A region made up of “thriving communities whose residents are welcoming, engaged and resilient;” that’s the vision that the leaders and supporters of the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation & Regional Affiliates (PACF) seek to fulfill through their work.

As the PACF opens its 60th Anniversary year, the traditional “diamond anniversary,” it is offering a special recognition program to showcase local residents who exemplify the Foundation’s core values, and through whose efforts, are building better communities every day for all of us.

To accomplish its vision, the PACF incorporates five core values:

  • Partnering – cultivating connections and working with others to accomplish our shared goal of a better community;
  • Learning – being open to new ideas, to embracing innovation, by seeking to grow in our thinking;
  • Generosity – encouraging everyone to give what they can of their time, talent and/or resources to improve our region for generations to come;
  • Inclusiveness – demonstrating compassion and regard for all people;
  • Integrity – being good stewards; making efficient, effective use of human, financial and material resources.

To commemorate its “diamond” Anniversary, the PACF seeks nominations from the public of those special people who are the “hidden gems” of our region who personify the Foundation’s values. These are the persons whose behavior or whose actions support the Foundation’s vision of a “thriving community whose residents are welcoming, engaged and resilient” and who are actively demonstrating one or more of the PACF’s core values.

Perhaps it’s a next-door neighbor who is always helping other neighbors by generously sharing time, taking them to doctor’s appointments or picking up groceries; perhaps it’s a work or school colleague who is always making it a point to reach out to make sure that everyone is included; or maybe it’s someone encountered during every day errands, or who is in a service club, who always acts with integrity.

While the Foundation realizes that many people have done great things in our past that merit recognition; this honor is intended for those in our midst who, in the very present tense, are doing things every day that make life better for others in ways that are often modest but that add up.

“National politicians and social media have done their best to divide citizens at the local level,” said the Foundation’s Executive Director, Judy Sjostedt Ritchie, who has led the PACF since 1999.

Sjostedt Ritchie said, “We think that it’s high time that the good people locally who are helping to weave our community together through their caring and sometimes quiet actions, receive recognition for the strong examples that they set for all of us and for our next generation. We need to rise above divisiveness so that we can do better for our families here at home.”

From now until April 15, 2023, the PACF is seeking nominations, both online and in written form. All nominees will be recognized with a Certificate and a local gift honoring PACF’s 60th Anniversary. A select number of nominees will be chosen from among the nominations to identify several 60th Anniversary Gems who will be identified to represent the Foundation’s values. In addition to the Certificate and local gift, those identified as Anniversary Gems will also receive a gift certificate redeemable at select PACF partner locations and the ability to direct a mini-grant to one of the PACF funds of their choice. A PACF subcommittee of past Board members will serve as the selection committee.

“This is a great way to honor those people in our community who are working hard every day to make a positive difference in our lives in some way,” said Sjostedt Ritchie. “It takes just a few minutes to submit a nomination which could in turn provide these special people with the honor of a lifetime. The deadline of April 15th is easy to remember but it will come quickly so I encourage folks to take a few minutes this week to submit a nomination. It’s easy, the form is online at www.pacfwv.com/60.”

Persons who do not have Internet access may stop by the Foundation office at 1620 Park Avenue, Parkersburg, WV during regular business hours to pick up a print form for use.

Ready to submit your Hidden Gems nomination?