news1 million donation to support education programs related to nations 250th anniversary

$1 million donation to support education programs related to nation’s 250th anniversary

VA250 Commission
Pictured L to R, Hunter Applewhite, President-Dominion Energy Charitable Foundation; Cheryl Wilson, Executive Director, VA250; Senator Mamie Locke (D-Hampton), Vice Chair, VA250 Commission; Delegate Terry Austin, Edward H. Baine, H. Benson Dendy, President, Virginia Commemorations, Inc.; Bill Murray, Senior VP – Corporate Affairs and Communications, Dominion Energy; Senator Tommy Norment, Virginia Commemorations, Inc. and VA250 Commissioner (Photo by Kathy Scott)

The Virginia 250 Commission has announced a $1 million donation from the Dominion Energy Charitable Foundation in support of statewide programs commemorating the 250th anniversary of American independence and Virginia’s key role in achieving it.

Dominion Energy’s donation is the first corporate gift toward the commemoration. The donation was recognized Saturday evening at a national convening marking the 250th anniversary of Virginia’s Committee of Correspondence, a pivotal step in the unification of the 13 original colonies.

The funding will ensure that all Virginia students, teachers, and communities have access to the planned programs, exhibitions and events commemorating the independence of the United States 250 years ago.

The gift is granted by the Dominion Energy Charitable Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Dominion Energy, Inc., parent company of Dominion Energy Virginia. The beneficiary is Virginia Commemorations, Inc., the supporting arm of the Virginia American Revolution 250 Commission.

“Dominion Energy has been part of past commemorations and we have seen firsthand the impact they can have on Virginia’s economy, citizens, teachers and students,” said Edward H. Baine, President of Dominion Energy Virginia and a member of the Dominion Energy Charitable Foundation Board, during the program in Colonial Williamsburg for nationwide planners of 250th events from 34 states and 50 localities across Virginia. “We want to make sure this celebration is no different. America’s 250th anniversary is a once in a generation opportunity and we want to make sure Virginia leads, in our rightful place.”

Dominion Energy’s partnership will support education programs for both students and teachers across Virginia, as well as signature exhibits and a mobile museum that will travel the state and beyond. Dominion Energy’s investment will also help support efforts in all 134 localities across Virginia as they plan their own events related to the nation’s 250th anniversary.

The Virginia American Revolution 250 Commission was established by the General Assembly and serves to commemorate the American Revolution, the Revolutionary War, and the independence of the United States in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The nation will mark its semiquincentennial in 2026.

However, programs in Virginia begin now and will last through 2031. The primary goal of the Commission is to convene and facilitate a Commonwealth-wide commemoration and celebration, multi-faceted and inclusive of hundreds of partners and representatives of the wide array of histories, sites, stories and communities that define Virginia.

“We thank Dominion for its generous support of this important milestone in our history. We know that commemorations generate a tremendous economic impact throughout the Commonwealth, with the last three major statewide commemorations – 2007, Civil War 150, and 2019 – bringing a combined total of $1.5 billion to the state. The Virginia General Assembly has appropriated significant funding to the Commission, but none of these programs would be possible without robust public-private partnerships such as this,” said Delegate Terry Austin, Chair of the VA250 Commission. “Dominion Energy’s commitment will serve as a beacon to inspire others to support the 250th commemoration.”

Programs and events to mark the nation’s 250th in Virginia are well underway. To learn more, visit

Crystal Graham

Crystal Graham

Crystal Abbe Graham is the regional editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1999 graduate of Virginia Tech, she has worked as a reporter and editor for several Virginia publications, written a book, and garnered more than a dozen Virginia Press Association awards for writing and graphic design. She was the co-host of "Viewpoints," a weekly TV news show, and co-host of Virginia Tonight, a nightly TV news show. Her work on "Virginia Tonight" earned her a national Telly award for excellence in television.