Marion James & Anna Ressler Hess Scholarship Awarded

Anna Ressler Hess

Marion James Hess

The family of Marion James and Anna Viola Ressler Hess established this scholarship in 2003. Marion and Anna Hess came to Oxford, PA, in 1937. Mr. Hess opened a barber shop which he operated until 1969. Mrs. Hess worked as the secretary to the principal of Oxford Area High School for 21 years, from 1957 until 1978. Anna Hess had always wanted to be a teacher but was unable to afford a four-year college education. They were both supporters of education, in particular, Oxford Area High School.

 

 

This merit scholarship award has been established to support a graduate of Oxford Area High School who is attending a 4-year college or university and is planning a career in teaching. The teaching career can be at any level: early childhood education, elementary school, middle school, high school, or college teaching, in any subject area. Graduating seniors are welcome to apply, as are former graduates who are currently enrolled or are planning to enroll in an accredited 4-year institution of higher learning. This is a merit-based scholarship. Financial need is not a criteria

 

The 2017 recipient of the Marion James & Anna Ressler Hess Scholarship is Virginia Bradbury (Ginger). Ginger will attend Millersville University in the fall.

Dennis R. & Patricia R. Early Scholarship Awarded

Dennis and Patricia Early established this scholarship to support local students of Rockingham County high schools interested in studying in the fields of math or science, or in becoming a K-12 math or science teacher. Student career interests might include nursing, medicine, pharmacy, veterinary medicine, computer science and any other math or science based fields. The Earlys have dedicated their lives to education and to encouraging and supporting students in every way, and taught multiple generations of the same families. Patricia taught biology and chemistry and sponsored the yearbook and cheerleading. Dennis taught math and coached golf. They saw firsthand that many families lack resources and established this scholarship to help students reach their educational goals. This scholarship is intended to support qualified students who plan to attend Blue Ridge Community College, Bridgewater College, James Madison University, or

 

An eligible recipient must be a recent graduate of a Rockingham County high school and accepted at one of the above schools to obtain a Bachelor or Associate Degree with a math or science concentration. Although not required, preference will be given to students who plan to one day teach math or science. Preference also will be given to students from military families. This scholarship is to support the student for their two or four year education as long as the student is enrolled in said science or math program, is in good standing, and receives a 3.0 or better GPA while enrolled full-time. Student must submit a renewal application each year by the deadline. An eligible student must have demonstrated financial need.

 

The Selection Committee for the Dennis R. & Patricia R. Early Scholarship interviewed potential candidates and determined a recipient based on the following criteria:

1-Financial need
2-Strong academic performance
3-Character, as well as civic and community service.

 

The 2017 recipient of the Dennis R. & Patricia R. Early Scholarship is Addison Shenk, graduate of Spotswood High School. Addison will attend Eastern Mennonite University in the fall and plans to major in Biology or Pre-Professional Health Sciences.

Arthur John Leavenworth – Eureka Lodge #195 Scholarships Awarded

This scholarship is named in honor of Arthur, “Art,” John Leavenworth by Rhonda Leavenworth Johnson. Rhonda’s father was a longtime member of the Eureka Lodge #195 located in Bridgewater. He contributed money personally to this scholarship and was known to crush and recycle aluminum cans to increase the funds available to donate to needy students.

 

The purpose of this scholarship fund is to provide at least two awards each year; one scholarship is awarded to a graduating senior at Turner Ashby High School and one is awarded to a graduating senior from Fort Defiance High School.  Consideration for this scholarship is given to applicants with financial need, who have demonstrated strong academic performance and community involvement.

 

2017 recipients of the Arthur John Leavenworth – Eureka Lodge #195 Scholarship are Megan Comfort from Turner Ashby High School and Blair Landram from Fort Defiance High School. Megan plans to attend Virginia Tech University, and Blair will begin at Blue Ridge Community College.

Laymon H. & Ruth S. Lantz Scholarship Awarded

This scholarship fund is intended to support qualified graduate students in either the Seminary or the Master of Arts in Counseling at Eastern Mennonite University.

 

The Layman H. & Ruth S. Lantz Scholarship was established by an anonymous donor who wanted to honor her parents, who have made the world a better place to live though their lifetime support of so many worthwhile causes. Their devotion to their faith and deep commitment to service have been outstanding features of their lives for over eight decades. The interest and enthusiasm they demonstrate for higher education and training in the human service fields has been an inspiration to others.

 

Consideration for this scholarship is given to applicants with demonstrated financial need, clear future goals, academic performance, character, and a sense of calling for the human service field.

 

Sabrina Burress, the 2017 recipient of the Laymon H. & Ruth S. Lantz Scholarship is a pursuing a Master of Arts degree in the Counseling program at EMU.

 

 

George W. Shreckhise Memorial Scholarships Awarded

The George W. Shreckhise Memorial Scholarship Fund was established by Mrs. Judith Shreckhise Strickler in memory of her father. George Shreckhise spent a lifetime enjoying and working in agribusiness, with an emphasis, later in life, in the nursery business. Horticulture is plant science that includes the study of plant growth and plant interactions with the environment (soil, air, water) to improve human life through the cultivation of crops and the maintenance of a sustainable environment. This scholarship, named for Mr. Shreckhise, supports students pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree in Horticulture. Consideration is given to academic standing, leadership qualities, and volunteer or work experience related to Horticulture.

 

The 2017 recipients of the George W. Shreckhise Memorial Scholarship are both students at Virginia Tech University:

Ella Reeves (Dublin, VA)

Rachael LaFlamme (Granby, CT)

 

Ella Reeves was also a 2016 recipient of this scholarship.

Philanthropy Celebrates One of its Own

Hundreds of the most generous community leaders gathered at the JMU Festival Student and Conference Center to celebrate National Philanthropy Day on Monday, November 21, 2016.  This has become an annual event of the Association of Fundraising Professionals and an appropriate way to start the week of Thanksgiving.

Groups and Individuals were honored for gifts to the community, including Ted and Stephanne Byrd for their commitment to nonprofit organizations.  “This community was our home, (growing up), and being raised here and seeing the opportunities that were provided to us, gives us the ability in turn to make sure those opportunities exist for our kids and maybe their children,” said Ted. Ted’s first example of giving was to the church, followed by participating in trick-or-treat for Unicef.  Stephanne encouraged everyone to get involved by sharing with the crowd a favorite quote by Arthur Ash, “Start where you are, use what you have, and do what you can.”

Ted and Stephanne have been involved with countless nonprofit organizations.  Unless they are on vacation and don’t have computer access, there is hardly a day that goes by when they are not working for an organization to make our community better.  They are a true living example of what giving and serving means.  Stephanne and Ted are visionary and dream big.  They utilize their time to work on those things that will have a lasting impact on our community.  Their commitment to Harrisonburg and Rockingham County is relentless and we are a richer, more vibrant community because of their gifts.

Both Ted and Stephanne have given to many nonprofit organizations, too many to list.  Ted was thanked for his leadership and gifts to the Salvation Army, as well as, the Massanutten Regional Library, and the American Frontier Culture Center.  Stephanne was recognized for her leadership and gifts to the Arts Council of the Valley, Shenandoah Valley Economic Education, both at the local and state level, and for the very breath and life she gave to The Community Foundation.

Giving isn’t about the donation but rather the difference it makes.  Congratulations to Ted and Stephanne Byrd, 2016 Individual Philanthropist Award honorees.

Karen Komara and The Scarf Factory was also recognized at the event, as Youth in Philanthropy honoree.  Karen, a fifth grade teacher at Pleasant Valley Elementary School, taught her students an economics lesson by making scarfs and selling them for $4. The students learned the importance of giving back and selected the Harrisonburg Rockingham Free Clinic as the recipient of their proceeds.

Chad Layman, Kathy Sizemore and Stacy Farley were honored as the Spirit of Philanthropy for their work on a new event, K9s for Warriors Adventure Race, which raised around $200,000. K9 for Warriors program rescues dogs and trains them to be service dogs for veterans who are struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder. chad-layman

LSC Communications, (known formerly as RR Donnelley) was honored as the Corporate Philanthropist.  LSC Communications have a culture of giving back to the community.  Often employees recommend supporting project in and around the community.

Janet Wendelken was recognized for her professional accomplishments as the Sandra S. Neff Fundraising Executive Award.  Janet has worked in the community for a long time, including work at MillerCoors, the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Chamber of Commerce, Rockingham Education Foundation, James Madison University and the RMH Foundation.

Congratulations to everyone.

As we continue to celebrate this Thanksgiving Season, thank you all for your gifts to this community as we Dream.  Share.  Build. Our Community.

Eastham House Pre-Qualification for Bidders

Eastham House

The Community Foundation of Harrisonburg & Rockingham County (TCFHR) will work with Blue Ridge Architects to pre-qualify potential bidders for the Eastham House renovation project. This historic Harrisonburg structure, located at 317 S. Main Street, will be the new home for TCFHR offices in 2017.

 

eastham-house-prequalifications-2016-11-07

Learn More About a 65% Virginia State Tax Credit Opportunity

The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) Tax Credit Program is a way to support educational opportunities for local students and receive a 65% Virginia state tax credit on top of current state and federal charitable deductions. These state tax credits may be used in the tax year they are issued.

 

This program is similar to NAP credits, but is for individual or business donors interested in supporting scholarships at private K-12 schools in Virginia. Donations provide scholarship funds to support students of families that meet financial need criteria. The credits may not exceed the tax liability, but can be carried over for five succeeding years.

 

This year, the state has authorized up to $25 million in Education Improvement Tax Credits. The credits are readily available, but December 14th is a critical deadline to get this done for calendar year 2016 tax filings. It takes up to 2 weeks to receive the authorization allowing the taxpayer to make a qualified donation. Please note that donation checks may not be written before authorization is received.

 

The Community Foundation of Harrisonburg & Rockingham County is an approved scholarship foundation for the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE). Our staff will be glad to help you work through the process, and we can expedite application for these credits by sending forms electronically to the state. Program details and the Preauthorization Form can be found on the Virginia Department of Education website.

 

Please contact Ann at 540-432-3863 or ann@tcfhr.org, if you have questions regarding this program, or if The Community Foundation staff can be of assistance in any way.

Community Foundation Receives a $1.7M Gift to Benefit Area Students

Community Foundation To Fund Ag Scholarships


ERIN FLYNN Daily News-Record
PUBLICATION: Daily News-Record (Harrisonburg, VA)

SECTION: Harrisonburg
DATE: October 4, 2016
HARRISONBURG — A couple’s love for agriculture is being passed on to future generations.
The Community Foundation of Harrisonburg and Rockingham County announced Thursday that it received a $1.7 million gift from the estate of Thelma Phillips. The gift will be used to create up to 11 scholarships for Valley students interested in pursuing careers in agriculture. It also preserves the legacy of the late Thelma and Bill Phillips.
For nearly 30 years, Bill and Thelma “Curly” Phillips of New Market rose before dawn to milk the cows, harvest vegetables and work their 285 acres in Shenandoah County. Bill Phillips was known for his willingness to help others. “He was the kind of person that, when it snowed, he was always out,” said Chuck Mathias, a friend of the couple. “He would open up our driveway and other people’s driveways.” And Thelma Phillips could often be found in the kitchen making treats.In addition to their generosity, the Phillipses are remembered for their love of farming. “They were just hardworking, good people,” Mathias said.
Thelma Phillips would help her husband in any way possible, whether making meals for the farm hand or drive Bill Phillips around on Sundays so he could see check in on other farms. “Their whole life was around farming, and anything she could do to assist him, she enjoyed doing,” said Revlan Hill, The Community Foundation‘s executive director.
In 1980, Bill Phillips died from a heart attack. Twenty-three years later, his wife established a fund at The Community Foundation to honor him. The foundation acts as a conduit between donors and charitable groups by managing property and money. In 2015, Thelma Phillips died at 86 years old.
Memory Lives On
The couple’s interest in agriculture isn’t being forgotten, however. In fact, their legacy could spark interest in future farmers. Through the scholarship fund, The Community Foundation will award $1,500 scholarships to seniors at Broadway, Harrisonburg and Stonewall Jackson high schools. “She always wanted to do a scholarship for those schools,” Hill said. “Her love for the area, her love for students, her love for farming — that’s what she wanted to support.
“Students can renew the scholarships every year for four years, said Ann Siciliano, the foundation‘s director of program services. Offering a renewable scholarship, Siciliano said, could encourage students who might not be interested in a career in agriculture to reconsider the field.Siciliano said students interested in applying for the scholarship must submit an online application, information about their involvement in agriculture, and a transcript. Applicants will be interviewed. A link to the application can be found on The Community Foundation‘s website, http://www.tcfhr.org/ and must be completed by March 30, Siciliano said. The foundation will present the scholarships to the recipients during each high school’s spring ceremony.
Contact Erin Flynn at 574-6293 or eflynn@dnronline.com

 

Hildred Neff Memorial Fund – 2016 Grant Recipients Announced

Hildred Neff 2016In August, grants totaling over $9,500 were distributed to three local nonprofit organizations from the Hildred Neff Memorial Fund. The 2016 grant recipients are all nonprofit organizations that care for domestic animals.

2016 Hildred Neff Memorial Fund Grants:

The grants distributed will fully fund the project requests from the Rockingham/Harrisonburg SPCA and Cat’s Cradle of the Shenandoah Valley, Inc. The grant award to Anicira Veterinary Center will partially fund their $9,000 project request. Anicira’s Targeted Community Cat Project is still in need of $6,176 to be fully funded.

During her lifetime, Hildred Neff was a business woman who raised livestock and fruits and vegetables, and was co-owner of J.E. Plecker Florists. Hildred had a special love of animals and she contributed generously to organizations that promote their welfare. She left her estate to create the Hildred Neff Memorial Fund, which benefits agencies that provide for the needs of both domestic and wild animals. The fund was established at The Community Foundation of Harrisonburg & Rockingham County in 2014.

Next year’s Hildred Neff Memorial Fund grant application will be available in early 2017. Please visit our website for more information if you wish to apply. Grant applications are reviewed in August each year.

If you are interested in contributing to the Hildred Neff Memorial Fund to benefit the care of domestic and wild animals, please contact The Community Foundation of Harrisonburg & Rockingham County at 540-432-3863, or visit our website.