Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Blue Ridge Autism and Achievement Center New Facility Upgrades with Foundation's Help

Foundation for Roanoke Valley has provided a number of significant grants to the Blue Ridge Autism and Achievement Center. Carly Oliver, Associate Director, and Alan Ronk, Executive Director, joined dozens of other community leaders and parents at the Center today for a ribbon-cutting celebrating the Center’s newly refurbished facilities. Included among the upgrades were a totally new computer lab and new smartboard technology to help train teachers, both made possible by Foundation support. The event also coincided with April being Autism Awareness Month.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Foundation Awards Large Impact Grant to Salem Nonprofit Organization

Foundation for Roanoke Valley today awarded a $25,000 grant from the Marion S. and Willie Z. Camp Fund for Eldercare to Adult Care Center of Roanoke Valley, allowing the organization to continue providing daytime medical, social and physical care to hundreds of disabled adults and seniors. Established in 2001 by the late Willie Z. Camp, this fund addresses the needs of older adults in the Roanoke Valley.

“We are expecting reductions in local and state funding this year, so this grant goes a long way in mitigating the impact these budget cuts would have on our programs,” said Sue Nutter, executive director of Adult Care Center of Roanoke Valley. “With this Foundation money, caregivers can have peace of mind that their loved ones will continue getting the care they need and deserve.”

Founded 27 years ago, the Salem-based facility provides services such as medical supervision, medication management and social activities to adults and seniors who cannot be left alone during the day due to physical, cognitive and mental health issues. Adult Care Center is an alternative to institutional care for families who prefer providing care at home but need assistance during the day to accommodate working schedules.

“With the population of aging adults in our area, it’s imperative that we sustain the services provided by Adult Care Center,” said Alan Ronk, executive director of Foundation for Roanoke Valley.

Foundation for Roanoke Valley has served the Roanoke Valley for more than 20 years and currently administers over 240 named endowment funds on behalf of the community. For more information about Foundation for Roanoke Valley, visit www.foundationforroanokevalley.org.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Unbridled Change Partners with Rivermont Schools and Foundation for Roanoke Valley's Youth Leadership Committee for Community Service

Unbridled Change, an equine assisted activities and therapies organization, has partnered with Rivermont School in Roanoke VA to mobilize more than 50 young people and community members to participate in the 21st Global Youth Service Day. Volunteers are needed for Friday and Saturday April 23rd and 24th.

Unbridled Change is excited to be participating in this global event by partnering with Rivermont Schools and Foundation for Roanoke Valley’s Youth Leadership Committee (YLC) to affect change in the community.

The mission of Unbridled Change is to partner people with horses through hands-on activities to create lasting change and true healing. Many of the clients they work with are striving to overcome obstacles in their lives due to physical impairment or a history of domestic violence or trauma in their lives. Unbridled Change provides a safe and supportive environment for clients to address a variety of different needs.

The Global Youth Service Day (GYSD) project is “Building a Safer Environment”. Activities include constructing a “pony wall” inside the indoor arena to provide a safe arena for both our riders and our horses. In addition, general improvements will be made to the landscape and facilities.

Rivermont School students will serve as the “leaders” of the service-learning project. This project helps teach youth the importance of community service and combines educational learning and life skill development. The students have been responsible for the project from the beginning with oversight and facilitation from Unbridled Change and Rivermont school staff. The students have measured the arena, developed a budget and project supply list, solicited donors and supporters for the project from local businesses and arranged for volunteers to help them execute the project completely.

Foundation for Roanoke Valley’s Youth Leadership Committee (YLC) has committed to help execute the project with volunteers on Saturday, April 24th as well. The YLC members are comprised of local high school students from the Roanoke area. Foundation for Roanoke Valley started the YLC in 2006 to help introduce students to the world of philanthropy through both community service and The Philanthropy Project. The YLC is responsible for determining important community needs, addressing those needs through a competitive grants process, reviewing grant applications, and making funding recommendations to the Foundation’s Board of Governors using a $25,000 budget.

“The rising momentum of the youth service movement is a shining example of the positive change that stems from young people contributing to their communities,” said Steve Culbertson, president and CEO of Youth Service America. “Global Youth Service Day” is a powerful glimpse into the year round participation of young volunteers. It is also an opportune time to connect children and youth who have never served with local projects that will inspire them to lead a life of service.”

“The project combines everything that Unbridled Change is about – learning and developing new skills that help participants live a more productive life plus bringing members of the community together to help change lives for the better” said Michelle Holling-Brooks, founder and executive director of Unbridled Change.

Unbridled Change needs the help of community volunteers to make this event a success! Volunteers will be installing the plywood panels around the arena, painting the boards, landscaping, and sprucing up facilities for Spring. They have projects for all ages so bring out the whole family and have a chance to show community youth what can happen when a community pulls together!

For more information about the event or to get involved, please contact: Michelle Holling-Brooks at 540-719-2171or visit www.UnbridledChange.org.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Foundation for Roanoke Valley Grants Two Thousand Dollars to Virginia Western Educational Foundation for ESL Course

The Virginia Western Community College Educational Foundation has received a two thousand dollar ($2,000) grant from the Katherine Nelson Fishburn Foundation Fund of Foundation for Roanoke Valley.  The purpose of the grant is to help reduce the college's tuition costs for English as a Second Language (ESL) classes for individuals living in the Roanoke Valley.  The course assists students, who in the past have represented 35 different countries, and whose English-speaking capabilities are limited.

"Virginia Western made significant changes in the ESL program in 2005 by moving the classes from credit to non-credit.  This move allowed us to bridge the financial barrier faced by many students and has resulted in a substantially larger program, " said Elizabeth Wilmer, Dean of the School of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, the department that administers the ESL courses.  "Support from Foundation for Roanoke Valley will help to keep this initiative strong," she added.

The ESL class is offered as a non-credit course at a fixed rate of $65.00 to reduce the cost to students, many of whom would pay the out-of-state tuition rate of $285.19.  Funding to offset the cost of student tuition is provided by student fees and private sources.  State General Fund tax dollars are not used in the program.

Demographic trends indicate that the limited English proficiency (LEP) population continues to grow.  The class assists students with basic conversational English, basic English grammar and writing skills, and social and cultural literacy skills.  The class, also, prepares individuals for employment or for becoming a future Virginia Western Community College student.

Virginia Western Community College is a two-year public institution of higher education operating under a statewide system of community colleges.  The College operates under the policies established by the State Board for Community Colleges and the Virginia Western Community College Board.  It offers day, evening, and weekend classes on a 70-acre campus located in Southwest Roanoke as well as at off-campus locations in the area.  The College was established in 1966 and has grown from an initial enrollment of 1,352 to its current enrollment of over 12,500 students.

View more on WSLS.com

For more information about this press release, please contact Mike Shelton, Interim Public Information Officer at mshelton@virginiawestern.edu or 540.857.6532.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Foundation Awards $10,000 to Local Nonprofit Organizations

Foundation for Roanoke Valley has awarded $10,000 to non-profit organizations through The Spetzler Fund. The Fund supports the broad needs of educational, child welfare, and social opportunity programs in the cities of Roanoke and Salem and Roanoke County.
     Apple Ridge Farm was awarded $4,000 to support its 2010 Academic Summer Camp.  This camp offers youth ages 6-16 the opportunity to enjoy the camp experience while gaining life skills that will serve them in their home environment.

     Bradley Free Clinic was awarded $2,000 to purchase medical supplies that will be used to treat patients with acute and chronic conditions.  The Clinic provides free medical, dental, and pharmacy care to the working uninsured and temporarily unemployed citizens of the Roanoke Valley.

     Children’s Trust Roanoke Valley was awarded $4,000 to support the Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) Program.  This program provides trained volunteers to advocate for safe permanent homes for abused and neglected children.

Foundation Staff Visits Rescue Mission's Newest Addition - Dr. G. Wayne Fralin Free Clinic

The Rescue Mission Free Clinic began in 2002 in the basement of the main Mission building. Last year, with a budget of under $200,000, the Rescue Mission Free Clinic for the Homeless provided medical services for homeless men, women and children valued at $2,309,814.07.
With a 61% increase in clinic visits recorded in 2008, and the opportunity to offer dental as well as medical and psychiatric services, it became increasingly obvious that the Mission’s clinic needed more space in order to continue its phenomenal work.

A building across the street from the main Mission became available enabling the clinic to triple its size. This expansion will allow the clinic to have 6 exam rooms, 2 psychiatric counseling offices, 4 dental operatories and a large classroom as well as a large reception area.

Being able to hold dental, medical and psychiatric clinics simultaneously (something not possible in the current cramped basement space) means more volunteer providers can work at the same time and more patients can be seen. The shared reception area means this new expanded clinic can be operated more efficiently. This new clinic is HDAC compliant and is on a city bus route making the clinic very accessible for patients and volunteers.

Foundation staff would like to thank Lee Clark, Rescue Mission Director of Development & Administration for the wonderful tour! If you would like to learn more about the Rescue Mission please visit www.rescuemission.net or contact Lee Clark at 540.777.7687.