RIPLEY - Twenty-one charities have been selected to benefit from 2015 Charity Challenge Matching Grant Program – a community matching grant program of the Jackson County Community Foundation (JCCF), an affiliate of the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation. 

During the community challenge period from May 1 to the Charity Challenge Run & Walk Event on September 19, the general service non-profit organizations selected for participation will receive $1 for every $2 raised and three participating animal welfare nonprofits will receive $1 for every $1 raised with a one-time special needs focus (matching up to $2,000). 

The grant awards will be presented to the charities at the Foundation’s Community Celebration event on October 15, which will feature Animal Ambassador Jack Hanna as the guest speaker. 

The matching grants will benefit programs for youth through seniors in education, health, human services, art and culture, animal welfare and recreation.

Over the past 13 years, JCCF has worked with over 65 non-profit organizations and local matching fund donors to provide $1.2 million for local programs through the popular Charity Challenge Matching Grant Program. Each year approximately $150,000 is generated for local programs through this collaborative community wide program. 

“Each year residents throughout Jackson County benefit from this challenge program. With one donation to JCCF’s matching fund, sponsors support 21 local charities and help us build a better Jackson County. This year our leadership team decided to use the challenge program to focus on a major area of need – animal welfare and a new county animal shelter.  The Foundation joined forces with the Jackson County Commission to launch a challenge to the community - the Jackson County Animal Welfare Challenge. The Commission has earmarked a $1 for every $1 donated this year (up to $50,000) to the Foundation’s new Jackson County Animal Welfare Fund. By year end, the Foundation hopes to have generated $50,000 from community donations to address the challenge.  Once the challenge is complete, half of the funds will be issued to the County Commission to be added to their $50,000 for a total of $75,000 to begin construction on a new county animal shelter. The remaining $25,000 will stay at the Foundation to establish the new Jackson County Animal Welfare Fund that will provide ongoing annual grant support for the animal welfare groups and the new animal shelter.

“We are very excited to partner with the county commission for this animal welfare challenge and are thrilled to have Jungle Jack Hanna coming to Jackson County - thanks to underwriting from The Dickirson Corporation.  Mr. Hanna’s involvement with our efforts to create an animal welfare support fund was carefully planned over the past year. The community has watched in recent years as ongoing issues have occurred with animal welfare support at our aging and inadequate county shelter. The timing is right to address this community need. Three participating animal welfare agencies will be donating 50% of their earned Charity Challenge matching funds to the new Jackson County Animal Welfare Fund. It is amazing to see what can be accomplished when everyone works together. Together We are Building a Stronger Community is the theme for the Charity Challenge Program. Working together this year we will address the animal welfare needs and in future years, we will address other vital needs in our community,” said Jane Winters, Regional Manager of Affiliates.              

The 21 charities selected for 2015 participation in the Charity Challenge Matching Program are:  

Education: Pilot Club of Jackson County-Brain Minders & Safety Jamboree; Ravenswood High School Friends and Alumni Scholarship Fund-Scholarships; and the Jackson County 4-H Foundation-Scholarships for 4-H Camp. 
  Health: Jackson County Commission on Aging Ravenswood Senior Center-Aqua Fit Program; Jackson General Hospital-Ready to Play-Free Sports Physical Day; and the Christopher Rhodes Memorial Fund-Support for the Jackson County Anti-Drug Coalition.

Human Services: Habitat for Humanity-Home Building Projects; and Parchment Valley Baptist Church-SnakPak Program for Jackson County Schools.

Art and Culture: GFWC Woman’s Club of Ripley-Downtown Flag Community Program; U-Turn Concert Ministries-Youth Music Festival to Support Drug-Free Efforts; and Main Street Ripley-Repairs to the Alpine Theatre.

Recreation: Sandyville Community Pride-Enhance Nature/Fitness Trail at Gilmore Elementary; Friends of Kenna-Community Physical Fitness & Outdoor Learning Environment; Special Olympics Jackson County-Special Olympics Competitions; Ripley Youth Soccer Club-Soccer Equipment; 

General Community Support: ARF/Animal Rights Fur Ever-Animal Rescue Equipment for Transport Van; Jackson County Community Foundation - Community Action Grants Program; Humane Society of Jackson County-Spay & Neuter Program; Operation Fancy Free-Feral Cats Spay & Neuter Program; Robyn Hayes Gandee Memorial Fund-Build the Robyn Hayes Gandee Memorial Fund to Provide Support for Youth Programming; and the Rotary Club of Ripley-Community Support Programs.

The Charity Challenge Program features a 5K Run & Fun Walk Benefit in which selected charities raise funds through individual sponsorships of the runners and walkers entered. 

The organizations raise funds for a specific community program as Foundation’s volunteers raise matching dollars from businesses and individuals through sponsorship support to match the funds generated by the charities. 

Anyone interested in walking or running in the September 19 Charity Challenge Run and Walk can register online at aptiming.com/charitychallenge and join the team for their favorite local charity. 

Those interested in purchasing tickets to the Community Benefit on October 15 with Jungle Jack Hanna or donating to the Jackson County Animal Challenge, can contact the Foundation at 304-372-8588 or jane.winters@pacfwv.com        

About the Jackson County Community Foundation:

The Jackson County Community Foundation (JCCF) works with individuals, families, businesses, and civic or non-profit organizations to make a positive and permanent commitment for the future of Jackson County, West Virginia.  JCCF is an affiliate of the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation (PACF), which is a single 501(c)(3) public charity that manages more than 430 charitable funds with nearly $44 million in assets.  PACF works in partnership with its local affiliates to provide leadership and develop philanthropic resources to meet the needs of an 11-county service area.  Since 2000, JCCF has helped local citizens support charitable needs and touch every aspect of life in the community in a variety of lasting ways.  For more information about PACF and its affiliate, JCCF, visit www.pacfwv.com or call 304-428-4438 (Parkersburg Office) or 304-372-8588 (Ripley Field Office).