The Harvest Foundation Awards Grants Worth +$1.7 Million

August 8, 2005

MARTINSVILLE, VA. The Harvest Foundation board of directors today awarded a total of $1.78 million to seven grant requests originated by organizations serving the Martinsville and Henry County community. Grants will support projects aimed at increasing economic, educational, social and recreational opportunities in this area.

The Harvest Foundation is pleased to announce these grants. The seven recipient organizations are engaged broadly in health, welfare and educational efforts that will benefit our area and all who live here. Each grant request grew out of interests and ideas from local citizens. All awards are in line with our organization's goals to have a positive and widespread impact on this area, said Douglas I. Payne, President of The Harvest Foundation board.

Since its formation in 2002 and including these most recent grants, The Harvest Foundation has provided a total of more than $22 million to more than 75 organizations. All grants went to projects benefiting the Martinsville and Henry County area.

Grant recipients in August 2005, the size of each grant and their purposes are:

Martinsville Uptown Initiative, $326,880.

This grant, through a collaborative partnership between three organizations: the Martinsville Uptown Revitalization Association, the Martinsville-Henry County Historical Society, and the Gateway Streetscape Foundation, Inc., plans to pool and apply their strengths and interests to address the revitalization of Uptown Martinsville. Through a series of greening efforts, market analyses and small business development programs, this initiative will help maximize uptown as an important regional asset for Martinsville's future. Of the total amount awarded, $177,680 will go to the Martinsville Uptown Revitalization Association, $42,000 to the Martinsville-Henry County Historical Society, and $107,200 to the Gateway Streetscape Foundation, Inc.

Martinsville Uptown Revitalization Association
Marshall W. Stowe - 276.632.5688

Martinsville-Henry County Historical Society
Deborah Hall - 276.666.8316

Gateway Streetscape Foundation, Inc.
Lois Christensen - 276-634-4674

Mayo and Smith River Initiative, $157,500.

This grant will support the launch of the Mayo and Smith River Initiative. This effort seeks to improve outdoor recreational opportunities for local residents and visitors. This effort will also continue to help advance the $400,000 grant announced recently by the federal government. Of the total amount awarded, $62,500 will go to the Southern Environmental Law Center, Inc. and $95,000 to the Dan River Basin Association. Both organizations are engaged in this project and will use grant money for costs associated with it.

Southern Environmental Law Center
Katherine E. Slaughter, Senior Attorney - 434-977-4090

Dan River Basin Association
Thomas J. Edmonds, President - 336.342.1415

Henry County Administrator
Benny Summerlin - 276.634-4604

City of Martinsville, Office of the Sheriff, Project Lifesaver, $14,305.

This grant will assist Project Lifesaver, an initiative of the Sheriff's Office in Martinsville. The program started in 2001. It helps individuals suffering from Alzheimer's disease and related mental dysfunctional disorders. Disease victims receive tracking devices, which can help locate them if they become lost and confused. The grant will go for additional receivers, transmitters, straps and equipment.

Contact: Sheriff Steve M. Draper - 276.403.5103

Stepping Stones, Inc., $7,560.

Founded in 1991, this organization assists profoundly mentally handicapped adults while their primary caregivers are at work. Stepping Stones provides shelter, basic care and meaningful social and physical activities for those in its care. This grant will support creation of a part-time Travel Aide position. The person will oversee and assist handicapped adults on field trips and traveling to and from the Stepping Stones facility in Martinsville.

Contact: Pamela Pritchett, Executive Director - 276.638.7676

University of Virginia, Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service, $166,316.

The Weldon Cooper Center is a public policy resource for public officials, private sector leaders and citizens of Virginia. This grant will support development programs for citizens of and government officials in Martinsville and Henry County. In the long term, this initiative should provide lasting partnerships throughout the community to address issues of importance to this region.

John P. Thomas, Director?- 434.982.5545
Gene Teague, Chairman - 276.656.6754

Virginia Museum of Natural History Foundation, $1.089 million.

The grant will help pay for exhibits in the museum's new building set to open in January 2007 and for costs associated with launching the new museum. This grant also will be used as matching funds to raise an additional $1 million from private contributors and an additional $2 million from the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Contact: Tim Gette, Museum Executive Director and Foundation CEO?- 276.666.8608

West Piedmont Business Development Center, $21,000.

This 2-year grant will support extensions of services offered by this business incubator, located in Martinsville. This effort will operate as the Virtual Incubation Program. It will offer a variety of services, including seminars, networking events and various technical services, to encourage entreperneurship.
Contact: Lisa W. Fultz, Manager -?276-638-2523

All projects receiving grants grew out of interests and ideas from local citizens and groups. These people and organizations are seeking to meet significant needs in Martinsville and Henry County, making the area a better place to live and work. To be eligible for grant consideration, an organization must:

  • Be located within Martinsville or Henry County, or conduct programs focused on this area.
  • Be recognized by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service as a 501C3 not-for-profit organization or be an otherwise eligible entity.
  • Propose a project within the areas of health, education or welfare.

The Harvest Foundation was formed in 2002 following the sale of the Memorial Health System. The foundation oversees an endowment created with proceeds from that transaction. Revenue generated by endowment investments supports programs that benefit Martinsville and Henry County residents.

The mission of The Harvest Foundation is to research and responsibly invest in programs and initiatives to address local challenges in health, education, and welfare. More information on the Foundation can be located on The Harvest Foundation website at:


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