Avenel Receives Grant from Greater Lynchburg Community Foundation
In response to a September 2019 grant application from The Avenel Foundation for help with its “Chimney Restoration Project,” the Greater Lynchburg Community Foundation (GLCF) has sent $7,000 from The Sackett-Graves Fund. Directors on Avenel’s board greatly appreciate this vote of confidence from GLCF, a benevolent friend to Avenel on many occasions in the past.
In addition to historic preservation, GLCF embraces the arts, health care, child care and educational programs, environmental concerns, food programs to feed the hungry, health care for those in need as well as scholarships to area students for vocational and college pursuits. With the growth of GLCF’s endowment, numerous programs in Central Virginia may benefit from additional assistance.
Grant awards from GLCF along with donations from other foundations and generous individuals and businesses in the community continue to aid the board in executing the first half of Avenel’s mission statement: “The purpose of The Avenel Foundation is to rescue, restore, preserve, and protect Historic Avenel, a Bedford legacy.”
Preservation brings about expanded use of the property, thus addressing the second half of the mission statement, “and to make this unique landmark available for educational, social, business and other appropriate community uses.” To that end over the course of 2019, the house served Centra Bedford Memorial Hospital for a number of business socials last spring; the Bedford Presbyterian Church for a large gathering of 175-year celebrants taking tea on a Sunday afternoon in March; the Blue Ridge Garden Club for its birthday brunch in April as it marked its ninetieth anniversary; the American Association of University Women, Bedford Branch, for its May luncheon for scholarship winners, their parents, and the organization’s members. Of course, Avenel’s well-attended “Derby Day” again stood out as the high spot of the year's fund-raising events.
August saw the use of Avenel, donated by Avenel, to honor with a dinner culinary students from the Bedford Science &Techology Center. In exchange for this gratis use of the house, the center pledged to put on a "Heart Healthy" luncheon at Avenel. Stay tuned for the announcement of this event. On the twenty-fourth of the month, at least 100 supporters of breast cancer patients and survivors attended the first-ever “BBQ to Beat Breast Cancer.” From the proceeds of this event, Avenel was able to donate $1,000 to the “Just for Me" mammography program” at Centra Bedford Memorial Hospital.
Last year weddings in September and October marked the calendar, and one lovely wedding took place OUTSIDE five days before Christmas. Brides continue to use almost every inch of the house and grounds in most ingenious ways.
Plans for this year include two fund-raising affairs: the December holiday party (skipped in ‘19 in deference to the Bedford Council of Garden Clubs’ Tour of Homes) and “Derby Day.” Plans also are underway to repeat the "Breast Cancer BBQ" or offer a similar event for a different health issue and to put on an afternoon tea in the late spring or early summer.
We welcome your ideas, hope you approve of our work, thank our volunteers who have helped with many of these happenings, thank you for your donations, and remind those of you who would like to give to “The Chimney Restoration Project” that you can mail your donations to The Avenel Foundation, P.O. Box 686, Bedford, VA 24523.
Grants & Proceeds
The Avenel Foundation gratefully acknowledges a grant of $7,500.00 from the Sackett-Graves Fund, administered by the Greater Lynchburg Community Foundation, for Avenel's "Loggia Wall Restoration." Greater Lynchburg Community Foundation, formerly the Greater Lynchburg Community Trust, provides financial backing to non-profit organizations in Central Virginia. Last year a $6,000.00 grant from this same benevolent organization covered almost all of the carpentry on Avenel's back balcony. The work entailed replacing part of the floor as well as the bottoms of the heavy Doric columns.
Preserving historic Avenel with attention to safety, while making it available for rentals and community events, preoccupies the work of the board of directors. The 2018 appeal and holiday letters have brought in about $15,000.00 so far. Thus, with this grant from the Sackett-Graves Fund, Avenel is pleased to have raised in the last six months about half of the funds needed to restore the bulging, cracked wall. Additional funding is needed to pay for the interior framing, not included in the grant application.
All who love and work for Avenel appreciate and thank the citizens of Bedford, Bedford County, and beyond along with the Greater Lynchburg Community Foundation. Knowing that your money comes back to our community, please consider giving to this foundation at 1100 Commerce Street, Lynchburg, VA 24504. You can also give directly to The Avenel Foundation, PO Box 686, Bedford, Va 24523.