Home Community Foundation awards $551K in grant funding to 142 local nonprofits

Community Foundation awards $551K in grant funding to 142 local nonprofits

Photo by Chris Lassiter for Community Foundation of the Central Blue Ridge.

As many checks as cheers were present last week at the Community Foundation of the Central Blue Ridge’s Community Grant Celebration.

A total of 142 area nonprofit organizations received grants totaling $550,993 at Stable Craft Brewing on Thursday. Since 1992, the Community Foundation has invested $20 million into the community through its grants, scholarships and Dawbarn Education Awards.

The grant celebration event and the amount of funds awarded continue to grow.

“It’s an inspiration to see all these organizations come together in one place,” Community Foundation CEO Dan Layman said. “It gives us all a true sense of the magnitude of the nonprofit community that is committed to making our community a wonderful place to live.”

The Foundation 2024 grant recipients were presented in nine categories:

  • Supporting our neighbors in crisis
  • Cultivating our sense of place
  • Nurturing education programs
  • Taking care of our neighbors with special needs
  • Supporting the arts
  • Taking care of our animals
  • Developing life skills for better outcomes
  • Investing in enrichment opportunities
  • Providing access to basic necessities and healthy living

“I thought the event was fantastic,” Fred Blanton, treasurer and board member of Shenandoah Green, said. “I hadn’t been to one of these before, and I was overwhelmed at the size and variety of people that are in our community doing good for all of us. It was humbling, heartwarming and wonderful.”

Emani Morse, co-CEO of On the Road Collaborative, agreed.

“I thought it was a beautiful ceremony,” Morse said, “especially to see where everybody works and how they serve.”

Josh Cole is the interim executive director of Community Child Care, and also CEO of the STAUNTON-AUGUSTA FAMILY YMCA and the Waynesboro Family YMCA. As Cole seeks to make sure all three organizations serve the community, he’s thankful for the support of the Community Foundation of the Central Blue Ridge.

“It was fantastic,” Cole said. “The support the Community Foundation shows to the nonprofits is immeasurable, and a huge help to our community.”

Diana Williams, chair of the Community Foundation’s board of directors, delivered opening remarks for the celebration. The event was special to her.

“The number of nonprofits, 142, is just amazing,” Williams said. “We’re able to engage and continue supporting these groups in their mission. I’m just excited to be here and see a lot of familiar faces.”

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca J. Barnabi is the national editor of Augusta Free Press. A graduate of the University of Mary Washington, she began her journalism career at The Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star. In 2013, she was awarded first place for feature writing in the Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia Awards Program, and was honored by the Virginia School Boards Association’s 2019 Media Honor Roll Program for her coverage of Waynesboro Schools. Her background in newspapers includes writing about features, local government, education and the arts.