Teach and encourage philanthropy, promote community development, inspire leadership, and deliver meaningful long-term impact in Lewis County. Those are the goals of a group of area residents who have partnered together to create the Lewis County Community Foundation Fund. And with help from a $90,000 matching grant challenge, the new Lewis County Community Foundation Fund is on its way to achieving its goals.

The Lewis County Community Foundation Fund is a permanent endowment in which the principal remains intact and invested, forever, generating earnings to help support Lewis County needs. Annually, an advisory committee of Lewis County residents will award a portion of the Fund’s earnings as grants to local organizations and causes. The fund founders have established the Fund within the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation (PACF), a nationally accredited, highly regarded, and widely supported public charity with more than 58 years of experience. Grants awarded from the Fund will be selected annually through a competitive grant application process via the Lewis County Community Foundation Fund Advisory Committee and approved by the PACF Board of Directors.

The Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation issued a $90,000 matching grant challenge to the PACF for the benefit of the Lewis County community to directly support Lewis County’s key “Blueprint Community” priorities and to help grow this new Fund and its impact in the community. Over the grant period of up to 3 years, donations of any amount up to a total maximum of $90,000 to the Lewis County Community Foundation Fund will be matched $1:$1 and applied to the grant project purposes. Some funds will be applied to help to grow the permanent endowment for the County while at the same time, grants will also be swiftly released to the community, as fundraising success is realized.

While the Lewis County Community Foundation Fund is an unrestricted fund (meaning there are no restrictions on the charitable purposes that may be supported in the Lewis County area), for the three year grant term, the Benedum Foundation grant challenge will provide the Fund with resources to specifically target Blueprint priorities—planning and developing trails and greenways, development of a recreational center, development of affordable housing, and supporting area arts and culture. It’s the Lewis County Community Foundation Fund Advisory Committee’s goal to seek grant applications and to be able to award $5,200 in Fall of 2022 to support the above-named programs with its Benedum grant. Gifts from another fundraising resource will enable it to offer an additional $500 to support other community needs at that time.

Individuals who wish to support the Lewis County Community Foundation Fund are encouraged to donate online or mail a check, made payable to PACF with “LCCF Fund” on the memo line, to PACF, PO Box 1762, Parkersburg, WV 26102-1762. Individuals who donate $500 or more will be recognized as Lewis County Community Foundation Fund Founders. For more details or to discuss your charitable gift, please call the Foundation at 304-428-4438.