Vision, Mission and History
Our service area is recognized for its quality of life, many opportunities for its residents to succeed, sustainable nonprofit sector, and its cultural and historic attractions.
The Cameron Foundation strives to transform the Tri-Cities and surrounding counties into a healthy, vibrant and economically vital region by strategically leveraging resources for community impact.
In working towards this mission, the Foundation focuses on six outcome areas, including healthy residents, education excellence, cultural richness, a vital economy, vibrant communities and dynamic nonprofits.
Founded in 2003, The Cameron Foundation emerged from the sale of Southside Regional Medical Center, a hospital located in the Tri-Cities area of Virginia. The Foundation focuses on capacity building by promoting and supporting groups that help the residents of the region. The service area includes the cities of Petersburg, Colonial Heights, and Hopewell; the counties of Dinwiddie, Prince George, and Sussex; and the portion of Chesterfield County lying south of Route 10. Further defining the Foundation’s service area in southern Chesterfield, the western boundary begins at Route 10 and Lewis Road then follows south along Bradley Bridge Road (SR 631); jogs at Woodpecker Road (SR 626); and proceeds along SR 669 (Sandy Ford, Church and Chesdin roads). The border ends at Lake Chesdin’s Brasfield Dam, where the John J. Radcliffe Appomattox River Park is located.
The Foundation was named after William E. Cameron, editor of two Petersburg newspapers, The Daily News and The Daily Index. Mr. Cameron served as the Mayor of Petersburg (1876-81) and the Governor of Virginia (1882-86), and he was instrumental in supporting education for African Americans. He also played a major role in the founding of Virginia State University.
The Cameron Foundation’s offices are located in the Weddell-McCabe-Chisolm House, a circa 1840 Greek Revival structure on South Sycamore Street in Petersburg. The historic house was built by Scottish emigrant James Weddell, was later purchased by Capt. Gordon McCabe in 1865, and had a number of owners, including prominent surgeon Dr. Julian J. Chisolm, during the 20th century. Following an extensive renovation, the house became the headquarters of The Cameron Foundation in 2011.
As part of the Foundation’s service to the community, meeting rooms in the new addition of the Weddell-McCabe-Chisolm House were made available to nonprofits at no cost prior to the pandemic. More than 70 different nonprofit and civic groups used these spaces at least once a year to assist them in fulfilling their missions. Many used the rooms on a monthly or quarterly basis, creating a hub of ongoing community activity at The Cameron Foundation year-round. Due to the pandemic, the availability of these meeting rooms has been suspended until further notice, so please revisit this page for updates before attempting to submit a room use request.
The Cameron Foundation is a non-stock corporation exempt from federal income tax under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. It is a private foundation, governed by a Board of Directors whose members serve without compensation. The Foundation manages the proceeds that resulted from the sale of Southside Regional Medical Center.