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Roanoke Women’s Foundation Announces Grant Recipients

The Roanoke Women’s Foundation (RWF), a component fund of Foundation for Roanoke Valley,  has announced the recipients of its grant awards, the largest total given to date.

The latest grants, a total of $242,000, awarded at a luncheon held at the Patrick Henry on November 18th, brings to $1,244,000 the total in grants funded since the organization’s inception in 2004.

“Despite a tough economy, The Roanoke Women’s Foundation reached a milestone this year with 121 members, an all time high for us” says Ginny Jarrett, co-founder of the RWF.  Jarrett and co-founder Kandy Elliott established the RWF as a way for women in the Roanoke and New River Valleys to pool their philanthropic goals and resources in order to make significant gifts to the community.

“Ginny and Kandy’s original vision for RWF has played out in a truly remarkable and exciting way, and the incredible growth in RWF members over time is a real testament to the community’s generosity and desire to make our region an even better place to live,”  added Alan Ronk, executive director of Foundation for Roanoke Valley.

Now in its seventh year, RWF has funded 26 organizations and programs.  This year, 46 organizations applied for funding from the RWF.  Through a rigorous grant making process, that number was narrowed to a group that was presented to the membership for their vote.  Based on those results, the following grants were awarded in the 2011 grant cycle:

$100,000 to Roanoke Valley Greenway Commission to support its “Bridging the Gap” campaign to provide for the construction of a 4.1 mile unfunded section of the greenway located between Bridge Street in Roanoke City and Rotary Park in Salem.  The goal is to have this section completed by the end of 2013. Once this section is built, the Roanoke Valley will have 18.3 miles of uninterrupted greenway along the Roanoke River in the center of the Roanoke Valley, making it one of the longest urban greenways in the eastern United States.

$50,000 to The Salvation Army, for  Turning Point, the only domestic violence shelter in the Roanoke Valley.  Funds will be used to help meet the costs for case manager and children’s coordinator positions, food and utilities as funding sources have been reduced due to budget cuts in federal, state and local government.  Having served the area for over 20 years, Turning Point provides safe housing and shelter for more than 250 women and children each year.  It also serves more than 500 callers to its crisis hotline.

$32,000 to Roanoke Area Ministries (RAM), which has been feeding nutritious noon-time meals to impoverished and low income citizens in the Roanoke Valley since 1987.  The grant from the RWF will replace donated and used equipment with new, commercial grade equipment in the RAM House kitchen.  The goal is to help improve efficiency of the kitchen operation as well as improve the quality of the meals that are served.  Last year, over 45,000 lunches were served to 2,900 unduplicated persons, including children.

$30,000 to Craig County Youth & Community Services for the Craig County Recreation and Conservation Association’s “Field of Dreams”, a multipurpose outdoor recreation complex including accessible fields for sporting events and physical activity.  Currently, Craig County has no public recreation complex.  This complex will be ideally situated to serve the school age populations as the “Field” will be in walking distance of the schools.  In 2009, Craig County had the second highest level of poverty (18.1%) and the highest adult obesity rate in Virginia (33.9% compared to the state average of 25.5%). The goal of the grant is to effect change in the community by encouraging healthy lifestyles and providing alternatives to dangerous and unhealthy behaviors.

$30,000 to West End Center to jump start its West End Leaders program.  Using a program titled “Leadership for the 21st Century” (a curriculum developed by the Virginia Department of Education), funds from the RWF will provide program development and marketing support.  The program helps children develop leadership skills and practices and to apply those skills through community service activities.  Although they are among the most disadvantaged in the Roanoke Valley, West End Center’s children have demonstrated impressive achievement.  Since 2000, the West End Center children have graduated at the rate of 83%, significantly higher than those of Roanoke City.

The Roanoke Women’s Foundation is open to any woman who makes the commitment to support the RWF for at least three years at a level of $2,100 per year.  Members have no other obligation than to fulfill the annual contribution and to participate in the voting process determining the recipients of the pooled fund grants.

For more information, visit or Foundation for Roanoke Valley’s website   Foundation for Roanoke Valley currently administers over 260 named endowment funds on behalf of the community.

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