Nonprofit news roundup, 01.23.15

Winston-Salem Arts Council launches campaign

The Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County kicked off its annual fundraising campaign, setting a goal of $2.675 million, up from the $2.65 million it raised last year.

The totals include private contributions, corporate support, grants from foundations, and grants from the city of Winston-Salem.

Co-chairing the campaign are Anc Newman, senior vice president at AON Corporation, and Stuart Parks, managing principal at The Arden Group.

The Arts Council, which celebrated its 65th birthday at Hanesbrands Theatre in the Milton Rhodes Center for the Arts, also is launching a new grant initiative.

Its new Community Enrichment Mini-Grant program will provide community groups with grants of up to $500 for small projects to promote creativity and use art as a means of bringing people together.

Volunteers boost day of service in Triangle

An estimated 2,200 volunteers supported 38 community-service events in Durham, Johnston, Orange and Wake counties on January 19 during 10th annual Triangle-wide Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service sponsored by United Way of the Greater Triangle.

Davis new executive director at WakeMed Foundation

Brad Davis, senior vice president of development at YMCA of the Triangle, has joined the WakeMed Foundation as executive director.

Byrd joins Church World Service

Christine Byrd, director of development and communication at Greensboro Urban Ministry, has been named director of foundation relations for Church World Service.

Feit leaving NCCJ

Susan Feit is stepping down after eight  years as executive director of NCCJ, the National Conference for Community and Justice of the Piedmont Triad, no later than June 30, 2015.

She says she will spend more time with her family and consider new professional opportunities to advance social justice issues.

Music director gets three more years at Winston-Salem Symphony

Winston-Salem Symphony has negotiated a new contract with Robert Moody, who now is in his 10th season as its music director and now will remain for three more years.

Moody also has served as artistic director of Arizona Musicfest since 2007, and as music director of the Portland Symphony Orchestra in Maine since 2008.

Pfitzer joins Carolinas Center for Medical Excellence

Chris Pfitzer, vice president of marketing and communications at United Way of the Greater Triangle, has joined the Carolinas Center for Medical Excellence.

Kenchen tapped for leadership program

Tara Kenchen, president and CEO of the North Carolina Community Development Initiative and its investment arm, Initiative Capital, has been selected by the Opportunity Finance Network and the Citi Foundation as one of 48 community development financial institution professionals from throughout the U.S. who will participate in the second annual Citi Leadership Program for Opportunity Finance.

High Point United Way offering tax assistance

The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program will is offering free tax preparation by IRS-certified volunteers to individuals in the High Point area with 2014 household incomes of $53,000 or less.

The program encourages eligible taxpayers to take advantage of  tax credits such as the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit, and works to help eligible taxpayers claim those credits.

The local VITA program is a partnership managed by the City of High Point and supported by West End Ministries, Guilford Technical Community College, Macedonia Family Resource Center, High Point University, and United Way of Greater High Point.

John Rex Endowment gives $2 million

The John Rex Endowment in Raleigh has awarded five grants totaling over $2 million to support work to increase the engagement of organizations and people in effective prevention of childhood injury in Wake County.

Grant recipients and the totals they received include Haven House Services, $51,651; UNC Healthy Solutions, $668,268; UNC Highway Safety Research Center, $764,215; UNC Injury Prevention Research Center, $115,810; and YMCA of the Triangle, $498,596.

SECU House names officers, members

The SECU Family House in Winston-Salem elected Melinda McConnell as chair of its board of directors and Sharon “Shari” Covitz, as vice-chair, and elected Bruce Brown, Lory Kelley and Benjamin Anyanwu to three-year terms.

Harvard Business Club of Charlotte to give $55,000

The Harvard Business of Club of Charlotte will give $55,000 to charities, its biggest donation in a single year and bringing to $427,000 the total it has donated over the past 12 years.

The Club makes the donations using surplus tuition from its Management Development Program, a “mini-MBA” course taught by taught by volunteers who are Harvard Business School alumni.

John Crosland School ranked among top in U.S.

The John Crosland School in Charlotte was ranked 12th in a listing by the Master’s in Special Education Guide of top 50 learning-disabilities schools in the U.S.

The school, which serves students with learning differences in kindergarten through 12th grade, was the highest-ranking learning-disabilities school in Charlotte and the third-highest day school overall. 

Health underwriters meeting to focus on long-term care

Long-term care will be the focus of the February 3 meeting of the Triad Association of Health Care Underwriters. Dan Conrad, brokerage manager with Capitol Financial Solutions, will speak at the session, which will be held at Starmount Forest Country Club and begin at 11:45 a.m.

Recycling furniture for households in need

By Todd Cohen

RALEIGH, N.C. — In 2010, when her two daughters were nearing college age, Jackie Craig began staging homes to be sold by her friend Beth Smoot, a broker associate at Fonville Morrisey.

Craig found many people selling homes were reluctant to part with furniture and other household items and, if they were willing to let go, often did not what to do with those belongings.

As a long-time volunteer for JobStart, a partnership of the Presbyterian Church and state Division of Prisons that supports women getting out of prison, Craig also understood a big challenge those women faced was finding furnishings to start a new home.

The solution was The Green Chair Project, an effort she and Smoot founded to collect donated furniture and distribute it to people recovering from crisis.

Operating with an annual budget of nearly $500,000, three full-time and three part-time employees, and over 1,000 volunteers, the Raleigh nonprofit has provided 25,000 items of furniture or household goods for 1,000 households, or nearly 3,000 individuals, roughly 80 percent of them women and children.

“We’re giving people a meaningful way to put their old items to good use here in our community and keeping them out of the landfill,” says Craig, who serves as executive director.

The effort initially stored donated furniture in a closet and then a classroom at Edenton Street United Methodist Church, where co-founders Craig and Smoot are members, and later occupied 1,100-square feet of borrowed space at Building Together Ministries and then 3,000 square feet of rented space in the former Carolina Custom Golf building on Capital Boulevard.

It now is based in the 27,000-square-foot building on Capital Boulevard that it leases from its former occupant, Alfred Williams & Co.

Each week, through appointments coordinated by 55 partner agencies focusing on issues ranging from homelessness, domestic violence and incarceration to mental health and disaster relief, individuals from four to eight households visit The Green Chair Project.

The agencies pay a $25 referral fee, and households contribute $50 to $250, depending on how much furniture and other items the household needs and can afford. Each household gets one visit only to furnish their home.

In return, an individual or family gets “points” to spend, with the point system representing “a fair way to ration the furniture and provide the dignity of choice,” Craig says.

After a brief orientation in a “family room” that features a large dollhouse showcasing the types of furniture and other items available for each room of a house, clients tour the showroom. In sections of the showroom, each devoted to a different room of a house, visitors can select from pre-arranged sets of furniture and from packets containing items they might need for that room.

Donors can drop off furniture and other items at The Green Chair Project, which also has partnerships with four moving companies that will pick up donated furniture for a discounted fee, and with one company that will deliver it for free, if needed, to households that participate.

Volunteers ranging from high school students to senior citizens sort and wash donated items, which are stored in rooms allocated, respectively, to each section of the showroom.

As its charity project in 2014, the Remodelers Council of the Home Builders Association of Raleigh-Wake County transformed what had been the break room at The Green Chair Project into a washing station for cleaning donated dishes and household items, and also created a new break room for volunteers and staff.

Through a partnership with the Wake County Public School System and two bedding stores, The Green Chair Project has provided mattresses for about 100 children who have no beds, and aims to provide 200 mattresses in 2015.

And when tornadoes swept through Raleigh in April 2011, the Salvation Army of Wake County turned to The Green Chair Project to serve as a hub for distributing furniture and household items to hundreds of families left homeless by the storm.

The nonprofit generates income through contributions and grants from individuals, foundations and the city of Raleigh, and an annual gala, as well as four retail sales a year for the public that account for up to one-third of its annual budget.

While The Green Chair Project has grown significantly in just five years, Craig says, its plan now is to focus on strengthening its programs with partners “to better serve Wake County and put more families in beds and homes.”

Nonprofit news roundup, 01.16.15

Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation names executive director

Justin Maxson, president of the Mountain Association for Community Economic Development in Berea, Ky., since 2002, has been named executive director of the Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation in Winston-Salem.

Maxson, who starts work on March 16, previously served as executive director of the Progressive Technology Project, a group that formerly was based in Washington, D.C., and now is in Austin, Tex.

Sandra Mikush, who has served as interim executive director at the Babcock Foundation, will return to her job as deputy director.

She was named to the interim job after David Jackson, who had served as executive director for just a year-and-a-half,  resigned in April 2014 for personal reasons.

Jackson, who previously was president and CEO of the Center for Working Families in Atlanta, joined the Foundation in November 2012.

He succeeded Gayle Williams, who retired after leading the foundation for 19 years.

Menestres retiring from SAFEchild

Marjorie Menestres, founding executive director at SAFEchild, a child abuse prevention agency in Raleigh that was founded in 1993, will retire on June 30.

Launched by the Junior League of Raleigh,  SAFEchild became an independent nonprofit three years later.

It operates with an annual budget of $1.2 million, a staff of 14 people, and over 250 volunteers.

The agency operates the SAFEchild Advocacy Center, which provides coordinated response to allegations of child abuse and is the only center in Raleigh serving children who have been severely abused physically or sexually, or both.

Other programs include Welcome Baby for new mothers; the MOVE Program for mothers who have been abused; the Nurturing Program to teach parenting skills; and Funny Tummy Feelings to empower and protect area first-graders.

Salvation Army fights human-trafficking

Project FIGHT, a program of the Salvation Army of Wake County that works with victims of human trafficking, has received the Survivor Care Award from the North Carolina Human Trafficking Commission.

Project Fight, which has assisted over 140 victims of human trafficking and has trained over 4,500 people across the state since 2011, also has received the a federal grant from the Office of Victims Crime that will allow it to expand, with locations in New Bern and Salisbury.

The grant provides funds for housing of victims.

Creative economy grows in Wake County

Creative jobs and revenue grew in Wake County in 2013, the most recent year for which data are available, according to Wake’s Creative Vitality study, a report fro the Western States Federation.

Creative jobs totaled 25,242, up 3 percent from 2012, including 5,628 post-secondary teachers; 2,595 photographers; 1,416 graphic designers; 1,203 public-relations specialists; and 1,202 musicians and singers.

Creative-industry revenue totaled $5.4 billion, up 5 percent, including $3.2 billion for software publishers, $293.7 million for internet publishing and broadcasting;$168.3 million for book publishers; $124.3 million for independent artists and writers; and $116.3 million for newspaper publishers.

Revenues for cultural nonprofits totaled $79.3 million, up 9 percent, plus $45.8 million in contributions and gifts, although grant revenue fell 12 percent.

With 1.0 serving as the national baseline or average, Wake’s Creative Vitality score for 2013 was 1.10, or 10 percent above the national average, and up from 1.03 in 2010.

In comparison, the scores were 1.26 for Durham County; 0.95 for Raleigh-Cary; 0.91 for Asheville; 0.75 for Charlotte-Gastonia-Rock Hill; and 0.66 for Winston-Salem.

Nationally, Wake County posted a better score than competitors such as Provo, Utah, with 0.89; Oklahoma City, with 0.77; and Indianapolis, with 0.95.

But it trailed competitors such as Austin, with 1.31; Boston, with 1.67; Seattle, with 1.38; and San Jose, with 1.24.

“Wake County is rebounding from the recession but will need to continue growing in these areas to catch up to some of our competitor cities,” says Eleanor Oakley, president and CEO of United Arts Council of Raleigh and Wake County.

Triangle Community Foundation investing in innovation

Triangle Community Foundation is seeking applications for its 2015 What Matters Innovation Awards, an annual grant program that will award $25,000 to the winning collaborative proposal to solve a community problem, address a need or strengthen the region.

Applications, which are due by February 6, must be submitted by a collaboration of at least two organizations based in Chatham, Durham, Orange or Wake counties.

The Innovation Awards are held in conjunction with the What Matters Community Luncheon, which the Foundation will host on April 1 at the Raleigh Convention Center.

This year’s luncheon, with “Adapting to Change” as its theme, will focus on the region’s changing demographics, and how businesses, nonprofits and leaders adapt to that change.

The keynote speaker will be Dan Heath, co-author of Switch.

Hobson new VP of advancement at Alexander Youth Network

Trish Hobson, senior financial development director at YMCA of Greater Charlotte, has been named vice president of advancement at Alexander Youth Network in Charlotte.

Casp joins Environmental Defense Fund

Molly Coyle Casp, development associate at the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions at Duke University, has joined the Environmental Defense Fund as board liaison.

Flavin named executive director at LIFEspan’s Guilford Creative Campus

Timothy P. Flavin, executive director of Physicians Home Visits in Winston-Salem, has been named executive director of LIFEspan Inc., Guilford Creative Campus, in Greensboro.

Baker joins board of Triangle United Way

Amy Baker, assurance partner and office managing partner at EY, has been elected to the board of directors of United Way of the Greater Triangle.

Vanguard Charitable grants climb to $5 billion

Vanguard Charitable says its has granted a total of $5 billion since it was founded in 1997.

The eighth-largest grantmaking organization in the U.S., Vanguard Charitable says it has made grants to over 142,000 charities, sustained an annual five-year rolling payout rate of nearly 20 percent, and made grants totaling over $2 billion in the past four years.

Vanguard Charitable manages assets for over 15,000 donors.

Davidson County Hospice hires marketing firm

Hospice of Davidson County has selected Lexington marketing firm The Media Matters as its agency of record. The firm will develop and implement a public relations, social media and advertising strategy for Hospice, which this year is marking its 30th anniversary.

Human Race to be held April 18

The Volunteer Center in Greensboro will hold the 2015 Human Race on April 18 at The Greensboro Coliseum.

Since 1994, The Volunteer Center has managed the event, helping to raise over $4.2 million for local nonprofits.

Greensboro realtors feed homeless

Roughly 50 members of the Realtors Community Service Committee of the Greensboro Regional Realtors Association served a traditional Thanksgiving meal on November 29 to about 300 people who are homeless.

Culinary Visions Catering provided the food through a donation from the Greensboro Regional Realtors Foundation. 

The realtors partnered with Under the Bridge, a ministry for feeding the homeless through 16 Cents Ministry, which works with volunteers to provide meals to roughly 300 homeless men, women and children every Saturday night at 6 p.m. under the Randleman Bridge spanning Spring Garden Street. 

Nonprofit news roundup, 01.09.15

Charlotte United Way hires United Way Worldwide exec as new chief

Sean Garrett, New York-based vice president of development for United Way Worldwide, has been named executive director of United Way of Central Carolinas in Charlotte, effective March 1.

Garrett, former director of major, planned and leadership giving at United Way of Metropolitan Chicago, succeeds Jane McIntyre, who is retiring.

McIntyre joined Charlotte’s United Way as executive director in 2009  in the wake of a controversy over compensation for its former CEO, Gloria Pace King, and led its turnaround.

Parker named CEO at Safe Alliance

Karen Parker, chief advancement officer at Safe Alliance in Charlotte, has been named president and CEO.

Crumpler tapped as development VP at Easter Seals UCP

Jennifer Crumpler, senior director of development at Raleigh-based Easter Seals UCP of North Carolina and Virginia, has been named vice president for development.

Peterson joins BEGINNINGS as executive director

Kathy Peterson, executive director of the Triangle/Eastern North Carolina chapter of JDRF, has been named executive director of BEGINNINGS for Parents of Children Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing, in Raleigh.

Ryan new chief financial officer at N.C. Community Foundation

David Ryan, founder and former owner and chief financial officer of Lonesource, an office supply and software company in Cary that was sold to Staples in August 2013, has been named chief financial officer at the North Carolina Community Foundation.

Ryan succeeds John Berngartt, who retired at the end of 2014.

Transitions LifeCare executives picked for national posts

John Thoma, CEO of Transitions LifeCare in Raleigh, has been elected treasurer of the board of directors of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, and in that role will chair the board’s finance committee and serve on the executive committee.

Cooper Linton, vice president of marketing and business development at Transitions LifeCare, has been appointed to serve on the national organization’s public policy committee, while Apollo Townsend, director of hospice home at Transitions LifeCare, has been appointed to serve on the national organization’s quality and standards committee.

Junior Achievement gets $35,000

Junior Achievement of Central North Carolina received at total of $35,000 from six Piedmont Triad companies in the fourth quarter of 2014, including $15,000 from VF Corporation; $5,000 from Ecolab; $5,000 from Volvo Group of Companies in Greensboro; $3,000 from Caterpillar; $2,000 from Colonial Pipeline Company; and $5,000 from Dow Corning Corporation.

Wake arts award winners named

United Arts Council of Raleigh and Wake County will release the results of its Creative Vitality Index Report on January 14 and present the 2015 Business Support of the Arts Awards it co-sponsors with the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce.

Winners of the awards include PNC Bank, large business winner; Century 21 Triangle Group, small business winner; Virginia Zehr, arts education winner; and H. Clymer Cease Jr., individual winner.

The event, to begin at 4 p.m., will be held at the North Carolina Museum of Art.

Winston-Salem Arts Council launching campaign

The Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County will kick off its annual fundraising campaign on January 22 at 5:30 p.m. at Hanesbrand Theatre at the Milton Rhodes Center.

Co-chairing the campaign are Anc Newman, senior vice president at AON Corporation, and Stuart Parks, managing principal at The Arden Group.

The Arts Council, which will celebrate its 65th birthday at the event, also is launching a new grant initiative.

Its new Community Enrichment Mini-Grant program will provide community groups with grants of up to $500 for small projects to promote creativity and use art as a means of bringing people together.

Foundation holding workshops on awards nominations

The Winston-Salem Foundation will hold optional workshops on February 10  from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. and on February 11 from 11 a.m. to noon to answer questions about nominations the Winston-Salem Foundation Award and the ECHO Award.

The Winston-Salem Foundation Award, which includes a $10,000 cash grant to a charity selected by the winner, recognizes personal dedication in support of the Foundation’s basic mission of improving the quality of life for all individuals in the community.

The ECHO award, which is from the ECHO Network and Winston-Salem Foundation and includes $1,000 for the winners to donate to charities of their choice, recognizes people and informal groups who are building “social capital,” or the connections among people, based on trust, that improve cooperation for mutual benefit.

The deadline for submitting nominations for either award is March 6. The recipients will be announced at the Foundation’s Community Luncheon on May 6.

To attend either workshop, to be held at the Burress Family Center for Philanthropy at The Winston-Salem Foundation’s offices at 751 West Fourth St., contact Kathy Pearre at kathy@echonetwork.org or 336.499.4402.

Award to recognize champion of cardiovascular health

Cone Health Medical Group Heart Care and the American Heart Association have created the LeBauer Visionary Award to recognize individuals making a significant contribution to improving the cardiovascular health of the community and region.

Finalists for the inaugural award, to be announced at the American Heart Association’s 2015 Greater Guilford Heart Ball on January 24, are Michael D. Cooper and Daniel R. Bensimhon, cardiologists at LeBauer HeartCare in Greensboro and Burlington, and Thomas D. Stuckey, cardiologist at LeBauer HeartCare in Greensboro.

The award is named in honor of Sidney LeBauer, the first AHA Heart Gala Community Chair, and Joseph LeBauer, a founding cardiologist of what is now Cone Health Medical Group HeartCare.

Make your own media mailing list

To help get the word out about your nonprofit, create a list of contacts in the news media, as well as bloggers and people at organizations — such as nonprofits or foundations involved with your issue — that might publish your news.

Putting that list together may take a little time, but it’s an investment worth making.

When you have news such as a new program, partnership, gift, executive or board member at your nonprofit, you will want to create a news release that tells the story.

You also will want to distribute that news to media outlets or other organizations that can reach the audience you are targeting.

But now, before you have news to report, create a list of names and contact information for people at those news outlets and organizations who should receive your news releases.

Assign an employee, volunteer or intern to put that list together. The task would involve visiting the websites of the news outlets and organizations you want to reach, looking 0n each website for the staff directory, and identifying the reporter, editor, news producer or communications officer whose title indicates the person would be the appropriate one to receive your news releases.

Create a spread sheet that includes the name of each organization, and the names, titles, email addresses and phone numbers of staff members who will get the releases.

If the name and contact information of the appropriate person is not readily available on the website, phone the organization and ask for the name and contact information of the person who should get news releases.

You also should create a mailing list that includes the email addresses of all the media contacts you have identified.

Then, when you have a news release, use your mailing list to distribute it, and use your spreadsheet to keep track of who gets it and whether they run it.

You also might follow up with phone calls to make sure each media outlet actually received the release, and then check the websites to see if the media outlets publish your news.

Finally, be sure to keep your media list up to date. News organizations and other groups can undergo a lot of staff turnover, so check periodically to make sure the names and contact information on your spread sheet and mailing list are current.

If you want to get the word out about your nonprofit, a media mailing list can make a big difference.

Want help?

Philanthropy North Carolina is a consulting practice that provides writing and strategic communications support for nonprofits, foundations, colleges and universities, and others working for social good.

To find out more about hiring Philanthropy North Carolina to work with your organization to improve your communications, contact Todd Cohen at 919.272.2051 or toddcohen49@gmail.com.

College students power nonprofit serving homeless

By Todd Cohen

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — Every weekday, individuals who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless visit the office of the Community Empowerment Fund on East Franklin Street in Chapel Hill, or one of the offices of its partner agencies and several downtown locations in Durham.

Those individuals, typically referred by homeless shelters, friends, mental health clinics, hospitals or workforce development agencies, are looking for assistance in finding employment and income, securing stable housing, building savings, and achieving their goals for self-sufficiency.

Since 2009, when it was founded by students at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the organization has served over 1,500 people, says Maggie West, a UNC graduate and the nonprofit’s program coordinator.

In 2014, 115 of its client “members” got jobs, and 70  found stable housing. And since 2010, its members collectively have saved $270,000 in their savings accounts.

In 2015, the Community Empowerment Fund will operate with an annual budget of $220,000, up from $170,000 in 2014. It employs three people full-time plus two AmeriCorps VISTA members, and three part-time staff.

But carrying out the bulk of its work are 250 student volunteers from Duke and UNC who work as advocates for Fund members.

Students provide orientation sessions for the 15 new members who visit the Fund’s Chapel Hill office each week. Then, after members fill out intake documents, they schedule a one-on-one appointment with a student advocate to set goals and strategies for meeting those goals in the areas of employment, income, housing and savings.

Two advocates then are assigned to each member to help the member achieve those goals and help them connect with health and social-service agencies, financial institutions and housing and workforce groups.

Members also are encouraged to enroll in a 12-week “Opportunity Class” that focuses on topics ranging from searching for jobs, managing money and budgeting, to building credit, saving money and obtaining and sustaining a home.

Over 200 members have graduated from the class by completing 10 two-hour courses.

The Community Empowerment Fund also offers a savings programs to members that provides matching funds equal to 10 percent of the dollars members have saved — up to $2,000 saved — when they meet their savings goals.

Through an arrangement with Durham-based Self-Help Credit Union, the Fund operates a mobile credit union that lets members open accounts in Chapel Hill and at its partner shelters.

Based on a pilot program with 10 members who already have moved from a shelter to a home, the Fund now plans to expand its savings program and let members who are renters create “individual development accounts” for emergency expenses to pay for rent, utilities, medical needs or transportation.

It also plans this year to increase the number of volunteer advocates, including recruiting students at North Carolina Central University in Durham, and to improve its process of matching volunteer advocates with members to meet rising demand for services. In 2013, the number of members tripled, to 400, and in 2014 grew by another 62.5 percent, to 650.

“The people we’re serving are poor financially,” says West, “but it doesn’t mean they’re poor in any other way.”

Nonprofit news roundup, 01.02.15

Sigmon named VP for university advancement at N.C. A&T

Ken Sigmon, former vice president of development at the Oklahoma State University Foundation, has been named vice chancellor for university advancement at North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro.

Before joining the Oklahoma State University Foundation three years ago, Sigmon served as associate vice chancellor for university development at at North Carolina State University in Raleigh.

Arts Council matching arts groups, residents

The Arts Council Engagement Society, an initiative of The Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County, will hold an open house on January 15 to showcase arts and cultural groups, and match local residents with opportunities to be part of the work of those groups.

The event will be held from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Milton Rhodes Center for the Arts at 251 N. Spruce St. in Winston-Salem.

“We know there are many people in the community who would like to be more involved in the arts and cultural community, and we know there are  groups who really need their time their experience, their expertise,” says Jim Sparrow, president and CEO of The Arts Council.”

For 2015, the Council has made a total of 76 grants totaling $1,845,000, including organizational support grants, arts-in-education grants, regional artist grants, and innovative project grants.

Fashion event to benefit UNCG students, Victory Junction

Clothing inspired by the Petty racing family and designed by students at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro will be the spotlight on January 17 at the inaugural Petty “Hot Pass to Fashion” Challenge and Red Carpet Event.

Proceeds from the event, a partnership between the Petty Family Foundation and UNCG, will provide scholarships for rising seniors in the Department of Consumer, Apparel and Retail Studies at UNCG, as well as  Victory Junction, a camp in Randleman for children with serious medical conditions that was formed by the Petty family in the wake of the death of NASCAR driver Adam Petty.

Clothing featured at the fashion event, to be held at Petty Enterprises in Level Cross starting at 7 p.m., can be viewed online, and visitors to the Petty Family Foundation website will be able to vote for their favorite.

SAFE Haven for Cats gets $15,000

SAFE Haven for Cats received a $5,000 grant from the John William Pope Foundation, marking the 10th straight year the foundation has supported the Raleigh nonprofit, and a $10,000 grant from The Buster Foundation that will recur each year for the next two years.

Greensboro realtors donate clothing

The Realtors Community Service Committee of the Greensboro Regional Realtors Association donated 180 bags of warm clothing to Greensboro Urban Ministry to be distributed to homeless men and women.

In September, the Committee hosted an “End of Summer Bash” at Flipflops Beach Bar & Grill in Greensboro and raised $3,500 through raffle ticket purchases to buy the shirts, socks, hats, scarves and gloves that were included in each of the bags.