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Community Foundation Week highlights work of valuable local charity

The Community Foundation of the Central Blue Ridge will join more than 700 community foundations across the United States in celebrating charitable giving during Community Foundation Week, Nov. 12–18, 2009.

Locally, the Community Foundation of the Central Blue Ridge is best known for The Big Read, the Dawbarn Education Awards, and a host of scholarship opportunities. The organization, which serves the communities of Staunton and Waynesboro, as well as Augusta, Nelson and Highland counties, has an extraordinary reach and positive impact on our region.

Since the inception of the foundation, the cumulative value of our gifts and grants exceeds $3.3 million. Last year, its distributions amounted to almost $500,000.

Local nonprofits keep a careful eye on the Foundation’s annual competitive community grant awards program. Through its competitive grant program last year, 18 diverse organizations received funding including AMC Hospice of the Shenandoah, the Children’s Art Network, the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank, the Augusta Regional Dental Clinic, and the Community Childcare Center. In 2008, approximately $100,000 was distributed through the competitive grants program and another $400,000 was distributed through agency, designated and donor-advised funds, and community awards.

Community foundations are one of the fastest-growing forms of philanthropy in the United States, with total assets of more than $50 billion. Every year, tens of thousand of donors across the country annually choose their local community foundation as their preferred vehicle for philanthropy.

“Community foundations bring giving back to the local level. We know the places of need in our area, and we can direct resources to solve those problems,” said Becky Kohler, the president/CEO of the Community Foundation of the Central Blue Ridge.

“Making a gift is surprisingly simple, flexible, and tax effective. You can stay as involved as you like by choosing options like a donor advised fund, which enable you to be an active partner with the Foundation in the grant making process,” adds Kohler.

Community foundations are independent, public charities that steward philanthropic resources from institutional and individual donors to community-based organizations. If you would like to learn more about how you can become a local philanthropist, the Community Foundation of the Central Blue Ridge is available to help you with all aspects of your giving experience. For more information, call 540.213.2150 or visit

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augusta free press news