Cornerstone recipients, sponsors honored

PARKERSBURG – The recipients of the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation’s 10 “50th Anniversary ‘Cornerstone of Our Community Awards'” and the sponsor of the program were celebrated at a reception at the foundation’s offices Thursday.

“Today’s purpose is to let the recipients learn about each other,” said the foundation’s director Judy Sjostedt.

In March, the foundation announced the awards to celebrate its 50th anniversary serving the Parkersburg area. “When we thought of how to spread the joy, we decided we want to celebrate for more than one day,” Sjostedt said. “It was only after Superior Toyota-Hyundai offered $10,000 for an anniversary project did we decide to come up with a way to help a lot of people.”

The awards allowed PACF to share Superior’s gift, divided into $1,000 grants to honor 10 award recipients, selected using a community nominations process. Each Cornerstone recipient identified one fund from among the Foundation’s 400-plus charitable funds to receive a $500 grant in his/her honor with the fund’s corresponding agency or cause immediately receiving $500, resulting in $1,000 issued in the honoree’s name.

Many of the award winners attended the program and spoke of where their grant funds went while expressing their gratitude.

“One gift went directly into our directive fund to help local artists and the other went to arts in education; it is amazing how much paper little kids can go through,” said first Cornerstone recipient Abby Hayhurst, executive director of the Parkersburg Art Center. “I was flabbergasted to be honored.”

Carrie Roe and Jon Six with the Parkersburg Humane Society said the money they received went to the low cost spay and neuter clinic being built.

Sjostedt acknowledged T.R. Hathaway, co-owner of Superior Toyota-Hyundai, for their contribution to the foundation and the awards.

In appreciation, Hathaway was given a large frame with photos of each award recipient.

“I will put this up in my office,” Hathaway said.

The awards were named “Cornerstone” because that is the fundamental building block on which a foundation rests, Sjostedt said.

“PACF began when a handful of people stepped up and laid the cornerstone for a permanent, public charity,” she said. “The fact that PACF does so much good now is a credit to all the citizens past and present who have continuously built on that foundation.

“Our 50th Anniversary Award was to recognize those special persons who today are likewise serving as cornerstones, building a better community for all of us,” Sjostedt said.

Along with Hayhurst and Roe and Six, the other recipients of the “Cornerstone” awards are Larry “Mad Max” Maxwell, Alvin Phillips with Habitat for Humanity, Felice Jorgeson with Smoot Theatre, Pat Riffle with Old Man Rivers Mission, music educator Jan Pickering, Mary Beth Shea with Smiles for Life, Dessie Romine and Shelia Young with 4-H and Rick Bush with Erickson All-Sports Facility.

The winners were chosen from 50 nominations by a review committee of citizens from the Boaz-Williamstown, Parkersburg, Vienna and south Parkersburg areas.