The Alleghany Foundation Announces Latest Grants

Twelve organizations, educational initiatives and government entities have received funding awards from The Alleghany Foundation over the past eight months.

The foundation announced recently grants totaling $999,352 for 14 projects between October 2016 and July 2017.

Receiving grants were Alleghany County, the Alleghany Highlands Arts Council, Alleghany Highlands Economic Development Corporation, Alleghany Highlands Regional Library, Alleghany Highlands YMCA, Alleghany Humane Society, Chesapeake and Ohio Historical Society, Garth Newel Music Center, Alleghany County Public Schools and Covington City Public Schools, Area 18 Special Olympics, The Masonic Theatre Preservation Foundation and the Town of Clifton Forge.

”After a year of working with an open application process and suspending the semi-annual application deadlines, we see that organizations are seeking funding as needs arise and continuing to perform excellent work to strengthen the Alleghany Highlands in very important ways.  The Foundation’s board is excited to support critical efforts in our community,” commented Dr. Michele Ballou, Chair, Board of Directors, The Alleghany Foundation.

These grants fall under the foundation’s five focus areas — Economic Transformation, Community Capacity, Health and Wellness, Educational Attainment and Leadership and Civic Vitality.

The Alleghany Highlands Economic Development Corporation received $300,000 for physician recruitment through medical school loan assistance.

Funds are allocated at a rate of up to $60,000 a year for up to five years for no more than two physicians at a rate of up to $30,000 a year per physician. Should a physician not use the full amount, funds could be distributed to a third doctor.

The Physician Recruitment through Medical School Loan Assistance program will help provide doctors in the community to improve access to high-quality medical care, support economic development built around private practices and related employment and help sustain a community-based hospital that provides critical care to the community and plays a part in attracting new employers and residents to the area because of the care it provides.

This project is important, because Health Resource and Service Administration recognizes that the Alleghany Highlands region is medically underserved, and getting access to primary care was well as other services is a challenge for area residents.

The goals of this initiative are to recruit up to three new physicians, provide access for medical care to indigent patients and determine if an economic impact is created from attracting these additional physicians to the area.

A grant of $226,000 to the Alleghany Highlands YMCA will benefit its Early Learning Program. These funds include about $52,000 that is the required local cash match for Alleghany County Public Schools for the Virginia Preschool Initiative.

The Virginia Preschool Initiative distributes state funds to schools and community-based organizations to provide quality preschool for at-risk four-year-olds who are not served by Head Start.  The state matches these local funds at a ratio of about $4 to $1 local funds.

The YMCA is contracted by Alleghany County Public Schools to conduct the local program for approximately 45 youngsters who will be entering the school system the following year.

Funding was also granted to continue the work of placing books in the households of Alleghany Highlands families through the Dolly Parton Imagination Library program. Currently, the program is reaching approximately 550 children under the age of five and has graduated 102 children thus far.

This grant will also provide financial assistance to offset the cost of early learning care for working families in the Alleghany Highlands that cannot afford the full cost of this developmental program.

“There is no better way to invest a community’s resources than to educate our youth and prepare them to be productive adults,” said Alleghany Highlands YMCA CEO Jennifer Unroe. “The foundation’s contribution helps children to participate in learning activities that stimulate cognitive growth and creativity, and helps them to develop both emotionally and socially.”

“Funding the Dolly Parton Imagination Library and providing books in the homes of young children encourages essential family time and instills a love of reading that becomes the foundation of a child’s intellectual development,” Unroe added.

Mary Fant Donnan, Executive Director, The Alleghany Foundation, reiterated Unroe’s emphasis on the importance of early learning.  “As the foundation has sought to understand what makes great opportunities for young people in our area, it becomes clear that a combination of engaged parenting and high-quality early learning experiences have a tremendous, positive impact for a child’s success in school and beyond,” Donnan commented.  “Figuring out how to pay for these important services continues to be a challenge for our community and state.  State statutes indicate that the local government is supposed to provide this VPI match, and, going forward, though the foundation has served as a bridge to develop and prove the value of this program, the board believes it is now time for government funding to assume this role as indicated in the state regulations.  With a 4:1 match from the state, VPI is an important funding source as well as support for high-quality implementation.”

The town of Clifton Forge received $145,000 for Phase 2 of its Lower Roxbury Neighborhood Revitalization Project.

The total budget for the second year of this endeavor is $788,127 with the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development providing $572,957. The remaining budget consists of $145,000 from The Alleghany Foundation with remaining monies coming from town funds, volunteers and donations.

Roxbury Street is one of the most densely developed areas in town and also has a large concentration of dwellings in need of repairs. The majority of these homes are two stories, over 80 years old and in need of renovation.

The goal of the project is to provide residents in this area with safe, sanitary housing that meets housing quality standards.

One positive outcome from this project is that as property owners repay their required contribution, income will provide for the continuing rehabilitation of other homes in Clifton Forge. In the first phase of the project, a little more than $15,000 was required per rehab from Alleghany Foundation funds.

With this grant, 11 homes will be renovated during this second phase of the project.

“The town is pleased to have the foundation’s support for the second phase of the Roxbury project which will assist in providing long-term improvements to the homes of 11 more residents of the community,” said Clifton Forge Town Manager Darlene Burcham.

The town also received $40,000 to establish pad ready sites for economic development and asbestos abatement for railyards.

The Masonic Theatre Preservation Foundation received a grant of $46,301 for gap financing for the bridge loan that helped finance the construction phase and pull together important sources of funding for this project that included New Market Tax Credits, Enterprise Zone, Federal Historic Tax Credits, and State Historic Tax Credits.  Said Dr. Ballou, “The Masonic Theatre is a jewel in the Alleghany Highlands, and support of this project not only helped revitalize an important building in the area but also supported the many hard-working volunteers who helped make this project happen.  We are proud to be a partner in this project, and we hope area residents will attend events and continue to volunteer so that this effort can reach its potential.”

Also during this period, in addition to the new grants awarded, the foundation made a decision to extend funding through spring 2019 for its matching funds for the school nursing program and then to stop providing funding for this effort.  The Alleghany Foundation, Alleghany County Public Schools and Covington City Public Schools started this program 20 years ago with a four-year grant that included a reduced match ratio each year from the foundation and an expectation that the state would increase its funding to offset foundation funding.  “The program has grown into one of which foundation board members are most proud and which adds to the well-being of students and faculty in the school systems.  At the same time, the board believes funding for ongoing government services needs to be funded by the public sector and hopes that the ongoing operations will be part of the public funding,” commented Dr. Ballou.  The program has $236,032 remaining for funding to continue the 50% match for this program for the 2017-18 school year and then move to a 25% match for the 2018-19 school year.

For a complete list of grantees, visit the foundation’s website at

About the Alleghany Foundation: The Alleghany Foundation was established in 1995 in Covington with $35 million in proceeds from the sale of Alleghany Regional Hospital. The foundation’s vision is to be a resource for and partner with eligible organizations to make the Alleghany Highlands a civically engaged, prosperous region that builds upon its assets to produce opportunities for its residents.

The total annual awards from The Alleghany Foundation now add up to more than $50 million.

Reprinted with permission from the Virginian Review.  This Story appeared in the September 16, 2017, edition of the newspaper.

Grants Awarded October 2016 through July 2017

(Focus Area Included In Parentheses)

Alleghany County – $20,000                                                                            

  • Low Moor Natural Gas Phase I Feasibility Study
    (Economic Transformation)         

 Alleghany Highlands Arts Council – $54,250

  • Matching Funds and Residency Activities 2017-18
    (Community Capacity)                

 Alleghany Highlands Economic Development Corporation – $300,000

  • Five-year Physician Recruitment through Medical School Loan Assistance Program
    (Health & Wellness)

Alleghany Highlands Regional Library – $30,000

  • Building Maintenance Upgrades
    (Educational Excellence)

 Alleghany Highlands YMCA – $226,000

  • Early Learning & Dolly Parton Imagination Library Programs
    (Educational Excellence) 

Alleghany Highlands YMCA – $40,000

  • 2017 Annual Campaign Match
    (Health & Wellness)                                                                                                                

Alleghany Humane Society – $15,000

  • Executive Director of Operations and Animal Welfare
    (Community Capacity)                                                      

 Chesapeake and Ohio Historical Society – $15,000

  • Railway Heritage Center Corridor Planning Initiative
    (Economic Transformation)

 Garth Newel Music Center – $22,100

  • Allegheny Mountain String Project
    (Educational Excellence)

Joint School Systems – Alleghany County & Covington City Public Schools – $41,985

  • Responsive Classroom Introductory and Advanced Courses for Area Teachers                   
    (Educational Attainment)                                             

Masonic Theatre Preservation Foundation – $46,301

  • Bridge Loan Gap Financing for Restoration
    (Economic Transformation)

Special Olympics Area 18 – $3,716

  • Insurance for Three Buses
    (Health and Wellness)

Town of Clifton Forge – $40,000

  • Establishing Pad Ready Site(s) for Economic Development Asbestos Abatement for Railyards
    (Economic Transformation)

Town of Clifton Forge – $145,000

  • Lower Roxbury Neighborhood Revitalization Project Phase 2
    (Economic Transformation)

Total Award      $999,352