2018 Highland Youth Philanthropy Council Awards Banquet

The Youth Philanthropy Council’s Award Banquet was held Wednesday, May 9th, and five local non-profits were presented with a total of $10,000 to further their efforts.

The YPC is comprised of twelve students, 9th – 12th grade, from Highland County, who partner with Community Foundation of the Central Blue Ridge to assist non-profits that service Highland.

After a meal, and opening remarks from guest speaker Celia Rutt, this year’s winners were announced.

Highland Respite Care and Hospice Support Services received a $1,000 grant.

“This is Kathy Solomon, with Highland County Respite Care and Hospice Support Services, and we’re very pleased and thrilled to have received a grant from the Youth Philanthropy Council, and with that grant, we intend to buy a hospital bed to add to our inventory, which is right here in Monterey, and is available to every resident of Highland County.”

Blue Ridge Area Food Bank was awarded $1,350.

“I’m Ellen Butchart, and I’m the grants manager for the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank, and I’m so pleased that we received this award. The Food bank is located in Verona, and we serve 25 counties and eight cities. Highland is one of our most remote locations, and we really wanted to reach the people of Highland who need support. Our mobile food pantry is located at the Word of Faith Food Pantry. We have support for the regular mobile food pantry distribution, so we’ll be able to add some supplemental protein and shelf-stable foods to the distributions.”

Virginia Program for Aging Services received $1,500.

“Harmony Leonard, Valley Program For Aging Services, and thank you to the Youth Philanthropy Council for continued support of the transportation program in Highland County.

Allegheny Mountain Institute was awarded $2,850.

“Hi, I’m Sue Erhardt, Executive Director of the Allegheny Mountain Institute, and we’re proud recipients of the Youth Philanthropy Council grant this year in 2018, and we’re going to use these funds to help fund fresh produce for Meals On Wheels and the local food pantry. We’re also going to be offering free workshops in the community on gardening, composting, and other community workshops on how to grow your own garden.”

And Dare To Dream Therapeutic Horsemanship Center received $3,300.

“This is Marsha Lunsford, I’m with Dare To Dream Therapeutic Horsemanship Center, and I’m just so thankful to the YPC, The Highland Center, Josh Umar and The Community Foundation of the Central Blue Ridge. You know, we really appreciate the program and that they’ve provided us with this funding. We’re going to be able to continue a scholarship program that we started last year for Highland County residents, so that anybody in the county who needs to have or could benefit from equine therapy, that they will be able to participate , and they won’t have the obstacle of not being able to financially afford it. We were able to do a lot of good last year with this grant, and so we’re just very excited that they decided to honor us again this year with this grant.”

Story By

Scott Smith

Scott Smith is the General Manager for Allegheny Mountain Radio and Station Coordinator and News Reporter for WVLS. Scott’s family has deep roots in Highland County. While he did not grow up here, he spent as much time as possible on the family farm, and eventually moved to Highland to continue the tradition, which he still pursues with his cousin. Unfortunately, farming doesn’t pay all the bills, so he has previously taken other jobs to support his farming hobby, including pressman/writer for The Recorder, and Ag Projects Coordinator for The Highland Center. He lives in Hightown with wife Michelle and son Ethan. In his spare time, he wishes he had more spare time, especially to ride his prized Harley-Davidson motorcycle. scott@amrmail.org

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