Seely Foundation gives $115K in grants to local youth organizations

by Kate Evans

In their 22nd year of funding projects that benefit local children and youth, the Tom & Virginia Seely Foundation presented a total of $115,394 in 22 grant awards to 20 organizations serving Morgan County youth.

Grants were presented at a June 13 annual awards ceremony.

The Foundation was formed by the former owners of Seely Pine Furniture, a predecessor of the Morgan County furniture

Stacie Rohn, (right) Boys and Girls Club of the Eastern Panhandle Executive Director, receives a $20,000 grant award for support of the agency’s after-school and summer programs at a June 13 annual awards ceremony for the Tom & Virginia Seely Foundation. Pictured presenting the grant award to Rohn is Tom & Virginia Seely Foundation president Jackie Gandy (center) and her grandson Garrett Lord. (left) Gandy is the daughter of Virginia and Tom Seely.

company now operating as Caperton Furnitureworks. During their lifetimes, the Seely’s avoided publicizing their donation efforts, Foundation director Jan Wilkins said.

The following grants were presented by the Foundation last month:

The Boys and Girls Club of the Eastern Panhandle received a $20,000 grant award for support for their after-school and summer programs.

The Morgan County Partnership received two grant awards — $7,500 for their Too Good For Drugs program for grades K-5 and $5,000 for their Too Good For Violence and Positive Action program for grades K-8.

The Morgan County Backpacks Program received a $7,500 grant for healthy food for 320 Morgan County children.

The Morgan County Sheriff’s Department Crimes Against Children Unit was awarded a $7,500 grant to help victimized children.

Morgan County Starting Points Relative Caregiver Program received $7,500 for grandparents raising children.

Other Seely Foundation grant awards and recipients included:

— $7,500 for CASA of the Eastern Panhandle’s Fostering Futures Initiative for teens transitioning out of foster care

–$7,500 for the youth support initiative for Life or Drugs Tri-State Support to help kids with coping and life skills

–$5,000 grant for Black Cat Music Cooperative for their VISTA volunteer

— $3,750 for the Morgan Arts Council for two in-school art programs

— $3,600 for the Berkeley Springs High School Fishing Club for their youth sportsmanship, environmental conservation and leadership programs

–$1,200 to the Cacapon State Park Foundation for park nature-based activities.

–$5,744 to the Morgan County 4-H Leaders Association to support Relentless Robotics competitive robotics teams and after-school programs.

–$6,000 to the Morgan County Soccer League for soccer field fencing and grading

–$3,300 to the Morgan County Public Library for its summer reading program and music and motion storytime

–$3,300 to the Paw Paw Public Library for its children’s reading program

–$2,000 for Morgan County Parks and Recreation’s Back to School Bash to provide free school supplies for Morgan County grades K-12 students.

–$1,500 to Wind Dance Farm and Earth Education Center environmental education for environmental education for home-schooled and public school children.

–$1,500 to the Morgan County Observatory for scholarships for disadvantaged kids for astronomy programs.

— $1,500 to Trinity-Asbury United Methodist Church for their annual vacation Bible school that serves more than 80 children. The church also was given a one-time $6,000 grant for family play area/playground equipment.

–$1,000 for Cacapon Kids After School for a new afterschool program in Great Cacapon for grades 3-5.

The Tom & Virginia Seely Foundation provides financial support for Morgan County non-profits helping local children and they applauded what each of them is doing for kids at their June 13 awards ceremony, said Foundation executive director Jan Wilkins.

“Tom and Virginia Seely had a heart for kids and for this community and their legacy lives on through their foundation that was founded in 1997 to help children in Morgan County,” said Wilkins.