The Alleghany Foundation Announces Grants

The Alleghany Foundation has announced its latest round of grants totaling over $1.2 million.

Ten organizations received grants, reflecting the foundation’s primary focus areas — Economic Transformation, Educational Attainment, Community Capacity and Health & Wellness and Leadership and Civic Vitality.

“Over several months each year, The Alleghany Foundation Board receives applications that exhibit the excitement and leadership of local non-profits and government entities working to strengthen the quality of life and future of the Alleghany Highlands,” commented Meade Snyder, president of The Alleghany Foundation Board of Directors. “The largest overall investments in the past six months are in early childhood development — a field in which there is a growing understanding of the importance for success in school as well as healthy development into adulthood.”

The largest single grant was to the Masonic Theatre Preservation Foundation which received $320,000 over four years. This grant gives the organization an opportunity to make the necessary and vital investments required to enhance and normalize operations by relieving a portion of the negative cash flow impacts caused by its New Market Tax Credit investor compliance requirements.

The theatre opened in 2016, and the Masonic Theatre Preservation Foundation recently announced the successful completion of a $1 million fundraising campaign to fulfill the vision of the late John Hillert, its founding leader.

“The Historic Masonic Theatre’s ‘Heart of the Community Campaign, Fulfilling the Vision of John Hillert,’ ended on a very high note with the grant from The Alleghany Foundation,” said Gayle Hillert, president of the Masonic Theatre Preservation Foundation Board of Directors. “Local businesses, fellow organizations and many individuals put us 90 percent toward achieving our $1 million goal with their donations over an 18-month period.

“The Alleghany Foundation’s generous gift helped us meet and exceed our goal,” she continued. “We are extremely grateful to The Alleghany Foundation for their support and understanding of the importance this community gathering place holds for the Alleghany Highlands.”

The Alleghany Highlands YMCA received $192,192 to support its Early Learning Program. The grant helps offset the cost of early learning education and care for under-employed working families in the Highlands.

These families do not qualify for assistance from the Department of Social Services for child care, yet they need a safe, affordable and high-quality experience for their children.

The YMCA also received $192,000 over two years for implementation of its STREAMin3 program. This project will provide access to a consistent preschool experience for area students, exposing them to a uniform, research-based and clinically evaluated curriculum which ensures that each preschool student is exposed to the same concept-rich advantages.

“A common learning experience will ensure kindergarten readiness across our rural community,” said Jennifer Unroe, chief executive officer of the Alleghany Highlands YMCA.

In partnership with the Center for the Advanced Study of Teaching and Learning within the University of Virginia’s Curry School of Education, the STREAMin3 curriculum will be implemented in both public and private preschools in the Alleghany Highlands. It incorporates science, technology, reading, engineering, art and math as the connections that lead to increasing the five core skills of relating, regulating, critical thinking, communications and moving.

“This model promotes intentional, meaningful interactions between teachers and children, while engaging the students in fun, meaningful activities,” Unroe further explained.

Additionally, a $50,000 grant to the YMCA was awarded for its 2020 Annual Campaign match.

Funding from the annual campaign supplements members and program fees to cover the cost of normal operations and helps support financial assistance for members who cannot afford the full cost of a YMCA membership, but for whom exercise is integral to their health and wellness.

“In 2019, 27 percent of the Y’s membership units qualified for reduced fees solely on the basis of family income,” Unroe said. “With its award to the YMCA, The Alleghany Foundation helps to ensure that the Y is available to people who may otherwise not be able to afford the full cost of membership and not have the support they need to improve their health.”

Bath Community Hospital and the Bath Community Physicians Group received $100,000 for expansion of its Covington facilities into a second location on S. Monroe Avenue.

Since opening its doors in 2016, the Covington clinic on Riverside Avenue has grown exponentially with a 15-fold increase in the number of patient visits and a tripling of staff.

“We have outgrown this space, impacting work efficiencies and patient care,” said Kathy Landreth, CEO of Bath Community Hospital. “Our project will allow us to open a second, larger site at 713 S. Monroe Avenue, resulting in increased efficiencies at both locations, reduced barriers to care and increased capacity to provide high-quality health care.”

Landreth explained that residents in rural areas often experience poor health outcomes due to provider shortages, poverty and geographic barriers. Bath Community Hospital serves the rural communities of Bath, Alleghany and Highland counties, while the Bath Community Physicians Group has rural health clinics in Hot Springs and Millboro in addition to Covington that offer primary care, behavioral health, specialty and prevention services.

“Bath Community Hospital and Bath Physicians Group would like to express our sincere gratitude for the generous grant award from The Alleghany Foundation,” she said. “Expanding services in the Alleghany Highlands has been a primary goal for our board and leadership team.”

“As a health care provider, we understand how important access to care is to the citizens we serve,” Landreth added. “Healthier lives make healthier communities. It is clear The Alleghany Foundation supports these efforts and shares our same goals.”

Other grant recipients include the Alleghany Highlands Chamber of Commerce, the Alleghany Historical Society, the Alleghany Highlands Arts Council, Garth Newel Music Center, the Alleghany Highlands Community Services Board Foundation, the Alleghany Highlands Arts & Crafts Center, the Alleghany Highlands Chamber of Commerce and The Advancement Foundation.

“The Alleghany Foundation continues to invest in both short-term and long-term efforts that strengthen economic development,” noted Mary Fant Donnan, executive director of The Alleghany Foundation. “As the region’s assets have recently received top honors in publications featuring small towns, attractions and amenities, it is a critical time to continue marketing efforts outside this area.”

“The Alleghany Highlands Chamber of Commerce and Tourism grant award will support some of the work over the next three years, while support for several important arts organizations and their programming will create engaging experiences for local residents as well as visitors,” she added. “The Advancement Foundation through The Gauntlet is helping local entrepreneurs develop businesses that support the tourism sector as well as innovative businesses that support new sectors in the region tied to innovations in technology.”

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 nearly $56 million.

Grants Awarded April 2019 – February 2020
(Focus Area Included In Parenthesis)

Alleghany Highlands YMCA

  • Early Learning Program Financial Assistance – $192,192
    (Educational Attainment) 
  • STREAMin2 Implementation – $192,000
    (Educational Attainment) 
  • 2020 Annual Campaign Match – $50,000
    (Health & Wellness)

The Masonic Theatre Preservation Foundation

  • Operating Support for Remaining Tax Credit
    Compliance Period & 2020 – $320,000
    (Health & Wellness) 

Alleghany Highlands Chamber of Commerce and Tourism

  • Alleghany Highlands Tourism 2020-2022 Marketing – $225,000
    (Economic Transformation)       
  • 2019 Summer Internship – $3,850
    (Economic Transformation)                                        

Bath Community Hospital

  • Bath Community Physicians Group Covington Facilities Expansion – $100,000
    (Health & Wellness)

Alleghany Highlands Arts Council

  • Matching Funds & Residency Activities – $74,080
    (Community Capacity)   

The Advancement Foundation

  • Alleghany Highlands Gauntlet – $60,000
    (Economic Transformation)

Alleghany Highlands Arts & Crafts Center

  • Fundraising Match – $35,000
    (Community Capacity)

Garth Newel Music Center

  • Allegheny Mountain String Project – $14,648
    (Educational Attainment)

Alleghany Highlands Community Services Board Foundation

  • Friendship Residency Renovations – $12,500
    (Health & Wellness)     

Alleghany Historical Society

  • 2019 Summer Internships – $6,160
    (Economic Transformation)

Total $1,285,430