By Nathan Ham
The High Country Charitable Foundation enters its fourth year of helping neighbors and animals in need in Avery County, through fundraising, donations and even some fun charitable auction items.
At this year’s Dinner Dance Fundraiser at Elk River Country Club, some of the auction items included a New York trip package that included four tickets to see Paul Simon in concert at Madison Square Garden, four tickets to see “Beautiful, the Carole King Musical” on Broadway and a stay in the 5-star London NYC Hotel, a diamond necklace, deep sea fishing trips, rare bottles of wine and a special food truck event for 40 guests prepared by Chef Will Hughes at Robbins Sunset Park in Banner Elk.
The High Country Charitable Foundation is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization created by a group of local residents in Avery County who are driven to help give back to the community to those in need.
Some of the organizations impacted by the High Country Charitable Foundation include the Children’s Home Alliance, Avery County Humane Society, Habitat for Humanity, Avery High School Key Club, Volunteer Avery County and Yellow Mountain Enterprises.
On Friday, September 28, the High Country Charitable Foundation presented 28 checks to numerous organizations throughout Avery County totaling $380,000 with approximately 60 people in attendance to support the works of the foundation.
“This is a day of celebration, this is a day of excitement, this is a day to say the needy animals and children of Avery County are going to be better off after 28 not-for-profits leave this room today and run to the bank as fast as they can,” said Jim Swinkola, a big supporter of what the High Country Charitable Foundation is able to do in the community.
The support and outreach continues to grow for the foundation. After funding six projects in the first year, the High Country Charitable Foundation grew its support to 20 projects in the second year, 24 in the third year and now 28 this year.
Most of the funding requests from organizations range from $5000 to $30,000 and the High Country Charitable Foundation does everything possible to try and help as many organizations as possible each year. The organization may fund programs, projects and even emergency needs within different organizations and each organization is required to report how the funds were used before applying for more.
In addition to supporting programs that help struggling families and children, helping animals is also a major branch of support from the High Country Charitable Foundation. The animal rehabilitation program at Lees-McRae College, the Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation and Spirit Ride, a therapeutic horse riding program, are just some of the examples of groups that have been able to use these funds to benefit animal health and rehab.
The core values of HCCF, community involvement, excellence and value, “will make sure that, long after we are gone there is still money going towards these organizations,” said founder Jim Ward.
Jim Ward, chairman and founder of High Country Charitable Foundation,
is pictured to the left on each photo. Others from left to right: