In February of 2013, Jackson County embarked on a bold venture and created the Jackson County Community Foundation (JCCF), for the purpose of providing private citizens and businesses with opportunities for investing in the future of Jackson County. Last week, the JCCF held its annual fundraiser to “Celebrate our Local Treasures”. JCCF Chairman Rodney Chrisman explained to those in attendance, “Hopefully, for those that aren’t familiar with our organization by the time you leave here you will know: “What is it?” and “What do we do?” Board member Pat Wagner explained why she was eager to be a part of the foundation saying, “This foundation is all about Jackson County. Our efforts are “From us”, “For us!” and represents a way for us to help ourselves.”
The heart of the evening was the premiere of a video that was produced to provide information regarding the foundation’s efforts in Jackson County. As of September 30, 2019 the foundation has granted a total of $30,500 to county projects and has almost $90,000 in their endowment. This is money that is dedicated to Jackson County projects and cannot be spent anywhere else. The video highlighted several projects that the JCCF has assisted including: 1) the Jackson County Farmer’s Market, 2) Flat Lick Falls Project, 3) Jackson County Veterans Memorial, 4) Jackson County Cancer Fund, 5) Jackson County Fair Board, 6) Triple R Ranch/Cowboy Up for Christ, 7) Dark Honey Association, and 8) the Jackson County Emergency Food Bank (The board members also expressed their appreciation for St. Paul’s Catholic Church for their assistance with their efforts.) Other projects, not included in the video include: Jackson County Cemetery Restoration Project, Get in the Swim, Bond Memorial Park Renovations, and the McKee Trail Town.
The Board of Advisors consists of Rodney Chrisman (Chair), Ben Gilbert (Vice-Chair), Lana Baker, Phillip Curd, Keith Gabbard, Keith Lakes, Melanie Powell, Pat Wagner, and Heather Ward. Ben Gilbert said, “We encourage anyone with an interest in the future of Jackson County to consider contributing regardless of the amount. We can all be donors!” Chrisman added, “We sincerely appreciate you for being inspired to invest in Jackson County today, in order to support the future of Jackson County, tomorrow. Thank you to each of our sponsors, to each person who contributed an item to our silent auction, to each vendor and artist, and to each of you for helping to make Jackson County the best it can be!”
The annual fundraiser event sponsors were as follows: Jackson Energy, McKee IDA, Kiwanis, PRTC, Brewer Truss, Jackson County Bank, Triplett McCoy Law Office, Appalachian Wireless, New Hope Counseling, The Allen Company, Julianna Coffey, Atty at Law, DTS Industries, JCDA, Dairy Queen, City of McKee, Jackson County Extension Office, Whistle Stop Gas & Grocery, Joyce Marks, Craft Masonry, and Farm Bureau.
The Jackson County Community Foundation is an affiliate of the Foundation for Appalachian Kentucky. The foundation stands on a core belief: Giving is part of our culture. We care for each other. The good neighbor approach is alive and well in Eastern Kentucky. When a flood, tornado or other tragedy strikes, we come together and help those in need. We have a long history of volunteering, donating and sharing with those who are less fortunate. We work together. We know that giving is not the preserve of the wealthy. Individual citizens and local institutions are continuously organizing to collect money and goods. We volunteer time and skills to promote the well-being of others and the betterment of the communities in which we live and work. We understand that together we accomplish more. The Foundation for Appalachian Kentucky connects people who care with causes that matter. It is a vehicle for pooling and investing resources in ways that produce greater results than any of us can achieve alone. We have a vested interest in the future of Appalachia. Whether you are from the region, have family ties, or Eastern Kentucky has just captured your heart, you wouldn’t be reading this if you didn’t believe in Appalachia’s potential. When you envision a better future for Appalachian Kentucky you see vibrant and resilient communities, healthy families and thriving businesses. You see those who have left having the option to return.
Donation may be made by visiting their website at https://www.appalachianky.org/donate#give