After nearly 20 years serving as Regional Affiliate Director, Margaret Nost has announced her plans to retire at the end of January. She first joined the staff of the Community Foundation for a greater Richmond in 2002 in a part-time role to shepherd the early growth and development of three regional affiliate foundations – the Gloucester Community Foundation, the Mathews Community Foundation, and the River Counties Community Foundation – established between 1996 and 2001 to serve five counties in the Middle Peninsula and Northern Neck.
With a background in banking and an inherent ability to connect with people, Margaret was the right fit from the start. Community foundations were flourishing in cities across the country at the time but were lesser known or understood in rural communities. Working closely with the volunteer boards, Margaret expanded outreach, built trust within the community, and championed the community foundation as a strategic partner that brings deep community knowledge and expertise to helping donors achieve their charitable goals and to community organizations seeking to fulfill their missions.
Under Margaret’s leadership, the Gloucester, Mathews and River Counties Community Foundations now steward over 240 donor-established funds with assets totaling $56 million. This has translated into $23 million in cumulative grant support to a wide range of important community programs and initiatives in the arts, education, the environment, health care and so much more. This year marked a milestone as their respective community impact grant programs combined to award over $1 million for the first time.
“Margaret is the face of the Community Foundation in Gloucester, Mathews, Lancaster, Middlesex and Northumberland Counties,” said Sherrie Armstrong, CEO of the Community Foundation for a greater Richmond, which provides financial and administrative support for the affiliate foundations. “We join these communities in honoring Margaret’s dedication to and vision for philanthropy in the region and her ability to build partnerships for the greater good. We are grateful for her leadership and enduring friendship and we wish her all the best for a happy, healthy and much deserved retirement.”
As the regional affiliates have experienced this explosive growth, the local staff team grew to include Regional Affiliates Officer, Lincoln Boykin, and Regional Administrative Associate, Ashleigh Elliott. At this important time of transition, the Community Foundation for a greater Richmond and its Affiliates are pleased to announce that Lincoln will move into the role of Director of Affiliate Foundations starting January 1. Since joining the team in February 2020, he has overseen community grantmaking and outreach to nonprofit and community partners across the five counties. He has proven to be a strategic fit for the role and has earned the approval of the Affiliate Foundation’s Board Chairs in moving to the Director position. Previously, Lincoln served as Associate Director of Philanthropy and Board Relations at American Rivers.
Margaret Nost has a heart of gold and, in many ways, she has been the heart of the communit(ies) she has served. In honor of her hard work, dedication to the mission, and compassion for others, the Community Foundation is establishing the Margaret Nost Heart of the Community Fund - an endowed fund that will be used to support annual grantmaking for all three affiliate community foundations.
If you wish to honor Margaret in this way, you may make an online contribution using the link below or make a grant recommendation from your donor advised fund.
River Counties Community Foundation celebrated and honored the work of local nonprofits at its annual grant reception on Monday, July 9. Over $550,000 in competitive grants were awarded within a framework of cultural vibrancy, health and wellness, educational success, and economic prosperity. The focused areas collectively work toward a better quality of life for all residents in Lancaster, Northumberland and Middlesex counties.
“RCCF takes a wholistic approach to what makes a strong community and supports services that reach nearly every resident,” said Debbie Newman, RCCF Grants Chair. “Applications are reviewed for impact and strength, and matched with funding available to meet specific interests. RCCF provides stewardship for donors by ensuring donor intent and nonprofit programs are aligned.”
In a rural area, it is important that residents, young and old, have access and are exposed to high-quality arts and cultural opportunities. Grants to Northern Neck Orchestra and Rappahannock Foundation for the Arts will bring those performances to life on local stages. Rappahannock Concert Association and The Court House Players work directly with youth to provide string instruction and summer theatre camp.
RCCF supports organizations providing access to the wealth of historical assets in our community. Expanding hands-on exhibits and engaging visitors, Historic Christ Church, Steamboat Era Museum, and Rice’s Hotel/Hughlett’s Tavern all are focused on making history come alive for its visitors young and old.
The foundation invests in services which ensure community members are safe and healthy. Grants to Northern Neck-Middlesex Free Health Clinic and the Ledwith-Lewis Free Clinic provide primary care and wellness visits for un- or under-insured adults. And understanding the importance of healthy foods for all, Healthy Harvest Food Bank is building a new warehouse to store and distribute foods more efficiently and provide added educational programs.
Awards to Upper Lancaster Volunteer Rescue Squad, Fairfields Volunteer Fire Department, and Smith Point Sea Rescue will support equipment upgrades to ensure the best response to emergencies to keep the community safe.
To best support the health of at-risk populations, Three Rivers Health District will use grants funds to work to train residents as part of the Medical Reserve Corp, and provide outreach and education on responding to the opioid crisis. Assisting victims of domestic violence, Avalon Center on the Middle Peninsula and The Haven on the Northern Neck, provides counseling, advocacy and shelter for women and children. When children are involved in abuse and neglect cases, Northern Neck CASA is their advocate. Grant funding to send volunteers to attend the National CASA conference increases their ability to serve our youngest.
RCCF is committed to the health and wellness of all children, and supports the need for upgraded and redesigned facilities at Dream Fields in Kilmarnock. Further promoting physical activity and healthy living, Middlesex Family YMCA’s 7th grade initiative program will include transportation home through a grant focused on providing access to all children.
From children to seniors, health and wellness touches every resident. Working with individuals suffering from Alzheimer’s, Rappahannock Westminster-Canterbury Foundation and the Alzheimer’s Association provide respite care hours and scholarships for eligible families through their grants, allowing a small break for the caregiver from what is coined the 36-hour day.
And knowing the community health benefit from fewer stray animals, the Animal Welfare League provides spaying/neutering services for the feral cat population through funds that support the four-legged residents.
The Foundation’s goals around educational success aim to ensure that all children achieve in school, engage in their community, and are prepared for the workforce.
Grant funding to the Kiwanis Club of Middlesex will expand its partnership with the Middlesex County Public Schools to provide service based projects and opportunities for students. And knowing all children must be ready with the supplies and clothing they need, RCCF assists the Northumberland Family YMCA Bright Beginnings program, held each summer.
Focused on each student’s K-12 pathway, Lancaster County Virginia Educational Foundation was awarded a grant to create two new FIRST LEGO Robotics teams at LMS to help feed into the high school team. Further expanding STEM enrichment, RCCF supports the Northern Neck YMCA as it morphs its traditional after-school programming to incorporate drones, coding, leadership and construction. And Friends of the Rappahannock will expand its work at St. Clare Walker Middle School to provide both students and teachers a deeper dive into conservation through the Foundation’s grant.
Engaging teens and understanding this crucial window of time for development, RCCF is making investments in the Boys and Girls Club of the Northern Neck’s facility expansion for dedicated teen space and revamped programming, and the Lancaster Community Library’s upgraded teen space and programming. Grants to GRASP will allow for one on one guidance for students and families at Lancaster and Northumberland High Schools in the FASFA process, especially our first-generation college students.
Middlesex County Public Schools moved from concept to reality, through a multi-year grant from the foundation, to create the Compass Academy. Opening in the fall, the academy will create a progressive alternative setting for students who are unable to be success in the typical school setting, providing the opportunity for all student to reach their full potential, regardless of barriers.
The Foundation awarded grants for summer programming, decreasing the risk of students sliding backward between school years. Jacob’s Ladder engages youth in grades 4-8 identified as intellectually gifted, but at-risk through a summer residential camp, and MACorp’s Girls Empowerment Camp and Camp SWAG (for boys) guides youth ages 12-18. Middlesex County Public Library will bolster its summer reading and programming for all youth through RCCF support.
A critical part of building a strong, vibrant community is safe, stable and affordable housing for all residents. Major investments have been made to organizations who are working to build new or repair old homes in our community. The Middlesex Foundation was granted a multi-year award in 2017 to plan and develop the concept of an affordable apartment community in the Cooks Corner, modeled after Mercer Place in Lancaster. Grant funds are now leveraging state funds to move toward construction. Habitat for Humanity of Middlesex and Hands Across Middlesex work closely together on housing. Habitat has purchased its first large tract of land and an award from RCCF will provide development and infrastructure for the future build of 6-7 Habitat homes. Working with a housing stock that is aging, support for Hands’ home repair program provides materials needed for volunteers make living conditions safer and healthier. In similar partnership Lancaster/Northumberland Habitat for Humanity and Lancaster/Northumberland Interfaith Service Council provide housing support in the lower Northern Neck. Grant awards to Habitat will support its first custom modular build with Chesapeake Homes in Northumberland, and Interfaith will continue to provide home repair and ramp construction for those physically or financially unable to make these improvements on their own.
Understanding the need to prevent homelessness, RCCF has invested in the start-up and continuation of Middlesex Department of Social Services’ Rapid Re-Housing Program. Wrap around services, coupled with rental assistance, provide short and long-term solutions and follow up for those in crisis. Ultimately, self-sufficiency of residents is the goal of all service organizations. Grants to Legal Aid Works provides an outreach paralegal to look at the long term financial needs of eligible clients in the Northern Neck who should be receiving Social Security Disability, and works to advocate on their behalf, and VersAbility Resources provides employment as a means of financial support for adults with disabilities at the Puller Center.
Investments in infrastructure are part of ensuring a strong community that provides all residents the opportunity to move up the economic ladder. Transportation remains a challenge. Funding from RCCF, coupled with local governement dollars, allows Bay Transit to operate a second bus in Middlesex to get residents to work or other appointments. To provide better access to internet, the Foundation helped put Northumberland Public Library’s Mobile Library on the road, which provides outreach to underserved areas of the county and broadcasts a strong (and free to the public) wifi signal.
“The nonprofit sector plays a crucial role in all four focus areas that make a strong and vibrant community. River Counties Community Foundation remains committed to support local organizations as they take the lead in implementing new and expanded services to meet the needs of all residents,” said Bill Vose, RCCF Board Chair.
The power of endowment has resulted in a growth of RCCF to nearly $17.5 million in assets over the past 20 years, while resulting in the investment of over $8 million in community nonprofits. “It has been powerful to have worked 10 or more years ago with donors in establishing funds and now being able to see the impact their funds are making. Their names and their philanthropy are living on long after they are gone” said Margaret Nost, Regional Director.
Established in 1996, River Counties Community Foundation stewards charitable endowments for donors, partners with nonprofits through grantmaking, and provides leadership on community issues. For further information on the work of RCCF, visit www.RiverCountiesCF.org or call Margaret Nost, Regional Director, at (804) 436-1600.
Download the RCCF Report to the Community
Northern Neck Partners for Pets Announces $50,000 Challenge Gift
Northern Neck Partners for Pets (NNPP) is delighted to announce a generous $50,000 challenge gift towards the construction of their new animal shelter. Organized in 2014, NNPP is a grassroots nonprofit dedicated to providing a safe haven and quality homes for unwanted cats and dogs. Its’ mission is to rescue, nurture, adopt, and educate.
Terrie Dort, NNPP President exclaimed “at long last, our dreams of breaking ground on the 35.8-acre Devil’s Bottom Road property are within reach. The exceptional news that NNPP has been awarded a $50,000 dollar-for-dollar challenge gift from an anonymous couple speaks volumes about the strong community support for animal welfare.” She goes on to say, “this is a once-in-a-lifetime chance, so please seize the moment to capitalize on this $50,000 challenge in 2018. You can help us reach our goal. Right here. Right now.”
The $100,000 will go towards Phase One of the project as the top strategic priority for 2018. It will provide funding for a site plan, vehicular access, site clearing, electrical service, and potentially septic and well installation. Phase One will also include evaluation of NNPP’s architectural options based on submitted proposals. The $50,000 challenge will be awarded in 2019.
Dort adds “this is a unique opportunity for the community to literally double their donations now and build momentum for our capital campaign. With the public’s help, we can provide compassionate care and loving homes for the strays, the abandoned, the old, the infirm, the abused, and surrendered pets in our region. NNPP is deeply appreciative for community support in any amount and our gratitude is without measure.”
Judith E. Harvell has been a respected leader in local animal rescue since 1965. “As the President of the AWL, and NNPP Board Member, I’m urging the community to act now to financially support this critical need. We must address the tough subject of animal welfare and end the unnecessary euthanasia of at-risk pets. For individuals who are passionate about saving homeless dogs and cats, this challenge gift is a call to action. To succeed, NNPP needs the backing and support of all fellow animal lovers in the Northern Neck and beyond.”
NNPP consultant Clare Adams said “dollar-for-dollar challenge gifts are a catalyst to generate community donations. Each and every dollar individuals and organizations contribute will be matched 100% up to $50,000. The NNPP goal is to match raise $50,000 in gifts, for a total of $100,000, by the end of 2018. There are many ways to give and NNPP is happy to customize a giving plan or naming opportunity. All donations are tax deductible to the extent allowed by the law.”
Dort concludes, “your support and contributions will help save vulnerable cats and dogs. Be an advocate for those who cannot speak for themselves.”
Lancova Partners for Pets dba Northern Neck Partners for Pets is a private, charitable 501(c)(3) nonprofit. Tax ID #: 46-4025767.
All matching challenge donations and gifts can be sent to NNPP at PO Box 361
Irvington, VA 22480 or by using the secure online PAYPAL account at www.northernneckpartnersforpets.org.
*Press release from Northern Neck Partners for Pets
River Counties Community Foundation supports skill-building program
“I love it, there is so much collaboration here,” enthused Cora Rowe, a rising 8th grader and aspiring pianist who was a first-time participant in the Court House Players Community Theater summer program for children. The program is in collaboration with the Missoula Children’s Theater, a touring company that arrives with costumes, scenery, and props. With the help of volunteers, the week-long camp is a run by professional actors, accommodating up to 62 children from rising first graders to high-school seniors.
Children learn a play in one week; all lines, songs, and dances. In addition to rehearsals, there are workshops to teach voice projection, parts of the stage, set design and directing. “Supporting organizations that provide enrichment and educational opportunities through arts and cultural activities is the guiding principle in River Counties Community Foundation’s Cultural Vibrancy focus area,” said Leslie Franklin, Regional Grants Management Officer. Court House Players was a successful recipient in the Foundation’s 2018 Competitive Grant Process, receiving a grant that enabled Court House Players to give 10 children scholarships. “There aren’t many venues for the arts in Middlesex. Many of these children have never had experience with musical arts. Once involved, 80% return to participate another year and several have been involved for as long as 13 years,” said Aryah Hudgins, Children’s Theater coordinator.
Landon Hudgins has participated in Court House Players Children’s Theater since the age of 5. Landon praised his experience, “I’ve become more out-going, which makes social situations easier. Standing in front of an audience doing anything builds character. It has taught me public speaking, team building, and leadership. It has matured me,” said Landon. Pianist, Cora says she is becoming more comfortable in her ability to accompany a performer. She wants to do children’s theater again and dreams of pursuing a career in music.
“In a rural area, the Foundation’s focus is on ensuring residents, young and old, have access to high-quality arts and cultural opportunities. This year River Counties Community Foundation disbursed approximately $37,000 in the Cultural Vibrancy category, a small portion of more than $550,000 in total grants awarded to nonprofit organizations in Middlesex, Lancaster and Northumberland counties,” said Franklin. According to Regional Director, Margaret Nost, “Wise management of donor funds has grown Foundation assets to more than $17 million. We invite anyone interested in supporting programs such as Court House Players to create a lasting gift. We will take your gift and grow it. Together we do more good for our community.”
River Counties Community Foundation (RCCF) announces the 2019 Advisory Board Officers and appoints three new board members to three-year terms. 2019 officers are: Mary Kay Rotert, Chairman, Carolyn Norton Schmallenberger, Vice Chairman, Bill Vose, Secretary and Mason Brent, Treasurer. With nine years of service, Ron Mihills and Debbie Newman retired from the Board. “Ron and Debbie served with great energy. We thank them for their dedicated and valuable contribution to our community,” said Bill Vose, departing Board Chair. Newly appointed board members are: Middlesex County residents, Wayne H. Jessie, Sr. and David R. “Jerry” Suyes, Jr. and Lance Franke from Lancaster County.
RCCF seeks to align its giving in Lancaster, Northumberland and Middlesex Counties with carefully identified community needs. RCCF’s success is enhanced by knowledgeable advisory board members. Wayne Jessie was elected to the Middlesex School Board in 1996; subsequently, elected to the Middlesex Board of Supervisors. He is also a representative to the Middle Peninsula Planning District Commission and Middle Peninsula Alliance, serves on the Urbana Oyster Festival Foundation Board and the Middlesex Sports Complex Committee. He is a member of the Middlesex Volunteer Fire Department, American Legion Post 241 and Mt. Zion Baptist Church.
J. Lance Franke retired from Sallie Mae as Executive Vice-President of Finance. Previously, he worked in management consulting for Macro Systems, Inc. and in sales for Xerox Corporation and Exxon Office Systems. Franke has served as Treasurer of the Chesapeake Academy Board of Trustees in Irvington and is currently a Trustee. He is also a member of the Rappahannock River Yacht Club where he chaired the Long-Range Planning Committee.
Dr. David “Jerry” Suyes, Jr. practiced dentistry for 55 years with an office in Richmond and a satellite office in Middlesex. Suyes is a Past District Governor for Rotary International, served as President of the YMCA of Richmond and is a founding member of the Middlesex YMCA. “I became familiar with RCCF when the Church of the Visitation in Middlesex created an endowment fund. Since its establishment, the fund has provided more than $20,000 in college grants to Middlesex County students. That’s how I learned about creating a legacy”, said Suyes.
For information about establishing a legacy fund, call RCCF Regional Director Margaret Nost, 804 436-1600. RCCF’s annual fundraising campaign, Together.Stronger., is now underway. This campaign allows RCCF to aggregate smaller gifts in a manner to achieve maximum impact, providing support for unmet needs and emergency situations. Contributions may be made electronically at www.RiverCountiesCF.org or by check, mailed to P.O. Box 222, Kilmarnock, Virginia 22482.
P.O. Box 54
White Stone, VA 22578
834 Rappahannock Drive
White Stone, VA 22578
P: (804) 436-1600
F: (804) 330-5992
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