Donor-Advised Fund Establishers Gift $250,000 to Waves Edge Village School in Corolla

Water’s Edge Village School in Corolla (WEVS) and the Outer Banks Community Foundation (OBCF) are proud to announce that Corolla residents Wayne and Betty Evans pledged $250,000 to help WEVS (a K-8 charter school) build an additional schoolhouse adjacent its current location in the historic village. The tuition-free school, founded in 2012 and guided by a mission to incorporate whole child development with an emphasis on project-based, hand-on learning, has grown from 15 to 43 students. The new building will accommodate current need and future growth by providing an additional three classrooms, a community room, a resource room, and a teacher’s office.

WEVS publicly launched its capital campaign on Tuesday, April 12 during a celebration at the historic 1890s schoolhouse. The campaign’s goal is to raise $1.35M. Betty Evans said, “It’s motivational and inspirational to do something good for a child. Years ago we spent a lot of time at Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh. There was a plaque next to the elevator that said something like, ‘It doesn’t matter how big your house is or what kind of car you drive, what will matter is if you made a difference in the life of a child.’ And I think this school can make a difference in the lives of many children, so let’s build this school!”

With the momentum generated by the Evans’ pledge from their donor-advised fund (held here at Outer Banks Community Foundation), along with a $10,000 grant from the Community Foundation’s Community Enrichment grant program, the school hopes to inspire community support for the project. Community engagement is particularly necessary because local and state governments may not contribute to the campaign due to the school’s charter status. Wayne Evans said, “This is what we can do for Corolla. One hundred years ago there were people who did this same thing. And I hope 100 years from now that building still is still working for the community.” The new classrooms will expand the school’s campus – younger students will still have classes in the old schoolhouse.

Contributions to the capital campaign can be made on the school’s website or by mailing payments to PO Box 215, Corolla NC 27927. Please notify board president Meghan Agresto with any questions about the WEVS capital campaign.

Emily Fredricks Memorial Fund for Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Established

Emily Fredricks, flanked by her brothers Jack (l) and Michael (r), at her graduation from Johnson and Wales University in 2014. Photo courtesy of Richard and Laura Fredricks.

The Outer Banks Community Foundation is pleased to announce a new, local resource to support organizations and initiatives that address bicycle and pedestrian safety. The Emily Fredricks Memorial Fund for Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety has been established by Emily’s parents, Richard and Laura Fredricks of East Brunswick, NJ. Grants will be awarded annually from the fund to support local initiatives for making the Outer Banks safe for bicyclists and pedestrians.

Emily Fredricks was a creative, joyful young woman, a talented baker and artist, and the sunshine of her parents’ lives. She was working as head pastry chef at Le Cheri in downtown Philadelphia when her life was tragically cut short as she biked to work in late November 2017. Her bereaved parents established the Emily Fredricks Foundation the following year, as a way to turn their grief into action, and to find solutions so fewer families would have to endure similar, tragic losses. The Fredricks vacation regularly on the Outer Banks; indeed, the family spent time here just a few short weeks before Emily’s death. A chance meeting in Duck, and the Fredricks’ awareness of the unique challenges faced by cyclists and pedestrians here, led to the creation of this new, local fund.

“We are thrilled that the Fredricks have created a fund dedicated to keeping walkers and bikers safe from harm on our roads, residents and visitors alike,” said Community Foundation President and CEO Chris Sawin. “This is such an important issue on the Outer Banks. We invite everyone who has an interest in the Fredricks’ generous initiative to reach out to donate or learn more.”

According to, a state advocacy initiative website, more than 3,000 pedestrians and 850 bicyclists are hit in North Carolina each year, making our state one of the least safe in the US for walking and bicycling. Nationally, the number of annual traffic deaths is skyrocketing—Vision Zero Network reports a 24% increase in the rate of roadway fatalities between 2019 and 2020.

“Our goal is to honor Emily’s memory in every way that we can. We miss her so,” said Laura Fredricks. “Emily’s life was taken from her tragically and traumatically, and her death was preventable. In January of 2022 there was finally a national recognition of the epidemic of traffic violence, and a pledge for zero traffic deaths. While we applaud this momentum, we know there will always be a need for improved infrastructure and education surrounding vulnerable road users. It is too late for our daughter; our advocacy work is for the living. We welcome the opportunity to give back to the community where our family has made so many wonderful memories.”

Like most other Community Foundation funds, the Emily Fredricks Memorial Fund for Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety is endowed, meaning the fund will be a perpetual source of support for charities addressing bicycle and pedestrian safety issues on the Outer Banks.

Anyone may contribute to the Emily Fredricks Memorial Fund for Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety by sending a check to the Community Foundation with the fund name in the memo line, or by making a contribution online at, and selecting the fund from the searchable funds list.


2020 and 2021 COVID Rapid Response Grants Impacts

Mustang Outreach Program tutor Lindsey with student participant London

Two years ago, the world was shocked to learn about COVID-19, a new, frightening, and rapidly spreading disease. The entire country was in lockdown. In Dare County, bridges were closed, cutting off the local community from the outside world. The silence on our roads and in our schools and other public places was deafening and surreal.

What many thought would be a couple of months of sacrifice turned out to be a prolonged period of uncertainty, unemployment, and hardship. Perhaps worst of all, our kids were stuck at home without the benefit of team sports, dance classes, school clubs or formal, in-person education.

In response to the crisis, Outer Banks Community Foundation immediately reached out to local nonprofits to offer grant support, wherever they saw need. Now, two years after the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, it is possible to look back at how the Community Foundation’s extraordinary grantmaking to nonprofits helped keep thousands of Outer Banks residents from missing meals, education opportunities, social connections, and more.

In all, the Community Foundation completed eight rounds of Rapid Response grants of over $350,000. These grant awards had both an immediate and a long-term impact for 21 nonprofits and the families they serve.

One of the first challenges of the lock down was providing students with online access for remote learning. Dare County Schools identified nearly 200 students who lacked internet at home and/or stable housing, and requested funding through Dare Education Foundation (DEF) to purchase Wi-Fi hotspots and service for these households. A March 2020 Community Foundation grant to DEF paid for 69 Wi-Fi hotspots, with service for three months; a second grant, in September 2020, provided for an additional 50 hotspots, and data plans for 180 hotspot devices, extending access for all identified families. “Our ability to provide mobile hotspots to students during the pandemic was essential for virtual learning to be fully effective,” said Holly King, Dare County Schools Director of Technology Services. “We are grateful for the support from our community partners that allowed us to make this possible.”

Students on Ocracoke also were in desperate need for connectivity. The lockdown struck only six months past Dorian’s catastrophic landfall, and the majority of island homes and businesses were still in disrepair and disarray. Many Ocracoke students did not have internet service at home. A Community Foundation grant provided for 25 Wi-Fi hotspots. “During the time when we couldn’t work face to face, the hotspots filled an important gap for our students,” said Ocracoke School guidance counselor Mary McKnight.

Supply chain problems and mounting unemployment created food insecurity for many families. One of several grants to address this was a $25,000 collaborative buying grant initiated by Community Foundation Treasurer Pat Regan, a retired food industry executive, and Beach Food Pantry. A tractor-trailer’s worth of food was purchased through Food Bank of the Albemarle and brought to Beach Food Pantry, where it was divided up for use by pantries throughout the Outer Banks.

Food outreach programs to the elderly saw a dramatic increase in requests for services. Home-delivered meals in Dare County increased by more than 40%. Meal exchanges were contactless to protect this vulnerable population; the downside was that socialization for this marginalized and isolated group was severely curtailed. Community Foundation COVID Rapid-Response grants to Albemarle Development Corporation and Hatteras Island Meals bolstered both home-delivery programs.

When schools and businesses closed, Outer Banks parents, grandparents, and guardians scrambled to find appropriate ways to keep kids occupied and up-to-date with their studies. Grants to Interfaith Community Outreach were awarded for financial assistance to struggling families to pay for tutoring and help parents who had to stay home from work to be with their children. Mustang Outreach Program pivoted from its music instruction program to offering in-person tutoring, transforming their space with an influx of new teachers, new student clients, and plexiglass cubicles. Their rigorous safety protocols, which included distancing, masking, and cleaning, were successful—no one in the program contracted COVID-19. “We were able to reach kids when they really needed online help with their school work,” said Mustang Outreach Music Director Ruth Wyand.

“I think it’s safe to say that none of us imagined a disaster like the coronavirus pandemic, not in our wildest dreams,” said Community Foundation CEO Chris Sawin. “Thankfully, the Rapid Response Grants program established after Hurricane Dorian allowed us to respond immediately, in ways that allowed nonprofits to address the needs of Outer Banks families quickly. The many funds established here over the years contributed to these grants, and we are very grateful to the philanthropy and foresight of donors for creating a means to help our community when needs are great.”

Mustang Outreach Program Spring Concert

The Mustang Outreach Program’s Annual Spring Concert, featuring student bands The Tuesdays, The Wednesdays, and The Runaway Turtles, will be held at The Roadside Bar & Grill in Duck on Sunday, April 10 from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Local musicians The Conch Shells and Anchor Blazer also will perform.

“Come on out and celebrate that spring is here with some great live music, food, friends, and fun,” said Acting President of the Mustang Outreach Program Shelli Gates. “Our talented students have been working really hard with our Music Director Ruth Wyand and Assistant Music Director Amanda Williams. We are excited for you all to see and hear them perform.”

Admission to the event is free, but donations are requested, as the Spring Concert is a fundraiser. There will also be a 50/50 raffle at the event. All donations will go toward the organization’s programs and classes.

For more information about the Mustang Outreach Program, please visit

The Mustang Outreach Program is a 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to encourage and cultivate creativity through music with a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion.

Duke Nonprofit Management Certificate Course Earns High Marks

Twenty-three Outer Banks nonprofit executives spent eight days in January and February learning intensely. Their online subject matter came straight from Duke University, and their end goal was to obtain a certificate in nonprofit management. Eight instructors, each high-level  educators and/or professionals in their respective fields, led virtual classes on financial management, grant writing, planning and evaluation, social enterprise, employment law, strategic planning, and more. $30,000 in Community Foundation grants assisted in underwriting course expenses for most attendees.

Here is just some of the positive feedback received:

“Having worked as a registered nurse and regional safety-net coordinator, I understood the challenges of accessing health care that uninsured, financially-challenged adults faced. To be an effective Executive Director of a free/charitable clinic, however, I had to learn how to lead so our organization could make positive, social change. The Duke Nonprofit Management Certificate Program taught me the key leadership skills that I needed to form the vision and culture for the Community Care Clinic of Dare staff, volunteers, and Board of Directors.” Lyn Jenkins, Community Care Clinic of Dare

“I sent you guys a thank you before the class began, however; I feel it’s even more apt to thank you in hindsight, given the invaluable experience I had. Everything about the class, including the instructors, the class content, and the interactions with classmates, was topnotch. Please relay my gratitude to everyone involved at Outer Banks Community Foundation.”  Mike Jones, Room In The Inn

“Even as a seasoned non-profit executive the Duke training was fantastic. It gave me the opportunity to engage with some managements tools I hadn’t yet tried. It also provided me with some useful tools to get/keep stakeholders engaged.”  Michelle Lewis, Executive Director, Peace Garden Project

The nonprofit sector is a significant contributor in communities nationwide; that is certainly the case on the Outer Banks, where more than 200 charitable organizations endeavor to create better outcomes for a variety of causes and need areas. Your Community Foundation is dedicated to increasing the capacity of local nonprofits. Sign up for our e-newsletter to keep abreast of upcoming events.


You’re Invited to the Southern Shores Flat Top Tour on April 30

The Southern Shores Historic Flat Top Cottage Tour is back! The 2022 tour will be held on Saturday, April 30 from 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM. Tour tickets are just $10.00 per person and will be sold on the day of the tour beginning at 1:00 PM at 156 Wax Myrtle Trail or 13 Skyline Road. The ticket covers all of the cottages on the tour.

Fifty years ago, flat top cottages abounded across the Southern Shores landscape. Known for their distinctive cinder block walls, flat roofs, jewel-toned soffits, juniper paneling, and vertical shutters, Southern Shores flat tops were designed and inspired by Frank Stick (1884-1966), the visionary developer, painter, outdoorsman, and architect (whose son David founded the Outer Banks Community Foundation). Today, less than two dozen flat tops remain, most built from indigenous Outer Banks materials.

Thirteen of Southern Shores’s remaining historic cottages will be open for the tour on April 30:

  • 156 Wax Myrtle Trail (Clarke Cottage, and Tour Headquarters)
  • 13 Skyline Road (Outer Banks Community Foundation, and Second Tour Headquarters)
  • 40 Skyline Road –  the Beach Box flat top
  • 43 Ocean Boulevard – the Powell/Harritt Cottage
  • 69 Ocean Boulevard – Sea Spray – Trisha Farinholt Cottage
  • 113 Ocean Boulevard – the Knight Cottage
  • 157 Ocean Boulevard – Sea Breezes Duplex- Ellie Doyle
  • 170 Ocean Boulevard – Pink Perfection – the Edith Pipkin Cottage
  • 176A & B Ocean Boulevard – the Price Cottage
  • 218 Ocean Boulevard –  the Mackey Cottage
  • 23 Porpoise Run – the Sokol/Clements Cottage
  • 159 Ocean Boulevard – the Falconer Cottage

There are two headquarter cottages where tour tickets will be sold: 156 Wax Myrtle Trail (entrance facing Porpoise Run) and 13 Skyline Road (Outer Banks Community Foundation). Sorry, advance tickets are not available. Maps will also be available at headquarter cottages, detailing the addresses of each open house. Brief histories of the cottages will also be provided. Pinwheels will mark cottages that are open on the day of the event.

All proceeds from the tour will benefit the Flat Top Preservation Fund of the Outer Banks Community Foundation. The Flat Top Preservation Fund is a perpetual endowment that helps fund the maintenance, protection, and preservation of the Community Foundation’s flat top headquarters at 13 Skyline Road. Built in 1953 by Frank Stick, the cottage was donated to the Community Foundation in 2007.

For more information, please contact Sally or Steve Gudas at 804-399-8342 or

Community Foundation Awards $47,700 to Combat Addiction, Support our Youth, and Enhance Community Space

The Outer Banks Community Foundation board of directors approved $47,700 in First Quarter Community Enrichment grants to four nonprofits, lending support to programs for addiction treatment and recovery, youth and education, historic preservation, and child health and well-being. This is the first of four award cycles for Community Enrichment grants this year; more than $200,000 in funding is available from this grants program in 2022. Applications were received from Saving Lives Task Force, OBX Go Far, Ocracoke Preservation Society, and Water’s Edge Village School; all four nonprofits were awarded funding.

Saving Lives Task Force has operated since 2014 to combat substance abuse and addiction, tackling the problem strategically in five areas: Assess, Prevent, Reduce Harm, Connect to Care, and Track and Measure. The nonprofit was awarded a $2,950 grant from the Community Foundation to provide weekly, life-skills training workshops to people in recovery. Life-skills training offers tools and information to building self-esteem and achieving greater independence, which can help prevent relapse. This training series is a new program for the group. Topics will include nutrition, stress and pain management, finances, and healthy relationships. The Task Force expressed there is a lack of insurance and other forms of support for life skills training.

OBX Go Far volunteer mentors help kids learn how to run and compete; also built into their six-week programs for elementary and middle-school children are life lessons in responsibility, goal-setting, attitude, commitment, and respect. A Community Foundation grant of $19,750 will allow the group to reach more Dare families by supporting an updated, bilingual website and underwriting program fees for many participants. “Due to the pandemic, the majority of our families are now in need of assistance, and we are here to serve them,” wrote OBX Go Far Executive Director/Dare County After-School Enrichment Director Samantha Brown.

Ocracoke Preservation Society is restoring the historic Odd Fellows Lodge, a 1901 two-story wood frame building located on an acre of land near the center of Ocracoke Village. The lodge has served many purposes over the years, including as island schoolhouse, US Navy look-out, and, more recently, as The Silver Island Inn. The Society’s vision is to have the first floor of the restored lodge serve as a welcome center for island visitors; the second floor will house nonprofit administrative offices. A $15,000 Community Foundation grant toward roof renovation will help support the restoration project.

Water’s Edge Village School in Corolla teaches 44 children, fostering learning in this small community and saving students more than four hours of transport each day to other schools in Dare and Currituck. The school has a waiting list of students but lacks the space to accommodate a larger student body; they are undertaking a capital campaign to increase their capacity. A Community Foundation grant of $10,000 will help the growing school purchase classroom technology and equipment.

“The Community Enrichment grants process offers an opportunity for nonprofits to apply for funds from an unrestricted grant-making pool that has grown considerably over the years,” said Community Foundation President and CEO Chris Sawin. “We encourage nonprofit leaders to contact us at any time throughout the year to discuss their projects, so we can work together to help address both pressing needs and promising opportunities.”

Grant applications are submitted to the Community Foundation via an online grants link. Organizations interested in applying for grants should contact Chris at the Community Foundation to discuss their project, prior to submitting an application. The next round of Community Enrichment grant applications is due by 11:59 pm on Friday, April 29.

2,100 Scholarships Awarded and Counting–How the Community Foundation Helps College-Bound Residents

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/Shenandoah University

High school seniors face a hectic school year crammed with extra-curricular events, social activities, not much sleep, and more than a little stress about the changes, challenges, and excitement that college will bring. We interrupt this busy time in their lives with a promise—send us your hopes and aspirations, as well as your letters of recommendation and completed application, and we will consider you for a potential windfall of scholarship dollars from 60 funds. In 2022, more than $200,000 will be awarded.

Since our scholarship program began, $2.5 million in scholarships has been awarded to more than 1,100 students. In 2021, $175,000 was awarded to 51 students, averaging nearly $3,500 per student. The number of annual awards, and award amounts, have steadily ticked up over the years. Renewable scholarships, that follow students throughout all four years of school, have been a focus. The scholarship application itself has been updated several times, always with an eye toward making the program accessible to more students.

“To date, 30 Outer Banks students have been awarded multi-year scholarships of $20,000 or more, and another 25 have been awarded between $10,000 and $19,999, just from the programs we administer,” said Scholarship Program Manager Nandy Stuart. “Awards of these sizes represent significant financial support for these students, allowing them to focus on learning, achieving their degrees, and ultimately finding success in careers that match their aspirations.”

“Conversely,” Nandy continued, “one scholarship fund was established by a woman who received a $25 check to help her pay for college. Of course, this was a long time ago, and the amount was tiny; what struck this donor (who became a nurse), was that someone she didn’t know was willing to invest in her and show faith in her. She felt that if she could continue that tradition by encouraging others, they would feel the same sense of affirmation and support that she did.”

Each year, as the Community Foundation pool of scholarship funds, investments, and awards grows, the process to decide who will receive these awards is reviewed, improved upon, and called into play. In late winter board members and community members are invited to serve on one of several committees to review applications. The applicant pool is divided into opportunities that are based on need, merit, or discipline area.

Committee members review applications and engage in group discussions to arrive at the final scholarship recipient list for all available awards. Most of the 60 scholarships managed by the Community Foundation are available to all high schools, from Currituck to Dare to Ocracoke. It’s a competitive process, but there are many scholarships to be awarded, including those for four-year colleges, two-year schools, state colleges and universities, vocational programs, and more.

Scholarship awards are announced at each school’s Awards Night, usually held in April and May, and are listed on the Community Foundation website at

If you would like to know more about our scholarship process or are interested in volunteering for a committee or establishing a scholarship fund yourself, please give us a call at 252-261-8839. The options for scholarship programs are almost as diverse as the students themselves.

If you’d like to read about the impact of some of the scholarship funds established over the years, we invite you to read these stories:

40-Year Community Foundation Anniversary Video


We had a lot of help creating and producing this video commemorating 40 years of philanthropy through the Outer Banks Community Foundation:

  • Miles Daniels and Ben Wiener of Twiddy & Company, for producing our 40th Anniversary video
  • Twiddy and Company for donating space and technology for our Annual Meeting live stream
  • Hilton Garden Inn for their use of the Kitty Hawk Fishing Pier for video interviews
  •  Interviewees, speakers, and on-camera – Jack Adams, Pastor Ivey Belch, Lorelei Costa, Jean-Louise Dixon, Cashar Evans, Adrianna Noel Goodwin, Daniel Palacios-Ibarra, Mike Kelly, Alicia Peele, Litzy Velazquez Tovar, and Jane Webster
  • Brett Barley for storm video footage
  • Daniel Pullen and Outer Banks History Center, Drew C. Wilson Photograph Collection, for use of images




Board Members Give 40 Years of Priceless Leadership

A 2007, 25th Anniversary photo of Community Foundation Board and Emeritus Directors. Back row, L-R: Ron Bennett, Geneva Perry, Bob Oakes, Glen Miller, Myra Ladd-Bone, Cashar Evans, Bobby Harrell, Charles Hardy, Nonie Booth, Lila Schiffman, Jo Whitehead, Robbie Parker, Mike Kelly, James (Pat) Harrell, Skipper Hines, Sue Woolard.
Front row, L-R: Mike Reeves, Paul Ford, Helen Ford, David Stick, Edward Greene, Ray White, Ina Evans Ernst, Jon Kenton.


We love and appreciate this photo for so many reasons. Board service is an incredible gift to nonprofit organizations, and board member impact really shines bright when you look back over the years and realize how different individuals, at different times, put themselves into a position and effected real and lasting change in the process.

Nonprofits aren’t ‘owned’ by anyone–they are run by a board of directors on behalf of the larger community or cause that they serve. Board term limits ensure that new ideas and new talents are regularly infused into an organization.

Community Foundation board terms are for three years; board members can serve for up to two consecutive terms. Board members may be invited to serve additional term(s), but there must be an absence between tw0-term periods. This gives lots of opportunities for community members from a variety of backgrounds to weigh into our work, over time.

We are incredibly grateful to our founders and early board members. They created and ran the Community Foundation as volunteers, until first staff was hired in the mid-90’s. We stand on their shoulders today, and those of the board members who followed over the decades. The work we do each day is inspired by their investments of time, talent, and treasure. We hope to give back as much as they did, for future generations.