Helping You Give . . . Close to Home A Publication of the Washington County Community Foundation
WCCF Gives Hits New Heights! $1,500,000 in Grants Awarded to 110 Local Charities in a strategic fashion that we think has grown our donors to over 300! We can’t say thank you enough to the Washington County Community Foundation for this opporexclaimed Kelly Proudfit, tunity and to all of the donors who support our mission,” Executive Director of the added Proudfit. Washington Area Humane September 16 was a meaningful day for many chariSociety. ties in the region. Proudfit, like many other WCCF Gives 2021 set a new giving record with more charity representatives across than $1.4 million contributed through check contributions Washington County, was and online credit card gifts. Gifts were increased by the glued to the WCCF Gives online Foundation’s $100,000 bonus pool resulting in a recordleaderboard on September 16. The Humane breaking $1.5 Society has realized a tremendous inmillion to supcrease in its results for the day of giving, port 110 diverse from 2013 when it raised about $8,000 charities in Me-wow! from 71 donors. In 2021, it raised over Washington More than 300 $64,000 from over 300 donors. That inCounty. donors supported crease was a direct result of the organiza“The Washingthe Washington tion’s active and ongoing efforts to proton County comArea Humane mote the giving opportunity. munity showed Society through “We have integrated WCCF Gives into its giving heart this year’s Day of our fundraising plan, and we let donors once again,” reGiving event. know about the bonus pool and opportumarked Betsie nities for their money to grow on this day. Trew, WCCF Using direct mail, emails, and social me(Continued on page 3) dia we can get the word out to our donors
“It’s like the Oscars for non-profits!”
$410,000 in Capacity-Building Grants Awarded The fourth quarter marked a busy time for the WCCF. A total of $410,000 in capacity-building grants was awarded to 31 charities in Washington County. The grants, which ranged from $5,000 to $50,000, were issued from a variety of component funds. Among the list of awards, the Mon Valley Alliance Foundation received $50,000 to purchase a former Community Bank branch building in downtown Monongahela. The building appraised at $280,000 and will serve as both the home of the Mon Valley Alliance and corresponding Mon Valley Alliance Foundation which were formerly located in Allegheny County. The facility will also house the Mon Valley Business Resource Center, which will be a hub for business development, training, support services, and incubation for new and growing businesses in the Mon Valley region. “This project represents our (Continued on page 2)
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Foundation’s entry into funding economic Washington County development projects,” remarked Betsie President & CEO of the Washington Community Foundation Trew, County Community Foundation. Board of Trustees She went on to say: “To mark this new funding area for our Foundation, our goal was to identify an economic development Chairman project that would be transformational to both the nonprofit receiving the grant as James H. McCune well as to the community that would ultimately benefit from the grant. We could not have selected a better economic develVice Chairman opment project than the Mon Valley AlliE. Alex Paris, III ance’s Business Resource Center to meet this goal.” “We are thrilled to award a total of Secretary $410,000 to enable local charities to in-
Richard L. White Treasurer Michael S. Anderson Megan M. Chicone W. Taylor Frankovitch Barbara A. Graham Chad A. Griffith Geraldine M. Jones Debra E. Keefer Cynthia B. Kotowski Ivana G. Liberatore Andrew M. McIlvaine Thomas P. Northrop Joseph M. Piszczor Elizabeth M. Rogers Kurt R. Salvatori
crease their capacity to meet their charitable missions,” remarked James H. McCune, WCCF Chairman of the Board. “Our generous donors have enabled us to make these very meaningful grants that undoubtedly will have a tremendous impact in our community. A concerted effort was made to support projects located throughout our service area and in each of our funding areas.” Cumulatively, the WCCF has awarded over $25 million in grants. Several of the capacity-building grants are featured on pages 6 and 7. For more information about this year’s awards, please visit www.wccf.net.
2021 Capacity-Building Grant Recipients Animal Welfare • Low Cost Spay Neuter Washington County: $5,000 • Washington Area Humane Society: $10,000 Arts & Culture • Bradford House Historical Association: $10,000 • George Washington Chapter, Sons of the American Revolution: $10,000 • Historical Society of Western PA/ Meadowcroft: $15,000 • Little Lake Theatre: $40,000 • National Duncan Glass Society: $10,000 • Peters Creek Historical Society: $5,000 • Washington Symphonic Orchestra: $5,000
Community Improvement & Economic Development • Leadership Washington County: $10,000 • Montour Trail Council: $15,000 • Mon Valley Alliance Foundation: $50,000 • North Franklin Township: $5,000 • United Way of Washington County: $5,000 • Washington & Jefferson College: $10,000 Conservation • Washington Area Watershed Alliance: $10,000 Education • Kleine Klasse Schule: $10,000 • LeMoyne Community Center: $5,000 • Village of FPC: $20,000
Harlan G. Shober
Faith-Based • Bethlehem Lutheran Church: $15,000 • Resurrection Power: $15,000 • Washington City Mission: $10,000 Health & Fitness • Children’s Hospital of Pgh./Specialty Care Center, Washington Hospital: $15,000 • Marianna Outdoorsmen Association: $5,000 • TRPIL: $15,000 • Your Child’s Place: $10,000 Human Needs • ARC Human Services: $25,000 • Blueprints: $10,000 • Genesis of Pittsburgh: $10,000 • Harmony Life Center: $10,000 • Mon Valley Youth & Teen Association: $20,000
Lynne R. Stout Joseph H. Young
Special Thanks to a Special Volunteer The WCCF would like to extend its sincere appreciation to Dorothy Tecklenburg for sharing her incredible talents with the charitable community! An extraordinary storyteller and writer, Dorothy has been assisting the Community Foundation with the development of impact stories for our website, publications, and Philanthropy Matters column in the Observer-Reporter. A few examples of her work are shared in this issue of Legacy on pages 4 and 5. But, the WCCF is not the only local charity to benefit from her generosity and skill. This year, Dorothy also played an instrumental role in the rebranding campaign of Food Helpers (which includes the Greater Washington County Food Bank among its divisions). Thank you, Dorothy, for your hard work!
The Washington County Community Foundation seeks to improve the quality of life in Washington County by promoting and facilitating philanthropy.
Museum Committee. “Our donors all across the US President & CEO. “While this year was not as fraught as were watching the totals on the online leaderboard. It is last year in terms of expectations for giving, there was simply a fabulous program for the National Duncan still a decided uncertainty as to the continuing economic Glass Society!” implications of the COVID-19 pandemic. Some local Thanks to the generosity of a few of the Foundacompanies and individuals are still struggling and we tion’s major donors, the WCCF covered all fees related weren’t certain how that would impact contributions. to WCCF Gives, including credit card fees and all other The fact that this year’s giving exceeded last year’s by transactional fees. 16% is a testament to the giving spirit and resilience of “We are particularly proud that we are able to proour community as 2,700 donors vide this wonderful giving opporchose to give close to home to suptunity to our local charities at no port charitable causes close to charge,” said Aliesha Walz, WCCF SAVE THE DATE home.” Chief Operating Officer. WCCF Gives 2022 In addition to securing much “Facilitating a day of giving is Thursday, needed contributions for area charivery costly and many of our sister ties, WCCF Gives creates excitement community foundations have been September 15 and a sense of community. forced to implement fees to particiAnother charity that took action pating charities to cover those costs. to capitalize on the opportunities provided by WCCF Fortunately, we have been blessed with some very genGives is the National Duncan Glass Society, which has erous donors who see the value of our day of giving and seen its results increase over 2900% from when it began have made contributions to help offset those expenses.” participating in WCCF Gives in 2014. In 2021, over 100 Additionally, a few local businesses make contribudonors contributed more than $57,000 to the charity. tions each year to provide the bonus pool. Sponsors of Because of its mission, this organization draws contribu- the 2021 bonus pool are Chapman Corporation, Washtions from throughout the country. ington Financial Charitable Foundation, Alex E. Paris “The day of giving provides our small, primarily Contracting, Washington Auto Mall, and the WCCF volunteer non-profit with an opportunity to participate Acorn Fund. The Observer-Reporter annually serves as an in a professional fundraising campaign which is highly in-kind media sponsor. visible, well promoted, and expertly executed,” said To view the results for all charities that participated Sherry Cooper, Chairman of the National Duncan Glass in WCCF Gives 2021, please visit www.wccfgives.org. (WCCF Gives continued from page 1)
Charleroi Area Public Library Receives President’s Choice Award The Charleroi Area Public Library, a small but growing charity, was named the winner of this year’s President’s Choice Award. This honor includes a $10,000 unrestricted grant from the Acorn Fund. The Charleroi Area Public Library is located within seven municipalities of the Charleroi Area School District in Washington County. The building itself was constructed in 1912 as a U.S. Post Office, and it is now a registered historic building. The library and its quality programs empowers the community by developing a world of words to teach and to inspire. It aspires to sustain community members through various opportunities to enrich, support, and enhance their daily lives. The award will be used to expand the library’s commitment to serving as a hub for the community. Plans include adding a small kitchen as well as developing a downstairs area of the building. As the library’s programming evolves to accommodate different groups with different needs, a kitchen space that can provide everything from snacks to communal dinners will make the library an even more appealing location to host gatherings of various sizes. We look forward to seeing this new space!
$50,000 Housing Assistance Grant Helping Homeowners Impacted by COVID The economic consequences of COVID-19 continue to impact Washington County residents. One critical fear has been maintaining mortgage payments in the face of job loss or with a sharp loss of working hours. Earlier this year, the WCCF awarded a grant of $50,000 from the Close to Home Disaster and Emergency Fund to Blueprints in support of its Home Ownership Pandemic Response Fund. Homeowners who became unemployed after March 1, 2020, or who suffered at least a 30% reduction in income due to reduced work hours and wages
related to COVID-19, were eligible for assistance with missed mortgage and utility payments through the Blueprints fund. Darlene Bigler, Blueprints CEO enthusiastically reported recently, “We’ve distributed $47,656 of WCCF’s $50,000 grant on behalf of homeowners behind on their mortgages due to COVID-19 . . . We are so grateful to WCCF for fulfilling the immediate need of homeowners during the pandemic; without your help, local households would have faced foreclosure. Thanks to you, your board, and donors!” 3
Dr. Howard Jack Public Educator Award Recipient: Heather Nicholson If you want to understand a teacher’s effectiveness, ask one of her students. Rocco, a former third grader at California Area Elementary wrote, “Dear Mrs. Nicholson. Thank you for being my teacher. Thank you for teaching me division and multiplication. You always included me when I was in cyber school. You picked me when I raised my hand so I could say the answer. You gave me the stuff I needed when I came back from cyber school. You taught me everything I needed to know for the PSSAs. Thank you so much, Mrs. Nicholson.” Thank you, Rocco. That’s all anyone needs to know about the teacher who was selected by the Washington County Community Foundation to receive its Dr. Howard Jack Outstanding Public Educator Award. If a person was born to teach, it’s Heather Nicholson. Her father, Gary Gregg, was a school librarian who inspired her love of reading. He never lectured about what a teacher should be; instead, he showed her. He
It’s called the Moonshot Grant through the Remake Learning Network, and it’s a bit like the old one-room school house. Her 26 students, grades one to ten, all of whom were nominated by their parents, are assigned to a regular class, and they all do regular mathematics and reading. But during certain classes, they report to Mrs. Nicholson to engage in special projects, solo or in groups. One student is interested in the American Revolution, so she’s studying it several years before her peers will. Another student loves bees and will build a hive on school grounds. One girl was adopted from Russia, so she comes to classroom 101 to study Russian. California Area School District Superintendent Dr. Laura Jacob is impressed with the tremendous positive relationship Mrs. Nicholson maintains with all her students. “Heather Nicholson maintains high expectations of all her students,” she wrote, “yet gives them the flexibility to experience challenge.” California University of Pennsylvania will study the program, and if it shows significant benHeather Nicholson with her Moonshot Program students efit to the students, California Area School District will try to find additional funding to continue and embodied the philosophy they both share: “Always put possibly expand the program next year. the students first. Do whatever you can to connect with But what does Rocco think? He also sent in a mind them, to make a bond.” map, with Mrs. Nicholson in the center, and drew lines Mrs. Nicholson can teach traditionally, but she’s radiating out in all directions indicating the things he known for thinking outside the box. had learned. Rocco wasn’t born knowing how to do a “She turned our ‘Fab Lab’ into an operating room,” mind map. He learned it from Heather Nicholson. So, to said Principal Rachel Nagy, “and third grade students quote Rocco again, “Thank you, Mrs. Nicholson.” into surgeons (equipped with gowns, gloves and masks) In recognition of this honor, Mrs. Nicholson directed a to dissect parts of speech.” Nagy describes Mrs. Nichol- $1,000 grant from the Foundation’s Acorn Fund to California son’s style as “engaging, interesting and relevant.” Area School District for the Moonshot Program. Now in her twenty-fourth year of teaching, Mrs. Nicholson is embarking upon a new adventure – the only By Dorothy Tecklenburg teacher in a pilot program to test new strategies, allowing students to create their own studies for subjects in which they are most passionate.
Dr. Howard Jack Public Educator Award Recipient: Laurie Maglietta Laurie Maglietta believes a teacher has one overriding responsibility: to teach students to think. Not what to think. How to think. How to gather information, evaluate the reliability of the source, and decide for themselves what is right. She thinks about thinking a lot more than the average person. As a fifth-grade teacher at McGuffey School District’s Joe Walker Elementary School, it’s part of who she is. Her commitment to her students was a factor in her being named a Dr. Howard Jack Outstanding Public Educator by the Washington County Community Foundation. “My favorite moments of teaching are when I'm working with a child who is struggling to understand something and has the ‘OH! I get it now!’ moment,” she shared. “There is a lot of silent waiting for connections before we get that ‘AHA’ moment. You learn to just be quiet and wait.” There are times when she can’t wait. “Sometimes, we need to move on too quickly – ‘make sure you cover all of those standards!’ It's sad to see so many kids lost because we ‘had to move on.’” Ms. Maglietta prefers learning experiences that reflect real-world problems. Her students restored the riparian buffer on the Joe Walker property. (What does “riparian” mean? Look it up!) They researched the causes of stream erosion and how it damages water quality, then partnered with the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy to restore the bank. The kids learned to see a problem, educate themselves, brainstorm solutions, and take action. “I don't want them to feel powerless. My goal is to create change-makers!” Her enthusiasm for the project is palpable. “In 30 years of teaching, this was my proudest work. Clean water is one of our most precious resources; we cannot survive without it.” Whether working in the classroom or on special projects, she never forgets that she is dealing with someone else’s child. She knows parents are “counting on me
to use my knowledge to help their child academically, socially, and emotionally.” Parents respect her. “It is very encouraging to watch my daughter learn in such a supportive environment,” wrote Michelle Miller-Kotula. “She brings out the best in students.” Students love her, like Nina H. “She always makes people feel included and always makes sure everybody is treated kindly no matter who they are. She always makes sure we understand the lessons.” Ms. Maglietta’s priorities are obvious in her sometimes blunt advice to new teachers: 1. Teaching is exhausting. It takes mental and physical energy. 2. Can you multi-task? You're making thousands of splitsecond decisions while 20 customers wait for your attention. 3. Enjoy their age level. If you can't hack it, move. 4. Enjoy learning with your students. If you don’t, do something else. 5. Share your passions with your kids. 6. Remember it’s not an assembly line. Take them from where they are TOWARD where they need to be. Make sure they make progress while they're in your care. Former supervisor Erica Kolat said, “Ms. Maglietta understands children and will do whatever it takes to ensure that all children grow.” Even without looking it up, that’s a great definition of teaching. In recognition of this honor, Ms. Maglietta directed a $1,000 grant from the Foundation’s Acorn Fund to McGuffey School District for the purchase of water monitoring equipment and supplies. By Dorothy Tecklenburg
Featured Capacity-Building Grants From left to right: WCCF Trustees Richard White, James McCune, and Debra Keefer, WCCF President & CEO Betsie Trew, and Mon Valley Alliance CEO Ben Brown inside the new Mon Valley Business Resource Building. A $50,000 capacity-building grant enabled the Mon Valley Alliance Foundation to purchase the former Community Bank building in the heart of Monongahela.
A grant of $25,000 was awarded to ARC Human Services for renovations to its new facilities in Canonsburg. ARC’s new headquarters will be heavily communityfocused and host an art gallery, coffee shop, and meeting room for both client and public usage. This space will foster accessibility and inclusivity for individuals living with disabilities to aid them in becoming further integrated into the local community.
The Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh Specialty Care Center at Washington Hospital received a $15,000 grant for the installation of distraction therapy artwork. These vibrant, themed walls will help distract children from fears and anxieties and put them more at ease while receiving treatment and care.
The George Washington Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution received a grant of $10,000 for the erection of memorial signs at 57 cemeteries and complementary educational materials and campaigns in the region. These signs will be used to educate the public as well as honor and remember the Revolutionary War soldiers buried in local cemeteries throughout Washington County.
Featured Capacity-Building Grants
Little Lake Theatre received a grant of $40,000 for key facility upgrades as the theatre moves forward with plans to enhance its current space. These upgrades will ensure the safety and comfort of theatregoers, while also allowing staff and volunteers more time to directly interact with patrons and provide a more impactful customer service experience for everyone attending the Theatre.
The Village of FPC was awarded a grant of $20,000 to hire a business manager in order to help the organization navigate through a period of critical growth. The business manager would focus on student growth and special projects, such as the need for providing transportation for the Village’s students. This new position will also be responsible for planning and building out the STREAM (Science, Technology, Reading, Engineering, Arts and Math) immersion lab, rejuvenating the Village’s fundraising, as well as reworking agreements with California University.
A grant of $15,000 was awarded to the Montour Trail Council for restoration of the Montour-Panhandle Connector, a critical link in the Great American Trail. The Great American Trail is a chain of trails stretching for 3,700 miles across the country, running from Washington, D.C. to just west of Seattle. The restoration in the Montour section work will focus on repairing current and mitigating future flood damage to the trail, as well as improving the appearance and safety of the connector.
Washington & Jefferson College received a $10,000 award for its IGNITE business incubator, which serves start-ups and existing small businesses with programming and co-working office space. IGNITE is focused on driving community impact and economic development by serving as a catalyst for the growth of new businesses, existing small businesses, and non-profits across the area.
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