July 21, 2001 – The Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands embarked on a new year of outreach Friday invigorated by a long list of accomplishments in the one just past and challenged to do even more in the decade to come.
Donors, supporters, grant and scholarship recipients, board members and staff attending the foundation's annual luncheon meeting Friday at The Pointe at Villa Olga heard John P. de Jongh Jr., ending his three-year term as board president, outline some of those accomplishments:
– Publication of the first" Kids Count: Our Children Now! A Call to Action!" report on the status of children in the Virgin Islands.
– Creation of a new Citibank Learning Center — the territory's third such center — at the Boys and Girls Club in Frederiksted.
– Growth of foundation Angel donor contributions from an initial $30,000 two years ago to $100,000 today.
Another high-profile component of the foundation's ongoing outreach is its Fatherhood Initiative, including the annual Fathers Night Out series of small-group meetings by men throughout the territory. The second annual Fathers Night Out was in June.
Outgoing treasurer and incoming president Ricardo Charaf reported that CFVI assets have grown to more than $2 million. The foundation is an umbrella agency that administers permanent funds established with donations from individuals, businesses and other philanthropic entities to serve children and families in the territory. It was founded in 1990 with an initial $500,000 from Ambassador and Mrs. Henry L. Kimelman.
As de Jongh passed the gavel symbolizing the presidency to Charaf, it was with a challenge, not just to his successor, but to the foundation itself — to raise $10 million by 2010. The board has dubbed the initiative "Ten by 10."
De Jongh was honored at the luncheon for his accomplishments as president both in program development and in attracting new foundation funds — notably his Angel campaign efforts to raise money for operating costs. He received a proclamation from the CFVI board and a letter from Kimelman, an honorary director, expressing thanks for his "major" accomplishments.
In his annual report, de Jongh said the most important issues raised about children in the Kids Count survey were that four out of 10 children in the Virgin Islands live in dire poverty, nearly half of the children live in homes without two parents, and teen-age parenting rates and high school dropout rates in the territory are double the national average. Addressing these issues, he said, must be top priorities for CFVI and the community.
He said the foundation gave out more than $225,000 in grants, scholarships and services in the preceding year. In the same period, it received more than $350,000 to add to existing funds or set up new ones. The annual report noted that CFVI:
– Established the new Grishman Family Community Fund, Financial Trust Co. Fund, Lou Ellen Brown Fund, Caribbean Genealogy Library Fund and CFVI Sports Fund, and the Mahogany Membership, a "leave a legacy with CFVI" initiative.
– Received contributions from more than 200 Angels.
– Made more than 70 small grants totaling $28,000 to families and individuals through its Rapid Response Fund, established with a $30,000 gift from an anonymous donor two years ago to meet emergency needs that otherwise would fall through other administrative cracks; the donor has committed to giving another $30,000 to continue fund efforts.
– Awarded mini-grants totaling $30,000 to 46 community organizations.
– Will issue the Kids Count 2001 report in October.
– Sponsored, with funding from the Peter Gruber Foundation, a "Laws of Life" essay competition for Charlotte Amalie High School students. The nationwide program aims to motivate young people to think about their life values, the people who have influenced them for the better, and how they can demonstrate their values in their own lives.
– Supported FrameWorks, Pathfinder consulting, and insurance and financial services seminars through its new Technical Assistance Program aimed at helping non-profits in the Virgin Islands.
– Is developing a Community Services Directory for 2002 with Innovative Telephone.
– Received $13,397 for women's health, education and other programs as part of a national class-action lawsuit settlement. The money is the territory's portion of the proceeds from the suit against Nine West Group Inc. alleging that Nine West illegally engaged with its women's shoes retailers in price fixing between 1988 and 1999.
The report noted that the Frederiksted Citibank Learning Center is the third to be set up from the fund Citibank established in 1999. Others operate in the Paul M. Pearson Gardens and Tutu High Rise communities on St. Thomas. The Citibank fund also will support an entrepreneurial symposium in the fall.
At Friday's annual meeting, CFVI also awarded $15,000 in scholarships to 13 area college students, most of whom attended the luncheon.
Khalilah Gordon of St. Croix is the 2001 recipient of the Artrelle M. Wheatley Scholarship, a one-year, full-tuition grant to a student attending the University of the Virgin Islands Gordon is a junior at UVI studying speech and communications.
Linesha Davis of St. Thomas and Jelani Newton of St. Croix are the 2001 recipients of the foundation’s Theodore E. Sharp Scholarship, granted to students who demonstrate a dedication to community service. Davis, a Charlotte Amalie High School graduate, will attend Long Island University this fall. Newton graduated from St. Croix Country Day School and has enrolled at the University of Pennsylvania.
The foundation also awarded 10 Anna Walsh Scholarships, in amounts ranging from $500 to $1,400. The awards, given to students who demonstrate academic excellence and financial need, went to Marthious Clavier (UVI), Claudette Duggins (Norfolk State University), Rasheba Grant (UVI), Magen Jennings (Wesleyan University), Shanee King (UVI), Laurise Oliver (Adelphi University), Christina Quetel (University of Miami), Shani Smith (Johnson and Wales University), J’Ada Thomas (Pace University) and Kishma Victor (Interamerican University of Puerto Rico).
For more information about the Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands, see the CFVI web site, e-mail to [email protected] or call Karen Gutloff, director of programs and communication, or Dee Baecher-Brown, excutive director, at 774-6031.


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