WELCOME

The Walker Area Community Foundation is a public 501(c)(3) charity and all contributions to the Foundation qualify as a charitable contribution for tax purposes. Please contact the Foundation or your professional advisor for more information on the advantages of making a donation to a community foundation.


WACF NEWS

Stukes joins WACF’s Board of Directors

StukesThe Foundation welcomes Beth Thorne Stukes to our Board of Directors! Beth is a
very dedicated and talented member of our community and we are honored to have her
serve on our board.

• Beth graduated with a degree in Elementary Education from UAB. She is a former
teacher who loves and believes in education.
• Beth is the daughter of Buddy L. Thorne and the late Barbara Drummond Thorne.
She is married to Rick Stukes and is extremely proud of her son, Brent Uptain and
his wife, Karyn.
• Beth presently serves on the Board of Directors for the United Way of Central
Alabama; the Advisory Board of the Walker County Arts Alliance; the Nataorium
Council, and hosts the Tuesday Bible Study Group.
• She is a member of the First Baptist Church of Jasper.

When asked why she wanted to serve on the Walker Area Community Foundation
Board, Beth answered, “I have watch the Walker Area Community Foundation grow and
have witnessed the tremendous, positive influence it has in our community. I feel
honored to be a part of the continuing work.”
Welcome, Beth!

Antique & Collectibles Appraisal/Show

Please mark your calendar for Saturday, December 12, 2009.  An Antique & Collectibles Appraisal/Show will be held at the Community Health Systems Activity Center and Exhibition Hall in Jasper, Alabama, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. This event is being planned by community volunteers of the Walker Area Community Foundation (WACF) as a fundraiser supporting the development of the Speaker of the House William B. Bankhead House and Heritage Center.
We invite you to participate in the show by setting up a booth(s) to sell your antiques/collectibles. The booths are $50 each and are approximately a 10' x 12' space. Booths may be set up on Friday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., or on Saturday morning at 7:00 a.m.  Caution will be taken to secure the building on Friday night. Each booth will be provided one table and two chairs and we will attempt to provide electricity for those who ask for it on the registration form.
If you would like a booth(s), we ask that you complete the attached form and return it no later than November 12, 2009. We are not charging a fee or percentage for items sold. Local groups will be selling a “Taste of Walker County” from the concession stand during the event.
Please help us promote our show by posting the enclosed flyer in your shop.  Also, please feel free to copy and share the flyer about this event with your community.  With your help, we expect a great crowd from throughout the area.

We look forward to hearing from you soon.  Should you have any questions, you may reach Cristy Moody or Paul Kennedy at (205) 302-001.

Community Crisis Fund

Everyone is feeling the crunch of our troubled economy. For some, the remedy is to tighten up a little – turn off lights when not in use, cut down the heat, or eat out less often. But for many in our community the story is much more serious – no power or heat and how will I feed my family today? Our community is in crisis. Here are some local statistics:

  • Calls for help to United Way's 211 Call Center are up 30%
  • Unemployment in the state is 5.7% up 3.4% from a year ago
  • An average of 69 homeowners per week lost their homes last fall
  • 650,000 Alabamians, 73 thousand children have no health insurance
  • 1 in 7 people in Alabama are receiving food stamps with thousands more now eligible

These numbers are growing and putting even more demands on our social service providers. “The newly desperate,” those who've never asked for help before, are asking for help now. Resources to provide services are dwindling and donations are crucial to provide help.

Nonprofits are encouraged to make application to this fund with assistance for those needs ‘above & beyond' the usual need. For more information contact Sonya King at the United Way of Central Alabama (205) 458-2063.

2008 Annual Report Released

Click Full Report in PDF Frmat

Spring 2009 Newsletter Released

Paul Kennedy, Executive Director of the Walker Area Community Foundation has announced the release of the Spring 2009 Newsletter. Those who do not receive the printed version can read the online PDF version by clicking here.


Creative Poetry Contest

The Friends of the 877th National Guard Unit are requesting submissions of poetry to be shared and read by the author during the May 2nd Celebration for our deploying troops. The Contest consists of competition in one division, Grades 6-12. Poems can be rhymed or free verse up to 60 lines but must NOT have been published previously. Details>>

Matching Gifts Programs

To encourage personal giving, many corporations have established Matching Gifts Programs. Please ask your employer if they have a matching gift program. To facilitate the matching gifts process, please obtain a matching gift form from your place of employment. Complete the application and submit it to the Walker Area Community Foundation, POB 171, Jasper, AL 35502.

A partial list of corporations with matching gifts programs are HERE. Please contact the Walker Area Community Foundation at 205-302-0001 for further assistance.

A Toolbox to Successful Grants

The Governor's Rural Action Commission and the Chamber of Commerce of Walker County presents a FREE training program on Grant writing March 5, 2009, 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM, at the Community Health Systems Activity Center on 19th Street in Jasper. Seating is Limited so RSVP by February 27, 2009, to The Chamber at 205-384-4571 or by email to linda@walkerchamber.us More>>

2009 Grant Guidelines and Application Released.

The 2009 Guidelines and Grant Application has been released by the Foundation. It is available in Word Document and PDF formats. A copy can be downloaded by clicking the link to the preferred format below:

Application (DOC)

Application (PDF)


WACF gives almost $300k in grants in ‘08

The Walker Area Community Foundation (WACF) continued its history of helping local nonprofit groups in 2008. The WACF’s General Fund gave $296,875 in 2008 to local nonprofits, which will result in $1,603,143 in community improvements and new and sustained initiatives for Walker County. “The grants the Foundation gives is a great way for the community to be involved in supporting leading nonprofits in our area,” said Paul Kennedy, WACF executive director. Kennedy said he’s proud of the diversity in the groups the WACF has issued grants to in 2008. “There are many different types of projects that received grants this year,” Kennedy said. “It’s a group of nonprofits that I believe can positively reach anyone in Walker County.” Read Full Report in the Daily Mountain Eagle>>

Alabama’s Famous and Historic Trees
Eldridge “Service Oak”

History has proven that that this small community has pulled together many times to offer support for its residents. Although that support started long before World War II, it was memorialized on a Friday afternoon; April 23, 1943 when the women left behind by men going to war planted a tree in honor of those men. The “Service Oak” celebrated its 64th birthday this past April, but despite its age, the majestic tree is still standing tall in memory of those who did not return from World War II. More>>


Walker Area Community Foundation announces purchase of William B. Bankhead home to become Heritage Center.

The Walker Area Community Foundation said today that is had completed the purchase of the home built by Speaker William Brockman Bankhead in the 1920's. The purchase includes the entire block on which the house is located in the North Highlands section of Jasper.

In commenting on the purchase, John T. Oliver, Jr., President of Walker Area Community Foundation said "It has long been our belief that our town needed a proper place to display and recognize our rich heritage, as well as a place to host cultural events. This colonial revival home - when restored to its original dignity will provide just such a venue. It will house the offices of the community foundation and provide space for exhibits, art shows, book signings, small receptions, recitals and similar events." More>>

Community Action Partnership of North Alabama, Inc. to Operate Weatherization Program in Walker County

The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA) Energy Division recently chose the Community Action Partnership of North Alabama, Inc. (The Partnership) to operate the U.S. Department of Energy Weatherization Program in Walker County. CEO Michael Tubbs said, “We are pleased to operate in Walker County and renew this much needed service to vulnerable seniors and families. The Partnership operates the Weatherization program in Marion, Winston, Cullman, Morgan and Lawrence counties and has helped hundreds of homeowners save a significant amount of money on energy bills.” MORE>>

“Feasibility Study: Establishing a Community Based Arts Center in Jasper, Alabama ” Full Final Report Click Here

Foundation awards $569,170 in ‘07 Endowment at $12 million

Foundation awards $569,170 in ‘07 Endowment at $12 million
ED HOWELL
The Daily Mountain Eagle

The Walker Area Community Foundation awarded $569,170 in grants to 49 different groups in 2007, with more than $12 million in its total funds, an official said during the foundation's annual luncheon Wednesday in Jasper. Board member Eddie Jackson said the foundation took in $432,961 in 2007, which declined from 2006's record $552,806 but was still the second biggest year for giving. Last year's contributions came from about 450 individual donors.

“It is a testament to this community that it has increased its giving as times have gotten harder,” Jackson said. “This is something for which we should not only be thankful, but proud.”

The awards for this year will result in more than $2 million in community improvements and new initiatives for the area.

“In 1997, the first seven grants were awarded in the amounts of $289,300. Since then, the foundation has awarded grant money in excess of $3.7 million to more than 90 nonprofits in our area,” board president John T. Oliver Jr. said in the annual report.

The foundation's endowment has grown from its original $6.4 million to its current total of $12,164,567, Jackson said. That is up by nearly $150,000 over the previous year.

“That's not bad in what I think everyone perceives as hard economic times,” Jackson said.

Jackson said the foundation was able to give more last year than it took in because the foundation has protected the principal and only used the interest, while it has also been successful in its investments.

Jackson pointed to growth in some areas, based in part on the Samuel Lee Smith Advised Fund, which helps children and youth, which started with a family donation of $200,000 and which has grown from contributions. An advisory council recommends donations to be paid off of interest to encourage athletics, scouting, religion and the arts.

Another area of growth came from the Excellence in Education Donor Advised Fund, which assists the Jasper City Schools.

The fund “is steadily building toward its goal of $50,000 and stands after six months at $15,000, and it is about ready to make some grants,” Jackson said. “These funds will allow the city school system to do things it cannot do within its budget.

“We are establishing a relationship with the foundation where we can raise funds for projects and special initiatives that we want to accomplish in our district,” Jackson quoted Sparkman saying in the annual report. “This is not for pencils and paper and for things the school board can take care of. It is for technology, science labs, fine arts, enrichment — things that will enhance the learning opportunities of our students and further develop our teaching staff.”

Another factor was the Hope Clinic Campaign, which raised $200,971 in 2007, of which the foundation gave $50,000. The clinic helps qualified, uninsured residents get medical care.

Jackson said funds for the Memorial Park Natatorium and the APEX accessible playground equipment nearby were combined in 2007 to create the Jasper Recreation Fund. More than $200,000 has been donated for the site so that those with or without disabilities can play in a safe and attractive area, he said.

He also looked at the social impact of the foundation. In 2007, the foundation looked at the impact of drugs and formed a work group. Celebrate Recovery, which offers faith-based counseling for those with drug problems, and Citizens for a Drug Free Walker County both wanted to participate and received grants to help with their efforts, Jackson said.

Blooming Grove Baptist Church has been instrumental with Celebrate Recovery, and Jackson urged other churches to get involved with Celebrate Recovery “so that the drug dealers go out of business.”

The foundation, through the Samuel Lee Smith Fund, has also supported Equines Assisting Special Individuals (EASI), which gives therapeutic and spiritual support to children through horses. The foundation sponsored lessons and saddle time for 37 students last year.

“The impact of a horse on a disabled child or a child who is autistic or emotionally distraught or confined to a wheelchair is dramatic,” Jackson said. “Picture a child who is autistic or confined to a wheelchair being able to sit on a horse like John Wayne and tell it where to go.”

Jackson also pointed out the foundation's help in getting a lighted walking trail for the Capstone Rural Health Care Clinic in Parrish.

“Suffice it to say, you are making great things happen in Walker County ,” Jackson said.

Paul Kennedy, the executive director of the foundation, said in 2008 the foundation will be working more toward networking between the nonprofits to better resolve problems, save dollars and form stronger ties. As a result, the foundation can get more outside grants and services to the nonprofits that once seemed unreachable for them, he said.

“We're training, we're coaching and we are a resource for these nonprofits, last year in grant writing and volunteer management and this year we'll be working on capacity and self-sustainability,” Kennedy said.

The luncheon, emceed by Jasper native Anna Donaldson of CBS 42, also heard from Jasper native Luke Dollar , who has built a successful career involving academic, exploration, conservation and humanitarian efforts, especially in the Madagascar region. He said he took what he learned growing up in Jasper to apply to his work in Madagascar .

Donations

Other organizations listed as receiving grants from the foundation included the following:

General Fund: Alabama Citizens for Constitutional Reform Foundation, Alabama Grief Support, Alabama Power Service Organization-Gorgas Chapter, American Red Cross, the ARC of Walker County, Arthritis Foundation, The Birmingham Architectural Foundation, the Birmingham Regional Emergency Medical Systems Services, the Girl Scouts, ClasTran, Daybreak, the Haleyville Historical Society, Houston Historical Society, Independent Living, Invest for the Future, Jasper Police Explorers, the Montgomery Institute, the Nonprofit Resource Center of Alabama, the Salvation Army, UAB's Department of Theatre's Traveling Groups, VSA arts of Alabama, Walker County Christian Chorus, Walker County Volunteer Firefighters Association.

Samuel Lee Smith Advised Fund: Black Warrior Council of the Boy Scouts, Daily Mountain Eagle Shoe and Coat Fund, First United Methodist Church 's Mother's Day Out, Walker County Arts Alliance and scholarships to attend various recreational programs.

Walker Area Youth (WAY) Council: Big Brothers Big Sisters, Carbon Hill High School Beta Club, Club NAT, Dora High School Beta Club's School Beautification Project, Jasper Aquanauts Special Olympic Swim Team, Parrish High Peer Helper Program, Sumiton Christian Eagle Ambassadors Club, Walker County Arts Alliance, Walker County Humane Society.

Walker County Arts Alliance received funds from all three funds above, while APEX received grants from the WAY Council and the Smith Fund. The Walker County Humane Society received money from the General Fund and the WAY Council.

Click for Bigger Photo

Jasper City Schools and Community Foundation Join Together to Promote Exceptional Education

Dr. Robert L. Sparkman, Superintendent of Education, and Mr. John T. Oliver, Foundation Chairman, executed an agreement creating the Jasper City Schools Educational Excellence Fund. The Fund Agreement was signed by both parties at the Jasper City Board of Education at 9:00 AM. More>>

Fall 2007 Grants awarded from the WACF General Fund & Samuel Lee Smith Advised Fund Awards First Grants in 2007

The Walker Area Community Foundation recently awarded grants to local nonprofit organizations during its Fall grant cycle which will result in many community improvements and new initiatives for our area. more>>

Annual Mystery Dinner Theater Event 'Knocks 'Em Dead'

Click to see larger pictureOver 250 supporters of the arts for Walker County purchased tickets to participate in the killer event of the drama season. After great food and drinks the "Wedding Reception" took off with bang. The Cast of Bill Young, J.J. Hadder, Russ Robertson, Misty Smith, Barlane Crump, Monte Cain, Garve Ivey III, Cheri Russell, Henry Allred, Cristy Moody, Kristen Thompson, and Chad Hill were directed by Keith Gann to an uproarious conclusion. The MDT is an evening of entertainment provided by members of the Walker County Arts Alliance and community volunteers. Funds raised from this and other events are used for the arts projects implemented by the WCAA throughout the year.

WACF Subscribes to GrantStation Insider to assist local nonprofits

A GrantStation membership provides access via the Internet to a comprehensive set of grant research tools that link nonprofits and public libraries to current sources of grant money and teaches organizations how to secure available funding. You do not need to download or install special software to use these tools. Each GrantStation membership lasts for one year and gives organizations access to national, regional, and local grant makers - both private and government. http://www.grantstation.com/

Walker County Firsts

In an effort to capture the unique, historic, bizarre, fun and frivolous "Firsts" that we all claim for our hometown or community, the Walker Area Community Foundation is challenging our friends to submit their favorites to us for eventual compilation in a review of the Walker Area Firsts. More>>

Walker Area Community Foundation Awards Spring Grants

The Walker Area Community Foundation recently gave $ 119,953 to local nonprofit organizations during its spring grant cycle which will result in almost $ 500,000 in community improvements and new initiatives for our area. More>>

Community Foundation's largest initiative in its grant making history.

The establishment of the Hope Clinic which offers free healthcare for uninsured, qualified residents of Walker County is the Community Foundation's largest initiative in its grant making history. More>>

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Winston Churchill said,

"We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give."