Story Bank

Philanthropy Stories

Community Fund for Arts and Culture supporter

Community Fund for Arts and Culture supporter

Trisha Rawls of Norfolk donates to the Community Fund for Arts and Culture to help a variety of nonprofits bring music, theater, art and dance to Hampton Roads. As chair of the Norfolk Arts Commission, Trisha is passionate about giving area citizens access to all kinds of arts and culture.

 Your Will Says A Lot About You

Your Will Says A Lot About You

Life was good to Lin and Ethel Mason, and the Norfolk restaurant owners found a way to return the favor – leaving a bequest that will forever benefit people in Hampton Roads through grants to an array of nonprofits.

Margot Barnhardt: Creator of four endowed funds

Margot Barnhardt: Creator of four endowed funds

Margot Barnhardt fondly recalls the 30 years she lived in Hampton Roads. She grew up in Pittsburgh, lived in various cities and retired to North Carolina but partnered with the Hampton Roads Community Foundation to create four permanent, endowed funds to benefit the region she calls home.

Buzzy and Helen Schulwolf Fund for Smith Scholars

Buzzy and Helen Schulwolf Fund for Smith Scholars

Pediatrician Alfred "Buzzy" Schulwolf, M.D. was nearing retirement in 2003 when he started reflecting on the generosity bestowed upon him nearly 50 years before by a stranger. That led to him creating a scholarship fund to help students who remind him of himself. Buzzy attended medical school at the University of Virginia on a Florence Smith Scholarship from the Hampton Roads Community Foundation. His scholarship from 1954 to 1958 came from a bequest from Florence Smith, daughter of a Norfolk physician.

Glenn Allen Scott and Anne C. Brower Cultural Endowment

Glenn Allen Scott and Anne C. Brower Cultural Endowment

When Glenn Scott and Anne Brower wed in Norfolk in 2001 they chose charity over china by starting a field-of-interest fund for the arts through the Hampton Roads Community Foundation.

Winfrey Fund Helps People in Need

Winfrey Fund Helps People in Need

Guy M. Winfrey, who passed away in 1996 at age 84, overcame a hard-knock life he endured at a young age. He dropped out of school at age 14 after his mom died to go to work and support three younger sisters. Today he helps abused adults and children gain better lives.

Future bequest donors Cindy Cutler and Craig Haines

Future bequest donors Cindy Cutler and Craig Haines

Future bequest donors Cindy Cutler and Craig Haines plan for an unrestricted gift because they can't predict future needs of the community they care about.

Scholarship recipient pays it forward

Scholarship recipient pays it forward

Matt Elliott of Norfolk was only 26 years old when he created a scholarship fund in memory of two high school athletes who passed away all too young. This former scholarship recipient is paying it forward himself.

Featured Organizational Fund: Hope House Foundation Fund

Featured Organizational Fund: Hope House Foundation Fund

In 2002 Hope House created a community foundation endowment to provide "for the long-term financial health of the organization," says Lynn Seagle, Hope House president. Over the years the original $100,000 donated to start the endowment has been enhanced by donors to Hope House.

Featured Field-of-interest Fund: William A. and Jane M. Charters Fund

Featured Field-of-interest Fund: William A. and Jane M. Charters Fund

Jane and Bill Charters forever help area citizens have food, clothing, shelter and other basic needs thanks to their bequest for a field-of-interest fund.

Featured Donor-advised Fund: Robert Nusbaum and Linda Laibstain Fund

Featured Donor-advised Fund: Robert Nusbaum and Linda Laibstain Fund

Attorneys Linda Laibstain and Bob Nusbaum know there are many values to having a family donor-advised fund that lets them be active philanthropists.

Featured Designated Fund: Kathrina B. Powell Fund

Featured Designated Fund: Kathrina B. Powell Fund

In 2006 Winn created a designated fund to support Norfolk’s branch libraries and named the fund for her late mother, Kathrina – a woman who would rather read than watch TV. Each year grants go to the city library to benefit its neighborhood branches in tribute to Laverne's mom.

Coppage and Jordan Funds Support Favorite Charities

Coppage and Jordan Funds Support Favorite Charities

Sam, who spent most of his life and career in Norfolk, left a bequest to the Hampton Roads Community Foundation that created four designated funds in his name and the names of his parents and aunt. He named four organizations special to his family to receive annual grants -- two Hampton Roads churches where his family worshiped, Tidewater Community College where he served on the board and Hampton University, his aunt's alma mater..

Jennifer Mooney Greene Fund

Jennifer Mooney Greene Fund

On August 13, 2013 the world lost a great teacher when Jennifer Mooney Greene of Virginia Beach died of melanoma. Her sister, brother and parents knew a scholarship in Jen's name would be an appropriate tribute.

Active Strategic Giving Partners Lynne & Steve Winter

Active Strategic Giving Partners Lynne & Steve Winter

Lynne and Steve Winter of Virginia Beach value the connections the Community Leadership Partners give them. Through the Partners, the co-owners of Edgewater Asset Management have learned about community issues, studied the work of nonprofits up close, met the recipients being helped by organizations and had fun getting to know like-minded people who also care deeply about their community.

Switching from Parsons Foundation to a Donor-Advised Fund

Switching from Parsons Foundation to a Donor-Advised Fund

"There was a sense that our board members were getting a bit old to remain in the role of having primary responsibility for the foundation." - Attorney Robert C. Nusbaum on converting the Parsons Foundation to a donor-advised fund.

Charles Syer Fund

Charles Syer Fund

Retired investment banker Charles Syer IV of Virginia Beach enjoyed being a future bequest donor to the Hampton Roads Community Foundation and a Legacy Society for Hampton Roads member.

Dixon-Settle Fund for Women

Dixon-Settle Fund for Women

Virginia Beach's Sandbridge beachfront region is the adopted home of retired veterinarian John Settle and his wife Audrey, a retired Philip Morris USA executive. The couple moved in 2003 from Richmond to their favorite vacation spot and embraced their new community as full-time residents, volunteers and philanthropists.

Charitable Giving: A Family Affair

Charitable Giving: A Family Affair

Getting things done is in donor Bob Taylor’s blood. This grandson of the venerable Taylor’s Do-It Centers founder headed the Virginia Beach-based company for 15 years. As a volunteer he led the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce, United Way of South Hampton Roads and regional Better Business Bureau.

Nonprofit Stories

The Elizabeth River Project

With more than $300,000 from the Hampton Roads Community Foundation, the Project transformed a neglected 40 acres in a Portsmouth industrial area into the beautiful urban oasis that is now Paradise Creek Nature Park.


The Virginia Zoo

The Virginia Zoo's new animal wellness campus is teaching children and adults about animals, good health and nutrition.


Tidewater Wooden Boat Workshop

The Tidewater Wooden Boat Workshop uses boat building to transform middle school and high school students into self-confident, successful students with new skills to last them a lifetime.

Tom Brandl
Tom Brandl, Founder of Tidewater Wooden Boat Workshop

When Tom Brandl, a retired Marine officer and wooden boat builder, realized Hampton Roads did not have a program that taught middle- and high-school students to build boats he started Tidewater Wooden Boat Workshop. He knew students would put math skills to use while learning to use tools, teamwork, problem-solving, self-confidence, critical thinking, patience and responsibility.

While Tom had a great idea. He needed to learn how to start and run an effective nonprofit. Taking multiple courses at the Academy for Nonprofit Excellence gave him the skills he needed to write a plan, assemble a board and launch the nonprofit workshop in 2014. The academy also connected him with other professionals whose organizations became workshop partners. Today students from lower-income families participate in the 11-week after-school and weekend program that teaches them to build and row boats. A grant from the Hampton Roads Community Foundation's Community Leadership Partners helped get the program going.

Scholarship Stories

Tommy Horvatic Memorial Scholarship

Tommy Horvatic Memorial Scholarship

High school swimmer Tommy Horvatic lives forever through the memorial scholarship fund his mother started.

Lewis K. Martin II, M.D. and Cheryl Rose Martin Scholarship

Lewis K. Martin II, M.D. and Cheryl Rose Martin Scholarship

Lewis K. Martin II, M.D. of Winchester, Virginia says "Florence Smith saved my bacon." In gratitude this Smith Scholar and his wife Cheryl started a scholarship fund at the community foundation.

Enid W. and Bernard B. Spigel Architectural Scholarship Fund

Enid W. and Bernard B. Spigel Architectural Scholarship Fund

Each year the Enid W. and Bernard B. Spigel Architectural Scholarship helps upper-level or graduate students from Virginia earn degrees in architecture, architectural history or architectural preservation.

Gertrude

Gertrude "Betty" Ward Scholarship

English teacher Gertrude "Betty" Ward lives forever through a scholarship in her memory for Virginia Beach students from Princess Anne High, where she taught, or those studying her field of English.

Joseph E. And Bertha White Harry Scholarship

Joseph E. And Bertha White Harry Scholarship

Raven Bland never met Joseph and Bertha Harry, but this Old Dominion University senior appreciates how this generous couple from her Norfolk neighborhood helps her pay for college.