Jan. 13, 2014. The Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce has established a nonprofit foundation, Blowing Rock Chamber Foundation Inc. This foundation was conceived as part of the Chamber’s long range strategic vision from 2007. As such, the foundation was created under the IRS Code for nonprofits designating the primary purposes of the foundation to be for economic development and business education. The IRS approval of the entity was granted November 30, 2012.
Former President of the Blowing Rock Chamber Board of Directors and now President of the Foundation, Rita Davis commented, “When I was President of the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce Board in 2009, I had high hopes and dreams of taking our Chamber to the next level. The establishment of the Foundation is the realization of those hopes and dreams. We are now moving to the next level of full operation as a viable entity for Blowing Rock.”
During the past year, the foundation board has met, elected officers and charted a course of action for funding. The Foundation board is composed of Rita Davis, President, John Aldridge, Vice President, and Chelsea Garrett, Secretary/Treasurer. Board member selection will be completed in early 2014.
Chelsea Garrett, Secretary/Treasurer, explains the Foundation’s mission, “The overall thrust of the Foundation is not to promote business as an end to itself but rather to support and promote the growth of the community as a whole, which includes supporting businesses, individuals, and other non-profits by providing training and further education, and funds for community projects, entrepreneurial ideas, and cultural enrichment.”
The Chamber is pleased to announce that an anonymous donor has pledged a gift of $10,000 to start the funding process. The donation was issued with a challenge to the Chamber’s board of directors to match the gift over three years. We are excited that Chamber board members have made pledges to date to meet over 40 percent of the challenge.
The specific purposes as outlined by the IRS provide the means for this private funding source to grant funds to the Town of Blowing Rock for projects that could improve or enhance economic development for our business community. This will enable the Chamber to engage in public-private partnerships that can enhance the business environment by reducing the burden of government. Further, the Chamber Foundation is eligible to apply for federal and state grants that have been heretofore unavailable.
When asked about the importance of the Foundation, John Aldridge said, “We felt it important that the chamber create a vehicle for future funding of economic development and education initiatives that will benefit our businesses and our town. The Chamber Foundation will give our friends and supporters of Blowing Rock an opportunity to make tax deductible donations to help our town grow its tax base through economic development and to support initiatives that benefit our community. So far, our expectations have been exceeded in that we have already received an anonymous $10,000 challenge grant, and the challenge has already been 40% achieved. We believe that this confirms strong community support for economic development in Blowing Rock, and we expect the foundation to continue to grow over the years!“
For more information on the Blowing Rock Chamber Foundation, please contact Charles Hardin. If you wish to make a tax deductible contribution, please make checks out to the Blowing Rock Chamber Foundation Inc.