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.

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 57 years of experience.

"Partnering with the PACF to manage this Fund just makes sense," said Agnes Queen, a founder of the Lewis County Community Foundation Fund. "The PACF stepped-up earlier in the year to secure $12,000 in COVID-19 relief funding for six area agencies. The PACF has had successful relationships with Doddridge and Ritchie counties, and those of the Little Kanawha Area (Calhoun, Gilmer, and Wirt counties) for more than twenty years now. The benefits of our partnership include significant cost advantages for administrative, management, and investment purposes. At the same time, it will allow our advisory committee to focus our own efforts on development and grantmaking specifically for Lewis County."

The initial three founders and advisory committee members of the Lewis County Community Foundation Fund include Agnes Queen, Ray Smith, and Rod Wyman. To encourage others to give to support the Lewis County Community Foundation Fund, donors who support the Fund between now and January 31, 2021 will be recognized as founders of the Lewis County Community Foundation Fund. Donations may also be made anonymously or in memory/honor of a special person.

"We're excited to form this endowment for our county," say Ray Smith. "This Fund enables individuals who want to make a difference in Lewis County the opportunity to make a gift that will make an impact now and forever. We're planning for the future."

Recently recognized as a Blueprint Community, Lewis County community leaders are working to make a lasting impact on the economic well-being and quality of life for fellow residents; the Lewis County Community Foundation Fund is one of their outcomes.

"We know there are both needs and opportunities in Lewis County," said Rod Wyman. "This Fund will allow local citizens to collaborate and to direct resources that will address these issues. Our results can be significant when we work together and join our efforts for the greater good."

Individuals who wish to make a tax-deductible donation to support the Lewis County Community Foundation Fund may send a check made payable to the Lewis County Community Foundation Fund or to the PACF with the Fund name on the memo line and mailed to PACF, PO Box 1762, Parkersburg, WV 26102 or made online at www.pacfwv.com/donate. Individuals with questions may contact Julie Posey, PACF's Development and Communications Officer, at 304-428-4438.