New Scholarship Honors Central High School Teacher


(Woodstock, VA)The Shenandoah Community Foundation is pleased to announce that the first Ethel L. Wisman Memorial Scholarship of $1,100 was awarded to Gracie Bailey at Central High School’s Awards Ceremony Monday night.

Established by Maxine Pence, this scholarship honors her sister who taught at Central High School for over 30 years. Ethel Wisman was the one of ten children who overcame many obstacles to get her education so that she could fulfill her dream of becoming a high school English teacher.

“In those days it cost $25 to attend high school in Shenandoah County,” said fund donor Maxine Pence. “Ethel picked huckleberries to raise the money so that she could go.” After high school, Wisman earned her room and board by working for a Harrisonburg couple so she could attend Madison College which later became James Madison University. During the summer, she worked at a tea room/antique shop to earn tuition.

“In setting up the fund, it was important to Ms. Pence that, like her sister, the recipient should be highly motivated to learn and interested in studying education,” said Foundation Program Coordinator, Jeanne Russell. “Gracie Baily fulfills that aim wonderfully.”

“This scholarship is yet another example of a local resident establishing a fund that will benefit our students for years to come. We are so fortunate to have citizens like Maxine, who care enough to step up and help our students achieve their educational goals.”

“Ms. Wisman taught me when I was at Central,” said Foundation President Jeff Dalke. “She was a dedicated teacher and I’m sure she would be very pleased to be remembered in this way.” The Wisman Scholarship was one of two funds created this year. The Foundation also presented the Donald and Mary Womble Scholarship which was made possible by educators, Donald and Mary Womble. This $400 scholarship was awarded to Katie Ruckman.

The Shenandoah Community Foundation awarded over 50 Scholarships to Shenandoah County High School students this year alone in amounts totaling over $60,000. We have scholarships at each of the high schools and several county-wide scholarships as well.

Over 1 Million Dollars Awarded Since 2008


(Woodstock, VA) The Shenandoah Community Foundation recently marked a major milestone in philanthropic giving. Since 2008 Foundation has awarded over $1 Million dollars and is continuing to give more in grants and scholarships each year.

“It is a testament to the generosity of this community that such a relatively young organization has been able to give so much,” said Program Coordinator, Jeanne Russell. “We are so grateful for the vision and the growing support from the citizens of Shenandoah County that enables us to really make a positive difference in local people’s lives.”

Founded in 1999 by a group of concerned citizens, The Shenandoah Community Foundation was the brain child of Warren French who thought Shenandoah County could benefit from a local community foundation. He hosted an informational meeting for interested people, and the Shenandoah Community Foundation was born.

Since that meeting, the Foundation has grown to hold assets of over $2.8 million at the end of 2015. The Foundation is home to over 57 active funds which awarded over $145,000 in grants and scholarships in last year alone. Their unrestricted grants program made possible by Woodstock Anonymous, benefits area non-profits, to the tune of $47,250 last year and is set to award the same amount again in May.

“We provide a vehicle for local donors to make their dreams for this community come true,” says Foundation President, Jeff Dalke. “Whether one wants to remember a loved one with a memorial scholarship or support a favorite cause, we help set up permanent funds to support those aims.”

What differentiates the Shenandoah Community Foundation from other non-profits is the ability to pool donor Funds, invest them, and then award the proceeds to support each fund’s aims, over and over again. As the fund grows so do the award amounts. And anyone can invest in any fund at any time.




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