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Women Investing in Shepherd announces 2022 grant awardees

ISSUED: 21 September 2022

SHEPHERDSTOWN, WV — WISH, a women’s giving circle sponsored by the Shepherd University Foundation, has awarded four grants totaling $127,500 to community nonprofits Berkeley Senior Services and the Shepherdstown Public Library, and Shepherd learning projects Department of Biology, and the Suzanne Shipley Wellness Center Campus Resource Scarcity Initiative. The event was sponsored by John Wolff, Wealthspire Advisors, LLC, and his wife, Lisa Wolff.

Nonprofit winner Berkeley Senior Services is a 20-year-old program that provides caregivers respite from their duties caring for loved ones with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. It also provides vital education on how to care for someone with dementia-based diseases. The WISH grant will provide funding to employ additional trained staff to accommodate more applicants from Berkeley, Jefferson, and Morgan counties.

“Berkeley Senior Services is incredibly grateful to receive this award from WISH that will enable caregivers for a loved one with an Alzheimer’s diagnosis time to concentrate on themselves,” said Executive Director Amy Orndoff, who noted that caring for someone with a dementia-related disease can be incredibly stressful and physically demanding. “The Caregiver Support Services program allows the caregiver a much-deserved break. We are honored to partner with WISH and are ecstatic to have an opportunity to provide additional hours of respite for our devoted caregivers.”

The Shepherdstown Public Library is the second nonprofit recipient. The new facility, which opened in July 2022, contains a media center that needs approximately $58,575 to complete the project. Once outfitted, the media center will provide current digital technology, including computers; a science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM) lab; an expanded children and adult program offering; and a community organization meeting space. The WISH grant will provide essential technology that will serve one-third of Jefferson County’s population, plus many patrons from surrounding areas in West Virginia and Maryland.

“The Shepherdstown Public Library is so thankful to be able to serve a community that understands the value of a library—a place with endless possibilities for people of all ages, cultures, and visions,” said Director of Library Development Lee Ann Warner. “With generous grant funding from WISH, we will provide the essential technology that will not only appeal to all generations but also beautifully supplement our magnificent new structure.”

Group photo of WISH grant recipients standing outside the nursing building on a sunny day. Pictured (l. to r.) are Bev Hughes, WISH advisory committee member; Katherine Donovan, Kathleen Mahaffie, and Sharon Carpenter, Berkeley Senior Services staff members; Lee Ann Warner Shepherdstown Public Library director of development; Terreance Kramer, Shepherdstown Public Library Board president; Hali Taylor, Shepherdstown Public Library director; Monica Lingenfelter, Shepherd University Foundation executive vice president; Jessica Seibert, Berkeley Senior Services staff member; Dr. Mary J.C. Hendrix, Shepherd president; Amy Orndoff, Berkeley Senior Services executive director; Bonnie Brannon, WISH grant committee chair; Jack Shaw, Shepherd associate vice president for campus services; Dr. Sara Reynolds, assistant professor of biology; Dr. Jennifer Flora, Suzanne Shipley Wellness director; Carolyn Fleenor, WISH advisory committee member; Lisa Wolff and John Wolff, event sponsors; Liz Oates, WISH advisory committee member; and Meg Patterson, Shepherd University Foundation director of donor relations.

Assistant biology professor Sara Reynolds is heading up the first of two 2022 Shepherd learning project grants, the modernization and updating of scientific laboratories initiative. The laboratories at Shepherd are where future biomedical researchers and healthcare providers learn about the techniques and technologies that make modern healthcare possible and pave the way for new inventions. The WISH funding will allow for the purchase of new reagents (substances and mixtures used for chemical analysis), cooler storage, and equipment to carry out experiments.

“The College of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics at Shepherd is committed to training the next generation of doctors, scientists, and health professionals of West Virginia,” said Reynolds, who said the scientific laboratory storage is utilized for science and nursing classes. “Through the WISH funding, critical equipment and reagents can be replaced and updated to ensure that these majors receive a modern education in the techniques and practices that will best prepare them for their future careers.”

Run by Suzanne Shipley Wellness Center Director Dr. Jennifer Flora, the Campus Resource Scarcity Project seeks to address basic needs disparity among Shepherd students. Through the second Shepherd learning project WISH grant, the Campus Resource Scarcity Project will be able to fund stipends for graduate assistants to manage the Ram Pantry and Ram Closet. These stipends will allow for consistency in overseeing volunteers, client services, and supplies management.

“We are extremely grateful to all the wonderful women at WISH for supporting the Campus Resource Scarcity Project,” Flora said. “This generous award will help fund oversight for our Ram Pantry and Ram Closet and keep our shelves stocked with free food, hygiene products, school supplies, and clothes for our Shepherd University students.”

More than 100 WISH members and honored guests were on hand to celebrate the grant awardees, including WISH member Dr. Mary J.C. Hendrix, Shepherd president.

“As a member of WISH and also as president of Shepherd University, I am always eager to review the final ballot to see which projects will be the next to do great things on campus and in our community,” Hendrix said. “The programs were each unique and inspiring—addressing important issues and needs and providing creative and effective solutions.”

WISH, a women’s giving circle sponsored by the Shepherd University Foundation, was created to inspire, educate, and develop the amazing potential of women’s philanthropy through high-impact grant-making. Members combine their $500 annual contribution, divided into two grant pools- one for Shepherd learning programs and one for community nonprofits.  A one-woman, one-vote process determines the grant recipients in each category.

Membership in WISH for 2022 is being accepted until December 31. To learn more about the organization or becoming a member, visit the WISH webpage or contact Meg Patterson by email or at 304-876-5021.

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