Chester Healthcare Foundation celebrates returning $5 million to community

Thursday night’s celebration at the Gateway was termed “Five Million Reasons to Celebrate� and the Chester Healthcare Foundation touched on just about every one.

The Chester Healthcare Foundation board members, along with community leaders and representatives for the many not-for-profit agencies and groups the CHF has helped, gathered to celebrate the Foundation’s returning more than $5M back to the Chester community over the past seven years.

CHF President Bill Bundy told the audience the organizations and non-profit groups the foundation have supported over the seven years dovetail with the mission of the foundation for “programs, projects and/or services of prevention and education which enhance, improve, and/or promote the health and wellness with measurable outcomes of the citizens of Chester County.”

Guest speaker Anji Roe Wood with the Southeastern Council of Foundations told the Foundation members,”there’s really something special about a small town, a small community. You can see it by looking around the room, there’s a lot of energy and a real sense of community. And while you may be a small community, I feel like each of you together create a big impact. You are big in spirit and big in heart,” she said.

She added the Chester Healthcare Foundation provided the funding, and the agencies provided the programming.

“It’s the collaboration, that’s what makes the magic happen; everyone working together really makes it happen,” she said. Wood then threw out some surprising statistics about the reach of Chester Healthcare Foundation in the community.

“If you look at Chester Healthcare Foundation’s reach per capita (per person) and compare that to the largest foundation in the world, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, you have more resources per capita and you are providing more support to your community that the Gates Foundation is, to the people they serve.

“Gates gives 45 cents per person to each person in their community. Chester Healthcare Foundation gives $16 per person in the community,” she said.

Having a foundation like the CHF in the Chester community, “is the difference between serving 10 people, and having the funding and capacity to serve thousands; the difference between creating a few opportunities for some and creating long-lasting transformational change here in Chester,” Wood said.

What followed was a video presentation, where several of the agencies and groups that have received grants from the Chester Healthcare Foundation.

In the video, Edie Cantrell, chair of the grants review committee, told the agency representatives in the audience, “over the past seven years it’s been our mission to inspire and fund solutions to improve the health and wellness of our neighbors, friends and those who are forgotten. But the foundation doesn’t have programs to accomplish that mission, which is where all of you come in. The gifts we give enable you to do good in the community and hopefully we’ve inspired you to think in new ways of how that can happen,” she said.

“One of our more unique ventures is the mini-grant program; from playground equipment in the Lowrys Park, that encourages outdoor play for children, to the Grow-A-Row project that provides fresh healthy produce to those who can least afford it, collectively, the hundreds of mini-grant programs we have funded are reaching every corner of our community, changing lives for the better.”

Following the video, Bundy reiterated what he had said in his video segment. “Tonight as we celebrate, we are not celebrating the foundation, but we celebrate the community of Chester.”

In a special drawing, continuing their tradition of giving back to the community, the Foundation gave away a total of $10,000 to nine of the agencies who have received CHF grants: a prize of $500 each was awarded to Fort Lawn Community Center, First Steps, Chester County Chamber of Commerce and Upper Midlands Rural Health Network; the Chester County Sheriff’s Office, Chester County Career Center and Chester County Senior Services each picked up a $1000 prize and the Chester Rotary and York Technical College were each awarded a prize of $2500.

Organizations and agencies receiving a grant from the Chester Healthcare Foundation over the past seven years are:

Academy for Teaching and Learning
American Red Cross
Arts Council of Chester County
Battered Not Broken
Catawba Care Coalition
Chester Citizens Alliance
Chester County Adult Education
Chester County Emergency Management
Chester County Fire Chief’s Association
Chester County Government
Chester County Literacy Council
Chester County Public Education Foundation
Chester County Rescue Squad
Chester County School District
Chester County Sheriff’s Office
Chester County YMCA
Chester Lions Club
Chester Ministerial Association – Food Pantry
Children’s Attention Home
Christ Central Ministries
City of Chester
Clemson Extension – 4-H
Communities in Schools
Edgemoor Community Center
Fellowship of Christian Athletes
First Steps
Fort Lawn Community Center
G.R.A.S.P. : Great Falls Referral & Assistance Service Project
Good Samaritan Medical Clinic
Great Falls Lions Club
Great Falls Rescue Squad
Hazel Pittman Center
Junior Achievement
Keystone Substance Abuse
Medical University of South Carolina
Palmetto Council Boy Scouts
Pilot Club of Chester
Progressive Association of Chester County
Relay For Life – American Cancer Society
Rosa M. Douglas Scholarship Foundation
Rotary of Chester
SC-DHEC Region 3
Senior Services Inc. of Chester County
Special Olympics
Success by Six
United Way
Upper Midlands Rural Health Network
Winthrop University
York Technical College