David Stick’s Words Ring True Today

The following is excerpted from David Stick’s “Outer Banks Community Foundation.”

In 1984, after having been asked repeatedly to explain the concept of the community foundation, I finally put down in writing my own description:

The Outer Banks Community Foundation was organized locally in 1982 to provide a method by which a large number of individuals and businesses can join together in establishing a permanent and constantly-growing endowment fund, with annual earnings used to address both current and long-range needs in the Outer Banks area.

Its sole concern is in maintaining and improving the quality of life…its flexibility provides the Community Foundation with a unique ability to respond quickly to the ever-changing needs of the Outer Banks community, and to employ both conventional and innovative methods in addressing such needs.

It enjoys a favored position under the provisions of the Treasury Regulations and IRS code, thus extending to all donors the maximum possible tax advantage.

It supplements and often supports the activities of many conventional charities, while offering the individual donor the opportunity—with a single contribution—to assist a variety of local charitable programs and projects.

It belongs to the people of the Outer Banks, both native and adopted. Through its designation as a public charity, it is operated in the public interest, prepared at all times to address the most pressing educational, social, health, cultural, and environmental needs of the Outer Banks.

It is a potential funding source for all benevolent uses; a pooling of the excess resources of hundreds of individuals who share a love and concern for the unique Outer Banks; and a private effort to address public problems in a trying era when funds from public sources are in increasingly short supply.

It is, finally, a way that any of us, and all of us, can put something back.

My first awareness of the existence of community foundations came in early 1980 when I read in The Daily Advance that an organization called The Elizabeth City Foundation had made several sizable grants designed to address area needs, especially in the Camden County schools. Attorney Dewey Wells, a personal friend who had done some legal work for me, was listed in the news story as the Executive Director of the Elizabeth City Foundation, so I contacted him for information.

Initially, Dewey sent me a couple of brochures. Later I got more information from him in personal conversations, and from a speech he had made entitled: “More Than You May Have Wanted to Know About Community Foundations.” Despite the title of Dewey’s speech, it provided me with only a fraction of what I wanted to know about community foundations, so I later made contact with the Council on Foundations in Washington and purchased their voluminous two-volume Handbook on Community Foundations. For two years after making that first contact with (Elizabeth City Foundation Founder) Dewey Wells, I put aside any thoughts of proceeding with the organization of a community foundation on the Outer Banks. Then, on June 8, 1982, Andy Griffith came up to my home in Southern Shores for the specific purpose of putting on tape the answer to a question I had asked earlier, “Why does a nationally known actor, still active in a career that calls for him to spend most of his time in Hollywood, California, consider Roanoke Island, North Carolina, his home?”

Andy and I taped a couple of hours in general discussion, much of it about his boyhood, his involvement with the Carolina Playmakers at Chapel Hill, his bit parts in The Lost Colony, and his growing love for the Outer Banks and its people, whom he credited with providing the needed encouragement to-embark on his acting career. “Sometime,” he told me after the taped session was terminated by a failure of the recorder (which neither of us could fathom), “I’d like to find some way to pay them back.”

We were sitting across from each other at the circular table in my study, and my immediate response was that I shared his desire, and I knew how to accomplish it. I then spent a couple of minutes explaining to him, in essentially the following words, the concept of the community foundation:

“Throughout the country there are thousands of wealthy individuals or families who have established private foundations. We have more than our share of them in North Carolina, with prominent names such as Duke, Reynolds, and Hanes. But in those communities where there is no wealthy individual or family, a community foundation can accomplish the same charitable purpose when a large number of people band together, each making a modest contribution, with the result that the aggregate then becomes meaningful.”

Andy’s response was immediate, and enthusiastic. “Let’s go with it,” he said. And by the time he left ten minutes or so later we decided that the first step would be to run the idea past a couple of astute businessmen before involving anyone else. It was easy to agree on two businessmen-Eddie L. Greene and George Crocker-and we decided to set up a meeting with them for the next week, but without telling them what we wanted to discuss with them. The Outer Banks Community Foundation was on the way.

The following words are excerpted from David Stick’s opening statements at the Community Foundation’s first Board of Directors meeting, on November 16, 1982:

“Those of us fortunate enough to have been born on the Outer Banks, and others who have chosen to live out ·their lives here, share equally in our love for this unique area. We share an appreciation for the informality and openness, the history and lore, the raw and ever-changing beauty of the sea and sounds and storms and sunsets.

Life has been made better—more satisfying and rewarding—by virtue of our close kinship with this many-faceted expanse of windswept coast with its shrouded forests and its broad plains of marsh-grass wafting in the gentle breezes. Yet, in recent years especially, we have viewed with mixed emotions the dramatic changes taking place, welcoming the new aura of affluence and progress, while at the same time becoming increasingly concerned about the inroads that threaten the charm and appeal of the Outer Banks. We have begun to wonder with gnawing fear and trepidation, just what the generations of the future will find here, after we are gone.

Now finally, there is a way each of us can participate actively and permanently in shaping the future of the Banks, even after our departure. It is our way, individually and personally, of repaying our beloved Outer Banks for the wonders and contentment it has given us.

The basic premise behind the Outer Banks Community Foundation is quite simple. There should be available in our immediate coastal area a sizable reserve fund from which grants would be made annually for local needs not ordinarily within the province of government, religious institutions or charitable organizations.

The grants would be administered by a board of able and respected local individuals. Primary funding would come from voluntary bequests by residents and friends of the Outer Banks. Normally sizable funds would not pass to the Foundation until after the death of each participant, though some individuals with excess assets might choose to make partial transfers earlier.

Unless otherwise specified, only earnings would be distributed each year. The fund would continue to grow, however, as assets increase in value and as additional individuals make bequests. It would thus be both a self-perpetuating and an expanding source for grant funds.

Each participant would determine whether the earnings from his or her assets would be distributed at the discretion of the administrative board, or designated for specific purposes. The scope of such potential uses is almost limitless, ranging from the more conventional—scholarships, purchasing books for the library, improving recreational facilities for the youth and elderly or assisting established charitable organizations—to the more imaginative, such as fisheries research, aiding individuals made destitute by fire or natural disaster, or upgrading the environment.

People of modest means, as well as the more affluent, can share equally in the program, designating a limited share of their assets for the Foundation without adversely affecting the needs of their heirs. You can join now in this local effort to provide for the future needs of our beloved Outer Banks.”

Generations have grown up since our Community Foundation began in 1982. Many of its founders and initial funders are no longer with us, but their legacies live on, and their gifts, made years ago, are still supporting the causes they were passionate about. Today’s Community Foundation staff and board of directors stand on the shoulders of David Stick, Martin Kellogg, Eddie Greene, Andy Griffith, Jack Adams, Ray White, and many others, who worked to get our Community Foundation off to its solid start. While they couldn’t foresee today’s issues, they realized the power behind collective philanthropy and they had faith and conviction in the community foundation model. We are forever grateful for their visionary thinking and dedicated efforts over many years. Their work, which continues today, ensures the Community Foundation will always be part of what makes our Outer Banks so wonderful, generations into the future.

Kelly Family Fund’s Amazing Community Impact

When Mike Kelly rolled onto the Outer Banks, by way of Elizabeth City, in his Ford Fairlane in 1970, the ‘Banks were mostly sand and the cottages relatively few. Still in college, he waited tables during the summer to cover school expenses for the year ahead. When he graduated in 1972, he moved here full-time, attracted by the long summers, laid back lifestyle, and lucrative (albeit seasonal) employment.

Fast-forward ten years: when the Community Foundation was started by David Stick and a core group in 1982, Mike wasn’t far behind. “My earliest recollection of learning about the Community Foundation came from conversations that happened at A Restaurant By George, where I was General Manager,” said Mike. “George (Crocker), David (Stick), Andy (Griffith), and others would hole up at an upstairs table and conceptualize and hash out details. I was intrigued and wanted to know more about what those guys were up to.”

When Mike became a restaurant owner in 1985, he knew that a key to his business success would be community involvement. He joined the Community Foundation’s Board of Directors in 1987; by 1990 he was its Board Chair. As his business and community involvement grew, he led efforts to create several major events to help local charities, including the Kelly Charity Golf Classic, the OBX Marathon, and the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. The proceeds of the Kelly Charity Golf Classic are used each year to grow the Kelly Family Fund, a donor-advised fund he established in 1994 at the Community Foundation.

“In the early days of the Community Foundation, there was plenty of local buy-in, and lots of small gifts, but we weren’t growing to the point where we were sustainable,” recalled Mike. “I decided to create a donor-advised fund, as a way of investing in our Community Foundation. I liked the fact that we could recommend grants and give money from the fund to local charities each year.”

Mike created the Kelly Annual Charity Golf Classic in 1994 with the help of his Penguin Isle business partner, Doug Tutwiler. The golf tournament was a big success, generating about $14,000 for the Kelly Family Fund in net proceeds each year.

Through the combined power of annual gifts to the fund and investing the principal, the Kelly Family Fund has grown, even while grants are being made each year. As of August, 2021, nearly $380,000 in grants have been awarded to charities like Outer Banks Hotline, Friends of Nags Head Woods, Dare County Youth Center, American Legion, Boy Scouts, Friends of Jockey’s Ridge, Manteo High School, Food For Thought, Outer Banks Family YMCA, Dare Education Foundation, GEM Adult Day Services, disaster relief, and much more. In all, nearly the Kelly Family Fund has awarded 275 grants since its inception in 1994. The best part of all? There is more in the fund now—$400,000—than at any other time in its history.

“I feel like the Kelly Family Fund is a great example of what can happen with the right income stream, the right financial team, and patience over a number of years,” said Mike. “I’m very pleased that we’ve been able to put back nearly $400,000 into the community since 1994, and that today there is more than $400,000 in the fund, an amount that will continue to grow, thanks to good management and investing.” Another feel-good for Mike? He’s been able to make philanthropy a family affair, by including his wife, Willo, and his daughters Elizabeth (with husband Ben) and Juliane in the grant recommendations process.

“David Stick would be overjoyed to know this fund’s history,” said Bob Muller, who served on the board with Mike. He said of the Community Foundation, “As Mr. Stick said, ‘It’s a way all of us can put something back.’”

If you would like to amplify your giving, and help create brighter futures on the Outer Banks, please contact us at 252-261-8839. We’d be honored to help you with your philanthropy.

Community Enrichment Grant Deadline is July 30

Nonprofits are encouraged to apply for funding for their projects, programs, infrastructure, and other needs, through the Outer Banks Community Foundation’s Community Enrichment Grants Program. Online applications are due by 11:59 pm on Friday, July 30. More information and a link to apply can be found at obcf.org/grants/how-to-apply-for-grants/.

The Community Enrichment Grants Program is the Community Foundation’s largest and broadest funding opportunity. Last year the Community Foundation awarded over $130,000 in Community Enrichment Grants to 13 local nonprofits—a reduction from recent years, due to nearly $300,000 in COVID Rapid Response grants in 2020. In 2021, more than $200,000 in Community Enrichment grants will be awarded.

So far in 2021, more than $92,000 has been awarded to 13 local nonprofits, including financial aid for the YMCA’s Camp Seaside, underwriting for spay/neuter and other pet care with three animal groups, support for three separate programs that enrich the lives of children and adults with disabilities, underwriting a program addressing summer food insecurity for low-income children through Food for Thought, and underwriting the Early Childhood Essentials program at Children and Youth Partnership.

Community Enrichment Grants are offered on a competitive basis for any kind of charitable project that benefits Dare County, Ocracoke, and/or the Currituck beaches. Areas of interest include arts and culture, animal welfare, children and youth, education, the environment, disaster relief and prevention, health and wellness, historic interpretation and preservation, and other human services.

Community Enrichment Grants are usually awarded to support the direct costs of a charitable project or program (e.g., art supplies, medical equipment, educational materials, vehicles, program staff). These grants are paid on a reimbursement basis for actual costs incurred.

Scholarship grants to nonprofits, to enable organizations to offer need-based program scholarships (i.e., program fee subsidies) to individuals or families with financial or other hardship, are also periodically awarded. The scholarships/subsidies should offset or reduce the participation fees that the nonprofit would normally charge for an enrichment program such as a day camp, educational offering, and/or after-school program.

Community Enrichment Grants are also awarded to build the capacity of charitable organizations serving the Outer Banks, with a goal of helping them fulfill their mission by enhancing their long-term effectiveness, financial stability, and/or program quality. Examples might include grants for computer systems, strategic planning, and/or purchase of facility space.

Priority for Community Enrichment Grants will be given to projects and organizations that involve or benefit a broad segment of our community, provide an innovative approach to addressing area needs, attract additional funding from other sources, promote an organization’s financial sustainability, promote collaboration and efficiencies amongst multiple organizations, or either initiate new projects or programs to influence beneficial change, or fill gaps, or address urgent community needs. Most of all, the Community Foundation will assess applications based on community impact.

The Outer Banks Community Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit charitable organization that connects people who care with causes that matter. Based in a historic flat top cottage in Southern Shores, the Community Foundation manages more than $24 million across more than 200 charitable funds for individuals and agencies, awards grants to local nonprofits, administers 58 scholarship programs, and provides tailored services to help donors pursue their charitable interests. Since its inception in 1982, the Community Foundation has awarded more than $11 million in grants and scholarships to local nonprofits and students. 
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Outer Banks Community Foundation
13 Skyline Road, Southern Shores, NC 27949
Web: www.obcf.org        Email: info@obcf.org
Phone: 252-261-8839      Fax: 252-261-0371


Dare County Arts Council is planning an October grand opening celebration for the Courtyard Project.  Major construction is complete and visitors are welcome to enjoy the new courtyard behind the DCAC Art Center in downtown Manteo.  Details about the grand opening will be announced in the coming weeks.

R. Wayne Gray Memorial Scholarship Fund to Benefit COA Graduates


The R. Wayne Gray Memorial Scholarship Fund has been established at the Outer Banks Community Foundation. R. Wayne Gray (“Mr. Gray” to his many students) was a well-known Wanchese native, poet, historian, restaurateur, and educator who passed away in August 2020; the fund has been created by Mr. Gray’s wife, Nancy, and their three children, Keil Samson, Rheana Watts, and Beach Gray. The memorial scholarship fund will assist Dare County residents who graduate from College of The Albemarle and who plan to continue their education at a four-year college or university.

Mr. Gray taught English at College of The Albemarle (COA) from 2008 to 2018. It was his third career, after first teaching at Dare County schools and then owning and operating Queen Anne’s Revenge restaurant in Wanchese. While at CoA, Gray led the International Club and the Literary Club, guiding his students to publish two collections of locally researched articles on Outer Banks history. Mr. Gray also helped several students continue their education after COA, which led to transfers and four-year degrees from Yale, Mount Holyoke, and other colleges and universities.

The first scholarships will be awarded from the fund in 2022.

“We are thrilled to be able to offer a scholarship opportunity for students who are graduates of College of The Albemarle and who want to pursue a four-year degree,” said Interim Executive Director Bob Muller. “We see this as an important step forward in assisting students who otherwise might struggle to find funding in their third and fourth years of college, and we couldn’t be more grateful to the Grays for their passion for education, forward thinking, and generosity.”

The First Annual R. Wayne Gray Memorial Scholarship Fried Shrimp Dinner will take place on Friday, August 13, from 4 to 7 pm, at Bethany United Methodist Church, 101 Old Wharf Rd, Wanchese. The drive-through dinner will feature plenty of fried shrimp and locally sourced menu items reminiscent of Queen Anne’s Revenge, including Posh Squash, red potatoes, and zucchini muffins. Proceeds from the event will benefit the new scholarship fund.

The new R. Wayne Gray Memorial Scholarship Fund is one of more than 200 funds managed by the Outer Banks Community Foundation. Anyone may contribute to any established fund by simply going to obcf.org/donate and selecting a fund from a drop-down list, or by including a fund name with a check or other type of donation. Funds can be established with as little as a $1,000 initial investment. The Community Foundation accepts a variety of assets, including gifts from IRAs, beneficiary designations, property, stock, and more. If you are interested in learning about how funds might help you honor a loved one, or create your own legacy, call the Community Foundation at 252-261-8839.

Are you interested in establishing and naming a fund to meet local needs and perpetuate a legacy of giving back to the Outer Banks? Your Community Foundation offers a variety of fund types, including scholarships, donor-advised, and field of interest, to match personal preferences in philanthropy. Find out more here, and reach out to us at 252-261-8839 if we can help you get started.

Disaster Relief Equipment & Supplies Replacement Grant Opportunity

Announcement of a grant opportunity: Replacement of Equipment and Supplies used in Hurricane Dorian.

Purpose: The Outer Banks Community Foundation is accepting applications from nonprofit organizations that were involved in the relief and recovery operations after Hurricane Dorian. These organizations may apply for funding to replace equipment and supplies used in operations following Hurricane Dorian. This grant is funded by the American Red Cross.

How to Apply: Organizations may apply by sending an email to Bob Muller, Disaster Relief Coordinator at bob@obcf.org. The email or attached documents should explain the organization’s activities during Hurricane Dorian, the amount requested, and the equipment to be purchased with the grant. Applications must be received by 5:00 pm Thursday, July 8, 2021.

Eligible Organizations: Any nonprofit organization serving the Outer Banks is eligible to apply — including those organizations that have an active Community Enrichment or Rapid Response Grant with the Community Foundation. Local organizations may be given priority for funding.

Schools and government agencies may be eligible to apply, if it is demonstrated that financial support is not available from other sources.

Churches and faith-based organizations are eligible to apply for projects assisting the wider community (i.e., not just members of their own faith or congregation), and if their outreach does not include the promotion of religious beliefs.

Eligible Projects and Grant Expenses: Grants will be awarded for the purchase of supplies and equipment that replace supplies and equipment used during Hurricane Dorian. Examples of eligible items include gloves, rubber boots, PPE, cleaning buckets, bleach, wet/dry shop vac, step ladders, shovels, sledge hammers, crow bars and other necessary equipment and supplies.

Operating, overhead, and indirect costs are not eligible for grant funding.

Grants will be paid on a reimbursement basis for actual costs incurred. Grant expenses must be substantiated by third-party documentation (e.g., receipts, statements, invoices). These documents should be generated from your vendor, not from your organization.

The Community Foundation does not reimburse for sales tax. Sales tax refunds must be requested from the NC Dept. of Revenue.

Funding decisions will be made by Thursday, July 15, 2021. Requests for reimbursements must be received by Friday, August 20, 2021.

Additional Information: If you have questions or want more information please call or email Bob Muller, Disaster Relief Coordinator, at bob@obcf.org or 252-207-5287.


Recent Grants from Memorial Funds Support Key Community Needs

Memorial funds established at the Outer Banks Community Foundation years ago factored prominently in recent grant awards to local nonprofits and will help people living with cancer, assist children and adults with special needs, and support other important, charitable programs in our community.

The Fred Murray Memorial Fund and the Warren Cameron Judge III Endowment Fund for the Outer Banks Relief Foundation were behind grants of more than $7,500 to the Outer Banks Relief Foundation to support that group’s work. Much of the money will go to families battling cancer. Fred Murray, a long time Manteo resident, died of cancer, and the family established a fund in his memory to help others fight this serious illness. Warren Judge, a hotelier, restauranteur, and community leader, was a key supporter of the Relief Foundation; the Warren Cameron Judge III Endowment Fund for the Outer Banks Relief Foundation fund honors his years of service to the people of Dare County, from Duck to Hatteras and Nags Head to East Lake.

Annually the Community Foundation awards grants from three funds that support individuals with special needs in Dare and Currituck counties: the Pauline Wright Endowment for Educational and Developmental Needs in Currituck, the Pauline Wright Endowment for Dare County Individuals with Special Needs, and the David Aycock Loy Memorial Fund were behind recent grant awards of over $17,000 to groups that work with people who are differently abled. The Currituck Schools Exceptional Children’s Program received a grant of $7,000 to provide adaptive sensory and communications tools for their students. MANE & TAILL Therapeutic Horsemanship Academy was awarded funding to provide nearly $7,000 in scholarships for instruction in horsemanship, equine assisted therapies, and horseback riding for Dare County children and young adults in a safe, positive environment. The Monarch Beach Club has been awarded $3,500 to support that group’s transportation needs.

When making grants this year the Community Foundation also drew on the Aycock Brown Memorial Fund, the D. Victor & Catherine D. Meekins Memorial Fund, the Martin Kellogg Memorial Fund, the Milton A. Jewell Grant Fund, the Moncie L. Daniels & Belva Midgett Daniels Memorial Fund, the Charles H. & Dorothy S. Luedemann Arts Fund, the Franklin Y. Hundley Education Fund, and the Ruth Pitt Performing Arts Fund.  Each of these endowed funds will support the local causes and concerns that were special to their namesakes, well into the future.

The Community Foundation manages more than 200 funds, and anyone may contribute to any established fund by simply going to obcf.org/donate and selecting a fund from a drop-down list, or by including a fund name with a check or other type of donation. Funds can be established with as little as a $1,000 initial investment. There is minimal paperwork involved, and several fund types to choose from, depending on interests and level of involvement desired. Funds can be named for a cause, a person, a group, or a saying (i.e., “All God’s Creatures” fund, or “Just for Today and Tomorrow” fund). The Community Foundation can accept a variety of assets, including gifts from IRAs, beneficiary designations, property, stock, and more. If you are interested in learning about how funds might help you honor a loved one, or create your own legacy, call the Community Foundation at 252-261-8839.


Photo caption: MANE & TAILL was founded in 2010 when Sam Iulo, a special education teacher, noticed that one of her students with autism was able to express himself when engaging with her horses. In summer 2021, MANE & TAILL is offering individual and small group instruction, and programs to school and community groups. Pictured are Elijah and Cowboy, 2020 program participants. (Photo courtesy of MANE & TAILL)

Community Foundation Announces New Leadership

Christopher Sawin to Serve as new Community Foundation President and Chief Executive Officer

The Outer Banks Community Foundation is pleased to announce that the Board of Directors has voted unanimously to hire Christopher Sawin as President and Chief Executive Officer. Sawin, who comes to the Community Foundation from Dare County Arts Council, will officially start in his new role effective August 1. Sawin joins the Community Foundation at a challenging and exciting time in its nearly 40-year local history. He fills a role left vacant by Lorelei Costa, who departed in March 2021 to lead Suffolk (Virginia) Center for the Cultural Arts, after eight years of exemplary service to our community.

Sawin, who grew up in Kill Devil Hills, comes to the Community Foundation with thirty years of executive experience marked by entrepreneurial and organizational accomplishments, at both for-profit and non-profit concerns. He has served as Dare County Arts Council’s Executive Director since 2012, leading that agency’s resurgence to financial stability and strategic, dramatic growth. He has worked in senior executive positions at Chapel Hill-based Mammoth Records, the first indie record label to produce two platinum-certified records; at Batanga, Inc., an independent digital media company serving U.S. Hispanic and Latin American markets; and at NC start-up Zenph Sound Innovations, before returning to the Outer Banks in 2011. Sawin graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Latin American Studies from Carleton College in Minnesota.

“I have been involved with the Community Foundation as a volunteer, scholarship parent, and grants recipient, and I have a deep appreciation for both its place in our community and for the essential work being done there,” wrote Chris. “To have been chosen to lead it through its next chapter is an honor that I embrace whole-heartedly.”

“Our national search resulted in 44 applications coming from 12 states, spanning the length and breadth of the US,” said Community Foundation Board Chair Clark Twiddy. “Our board and executive search committee engaged in a healthy screening process, aided by Development Associates of Chapel Hill, and we are delighted that a local leader, with excellent qualifications, has ultimately been chosen as our Community Foundation’s first Chief Executive Officer.”

The lead staff role at the Community Foundation was intentionally changed from Executive Director to Chief Executive Officer to reflect the agency’s growth and, with it, the ability to respond to increasing and evolving local needs. The CEO will be the driver for resource development to achieve the board’s aspirations; program development, networking and collaboration through extensive community relations; education and public relations are essential responsibilities.

As President and CEO, Sawin will lead a team of four employees and will work closely with the Community Foundation’s Board of Directors. Core focus areas for the CEO include strategic direction, governance, program development, business operations, financial management, personnel management, and community relations. The transition comes as the Community Foundation prepares to celebrate 39 years of service and over $12 million in grants and scholarships awarded since its founding in 1982, and is accommodating rapid agency growth, in both assets and services to donors, local nonprofits, and the community at large.

The Outer Banks Community Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit charitable organization that connects people who care with causes that matter. Based in a historic flat top cottage in Southern Shores, the Community Foundation manages more than $24 million across more than 200 charitable funds for individuals and agencies, awards grants to local nonprofits, administers 57 scholarship programs, and provides tailored services to help donors pursue their charitable interests. Since its inception in 1982, the Community Foundation has awarded more than $11 million in grants and scholarships to local nonprofits and students. 

Community Foundation Awards $174,900 in Scholarships

The Outer Banks Community Foundation awarded $174,900 in scholarships this spring, helping students from across the Outer Banks achieve their educational dreams.

27 graduating seniors from Cape Hatteras Secondary School, Manteo High School, Currituck County High School, Ocracoke School, Wanchese Christian Academy, N.C. School of Science and Math, and First Flight High School received scholarships for the 2021-2022 academic year. Of these students, 16 received awards that are renewable for up to four years of college.

In addition to these awards, the Community Foundation has also renewed financial support to 24 current college students who earned multi-year scholarships.

The Milton A. Jewell Academic Scholarship, a four-year, $24,000 renewable scholarship, was awarded to Siena Nason, a graduating senior of the N.C. School of Science and Math. Siena is attending the University of Pennsylvania, where she will study biochemistry.

The Jerry and Arlene Davis Scholarship, another four-year, $24,000 renewable scholarship, went to Ivanna Gonzalez-Sanchez, a First Flight High School graduating senior. Ivanna will attend UNC-Wilmington in the fall and plans to study business and political science. She hopes to pursue graduate studies in law.

The Elizabeth and Wayne Evans Scholarship, a four-year, $20,000 renewable scholarship, was awarded to Laya Barley, a rising college freshman from Cape Hatteras Secondary School. Laya will study for a degree in nursing at East Carolina University.

The Josephine A. Oden Scholarship, a four-year, $20,000 renewable scholarship, was awarded to Eliza Quidley, a Cape Hatteras Secondary School graduating senior. Eliza plans to study civil engineering at NC State University. From there, she intends to pursue a graduate degree in law. “I’m planning on taking 18 credit hours my first semester; without this scholarship, I would have to work, and it would be difficult to keep up with my studies,” said Eliza. “I’m very grateful to be able to focus on my education, first and foremost.”

The Sawyer Scholarship, a four-year, $20,000 renewable scholarship, was awarded to Alex Thorn, a First Flight High School graduating senior. Alex plans to study environmental sciences at UNC-Wilmington. Alex wrote, “It means so much to me and my family to use this money toward achieving my future academic goals and dreams while attending UNC-W!”

The R. Stewart Couch Hatteras Island Scholarship, a one-time, $8,400 award, went to Johan Briones of Cape Hatteras Secondary School. John plans to study communications, with a focus on TV and film production, at East Carolina University.

For a full list of scholarship recipients, please visit www.obcf.org/scholarships/recent-recipients.

“Our first scholarship fund was created in 1983 in honor of Inez Austin Daniels, who was born in Wanchese in 1890,” said Hatteras Island attorney and Community Foundation Scholarship Committee Chair Jean-Louise Dixon. “Inez went away to college at a time when women did not yet have the right to vote. This endowed fund was started with just a little more than $3,000; both the fund’s balance and its annual scholarship awards have grown steadily since it was established. In fact, the fund’s first $3,000 scholarship was just made, nearly 40 years and 40 scholarships later. The Inez Daniels Austin Scholarship Fund will continue to grow and award scholarships to deserving local students for generations to come.”

Scholarship funds have been generously donated by individuals, families, businesses, nonprofits, civic groups, and government agencies to help local students pursue higher education. Any community member can establish a scholarship fund with the Community Foundation by calling Nandy Stuart or MaryAnn Toboz at 252-261-8839, or can donate to an existing fund online at www.obcf.org/donate.

The Outer Banks Community Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit charitable organization that connects people who care with causes that matter. Based in a historic flat top cottage in Southern Shores, the Community Foundation manages more than $22 million across more than 200 charitable funds for individuals and agencies, awards grants to local nonprofits, administers 57 scholarship programs, and provides tailored services to help donors pursue their charitable interests. Since its inception in 1982, the Community Foundation has awarded more than $11 million in grants and scholarships to local nonprofits and students.

Community Foundation Prepares for 2021 Hurricane Season

The Atlantic hurricane season starts on June 1 and runs through November. Outer Banks Community Foundation is making plans to support our community in the event of a 2021 landfalling hurricane, and is requesting contributions from the public for its Disaster Relief Funds.

The Community Foundation’s Disaster Relief Funds are our community’s largest source of support for local disaster efforts, providing critical monetary assistance for everything from immediate relief to long-term recovery, reconstruction, and resiliency. The Community Foundation collects disaster relief donations for both Dare County and Ocracoke, and works through community partners and local nonprofits to assist individuals and families in need on the Outer Banks.

Disaster Relief Fund donations are used for emergency food, shelter, water, sanitation, supplies, and health care. The Community Foundation has administered Disaster Relief Funds for Hurricanes Matthew, Isabel, Irene, Sandy, Arthur, Hermine, Michael–and, most recently, Dorian, when a record $1.6 million was donated to help local hurricane victims.

Community Foundation staff know it’s a matter of when–and not if–another hurricane will strike.

“Preparation is the key our disaster response plan,” said Community Foundation Disaster Relief Coordinator and Interim Executive Director Bob Muller. “We have already met with several local partners, including Dare County Emergency Management, Interfaith Community Outreach, Cape Hatteras United Methodist Men, and Ocracoke Interfaith Relief and Recovery Team to review our plans for storm season. Another part of our preparation is making sure we have the resources to help when a storm hits.”

Community Foundation Disaster Relief Funds are always ready to receive donations, so that the community has a resource in place and an immediate response to urgent situations. Donors can support these funds at any time, not just when disaster strikes.


Disaster Relief Funds are used to meet a variety of needs in the wake of hurricanes and other crises. Funds help disaster victims pay for temporary shelter, home repairs, supplies, furniture, appliances, food, and other necessities. In instances when an individual has lost wages (e.g., if a person’s place of employment was flooded or closed), funds can be used even more broadly, for example for rent, groceries, medical bills, and other expenses.

Disaster Relief Funds help pay expenses that other sources of support will not cover. Disaster victims will be assisted in seeking all available help (e.g., insurance, FEMA, state or federal assistance) first; Disaster Relief Funds are intended to cover unmet needs, to fill gaps, and to help people who have no other help.

The $1.6 million raised after Hurricane Dorian has been used, through local nonprofit and county partners, to help hundreds of families recover. Donations to the Community Foundation’s Disaster Relief Funds are 100% tax-deductible, and every penny goes toward disaster relief and recovery. The Community Foundation absorbs the expense of administering this program for our community. Thank you for your support.

Cape Hatteras Secondary School Graduating Seniors Awarded $31,000

Congratulations, Cape Hatteras scholarship recipients! These hard-working, determined students will go to college next year with help, thanks to Community Foundation scholarship fund establishers. The first year awards for these students is $31,500, and several scholarships are renewable for up to four years. The R. Stewart Couch Hatteras Island Scholarship was awarded to Johan Briones; he plans to pursue a degree in Communications at ECU. Eliza Quidley was awarded the Josephine A. Oden Memorial Scholarship, which is renewable up to four years; she also received the Osborne Scholarship, the Wallace H. McCown Scholarship, and the Dare County Fire Officers Association Scholarship. Eliza plans to major in Human Biology at NC State. The Elizabeth and Wayne Evans Scholarship, which is renewable up to four years, was awarded to Laya Barley; she also received the Inez Daniels Austin Scholarship. Laya plans to pursue a degree in Nursing at ECU. Maria Bradley walked away with the Greg and Eden Honeycutt Scholarship and the Outer Banks Association of Realtors Scholarship; she plans to study Education at Clarion University. Victor Caldera was awarded the Dare County Fire Officers Association Scholarship; he plans to study Architecture and Construction Management at UNC-Charlotte. Andrew Austin and Laura Hooper each received scholarships from Outer Banks Association of Realtors. Andrew plans to study at Craven Community College to be a Physical Therapy Assistant, and Laura intends to study Biology at UNC-Chapel Hill. We are thrilled for these aspiring high school graduates, and wish them all the best as they go forward in life.

Are you interested in creating a scholarship fund to support deserving local students? Start your journey here, and call us to discuss the type of program you’re most interested in.