STEUBENVILLE - Today is a bittersweet day for Terri Antill, as the Community Foundation merges with the Wheeling-based Community Foundation for the Ohio Valley.
"The decision was made that our foundation could no longer operate because we didn't have adequate funding to maintain our operations. We started our merger discussions in January and reached an agreement to make the merger effective on June 30," explained Antill.
"We had merger talks with the Community Foundation for the Ohio Valley because they were a natural fit for us. Their foundation already represents nonprofit organizations in Belmont, Guernsey and Monroe counties in Ohio as well as Brooke, Ohio, Marshall, Wetzel and Tyler counties in West Virginia," noted Antill.
She said she has been asked to join the board of directors of the Community Foundation for the Ohio Valley.
"It is a bittersweet time for me. I was appointed executive director of our foundation in 2004 and have served here ever since. But I am looking forward to the new challenges and keeping the nonprofit members of our foundation fully represented in the new foundation," Antill said.
"I will remain active with the new foundation through July to wrap our end of the merger. We have 26 funds in our foundation and we have been working to make this a very smooth transition," remarked Antill.
"I will also continue to help coordinate the annual pink flamingo campaign. That is a project that is very near to my heart and I want to see it continue," stated Antill.
"It is the hope of board members that this merger will help to continue efforts to create the kind of community in Jefferson County that provides the right mix of education, economic development and recreation where the community will not only survive but also thrive," said Susie Nelson, executive director of the Community Foundation for the Ohio Valley.
According to Antill, the Community Foundation of Jefferson County was formed in 1986.
"A group of Jefferson County citizens saw the community foundation concept as a permanent, but flexible funding source for the benefit of our hometowns. The volunteered their time and resources to begin what was then named the Fort Steuben Foundation. The name was changed in 1998 and the Foundation was revived. Like other foundations, we serve two important constituencies. We help donors meet their charitable objectives and nonprofit organizations provide the services and programs so essential to our communities," said Antill.
"The Community Foundation of Jefferson County has conducted focus groups with community leaders and problem solvers to identify unmet needs and opportunities. We have worked to give a face to philanthropy in Jefferson County and to inspire more people including young people and families to think about their role as philanthropists and community problem solvers," Antill continued.
"We have served as a catalyst and convener, partnering with the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce, Franciscan University of Steubenville and the Ohio State Extension Office to name a few," she added.
Nelson said the merger is a win-win for both organizations "because we have very similar missions and we will work well together."
"The Community Foundation for the Ohio Valley was founded in 1972 and is one of nearly 700 community foundations throughout the United States. We have assets of more than $22 million. We maintain a staff of two people and we assist organizations working in the areas of arts, basic human needs, community development, education and health," cited Nelson.
"This will be a stronger partnership and I look forward to representing Jefferson County," added Nelson.