June 28, 2017

Cameron announces $1.4 million in grants to nonprofits serving the region

The Cameron Foundation’s Board has approved new grants totaling $1,421,406 to benefit residents of the Tri-Cities area. The funding supports the work of 25 organizations providing services across the region. The awards result from the first of the Foundation’s two annual responsive grant cycles, with the second cycle concluding in October.

“These grants play an essential role in supporting a strong, local nonprofit sector,” Board Chair Pam Martin Comstock noted. “The fields of work supported by these grants range from health to human services, to community development and historic preservation. Each of these fields contributes to creating a healthy, vibrant and economically vital region, which in turn supports the Foundation’s mission.”

In one example, grantee Southside Virginia Emergency Crew (SVEC) is the primary emergency medical provider in three of the four emergency response districts in the City of Petersburg. The Foundation’s $30,605 award to SVEC will be used to purchase engines for two of the group’s ambulances. Grant Committee Chair Jeffrey W. Geisz explained, “With the crew keeping four of its six vehicles running in regular rotation at any given time, it was clear that the fleet needed to stay in proper condition to prevent any delay in responding to service calls.”

The Foundation also approved $49,975 towards a historic structure report of Violet Bank Museum. As the only historic building owned and operated by the City of Colonial Heights, Violet Bank’s history dates back to the late 1700s. The City has budgeted $100,000 towards restoration of the building, which suffers physical damage and the presence of mold due to extensive water infiltration. The structure report will provide a condition assessment of both the interior and exterior of the building; recommendations for priorities and phasing; estimated costs of the work; and, a list of ongoing maintenance requirements. “The Cameron-funded report will provide the information needed for the City of Colonial Heights to make the best use of its appropriation towards restoration of Violet Bank,” Geisz noted.

Among the larger awards this cycle, the Foundation approved $105,000 in renewal funding to Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) Virginia for its ongoing work to stimulate economic development in the City of Petersburg. Cameron President J. Todd Graham explained, “LISC Virginia has been a longtime partner in this community, and we continue to work together on projects that will help the local economy.” Last year, LISC Virginia opened its Financial Opportunity Center (FOC) at Pathways. The center is one of 70 that LISC operates across the country to provide career counseling, one-on-one financial coaching and low-cost financial products to help build credit, savings and assets. In less than one year of operating locally, the Petersburg FOC has served 101 clients with educational workshops, job placement, credit repair and reduction, homeownership counseling and home buying assistance. As a financial intermediary, LISC Virginia also provides loans and lines of credit, grants and equity investments to help community developers and other partners in markets where traditional lenders have expressed reluctance to invest. “Cameron support helps to bring this full complement of resources to assist with local community revitalization,” Graham said.

The complete list of responsive grants for the June cycle includes:

Alzheimer’s Association–Greater Richmond Chapter – $22,300
American Red Cross–Southside Area Chapter – $25,000
Battersea Foundation – $100,000
Central Virginia Health Services, Inc. – $296,000
Chesterfield CASA, Inc. – $20,000
ChildSavers–Memorial Child Guidance Clinic – $33,351
City of Colonial Heights Department of Recreation, Parks & Tourism – $49,975
Communities In Schools of Petersburg – $90,000
CultureWorks, Inc. – $15,000
Dinwiddie County Division of Planning and Community Development – $20,000
FLITE Foundation – $39,000
GReat Aspirations Scholarship Program, Inc. (GRASP) – $10,000
Greater Richmond Fit4Kids, Inc. – $45,000
Historic Petersburg Foundation, Inc. – $38,555
Hopewell Food Pantry – $35,000
HumanKind – $10,000
The Literacy Lab – $40,000
Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) Virginia – $105,000
Meadowview Biological Research Station – $10,000
NAMI Central Virginia – $26,120
Petersburg Garden Club – $40,500
Rawls Museum Arts, Inc. – $20,000
Southside Virginia Emergency Crew, Inc. – $30,605
Virginia’s Gateway Region, Inc. – $250,000
YMCA of Greater Richmond – $50,000

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