Dogwood Health Trust donates $150,000 to the Forward Fund

Press release from The Community Foundation of WNC:

(August 2023) Dogwood Health Trust has made a $150,000 contribution to the Forward Fund at The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina (CFWNC). The Fund has been established to support nonprofit organizations and municipalities impacted by the Pactiv Evergreen closure in Canton.

“The closing and its resulting ripple effects are impacting people and communities in several WNC counties,” said CFWNC President Elizabeth Brazas. “A comprehensive response starts with addressing immediate needs and stabilization; longer-term projects and capacity are necessary parts of the transition phase. We are grateful to Dogwood Health Trust for its continued partnership and investments in our shared region.”

“Whether responding to severe upheaval like the mill closing, or focusing on long-term strategies for positive change, creating healthy and thriving communities in WNC means working together with multiple partners,” said Dr. Susan Mims, CEO of Dogwood Health Trust. “The Forward Fund and CFWNC provide great partnership opportunities not only for Dogwood, but for the nonprofit partners who are focusing on recovery in Haywood and surrounding counties.”

In May, CFWNC awarded $150,000 to the Town of Canton to underwrite a full-time Recovery Officer who will assist the Town Manager’s office with work related to the closure and economic revitalization. Earlier this month, Dogwood Health Trust awarded a $1 million grant to the United Way of Haywood County to support the Canton Mill Closure Emergency Response Project. This money will provide financial assistance to individuals directly affected by the closure.

CFWNC Senior Program Officer Tara Scholtz will manage grants from the Forward Fund. It will provide proactive grants that enable nonprofit organizations and municipalities to plan, coordinate and increase capacity for collaborative economic-recovery programs and projects.

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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