Community Foundation Celebrates Record-Breaking Year at Annual Meeting

The Outer Banks Community Foundation held its Annual Meeting on Thursday, February 20 to celebrate a record-breaking year of philanthropy. Board President Sharon Elliott led the meeting, which was attended by over 115 people.

Executive Director Lorelei Costa announced that the Community Foundation’s endowment had reached $12 million, up from $10 million one year ago, thanks to an “extraordinarily generous community” and phenomenal investment returns of 18.4%. The Community Foundation awarded over $500,000 last year in grants and scholarships, even as its permanent endowments continued to grow for future grant-making.

Board member Mike Kelly presented the organization’s Champion Award, alongside Ms. Elliott. The honoree was the late Jim Wood, a former bank trust officer who had recommended the Community Foundation to at least two clients, Ruth Medgyes and Dorothy Luedemann. Mr. Wood had inspired these donors to contribute a combined $2 million to the Community Foundation, helping over 160 students attend college, and resulting in over $565,000 in nonprofit grants so far. The bequests remain invested and continue to award scholarships and grants each year.

Jim Wood’s wife, Kathy, accepted the award and spoke about her late husband’s dedication to his community. Fourteen of Mr. Wood’s watercolor paintings were displayed at the meeting, having been donated to the Community Foundation by attorney Carl Smith. The Dare County Arts Council would be auctioning these paintings on May 8 to raise funds for an endowment fund for Mr. Wood to support children’s arts programming.

Avery Harrison presented the Community Foundation’s scholarship highlights. She said that the organization had awarded 77 scholarships in 2013, totaling over $120,000 to 58 students. The Community Foundation also awarded $10,000 to the College of the Albemarle in 2013 for need-based scholarships, she said, which would help an estimated 50 continuing education students from Dare County with job-related training. Ms. Harrison showed a video from Zack Owen, last year’s Milton Jewell Scholar and First Flight High School valedictorian, about his first year at Georgia Tech.

Dorothy Killingsworth presented the Community Foundation’s grant highlights. She introduced Janet Jarrett, a volunteer from Dare County’s Missions of Mercy Free Dental Clinic, who told the crowd that the clinic had provided free dental services to almost 3,500 people in need over the past five years. The Community Foundation has supported the clinic for the past three years with grants totaling over $23,000.

Ms. Killingsworth showed the winning videos from the Community Foundation’s nonprofit video contest, and she awarded $500 and $1,000 to Mano al Hermano and the Outer Banks Family YMCA for the second and first place prizes, respectively. She said that the organization had awarded over $375,000 to nonprofits in 2013.

Ms. Costa announced the establishment of 14 new charitable funds in 2013, including the Annual ADVICE 5K Turkey Trot Fund, Birindelli Family Fund, Cathi Ostrander Family Fund, David Aycock Loy Memorial Fund, Linda Porter’s Shear Genius Scholarship Fund, SAGA Endowment Fund, Village Realty and Ocracoke Island Realty Scholarship Fund, and William & JoAnn Small Fund. The Community Foundation also established the new OBX Giving for Good Giving Circle in 2013, she said, a giving club for young families.

Ms. Costa announced the gift of $500,000 from the late Pauline Wright, whose bequest had established new endowment funds for the Dare County Arts Council, the Currituck Public Libraries, the Currituck Animal Shelter, and for competitive grants for organizations helping people with Down syndrome and other intellectual disabilities.

The Community Foundation membership elected John Graham, Deloris Harrell, Avery Harrison, Dorothy Killingsworth, and Bob Muller for their second terms on the board of directors, and Carl Carnutte, Helen Ford, and the 2015 Board President to the 2015 nominating committee.

Ms. Costa announced the Community Foundation’s new website at, and a free workshop for nonprofits on March 18.

Ms. Elliott thanked the Community Foundation’s board members, emeritus directors, fund holders, Legacy members, in-kind contributors, and donating members for all their various contributions to the organization.