(Editor’s note: The following is the second article of the series to show the way The Alleghany Foundation has contributed to the industrial and cultural development of the Alleghany Highlands in addition to its beneficial contributions to promote the good health of its citizens).
The Alleghany Foundation has funded 67 grants in support of the Alleghany Highlands YMCA for a total of $9,855,894, a total more than any of the other 78 nonprofit organizations that have been funded.
The YMCA is a worldwide organization that was founded by George Williams in London, England on June 6, 1844. It was originally named the Young Men’s Christian Association which provided aid to poverty-stricken young men struggling to survive during the Industrial Revolution.
Today, the World YMCA headquarters is based in Geneva, Switzerland, and there are 64,000 YMCA nonprofits operating in 120 counties.
In 1891, James Naismith, a Canadian American, was attending the YMCA International Training School in Springfield, Mass.
As a physician, clergyman and educator, he was assigned the task of inventing a sport that would occupy young men indoors during the winter months.
Naismith invented basketball, and today there is a Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame that opened on Feb. 17, 1968, at 1000 Hall of Fame Ave., Springfield, Mass.
The first inductees were selected in 1959, and the YMCA International Training School’s name has been changed to Springfield College.
The Alleghany Highlands YMCA was founded in 1993 and was based at Boys Home until Dec. of 2007, when it moved into its new 37,000-square-foot facility on the banks of the Jackson River across the river from LewisGale Hospital Alleghany.
Offering the community a wide variety of programs, the YMCA depends on funding from memberships, classes offered, grant proposals that are funded, fund drives and donations from the private, business and industrial sectors.
The Alleghany Highlands YMCA teams with the area’s schools and assists with educational services such as Head Start while providing health and wellness opportunities that citizens in rural areas would not receive without the YMCA’s facilities.
Recently, the YMCA dropped its formal name to become the Y. Barb Bettin, president and CEO of the Lincoln YMCAs, said that the reason for the change is that the public commonly refers to the YMCA as the Y. She noted that YMCA is still used to formally indicate specific locations.
While the Alleghany Highlands YMCA is not affiliated with any church, the Christian principles that the founder in 1844 envisioned (the development of body, mind, and spirit) for the organization are still adhered to with the mission remaining to access the needs of the community in order to provide for those needs by instilling Christian principals to develop a healthy mind, body, and spirit.
Other organizations that have received more than $1 million in funding from The Alleghany Foundation are the Alleghany County Public Schools, the second highest amount at 19 grants approved for $4,441,946, Joint School Systems – Alleghany County & Covington City Public Schools, the third highest funding at $3,697,849 for five grants awarded; and fourth highest funded, the Alleghany Highlands Chamber of Commerce & Tourism, at $3,276,758 for 31 grants approved.
The fifth highest funded is The Historic Masonic Theatre at $3,094,801 for eight grants approved, and the City of Covington, $2,576,814 for 25 grants approved, ranks sixth on the funding list.
The Alleghany Highlands Economic Development Corporation stands in seventh place for $2,327,964 received for 16 grants funded, and the Riverside Health Center places eighth on the list with $2,316,408 via 33 grants funded.
Placing on the list at No. 10, Dabney S. Lancaster Community College (recently renamed Mountain Gateway Community College) has had 17 grants funded for $2,156,452, and Alleghany County has received $2,119,859 for 31 grants approved to rank at No. 11 on the list.
Number 12 on the list is Jackson River Enterprises at $1,835,102 for 19 grants funded, and the Town of Clifton Forge ranks No. 13, having received $1,799,627 for 27 grants approved.
The Alleghany Historical Society has had nine grants funded for $1,624,718, ranking it No. 14, and the Alleghany Highlands Arts Council is close behind at No. 15 for receiving $1,619, 534 via 24 grants funded.
The DSLCC Educational Foundation has received $1,410,000 for17 grants approved, placing it at No. 16, and the Alleghany Humane Society ranks No. 17, having received $1,237,530 via nine grants funded.
The Clifton Forge Main Street has received $1,017,338 for seven grants funded to rank No. 18 on the $1 million or more funded list.
The Alleghany Foundation located at 214 W. Main St. in Covington has aided 79 nonprofit organizations by approving $57,543,705 since June of 1995, and grant proposals can be submitted online by visiting https://alleghanyfoundation.org.