Grants Update: Foundation Announces 2024 First Quarter Discretionary Grants

Charleston, WV – The Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation (TGKVF) Board of Trustees approved the distribution of 17 grants totaling $463,480.

TGKVF awarded $49,000 to Arts & Culture projects and $237,450 to projects in the Foundation’s proactive areas of Community and Economic Development (CED), Education, and Health. In addition, the Foundation awarded funding of $85,380 for Special Initiatives, Westside, and Equity projects. Continued generous support from an anonymous donor provided funding for Dental and Emergency Aid projects totaling $91,650.


Libera WV – Libera STEAM Exploration Program for WV Title 1
Elementary Schools: $24,000 (Education)

This pilot project’s funding will support STEAM Exploration Programs and the distribution of STEAM activity boxes to 650 elementary students two times at Title I schools in Clay and Kanawha Counties during the 2024-25 school year


Fayette County Family Resource Network – Camp SOAR: Summer Outdoor Art and Recreation Camp: $40,000 (Health)
Camp SOAR is an 8-week summer day camp for youth in Fayette County designed to meaningfully engage youth and lessen or eliminate the number of children left unsupervised throughout the day. The camp immerses 9–12-year-olds in outdoor arts, education, relaxation, and recreation guided by teen counselors and responsible adults. Funding will provide scholarships to youth, help purchase camp materials, and feed campers fresh, local, and healthy food.


Advantage Valley Community Development Corporation – FASTER WV Resolving Loan Fund: $35,000 (CED)
The FASTER WV program provides business coaching, training, and access to capital for new and expanding entrepreneurs in Boone, Clay, Kanawha, Lincoln, and Putnam Counties. Funding will be used to recapitalize the program’s revolving loan fund for business startups and expansions.


Partner Community Capital – WV Women’s Business Center: $50,000 (CED)
Funding will support small business development activities in TGKVF’s six county service area. Funds will be leveraged 1:1 with Small Business Administration Office of Women’s Business Ownership grants. TGKVF funding will also support programmatic expansion that will strengthen the organization and generate new programs that will help support women and minority owned businesses in rural and socially or economically disadvantaged areas. Currently there are 90 active women and minority clients in the six-county region concentrated in Kanawha County.


City of Smithers – AmeriCorps Volunteer Assignment: $13,000 (CED)
Funding will enable matching resources through WV Ready Program to hire an AmeriCorps volunteer for 32 weeks to assist the City of Smithers with economic development. The volunteer will help manage grants to fund developments underway aimed at enhancing local quality of life and providing visitors amenities to increase recreation tourist trade in the economically hard-hit Upper Kanawha Valley.


Town of Belle – Belle’s Trail Town Main Street Plan: $4,000 (CED)
Funding will support Belle’s Trail Town Main Street planning effort covering East Dupont Avenue within Belle’s town boundaries. This planning effort serves to progress Kanawha County’s Upper Kanawha Valley Recreational Trail Plan – “The Valley: Recreating the Local Economy of the Upper Kanawha Valley through Recreation” – by developing and prioritizing the Town of Belle’s Main Street infrastructure such as wayfinding, sidewalks, and crosswalks filtered through the lens of technical feasibility by a licensed professional engineer.


WV Community Development Hub – Community Leadership Development & Project Implementation through HubCAPV (Year 2): $46,450 (CED)
In the second year of the funding from the USDA, the Communities of Achievement Program (HubCAPV) is developing leaders, building teams, and connecting to community economic development resources, providers, and investors. This includes strategizing to identify and advance key community projects and towns participating in HubCAV to create new pathways to wealth and resilience.


Lincoln County Family Resource Network – Lincoln EDA Business Resource Center Strategic Plan: $25,000 (CED)
Building a business resource center will foster entrepreneurship and provide assistance with start-up and expansion of businesses in Lincoln County. Phase one will develop documents to determine the need, capacity, and structure of the business resource center. The documents needed are Feasibility Study, Management Plan, Financial Capacity, Preliminary Engineering, and Environmental Narratives.


Appalachian Children’s Chorus – Appalachian Festival of Young Voices: $5,000 (Arts & Culture)
Children’s choirs from around the nation are invited to Charleston to join the Appalachian Children’s Chorus in a culture-filled experience in June 2024. Choirs will rehearse with world-renowned conductor Dr. Rollo Dilworth and also be immersed in Appalachian culture through music, square dancing, and stories from a WV storyteller. There will be a free performance for the public which will serve performers and audience from Boone, Clay, Fayette, Kanawha, Lincoln, and Putnam counties. Funding will help support the direct providers of the festival such as the Artistic Director, Associate Director, and orchestral musicians.


FestivALL – FestivALL 2024- 20th Anniversary & Neighborhood Arts Initiative: $34,000 (Arts & Culture)
FestivALL 2024 is comprised of performance, exhibition, and learning opportunities in performing and visual arts. Funding will support hiring artists and art groups year-round for events featuring music, visual arts, theater, and dance. The Neighborhood Arts Initiative (NAI) provides year-round opportunities for youth in low-income areas to take part in arts programming throughout the Charleston area. Funding will also support the Ticket Town initiative that provides free tickets to low-income youth at attend performances, provide in-seat art instruction for school, and after-school programs primarily on Charleston’s West Side.


West Virginia Symphony Orchestra (WVSO) – Symphony Sunday 2024: Wild, Wild, West Virginia Symphony: $10,000 (Arts & Culture)
The WVSO will connect visual, performing, and culinary West Virginia artists with thousands of people by inviting them to exhibit and perform during AVN Symphony Sunday, a free daylong celebration of the arts on June 2, 2024, featuring the WVSO and other community bands at the University of Charleston. The festival will benefit all surrounding counties, specifically Boone, Clay, Fayette, Kanawha, Lincoln, and Putnam counties by providing participation and exhibition opportunities. Funding will support renting and setting up the stage, tents, display tables and chairs, and paying professional WVSO musicians to perform.


Appalachia Service Project, Inc. – Kanawha County Housing Revitalization Initiative: $37,000 (Westside Initiative)
The Appalachia Service Project (ASP) West Side Housing Revitalization Initiative will continue to make homes warmer, safer, and drier while contributing to neighborhood revitalization on the West Side of Charleston. Activities include providing critical home repairs for ten West Side families and homeowners through volunteer, staff, and subcontractors ensuring quality construction. ASP also collaborates with other community organizations to provide a renewed sense of safety, pride, and hope for underserved citizens. These homes have historically been in close proximity, even within walking distance to one another.


Charleston Regatta, Inc. – 2024 Charleston Sternwheel Regatta: $25,000 (Special Initiatives – General)
This five-day music and arts festival located in downtown Charleston highlights the city’s unique river heritage, community socialization, public education, and family-friendly recreation. With a diverse range of free music targeting broad demographics, the Regatta fulfills its inclusive goals, which in turn creates economic prosperity for local businesses and organizations. Funds provided through this grant will support securing local arts for opening concert acts.


Cabin Creek Health Systems (CCHS) – Cabin Creek Smiles!: $75,000 (Dental)
The Cabin Creek Smiles! program provides individuals of all ages with appropriate oral health care designed to improve their quality of life and restore their smiles. This program operates out of the Sissonville and Clendenin health centers and is open to any resident in the Greater Kanawha Valley area. In the summer of 2024, CCHS will open a brand new 5-chair dental operatory on Charleston’s West Side.


Boone County Commission – Patrol Vehicle AED Project: $11,100 (Emergency Aid)
The Patrol Vehicle AED (automated external defibrillator) Project will provide a mobile AED for each patrol vehicle operated by the Boone County Sheriff’s Office. This project will primarily serve Boone County, but would also serve any county or area where the cruisers were present during the work commutes, jail transports, or trainings. Funds will be used solely for the purchase of mobile AED’s to be placed in vehicles.


Exceptional Possibilities of WV – Talking Time AAC (Augmentative and Alternative Communication): $5,550 (Emergency Aid)
Talking Time AAC Camp is part of the Exceptional Possibilities of WV, Inc. that specializes in work with people with disabilities. The week-long camp will occur in Kanawha County and be accessible for all children with disabilities whose primary form of communication is augmentative and alternative communication. AAC is a means for people to communicate who do not use verbal speech. Funding will support the purchase of materials for daily themed activities pertaining to the use of each child’s AAC device and offer nutritional meals. Each participant will take part in real life scenarios with community partners to improve functionality.


West Virginia Citizen Action Education Fund, Inc./Aspire Achievement Project – Joy is Our Journey Dream Conference & Bus Tour: $23,380 (Equity)
The Joy is our Journey Dream Conference & Dream Bus Tour is free, open to the public and designed for girls, young women, and gender-expansive youth between the ages of 12-24, as a safe space to learn, connect, and exhale. The mini conference will offer workshops for mental health, financial fitness, career expansion, and exploration. The Bus Tour event will feature interactive workshops and programming centered around mental health, wellness, beauty, arts & culture, entrepreneurship, STEM, and dream-building. The event will be held at the Charleston Coliseum & Convention Center offering music, food trucks, game stations, swag bags, and more.


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 2023 are supported by the following funds: Anonymous – Dental; Anonymous – Emergency Aid; Cyrus J. Barton, Jr. Memorial; Senator William E. Chilton, Sr.; Christ Life Fellowship Benevolence; Ellsworth R. and Catherine H. Clark; William O. Clarkson; Helen R. Coffindaffer Revocable Inter Vivos Trust; Columbia Gas; Lenore Cox Compton Memorial; Cox-Morton; J. Horner Davis II; Jane M. and Rugeley P. DeVan, Jr.; Mary Lewis Dickinson; James F. Duncan Charitable; General BB&T; General City National Bank; General Huntington Banks; General JP Morgan; General United National Bank; J. W. and Gabrielle P. Hubbard, Jr.; Bernard H. Jacobson Cultural; Alice Ann Koontz; Loewenstein #1; Lillian M. Mairs; McJunkin-Jones Family; George and Josephine Rogers; and Youth Enrichment Fund.

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