatre WV, Debby Berry from the Raleigh County Humane Society, and Susan Hambric from Beckley Art Center.
Students interested in joining the 2018-2019 SLYP board can get more detailed information at our SLYP page by clicking here.
The Massey Foundation has provided $25,000 for a challenge grant that will match donations to existing or new unrestricted funds at the Beckley Area Foundation. This is the tenth year that BAF has received this meaningful gift that will leverage much needed discretionary funds.
The Foundation receives multiple worthwhile grant applications each year in response to its annual Community Grant Program. The Massey gift offers donors an opportunity to help meet this need and double the impact of their donation. Building the pool of discretionary funds is important to our area non-profit charitable organizations.
Unrestricted endowments generate income that can be used for widely diverse projects ranging from health and wellness programs and public recreation to education initiatives and support of the arts in our schools and communities.
A new named unrestricted fund may be established with $5,000. Utilizing this matching opportunity, a donor could create a fund honoring their family or memorializing a loved one with a $2,500 donation that then would be matched. Gifts of any amount to existing unrestricted funds will also be matched.
The matching funds will be offered on a first come, first served basis. Contact Dena Cushman, Executive Director or Rebecca Williams, Chief Financial Officer at BAF to reserve your match.
Since April 1, 2018 over $43,000 has been distributed from Beckley Area Foundation's Donor Advised Funds. By creating Donor Advised Funds, donors have the satisfaction of shaping well-considered philanthropic programs that reflect their special interests and concerns.
Donor Advised Funds give donors an unparalleled opportunity to:
Distributions made since 4/1/18 have benefited:
American Red Cross of Raleigh County: $1,000
BAF Community Grant Program: $327
Beckley Concert Association: $1,344
Big Brothers Big Sisters of South Central WV: $914
Bread of Life Outreach Center: $1,000
Brian's Safehouse: $750
The Carpenter's Corner: $1,800
Concord University Foundation: $1,250
First Christian Church: $3,500
Fishes and Loaves: $1,000
Helping Hands Resource Center: $1,250
Hinton Area Foundation: $6,500
Hospice of Southern WV: $524
Humane Society of Raleigh County: $1,214.75
Just for Kids: $2,250
Mountain State Center for Independent Living: $250
One Voice: $500
Piney Creek Watershed Association: $250
Quota International of Beckley Empty Bowls: $250
Raleigh County Animal Rescue: $714.75
Raleigh County Board of Education: $800
Raleigh County Commission on Aging: $1,250
Raleigh County Historical Society: $1,000
Royal Family Kids Camp: $250
St. Stephen's Episcopal Day School: $2,000
South Asia Cultural Society: $2,500
Theatre of West Virginia: $2,000
Town of Sophia: $2,479.18
United Methodist Temple SAW Ministry: $500
Women's Resource Center: $1,000
YMCA of Southern WV: $2,884.50
Donor Advised grants were awarded from these endowments:
AEP Community Services Fund, Mr. and Mrs. L.D. Bembalkar Memorial Fund, Chase Community Service Fund, File Family Fund, Ford Family Fund, Mario C. Ramas Memorial Fund, Alex D. and Alice E. George Fund, Ralph H. Jackson Memorial Fund, Johnston-Frail Fund, Charles S. Lewis, Jr. Memorial Fund, Ben McGraw Memorial Fund, Albert King Minter, Jr. Fund, Robert and Margaret Sayre Fund, Smith Family Fund, C. Hampton Thomas, Sr. Memorial Fund, Woodcliff Garden Club Civic Beautification Fund, Woods Family Endowment, and the Word Family Fund.
On June 21, 2018, the Beckley Area Foundation held its first ever GrantSeekers event at the Historic Black Knight Municipal Park. This was a new event designed to bring the Foundation's Donor Advised Fund representatives and local non-profit organizations together.
The event was created to show donors about the current projects of local organizations that were in need of funding and to encourage grant making. However, an unexpected result occurred. Many of the non-profit leaders told us that this event gave them a networking opportunity with other non-profits in the area that they previously had not interacted with.
A big thank you to all of our donors and non-profits that participated. We look forward to hosting this event again in the future!
Crime Stoppers of WV
Helping Hands Community Resource
Hospice of Southern WV
Humane Society of Raleigh County
Just for Kids Inc.
MountainHeart Community Services, Inc.
Mountain State Centers for Independent Living
One Voice, Inc.
Piney Creek Watershed Association
Quota International of Beckley
Raleigh County Animal Rescue, Inc.
Raleigh County Commission on Aging
Raleigh County Community Action Association, Inc.
Royal Family Kids Camp
Shady Spring Branch Library
Theatre West Virginia
The Beckley Area Foundation is proud to support the YMCA of Southern West Virginia's capital campaign for construction of the new Cline Family YMCA. This donation was made possible thanks to the generosity of our donors, both past and present. Your gifts to our unrestricted endowments allow us to make lasting and meaningful contributions to meet the needs of our community today and in the future.
Read the full article from The Register-Herald by clicking here!
As part of our continuing efforts to support Raleigh County residents and organizations, the Board of Directors has approved our 2018 Gift to the Community. This will be an ongoing promotion throughout 2018. As new events are added, announcements will be made.
-FREE tickets to any Theatre West Virginia production if it is your FIRST time attending. This includes residents of Raleigh and surrounding counties. For tickets, contact Theatre West Virginia's box office 304-256-6800. Promotion ends August 4, 2018. Tickets are limited. http://www.theatrewestvirginia.org/
-1/2 price season tickets for NEW members of the Beckley Concert Association. For tickets, call 304-253-3535. Promotion ends September 6, 2018. Tickets are limited.
Empty Bowls, a fundraiser for local food pantries hosted by Beckley Quota Club, is happening this Saturday. BAF, a longtime supporter of this event and organization, provided them $3,734 to purchase pottery wheels, clay, and glazes that are used to make the bowls throughout the year at various locations around southern WV.
Empty Bowls began in 1990 as an international project to fight hunger, personalized by artists, art students, community organizations and generally anyone who wants to get their hands in clay, to be a part of the solution in addressing hunger in their neighborhoods.
Each community's events are self-developed and independent. The "Empty Bowls" framework encourages and inspires participants of all ages to create and donate their piece of art to raise money towards food sustainability programs in the region. The money is raised by having an event consisting of a simple meal of soup and bread, which is provided by generous restaurants and organizations in the area, with an empty bowl to be selected and taken home as a reminder of those who may not have enough to eat. Tickets are pre-sold, while items for a silent auction and donations are secured for the event. All of the money raised is awarded to local food banks and soup kitchens in the community.
Quota Club of Beckley, in conjunction with the Youth Museum of Southern WV, began this initiative locally in 2013, with the first event being held in March 2014. They far exceeded projections creating over 700 bowls and raising $12,000, which earned international recognition as one of the five projects selected by Quota International for their Service Project of the Year Awards.
The next year's event surpassed the previous with 1000 bowls being made and $15,000 being raised and distributed. This earned the Quota Club of Beckley the international service award again that year, an honor they never expected 2 years in a row.
2016 yet again surpassed the previous year, raising $17,500 that was distributed to 11 organizations throughout the region. While 2017's event did not continue on this upward trend, it was still a wonderful success, raising $15,000, for a total of $59,500 being raised since its inception.
We hope you will come out and support this awesome event and make 2018 the best year yet!
Evelyn Ann Farris was a life-long resident of Beckley, WV who felt strongly about supporting your local community, merchants and church. Miss Farris directed that a portion of her estate be left to a nonprofit organization. Her family has chosen to honor her wishes and her memory by establishing The Evelyn A. Farris Fund at the Beckley Area Foundation. The endowment was created as an unrestricted fund to be used to support BAF’s Annual Community Grant Program for Raleigh County.
The daughter of Gus and Jamile Salem Farris, Evelyn was one of 10 children. Gus came to America in 1907 at the age of 17 and worked for merchants in Charleston, WV before starting his own business in Beckley. The Gus Farris Department Store was a family owned clothing store that served the Beckley community for 80 years. Miss Farris spent her career as an owner and operator of the store along with three of her siblings until it closed in 1991.
Miss Farris did not have children of her own but she was very devoted to her family and cared for her parents and several siblings in ill health. Her extended family was very important to her and she taught her nieces and nephews that “your health is your wealth”. She was a member of St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church.
During her lifetime, Evelyn established two unrestricted funds in memory of her siblings, The Elmer J. Farris Memorial Fund and The Isabel M. Farris Memorial Fund. These funds were also set up to benefit BAF’s Annual Community Grant Program. Her nephew, Mike Farris stated, “Aunt Evelyn would be pleased to know that the BAF fund will help those in her community live a better quality life by practicing wise use of funds.”
Anyone interested in making a donation to this fund may mail contributions to BAF, 129 Main St. Suite 301, Beckley, WV 25801 or visit our website, www.bafwv.org, to donate online. If you are interested in starting an unrestricted fund, call the Foundation at 304-253-3806 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Evelyn Ann Farris (January 15, 1923 – May 3, 2017), was the ninth of ten children born to the late Gus and Jamile Salem Farris. She was born in Beckley, West Virginia and lived her entire life in the family home on East Main Street. When Evelyn’s health began to fail in 2013, she moved to The Villages at Greystone in Beaver, West Virginia. Miss Farris was a graduate of Woodrow Wilson High School and Beckley College. She spent her career working in the family business, Gus Farris Department Store, where she worked until the store’s closing in 1991.
An avid cook and hostess, Miss Farris was known for her entertaining skills. She hosted many dinners and gatherings for family and friends where her native Lebanese dishes always found a welcome audience. She was a seasoned traveler having made her way around the globe. Evelyn was a member of the Laurel Business and Professional Women’s Club, Catholic Daughters of America, and a life-long member of St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church.
Evelyn never married but her host of nieces and nephews were her “children.” Evelyn had a special gift of selflessly caring for the sick and elderly, displaying patience beyond imaginable. Evelyn traveled to New Hampshire twice to help her younger sister care for her two sons who tragically died at very young ages. Then she returned to Beckley to care for her mother Jamile for a number of years until her death in 1961. Following her mother’s death, Evelyn’s father Gus became bedridden and she cared for him until his death in 1967. Following his death, Evelyn returned to the retail business where she worked until the store closed.
Several years after retiring her older sister Isabel was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. Evelyn loving cared for her for a number of years until her death in March 2006. During Isabel’s illness, Evelyn’s brother Elmer also became ill and bedridden. Evelyn cared for him along with Isabel until his death in November 2006. Evelyn’s hospitality skills were evident in each of these circumstances – meals were nutritious and tastefully presented on serving trays. And for her father, there was always a fresh flower in a vase.
In addition to her parents, Evelyn was preceded in death by her siblings Alice Farris Lynch, Felix Farris, Joseph Farris, Isabel Farris, Elmer Farris, Helen Farris Hayes, Dr. James T. Farris, and Dr. Frederick P. Farris. She is survived by one sister Florence Farris Boisse of Manchester, New Hampshire.