There’s a lot to be said for any organization that’s able to withstand the ups and downs that come over a half-century of being in operation.
But when you’ve had a dedicated team leading an organization such as the Community Foundation of the Ohio Valley, then thriving over the past 50 years is no surprise.
Started in 1972 through the vision of six local leaders — Joe Boutaugh, Robert F. Thompson, William H. Homan, Kurt Fox, Hale Fox, and Stuart Bloch — the Wheeling-based foundation is now recognized as a model for others across the nation.
The Community Foundation allows donors to make either specific or unrestricted gifts, with that money then filtering back to the community through scholarships, Community Impact Grants or other funds. Just this past year, the organization handed out more than $400,000 to local students to assist with their education after high school.
“I’ve spent some time … looking back at from where we’ve come and who helped us to get where we are today,” Susie Nelson, the foundation’s current executive director, said during an event to mark the milestone. “Fifty years is astounding. … I get to see all the good every day.
“It’s a very rewarding job, but none of it would be possible without the donors. They’re the ones putting the money in and making it all happen. Fifty years of that is huge, really huge.”
It’s clear that our region is a much better place due to the efforts of the Community Foundation of the Ohio Valley and its donors. As we near the end of 2022, and with Giving Tuesday in just four days, perhaps a gift of your own is in order.
If that’s the case, then the Community Foundation is there to help.