Charleston, WV- The Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation (TGKVF) Board of Trustees approved the distribution of grants totaling $315,150. Funding supports programs such as the Town of Marmet’s Pedestrian Safety Project. 

The Town of Marmet’s project will design a safe and accessible pedestrian walkway beginning at the end existing sidewalk in eastern residential Marmet and connecting to the transit shelter in front of the Marmet Kroger. This project will make getting around easier for Marmet residents like Jack. 

After a number of brain operations, Jack now copes with a seizure disorder and limited field of vision which leaves him unable to drive a car or ride a bike. He likes to walk to Kroger to refill his medication, even though his wife, Jane, is concerned about him walking along the busy roadway with no sidewalk. 

“The feeling of independence is so valued by those with disabilities and those with limited resources,” said Jane. “At times in the summer you will see a family walking from the store pulling a wagon with groceries and children being held by the hand. Marmet is appealing to those who choose not drive because of the KRT bus line and having so many conveniences accessible by walking. It would be wonderful if one day Kroger could become accessible with a walkway.”

TGKVF awarded four responsive grants totaling $111,100 to Arts & Culture and Field-of-Interest programs, six grants totaling $169,050 in the Foundation’s proactive areas of Community Economic Development (CED), Education, and Health, and one grant in the amount of $35,000 to a West Side 2.0 project. Additionally, an extended 5-year commitment of $350,000, with payments beginning in 2022, was awarded to the CAMC Foundation for a new CAMC Center for Learning and Research that will be located on Chesterfield Avenue across from the CAMC Memorial Hospital.

FestivALL, Charleston, West Virginia, Inc.-FestivALL 2021: $24,000 (Arts & Culture)

FestivALL 2021 will be comprised of performance, exhibition, and learning opportunities in the performing and visual arts. Support will be used for hiring artists and arts groups at FestivALL in June and FestiFALL in October for events such as the FestivALL Art Fairs, Carriage Trail events, public art projects, theater performances, and more. These performances and exhibitions are hosted in Kanawha County and are enjoyed by many who live in and visit the region. Funding will primarily support artists’ fees.

West Virginia Symphony Orchestra (WVSO)-All in for Wild Wonderful West Virginia Artists: $10,000 (Arts & Culture)

The WVSO will connect visual, performing, and culinary artists from West Virginia with thousands of potential customers by inviting them to exhibit and perform during MATRIC Symphony Sunday, a free daylong celebration of the arts on June 6, 2021 at Power Park in Charleston, featuring the WVSO and the West Virginia Youth Symphony. This festival has the potential to benefit artists from all West Virginia counties, but specifically those from Boone, Clay, Fayette, Kanawha, Lincoln, and Putnam, by providing participation and exhibition opportunities. Funding will support renting and setting up the stage, display tables, chairs, and paying professional WVSO musicians to perform. 

CADCO Foundation, Inc.-FASTER WV Loan Fund: $36,750 (CED)

The FASTER WV program provides one on one business coaching, entrepreneurship training, and access to capital for new and expanding businesses. Funding will be used to capitalize the loan fund and will aim to result in the creation or expansion of two businesses and several new jobs.

Coal River Group, Inc.-Growing Organizational Capacity and Supporting Outdoor Recreational Economic Growth: $34,000 (CED)

The Coal River Group (CRG) will utilize TGKVF funding to grow organizational capacity and expand river restoration and community-based outdoor river recreation programs. CRG is looking to increase and develop operational support for a new Director to guide the organization and implement its 2020 – 2025 Strategic Plan. CRG has been successful in creating informational programs that have boosted local entrepreneurial efforts and has aggressively promoted tourism for the region through social and public media platforms. The Coal River Water Trail is recognized nationally and continues to grow. 

WVMA Educational Fund, Inc.-Explore the New Manufacturing in Greater Kanawha Valley: $22,000 (Education)

The Explore the New Manufacturing in Greater Kanawha Valley initiative will expand STEM and career literacy programs for middle and high school students in Boone, Clay, Fayette, Kanawha, Lincoln, and Putnam counties. The project will introduce the Manufacturing Innovation Challenge (MIC) for high school career and technical education students in partnership with regional manufacturers. The Explore Program’s popular The “What’s So Cool About Manufacturing?” Student Video Contest will be expanded to include more middle school teams and manufacturing partners within the competition’s Southern Region. All learning programs meet the WV Department of Education’s curriculum standards. Funding will support staffing and supplies.

WV Professional Dance Company (WVDC)- “Exploration Earth: Your World Through STEAM” Educational Dance Tour: $28,000 (Education)

The “Exploration Earth: Your World Through STEAM” educational dance tour provides 22 educational performances and workshops in Clay, Kanawha, and Lincoln County Schools, as well as two public performances. The performances will connect movement to Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) disciplines as well as global and Appalachian cultures and histories exploring conceptual parallels between design fields, kinesiology, and choreography. Funding will support staffing, school visits, and artist stipends.

Housing Innovations Corporation-Meeting the Needs of Older Adults in Our Community: $32,100 (Field-of-Interest)

This program aids Kanawha County seniors who live in public housing. Funding will assist and prevent homelessness and increase their ability to remain independent and active in their communities. This grant helps residents with food pantry items and vouchers for a mobile farmers market. Funding also supports emergency needs such as transportation, utilities, medical expenses, and rental deposit assistance. 

Faith in Action of the Greater Kanawha Valley, Inc.-Serving Seniors Neighbor to Neighbor: $45,000 (Field-of-Interest)

Project funding will support capacity growth through recruitment, training, and retention of volunteers in Kanawha County. This grant also addresses the unmet needs of seniors including consistent, reliable access to food; home repairs and maintenance with a priority on ensuring a safe living environment; and engagement opportunities designed to combat the health detriments of social isolation among our senior population.

Town of Marmet’s Pedestrian Safety Project: $10,000 (Health)

The MacCorkle Avenue at Lens Creek Road Pedestrian Safety Project aims to design safe and accessible pedestrian infrastructure beginning at the end of the existing sidewalk in eastern residential Marmet and connecting to the transit shelter in front of the Marmet Kroger Grocery and Pharmacy. This grant will assist in developing a design report, which will be the first concrete step in positioning Marmet to produce a shovel-ready project. Residents will have direct input in the design as public involvement meetings will be hosted by the Regional Intergovernmental Council. The engineering design is supported by Transportation Alternatives funding and requires a local match.

Mountaineer Food Bank, Inc. (MFB)-Fresh Initiative Kid Markets: $38,300 (Health) 

In its third year of support from TGKVF, Mountaineer Food Bank will host Fresh Initiative Kids Markets with MFB produce inventory, partnering with local producers and WVU Extension Agents to provide fresh produce to selected elementary schools in Boone, Clay, and Fayette Counties. The funding from TGKVF will help improve access to nutrient-dense food boxes that make up a healthy eating pattern, provide education, and increase food insecurity awareness and empathy. This year’s program will be slightly modified to limit contact with students while still allowing them to be served when in a blended learning model due to the COVID pandemic.

Appalachian Service Project, Inc.-ASP Kanawha County Housing Revitalization Initiative, Continued: $35,000 (West Side Initiative 2.0)

Appalachian Service Project provides volunteer home repair and replacement in Central Appalachia. Funding will support the Kanawha County Housing Revitalization Initiative activities to make homes warmer, safer, and drier while improving West Side neighborhoods. Activities will provide critical repairs for eight families through volunteers, staff, and subcontractors while collaborating with other community organizations to provide a renewed sense of safety, pride, and hope for underserved citizens.

The Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation is grateful to our community of generous donors who make these and other grants possible. The programs and work approved for the first quarter of 2021 distributions are supported by the following funds: Robert Lytle Anderson; Marian H. Angell Memorial; John C. and Ada K. Arter Memorial; Frank W. and Joan Allison Badger; Beatrice Bell Memorial; Juanita M. Boll Memorial; Kenneth H. Bowyer Memorial; Cabot Foundation; Nelle Chilton Family; Mr. and Mrs. W. E. Chilton III; Senator William E. Chilton, Sr.; Ellsworth R. and Caroline H. Clark; William O. Clarkson; Helen R. Coffindaffer; Columbia Gas; Lenore Cox Compton Memorial; Cox-Morton; Jane M. and Rugeley P. DeVan, Jr.; Mary Lewis Dickinson; Miriam Duling Carter Memorial; Lloyd and Margaret B. Erhard, Jr.; Glen and Lois Wingett Howard Memorial; J.W. and Gabrielle P. Hubbard, Jr.; Bernard H. Jacobson Cultural Fund; and Harry and Florence Silverstein.