From small beginnings in September, 1996 to huge results in the past 20 years, the Community Foundation of the Dan River Region has been fortunate to have donors who have helped us provide for so many community needs. For these successes, in 2016, we want to recognize and celebrate the generosity of our donors, and we hope to discover new ways to make a bigger community impact for those we strive to serve in the next 20 years.
Thanks to people like Whitt Clement, our “founding father,” then an Estate Planning Attorney, aided by Charles Womack, a local entrepreneur, we did begin with literally a zero balance. In fact, Sammy Saunders, a local CPA and founding treasurer, likes to remind us he carried our treasury in his pocket!
Today, at $28 million in our treasury, we are the 12th largest foundation in Virginia. In the past 20 years, we have returned to our community approximately $18 million in grants and scholarships from donor receipts of $29 million. There are over 3,000 wonderful donors who enable us to achieve such success. For example, just last year, we awarded 86 scholarships totaling $160,000 and $617,000 in grants to 49 organizations.
We could not have accomplished this without the help of our funders such as the Danville Regional Foundation, Womack Foundation, Carrington Trust, Grant Trust, J.T. Minnie Maude and many other contributors. Another proud accomplishment, since 2004, has been to serve as fiscal agent to the area’s Veterans Memorial, where over 6,300 bricks have been placed to honor and remember our veterans.
A recent project, funded in part by Duke Energy, has begun to utilize $500,000 to aid and assist grantees in efforts to protect and enhance the Dan River and the Dan River Basin for our citizens. This year, we have also created an “Agency Emergency Fund,” to offer a one-time grant of up to $25,000 to support agencies with unforeseen crisis.
So, while we are proud of the assistance we have provided to our community in cooperation with our donors since 1996, we want to make an ever bigger impact and difference in the next 20 years. In cooperation with other regional donors and funders, our goal is to continue to be a foundation of hope, energy and assistance to the Dan River Region in ways that make a difference for every citizen.
President, Board of Directors 2016-2017