Endowment fund supports arts, health, more

From staff reports

The Black Mountain-Swannanoa Valley Endowment Fund, an affiliate of the Community Foundation of Western North Carolina, and the Buckner Family Endowment Fund have awarded six grants totaling $46,610 recently. With these grants, the BMSV Fund has made 67 grants totaling $581,895. The grants include:

  • $9,000 to the Black Mountain Center for the Arts to update and upgrade the main floor lighting in the Old Town Hall, along with theater stage renovation and program support, to build capacity to serve the community.
  • $8,000 to Black Mountain Parks and Greenways, Inc., toward the cost of the purchase and installation of a town clock to be located at the corner of U.S. 70 and Montreat Road in Black Mountain. The clock includes a plaque recognizing the work of James A. Buckner as a major supporter of the town.
  • $7,410 to the North Carolina Outward Bound School to support the wilderness unity course at Owen High School, a comprehensive experiential education program designed to enhance students’ non-cognitive skills, increase cultural competence and transform school culture.
  • $5,200 to the Rotary Club of Black Mountain Foundation to provide children eligible for the free lunch program with healthy food over weekends and holidays.
  • $9,000 to the Swannanoa Valley Child Care Council’s Children and Friends Enrichment Center to purchase and install playground equipment.
  • $8,000 to the Swannanoa Valley Christian Ministry to assist with the medical needs of clients living in poverty.

“The Black Mountain Center for the Arts is extremely grateful for this significant support from our local endowment fund,” Gale Jackson, the center’s executive director, said. “It represents to us the enormous support we have experienced for the last 15 years. We have a true gem in this community arts center, and this grant allows us to continue to improve our services here while we grow and expand opportunities for our constituents, especially our youth and now our community theater participants.”

Renae Brame, Swannanoa Valley Christian Ministry director, was also appreciative.

“We are especially thankful for this funding to assist Swannanoa Valley families and individuals who cannot afford health care with prescriptions, medical, emergency dental and optometry needs,” she said. “Clients will have improved quality of life, rather than suffering from lack of medical, dental, optometry and other medical care.”

With goals to inspire philanthropy and to strengthen charitable organizations in the Swannanoa Valley, the Black Mountain-Swannanoa Valley Endowment Fund was established in 1999 by a group of local residents. The fund grows through tax-deductible contributions. To make a gift, donate at or mail to the Black Mountain–Swannanoa Valley Endowment Fund, c/o CFWNC, 4 Vanderbilt Park Drive, Suite 300, Asheville, NC 28803. Contributions of any size are welcome and will enable the fund to support more programs with local dollars.

The local, volunteer advisory board that works to raise awareness of the Black Mountain-Swannanoa Valley Endowment Fund and to build assets for the future is composed of Sandra Abromitis, Mike Begley, Gladys Brooks, John Buckner, Julia A. Capps, John Corkran, Chip Craig, Lynn Deese, Barbara Griffin, Carol Groben, Roger Hibbard (chair), Gretchen Naff, Scott Roy, Joseph Standaert and Lori Turley.

The Community Foundation offers People in Need grants of up to $20,000 for outstanding programs or projects for the economically disadvantaged. Grants are funded in part by the Janirve Legacy Fund and CFWNC affiliate funds and fundholders. Applications are available at

The Community Foundation is a nonprofit serving eighteen counties in Western North Carolina. The Foundation is a permanent regional resource with assets of $245 million that facilitates more than $14 million in charitable giving annually. CFWNC inspires philanthropy and mobilizes resources to enrich lives and communities in Western North Carolina.