March 9, 2022

Cameron Foundation celebrates over $100 million in grantmaking

PETERSBURG, VA — The Cameron Foundation has reached a major milestone by awarding more than $100 million in grants as part of a nearly 20-year effort to transform the Tri-Cities and surrounding counties into a healthy, vibrant and economically vital region.

In its first grant cycle in October 2004, the Foundation awarded $1.3 million to 39 organizations. “That event marked the beginning of our journey to make a difference across this entire region,” said Cameron Board Chair J. Tolleison Morriss, VI. “When we look at the cumulative effect today, we are both humbled and in awe.”

At the close of 2021, The Cameron Foundation had awarded 1,207 grants to 316 different organizations. Recipients include nonprofit organizations, government agencies and faith-based groups.

The Cameron Foundation engages with partners across several fields of interest, including health, human services, community/economic development, education, arts/culture and historic preservation/ conservation. “We serve a mission that is broad in scope, and crossing this $100 million mark reflects the Foundation’s diverse investment in communities all across our region,” said Cameron President J. Todd Graham.

Established in 2003, the Foundation was formed from the proceeds of the sale of Southside Regional Medical Center by the Hospital Authority of the City of Petersburg. The Foundation’s service area spans the cities of Petersburg, Colonial Heights and Hopewell; the counties of Dinwiddie, Prince George and Sussex; and, the southern portion of Chesterfield County.

Over the years, Cameron has directed funding to many community partners, such as its grants of more than $5.5 million to Central Virginia Health Services, Inc., which operates nineteen community health centers across Virginia. The centers – including five in Cameron’s service area – provide primary healthcare services to some of the state’s most vulnerable populations.

“Working in collaboration with The Cameron Foundation over the years has made a profound impact on our ability to fulfill our mission in this region,” said Paula A. Tomko, Chief Executive Officer of Central Virginia Health Services. “The Foundation’s funding supports primary care to an average of 7,600 individual patients each year. Cameron grants also have enabled us to expand our services to provide over 3,200 dental treatments as well as behavioral health services to 1,100 patients annually. More recently, thanks to grant support to build and launch school-based health centers in Petersburg and Hopewell, we are deepening our reach into those communities,” she added.

In another area of investment, over $1.7 million in Cameron’s funding to the YMCA of Greater Richmond has supported health initiatives, youth development, capital improvements and program expansion for the Chester and Petersburg branches.

Recognizing that the community’s health is not only shaped by direct health and human services needs, the Foundation also has directed resources to impact some of the social determinants of health. More than $3.5 million in Cameron funding has been awarded to Virginia’s Gateway Region for its efforts to facilitate economic development growth through business development opportunities, to foster regional cooperation, and to advance resources that make the region a viable competitor for capital investments and job growth.

The actual grant that tipped the Foundation across the $100 million threshold was a $200,000 commitment to Sussex County Youth and Adult Recreation Association toward the repair, renovation and upgrade of the organization’s recreational facility in the town of Waverly.

The Cameron Foundation approved the grant for the association, the oldest surviving nonprofit organization in Sussex County, at its December meeting.

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