March 7, 2011

Cameron Foundation begins 2011 grantmaking with over $1.3 million in awards; new board member announced

In its first grant cycle for 2011, The Cameron Foundation’s Board of Directors approved $1,369,875 during its February meeting. The grants support the work of 18 nonprofit organizations in the Tri-Cities area serving needs in health, human services, community and economic development, education, civic affairs, and cultural enrichment. This is the first of three competitive grant cycles slated for 2011. In addition, the Foundation offers emergency grants and technical assistance funding on a rolling basis throughout the year.

Also in its February meeting, the board welcomed new member J. Tolleison Morriss VI, a fifth generation funeral director for J.T. Morriss and Son Funeral Home & Cremation Services. A lifelong resident of the Tri-Cities area, Morriss replaces retired member Dr. Gurpal S. Bhuller. The board is chaired by Ann C. Taylor, with other members including Larry C. Tucker, vice chair; Betty W. Thweatt,
secretary; James L. Thacker, Jr., treasurer; Cleveland A. Wright, immediate past chair and current grants committee chair; Pamela Martin Comstock; Donald
L. Haraway; and Kevin A. Hill. Additionally, the grants committee engages two community members, Linda L. Coleman and Dr. Marion H. Wilkins.

“We are so fortunate to have benefited from Dr. Bhuller’s most valuable service to our board over the years since we first began in 2003. The Foundation’s board and staff will certainly miss him as he retires,” commented board chair Ann C. Taylor. “This board rotation is a tremendous opportunity to bring in a fresh perspective, and we thank Mr. Morriss for agreeing to serve. He is a great asset to this community, and we look forward to working with him as we advance our mission to promote the health and quality of life for people living here,” she added. The Foundation primarily provides resources to nonprofit groups to fulfill its mission, and provision also is made to offer limited support to government agencies as well as faith-based organizations (for secular, non-religious purposes). The Foundation’s service area encompasses the cities of Petersburg, Colonial Heights, and Hopewell, as well as the counties of Dinwiddie, Prince George, Sussex, and the portion of Chesterfield County lying south of U.S. Route 10.

The board approved the following grants for the February cycle:
Better Housing Coalition – $200,000
Central Virginia Legal Aid Society – $49,825
Chesterfield Coalition for Active Children (COACH) – $25,000
Crisis Assistance Response Emergency Shelter, Inc. (CARES) – $70,000
Family Lifeline – $70,000 (over 2 years)
Friends of the Army Women’s Museum Association – $20,500
Hopewell Prince George Healthy Families – $50,000
Petersburg City Public Schools – up to $80,000
Petersburg Fire Department – $12,900
Petersburg Health Department – $192,000
Restoration of Petersburg CDC – $80,000
Retired and Senior Volunteer Program Southside, Inc. – $26,000
Science Museum of Virginia Foundation – $36,600
Sussex Central High School PTSA – $13,700
Tri-Cities Habitat for Humanity – $66,000 (over 2 years)
United Way of Greater Richmond and Petersburg – $73,300
Virginia Association for Competitive Swimming – $4,050
Virginia LISC – $300,000 (over 2 years)

Among the 18 awards made this cycle, Wright observes that half of the funds were directed to health and human services activities, explaining, “As a health legacy foundation, support in these areas remains central to our mission. We also recognize the importance of balancing our grantmaking to help in other areas that address quality of life issues. You can see that reflected in the full range of awards.”

The board also reviewed its 2011 grantmaking strategy during its meeting.President Handy L. Lindsey, Jr. highlighted that staff will continue to follow the practices that have been in effect over the last few years as a result of the economy’s impact on the Foundation’s grantmaking capacity. As an exception,
he added, “the board has reopened a limited amount of funding for conservation and historic preservation work. This is an area in which we had suspended grantmaking during 2009 and 2010.” Potential applicants are encouraged to review details on the Foundation’s web site and contact the Foundation’s program staff with questions about the current priorities.

The Cameron Foundation recently relocated and is now headquartered in Petersburg’s historic Poplar Lawn district. Its home at 228 S. Sycamore St. has been dedicated to founding board chair Cleveland A. Wright for his leadership and untiring efforts to advance the Foundation’s work. More information about the Foundation, its grant opportunities, and its grant recipients is available on its website,, or by telephone at 804-732-8900.

« go back to News