Pauline Wright Endowment for Currituck Animal Shelter Helps 60 Dogs Rescued In Moyock

This is Lo, a happy hound looking for his fur-ever home. Currituck Animal Shelter staff help reconnect lost pets with their owners, arrange pet adoptions, educate the public on animal care, and provide a clean and healthy environment for pets in shelter.


It was on the cold winter night of January 29, 2022 when news broke out that the Currituck County Animal Shelter had seized and rescued more than 60 dogs in Moyock. It was the largest seizure in the shelter’s history. Many of the animals were malnourished, neglected, and in desperate need of medical attention. The sheer number of animals needing help was overwhelming and heartbreaking.

Through a grant from the Pauline Wright Endowment for the Currituck Animal Shelter and a generous donation from an anonymous donor, the Outer Banks Community Foundation was able to help. The Community Foundation’s funding of the shelter helped pay for emergency vet bills, food, and supplies that the shelter needed.

Pauline Wright loved animals; especially her sheltie, Draco. She loved helping people, too, and was an active participant in her husband’s medical practice in Jarvisburg, where she would go on calls and minister to people who were ill or had lost loved ones. She ran the kitchen for the Wright Emergency Clinic and Maternity Hospital. Her personal mission was to ‘make everyone smile,’ according to those who knew her.

The labs were all adopted or placed with rescue in roughly 30 days!” said Currituck Animal Services & Control Director Gina Maurer. “The donation from the Community Foundation helped with the daily supplies and needed vet care.”

To support Outer Banks Community Foundation please click here to donate today, or send a check to Outer Banks Community Foundation, 13 Skyline Road, Southern Shores, NC 27949. 

Local Philanthropist Establishes Endowments for Scholarships, Housing

Karen DelVacchio and Cookie, a poodle mix rescue dog that Karen adopted. According to Karen, “Cookie is a lovable little bundle of energy!”

Two new endowed funds that will support Outer Banks students and workers have been established by Nags Head realtor and philanthropist Karen DelVacchio. As with all endowed funds created at the Community Foundation, the Cookie Jar for Good Deeds Fund and the Helping Hand Cookie Jar Scholarship Fund are structured to be permanent sources of support, providing grants and scholarships in starting in 2023 and continuing for generations to come.

The new Cookie Jar for Good Deeds Fund is a Field of Interest fund that will award grants to nonprofit organizations that provide financial or housing support to individuals, with a preference for supporting employed individuals needing extra financial help for rent or mortgage payments.

The Helping Hand Cookie Jar Scholarship Fund will provide need-based scholarships to non-traditional students who are pursuing an education after one or more years in the workforce, post high school graduation.

“Not everyone knows what they will do right out of high school, or even after some college,” said Karen. “I created these funds for adults who want another shot at a career choice and because, due to our chronic worker housing shortage, businesses and workers are really struggling on our beaches.”

“We are thrilled that the two new funds Karen has established for the entire Outer Banks will address unmet needs in innovative ways,” said Community Foundation President and CEO Chris Sawin.

Endowment funds have been created over the years by individuals, families, businesses, nonprofits, civic groups, and government agencies for causes they are passionate about. Funds can be created to memorialize loved ones, support a favorite issue or charity, provide scholarships, and more. The first step is to visit call the Community Foundation at 252-261-8839. The Community Foundation holds more than 200 endowed funds for the Outer Banks; anyone can donate to any of these existing funds online at

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 $25 million across more than 200 charitable funds for individuals and agencies, awards grants to nonprofits, manages more than 60 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 $12 million in grants and scholarships to local nonprofits and students.

OBX History Weekend: Searchers for New Horizons

Willie Balderson, the Director of Living History and Historic Trades Interpretation for the Jamestown Rediscovery Foundation, gives a living-history performance on the first day of OBX History Weekend. He is portraying Anas Todkill, a Jamestown colonist who was sent out to search for Sir Walter Raleigh’s Lost Colony. Willie, as Todkill, explained life at Jamestown and his mission, revealing to the audience clues he discovered about the Lost Colony of Roanoke.

In late March, OBX History Weekend entertained local audiences with a free, interactive, public-oriented symposium titled Searchers of New Horizons.  The three-day event celebrated the inventors, dreamers and pioneers whose paths led them to the Outer Banks. Your Community Foundation was pleased to provide funding through a Community Enrichment grant that applied resources from endowments held here. The Aviation Education Fund for America, the Charles H. and Dorothy S. Luedemann Arts Fund, the Thomas and Annie Baum Memorial Fund, and the Community Fund all underwrote the grant that supported the Symposium.

We had a chance to catch up with lebame houston of Elizabeth R & Company, who produced the event with The First Colony Foundation and The National Park Service/Outer Banks Group, to learn about her perspective about the special, scholarly event.

“The primary strength of the symposium was the roster of pre-eminent presenters whose recent research, new discoveries, and challenging questions excited attendees,” said lebame.  “On Day One, the heretofore illusive Thomas Harriot came alive for the audience as researchers Dr. Robyn Arianrhod of Monash University, Dr. Robert Fox of Oxford University, Dr. Steven Clucas of Birbeck University, Dr. Karen Kupperman of New York University, and Dr. Karin Amundsen of the University of Southern California unraveled their findings about this early American pioneer.  Harriot was an Oxford graduate, astronomer, mathematician, navigator, naturalist, surveyor, and Roanoke colonist; he was also Sir Walter Raleigh’s right-hand man engaged in new world discoveries.”

“Dr. Gallay’s new research has resulted in a different view of Sir Walter Raleigh,” lebame said of the presentation by Dr. Alan Gallay of Texas Christian University.  “His concept of new world colonization clearly thrilled the North Carolinians in attendance.”

Day Two of the symposium featured nine 30 minute presentations and discussion panels focusing on the Carolina Algonquians and the fate of The Lost Colony. “Dr. Kim Sloan, the authority for colonist John White’s watercolors, excited the audience when she cast the gauntlet for more research focused on the so-called “Sloane Copies,” said lebame, “suggesting the possibility that these ‘copies’ could indeed be the John White originals.”

Legendary aviators headlined the third and final day of OBX History Weekend. Hosted at the Gazebo Theatre at Fort Raleigh, audiences enjoyed presentations on the Wright Brothers, Amelia Earhart, Chuck Yeager, and Francis Rogallo.

We extend heartfelt thanks and congratulations to the producers, presenters, participants, sponsors and funders who made OBX History Weekend a world-class historical symposium, exploring the centuries-long parade of searchers who have discovered secrets of the Outer Banks.

For more information about OBX History Weekend, visit To make a contribution to any of the more than 200 funds held for the community at the Community Foundation, visit

Community Foundation Awards $191,100 in Scholarships

2022 Community Foundation Scholarship Recipients. 1st row L-R: Ana Karen Alvarez-Isadoro, Emily Bayne, Jose Briones Avila, Ivy Cage, Chloe Clark, Versailles D’Alessio, Emma Del Monte 2nd row L-R: Isaac Drummond, Kirra Folb, Eric Fulcher, Sydney Guns, Kayla Hallac, Kate Hamilton, Jordan Holcomb 3rd row L-R: Isabella Lettieri, Grayson Lewis, Maggie McNinch, Clara Oden, Morgann Owens, Regan Parker, Jobell Porter 4th row L-R: Kathleen Quigley, Mya Salch, Maggie Sherman, Jackson Strange, Yoselyn Trejo-Gabriel, Hart Vandzura, Loxley Wayland

The Outer Banks Community Foundation awarded $191,100 in 76 scholarships to 56 students this spring, in a year of firsts for the Community Foundation’s expanding scholarship program.

This year, thirty-eight percent of graduation seniors receiving Community Foundation scholarships will be the first in their families to attend college. In addition, three newly-established scholarship programs have awarded their first scholarships to students who have completed two years of coursework at College of The Albemarle (COA) and are continuing their studies at four-year institutions. In total, seven scholarship awards were made in 2022 through new scholarship funds.

Scholarships were awarded to three COA students and 26 graduating seniors from Cape Hatteras Secondary School, Manteo High School, Currituck County High School, Ocracoke School, and First Flight High School. Of these students, 17 received awards that are renewable for up to four years of college. The Community Foundation also has renewed financial support to 26 current college students who earned multi-year scholarships.

Two new, renewable scholarship funds, the R. Wayne Gray Memorial Scholarship and the Hanft McDevitt Family Scholarship, plus an expansion of the renewable OBX Scholars Program, will help three COA graduates pursue four-year degrees this fall. Jeffrey Blake Gard is receiving the Hanft McDevitt Family Scholarship ($2,000 renewable) to attend the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and pursue a Physics bachelor’s in science degree. Isabella Lettieri is receiving the OBX Scholars COA Scholarship ($2,000 renewable) to attend school at East Carolina University. Lane Stevenson is receiving the R. Wayne Gray Memorial Scholarship ($1,200 renewable) to attend Florida Gulf Coast University and complete a double major of Accounting and Finance.

“We are thankful to all of our scholarship donors, and especially grateful that two families who recognize the value of the Dare Guarantee, establishing funds to support students who will continue their work toward bachelor’s degree or higher,” said Community Foundation President and CEO Chris Sawin. “We’re thrilled to see so many first-generation college students being helped, too. Finally, we have tremendous appreciation for those generous families who created enhanced scholarship funds that provide $20,000 or more each year in renewable scholarships, to support students throughout their college career.”

Seven enhanced scholarship funds accounted for $91,800 in new and renewing scholarships this year, five of which were awarded to newly-selected graduating seniors.

The Milton A. Jewell Academic Scholarship, a four-year, $24,000 renewable scholarship, was awarded to Maggie McNinch, a First Flight High School graduating senior. Maggie is attending the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she plans to pursue a degree in Journalism.

The Jerry and Arlene Davis Scholarship, a four-year, $24,000 renewable scholarship, was awarded to Versailles D’Alessio, a First Flight High School graduating senior. Versailles will attend East Carolina University in the fall, where she plans to major in Psychology.

The Elizabeth and Wayne Evans Scholarship, a four-year, $20,000 renewable scholarship, was awarded to two students:

  • Ana Karen Alvarez-Isidoro, a Manteo High School senior, is the first her family to go to college. She will attend the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
  • Mya Salch, a First Flight High School Senior, will study nursing at East Carolina University. Mya also is a first-generation college student.

The R. Stewart Couch Hatteras Island Scholarship, a one-time, $8,800 award, went to Jose Briones Avila of Cape Hatteras Secondary School. Jose plans to study Culinary Arts at Wake Tech Community College. Jose also is a first-generation college student.

For a full list of scholarship recipients, please visit

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 252-261-8839, or can donate to an existing fund online at

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 $25 million across more than 200 charitable funds for individuals and agencies, awards grants to nonprofits, manages more than 60 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 $12 million in grants and scholarships to local nonprofits and students.

VRMA Stewart Couch Golf Tournament Grows Memorial Scholarship Fund

Doug Brindley (L) and Chris Sawin

Outer Banks Association of Realtors (OBAR) President and Vacation Rental Management Association (VRMA) member Doug Brindley recently delivered an $8,000 contribution to the Community Foundation from VRMA for the R. Stewart Couch Scholarship Fund. The donation was the result of proceeds from a 2021 golf tournament established in honor of Stewart Couch, a Hatteras Island native and a successful businessman, world traveler, and beloved community leader.

Brindley was instrumental in establishing the VRMA Stewart Couch Golf Tournament. The first of what will be an annual fundraising event was held last October at The Quarry Golf Club in San Antonio, TX, just ahead of the 2021 VRMA International Conference.

Stewart Couch was pioneer and trendsetter in the vacation rental industry. He grew a fledgling Hatteras Island Realty to a firm that managed nearly 600 homes and employed almost 200 people during the tourist season. He served as Director of VRMA and was a Founding Director of NC VRMA. Couch was 2004 President of Outer Banks Association of Realtors, and he was a passionate and lifelong champion of all things Hatteras Island. Stewart sadly lost his life in 2012 at age 62 while on a surf trip in Nicaragua.

“Stewart and I were good friends,” said Doug Brindley, OBAR’s 2022 President and Brindley Beach Vacations and Sales business owner. “When I mentioned we name the new VRMA tournament in his honor, that was it. Everyone there knows Stewart or knows his story. I knew if the tournament was in his honor, it would be a success.”

“We are honored to carry on a small part of Stewart’s great legacy through the memorial scholarship established in his name,” said Community Foundation President and CEO Chris Sawin. “His kindness and his love for the people of Hatteras Island will live on through the students helped by his scholarship fund each year.”

Cape Hatteras Secondary School Seniors Awarded $26,800 in Scholarships


Ten Cape Hatteras Secondary School seniors will be heading off to their first year of college in the fall with support from local fund establishers and donors.

The twelve 2022 scholarships awarded to these ten rising college freshmen total $26,800. Three of the twelve scholarships are renewable, making the potential total investment for these students $41,800 over the next four years.

The 2022 Cape Hatteras Secondary School scholarship recipients are:

Emily Bayne

  • Wallace H. McCown Memorial Scholarship

Jose Briones Avila

  • R. Stewart Couch Scholarship

Emma Del Monte

  • Dare County Association of Fire Officers Scholarship
  • Outer Banks Association of Realtors Scholarship

Kirra Folb

  • Duck Woods Ladies Golf Association Founders Scholarship

Eric Fulcher

  • Dare County Association of Fire Officers Scholarship

Isabella Letierri

  • OBX Scholars Fund Scholarship

Clara Oden

  • Inez Daniels Austin Scholarship

Jobell Porter
$2,000/$1,000 renewable

  • Scott Day Family Scholarship
  • Outer Banks Association of Realtors Scholarship

Kathleen Quigley

  • Outer Banks Association of Realtors Scholarship

Yoselyn Trejo-Gabriel

  • Lillian W. Riddick Scholarship for Nurses

The awards were presented at Cape Hatteras Secondary School’s Awards Night on May 25, 2022. We extend our sincere congratulations and best wishes to these students, and our thanks and appreciation to the scholarship fund establishers and donors who support the funds that provide local scholarships. Anyone can contribute to an existing scholarship fund or establish a new scholarship fund. Online donations can be made at, (use the “search” function to select the correct fund). If you’ve dreamed of creating a scholarship fund and want to know more, call us at 252-261-8839 to get started.

$1,000 Scholarship Won by Sydney Guns at After Prom OBX

First Flight High School Senior Sydney Guns with Liberty Christian Fellowship Youth Ministries Assistant Josh Heuneman at After Prom.

Hundreds of Dare County high school students spent 2022 after-prom hours at the Outer Banks Family YMCA on April 2-3. Food, games, activities, and chances to win fantastic prizes created a safe, friendly, and memorable After Prom experience for students and peace of mind for their parents. Your Community Foundation has long supported After Prom, along with many other local businesses and contributors. This year, we were pleased to add a college scholarship to the long list of event prizes students could win. First Flight High School senior Sydney Guns walked away with a $1,000 scholarship to help her with her studies at Elon University, where she plans to learn much more about music and theater performance.

Established in 2017, the OBX Scholars Fund is the Community Foundation’s broadest scholarship program, helping deserving Dare County and Ocracoke students of all backgrounds, interests, and academic goals attend the colleges of their dreams. The OBX Scholar’s Fund will continue to support an annual, one-time scholarship award at After Prom. If you would like to make a donation to this fund, go to and search “OBX Scholars” from the “other funds” drop-down menu.

Chamber of Commerce Develops Tomorrow’s Leaders

Pictured are (L-R:) Laurel Anne Hart, First Bank; Myra Ladd-Bone, Atlantic Realty; Nandy Stuart, Outer Banks Community Foundation, and Larry Warner, NC Aquarium on Roanoke Island

The Outer Banks Community Foundation and the Outer Banks Chamber of Commerce have a long history of working together, including many grants over the years for its Leadership OBX program.

Leadership OBX is a professional development program of the Outer Banks Chamber of Commerce. Established in 2014, it annually creates a cohort of business professionals and arms them with a greater understanding of the Outer Banks region through regular, in-depth educational programs on economy, industry, government, and more. Each year’s class develops into a network of individuals ready to serve on nonprofit boards and take on other leadership roles in the region.

Community Foundation staff and board extend heartfelt congratulations to the 2021-2022 Leadership OBX graduating class, including our own Nandy Stuart, who was recently honored with the “Person Most Likely to Save the Outer Banks” award by her peers. We’re thrilled to join with the Chamber in recognizing and mentoring tomorrow’s local leaders. We know you’ll accomplish much!

Regan Parker from Currituck High School Awarded Renewable Scholarship

Regan Parker, a senior at Currituck High School, has been awarded a renewable $1,000 scholarship from Outer Banks Community Foundation. The Lucian Griffin Scholarship Fund, one of more than sixty scholarship funds at the Community Foundation, sponsored this award.

The Lucian Griffin Scholarship was established in 2002 by Robert and Kelly Griffin in memory of Lucian Griffin, the former math teacher, basketball coach, and athletic director at Currituck County High School. This merit-based scholarship is available each year to graduating seniors from Currituck County who have taken or are taking a calculus-level math course. The scholarship is renewable, with a potential total award of $4,000 over four years.

Regan plans to major in Physics, with a minor in Astronomy or Astrophysics, at UNC Chapel Hill in the fall.

Over half of the more than sixty scholarship funds at the Community Foundation have been established in memory of exceptional people. Scholarships will be awarded from these funds to deserving high school seniors and other college-bound students for generations to come. If you’ve dreamed of creating a scholarship fund and want to know more, call us at 252-261-8839 to get started.

OBX GO FAR’s Miles 5k Cupcake Fun Run is May 14

Congratulations to OBX GO FAR!

After two challenging years of working to keep their youth fitness program operating through the pandemic, the OBX GO FAR 2022 season begins with the return of the Cupcake 5K on Saturday, May 14 in Manteo. Outer Banks Community Foundation recently awarded a grant to OBX GO FAR to support their outreach efforts to diverse, vulnerable, and underserved families for inclusion in their program.

OBX GO FAR Executive Director Samantha Lock recently shared this message with us:

“Join us in Downtown Manteo tomorrow to kick off the beginning of the 2022 Manteo Farmers Market with a truly grateful run for the entire family! This spring we will bring back a fantastic event created by former GO FAR coach Shane Miles. Shane served faithfully as one of the start-up GO FAR coaches when the program had just begun in the Outer Banks, and continued to volunteer over the years. OBX GO FAR was proud to name its Miles College Education Fund in honor of Shane Miles. We sadly lost Shane to cancer a couple of years ago and we are honored to bring back this awesome event in his name, the Miles Cupcake 5K and Fun Run! The proceeds from this event will support Outer Banks Relief Foundation and OBX GO FAR’s children’s program.  This event is all about second chances and celebrating personal victories! We will have special dedication tags in HONOR or in MEMORY of loved ones or friends that you can wear during your run.”

“Your support will not only benefit the youth of Dare County from Hatteras Island to Duck, it will also help families on the OBX who are fighting cancer. If you cannot join us in person, we have a virtual 5K option for those who would like to support Shane’s mission & OBX GO FAR from afar! Join local Dare County GO FAR youth in our Miles Cupcake 5K and 1 Mile Fun Run presented by Kellogg Supply Company and Outer Banks Community Foundation on Saturday, May 14 beginning at 8 AM. We have a festive start and finish in downtown Manteo at Magnolia Pavilion with sparkling medals for every finisher and of course cupcakes!  And once the run is over you can check out the opening day of the Manteo Downtown Market!”