CFWNC awards over $190K in area grants

Press release from Community Foundation of Western North Carolina:

The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina (CFWNC) approved focus area grants totaling $190,365 in Early Childhood Development, Food & Farming, and Natural & Cultural Resources. Co-investors contributed $59,000, or 31%, of the total dollars awarded.

“We are pleased to support these varied and creative projects from across the region,” said President Elizabeth Brazas. “Because CFWNC has many sources of funding and no single programmatic focus, we serve hundreds of causes, programs and organizations every year. What remains constant is our commitment to building permanent charitable resources and collaborative relationships that benefit Western North Carolina. We do this important work in partnership with nonprofits and generous people.”

Early Childhood Development

Yancey County Public Schools received $27,565 for its Pre-K Autism Intervention Program that provides training to Exceptional Children (EC) staff, teachers and teacher assistants. UNC-Chapel Hill designed the TEACCH™ program to identify students with autism and other behavioral and developmental issues and to implement strategies designed to address their educational and support needs.

The Perez Family Fund provided co-investment for this grant.

Food & Farming

Macon County Public Health, as fiscal agent of MountainWise public health partnership, received $50,000 to sustain and strengthen the Double Up Food Bucks (DUFB) program in WNC. DUFB doubles the spending power of SNAP customers to spend on fruits, vegetables, seeds and plant starts at participating retailers. It also supports WNC farmers and the food system by boosting the income of more than 150 local farmers and supports the viability of local farmers markets and food hubs throughout WNC by allowing them to capture both SNAP and incentive dollars.

Bahnson-Armitage Fund, Gretchen Batra Fund, Thomas L. and Phyllis Day Davis Fund, Dogwood Charitable Endowment Fund, Biltmore Estate Charitable Fund and an anonymous fund provided co-investment for this grant.

Natural & Cultural Resources

Carolina Climbers Coalition received $35,350 to create sustainable access for hikers, climbers, and visitors to Raven Rock and Hickory Creek Boulders, located near Gerton. Both natural areas encompass a variety of climbing opportunities that have been compromised by extensive and vulgar graffiti, eroded parking and trails, and invasive species. The goal of this project is to remove unsightly and unhealthy features to create safe, sustainable access.

The Gretchen Batra Fund provided co-investment for this grant.

Polk County Film Initiative received $26,950 for primary, secondary and college-age students from several WNC counties, as well as two paid college student interns, to participate in programming tied to the Tryon International Film Festival as a way to broaden interest in media arts and arts career opportunities. This project addresses the regional lack of media arts programs and provides opportunities to engage in field-based experiential training, paid internships, networking, and career building activities.

RiverLink received $50,500 for When It Rains, It Pollutes: A Clean Water Campaign for the French Broad River. The campaign will advance WNC’s understanding of stormwater pollution as the single greatest threat to water quality and biodiversity in the French Broad River and promote public action to reduce pollution delivered by stormwater throughout the watershed. RiverLink expects the media plan to reach 3 million residents and visitors growing the community of advocates and changing individual behavior.

Travis and Jenny Boyer Fund, White Pine Fund, Gretchen Batra Fund and Biltmore Estate Charitable Fund provided co-investment for this grant.

CFWNC works with families, businesses and nonprofits to strengthen communities through the creation of charitable funds and strategic grantmaking. A permanent charitable resource, the Foundation manages over 1,200 funds and facilitated $34 million in grants last year bringing total distributions to more than $362 million since its founding in 1978. Learn more at

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