Claflin Foundation offering funds to build scholarships

Kathy LeggFor the Point Pleasant Register

August 8, 2012

MASON COUNTY — For the second consecutive year the Robert and Louise Claflin Foundation is working with Our Community’s Foundation to offer challenge funds through the 2012 Spirit of Our Community Program.

This year’s challenge, funds of which are earmarked for higher education, aims to encourage potential donors to help build local scholarship funds.

Though childless themselves, long-time Mason County residents Robert and Louise Claflin took a keen interest in local youth. They were dedicated to improving the lives of young people through education and to strengthening literacy throughout the county. Since its establishment in August 2009 the Claflin Foundation has granted nine scholarships each year to promising local seniors.

“The Claflin Foundation is happy to once again partner with the Mason County Community Foundation (MCCF) to offer a challenge grant through the Spirit program to help build lasting local resources. With the incentive of matching dollars, this challenge encourages the community to help build permanent scholarship funds,” according to attorney and Claflin Foundation administrator Stephen Littlepage. “The challenge will provide $2 in matching funds for every $3 contributed to the community foundation when a donor, be it an organization, business or individual, gives at least $3,000 toward the creation of a new scholarship fund between now and October 15. We would like to see at least three donors take advantage of this challenge opportunity,” Littlepage said.

The Claflin Foundation will donate up to $10,000 in matching funds. Working on a $2 to $3 basis, a gift of $3,000 to MCCF, for example, will be matched with $2,000 of Claflin funds; $5,000 will be matched with $3,330 and so forth until the $10,000 in matching funds is reached. “We hope the students we support today will become the future leaders and the spirit of our community tomorrow,” Littlepage added.

Scholarship funds at the community foundation become endowed when they reach at least $25,000. At that amount the endowment will generate annually approximately $1,000 for scholarship awards. Donors may build a scholarship fund over a five-year period to reach the endowed $25,000 level. “The Claflin Scholarship Challenge gives donors who want to build a scholarship fund a wonderful opportunity to receive additional dollars during their fund’s first year. If anyone has an interest in starting a permanent scholarship fund with MCCF, this is the time to do it,” said Jane Winters, Our Community’s Foundation Regional Manager of Affiliates. “I encourage persons interested in building a permanent scholarship fund to contact the community foundation and we will be happy to explain the process and the matching opportunity in detail,” she said.

Our Community’s Foundation–Mason County and the Point Pleasant Register sponsor the Spirit of Our Community Program each year to honor the special volunteers and donors in the county who are working for the betterment of the community and to build local community grant and scholarship funds. Outstanding community leaders are nominated by their co-workers, friends or family. Nominations are reviewed and a committee selects recipients. Honorees receive the Spirit of Our Community Award at MCCF’s Annual Benefit held in November. Newly donated funds to the Spirit Program are placed in community funds in honor of those who receive the awards. These funds provide annual support to continually improve the quality of life in the Macon County community.

Anyone interested in taking advantage of the Claflin challenge to create a scholarship fund through MCCF or seeking additional information about the Spirit of Our Community Program should contact Jane Winters at or by calling Winters at 304 372-8588.

Anyone wishing to nominate a volunteer for a Spirit of Our Community award will find nomination forms available online Our Community’s Foundation website Click on News & Events, then click on the Mason County Spirit of Our Community Program story. Within the story is a link that allows you to download a nomination form. Forms also may by obtained by calling 304 372-8588.