Madison-Danville Community Foundation makes first grant

July 16, 2003
By Janet Yeager, Publisher


 “Chip’ Shaffer, president of the Madison-Danville Area Community Foundation board of directors, presents Michele Baranaskas, executive director of the Regional Family Resource Network.


Friday was a historic day for the Madison-Danville Area Community Foundation, and for Boone County.

During an informational reception at Boone County Bank, President Chip Shaffer made the Foundation’s first grant which went to the Regional Family Resource Network. Graciously accepting the $500 donation was Michele Baranaskas, RFRN executive director.

“We’re excited about making this first grant in the community,” Shaffer said. “We currently have three more grants pending and hope to make them in coming weeks.”

The Regional Family Resource Network (RFRN) works in communities to facilitate a system of prevention, education and early intervention activities aimed at enabling families, children, and their communities to reach their fullest potential through community-based activities. The RFRN has been a positive presence in the Boone County communities of Van and Wharton for more than three years.

“We appreciate being the first receiver of a Madison-Danville Community Foundation grant,” Baranaskas said. “It will be used for the Wharton Family Times program to increase family school involvement through programs that provide education and fun family activities.”

Community involvement is the focus of the RFRN, and community is also the focus of the Madison-Danville Area Community Foundation.

The local Foundation was an idea of several community-minded individuals, and has become a reality in a short period of time. Organized just a little over a year ago, the Foundation currently has pledges in excess of $50,000 that will be used for grants to benefit local community organizations and projects.

“Our ability to give back to the community is based upon the generosity of those able to give to the Foundation,” Shaffer said. “Interest on donor gifts to the Foundation will be worth many times over the value of their initial donation and will continue forever.”

In fact the theme of the Madison-Danville Area Community Foundation is: For good. Forever.

In establishing the local Foundation, help was sought from the highly regarded Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation which has been a great benefit not only in minimizing expenses but also serving as a guiding force, enabling the Madison-Danville Community Foundation to get up and running sooner and more efficiently. Through the affiliate agreement, TGKVF office provides financial, legal, and administrative services as well as being an advisor in the area of development.

A Benedum Foundation grant provides the salary for a part-time managing director. Amy Brown was chosen by the local board for that position. Amy resides in Madison and works out of an office provided by the Shaffer and Shaffer Law Firm.

The local Foundation board of directors is made up of local people who make decisions regarding day to day operation as well as choosing grant receivers. In addition to Shaffer, other board members are Ira Handley, vice president; Emma Byrnside, treasurer, Richard Stephens, Janet Yeager, and Terry Harless.

Community foundations are like a savings account for an entire community. Each year, fund earnings from local foundations become grants for charitable agencies and student scholarships. The Madison-Danville Area Community Foundation was founded expressly to help the people and com­munities of Boone County.

Shaffer said he hopes other individuals and businesses will designate the Greater Madison Danville Community Foundation to receive a donation when they plan their yearly budgets and their wills.

“There are a number of ways donations can be made, and donors can begin right away,” he said. “Gifts can be made by cash contributions of any amount, creation of a named fund with a contribu­tion of $10,000 (which can be contributed over three years), or bequests.

To make a charitable donation to the Madison-Danville Area Community Foundation, make checks payable to: MDACF Fund and mail to P. 0. Box 695, Madison, WV 25130. For more information about the Foundation call Amy at 369-0511 or e-mail