Five Rapp nonprofits tapped for increased PATH funding

RappU, Rapp at Home, Kid Pan Alley, Foothills Forum and the Headwaters Foundation are among 20 regional organizations benefiting from a generous round of PATH Foundation grants totalling three-quarters of a million dollars.

“This year we increased funding for our project and planning grants by $250,000, which allowed us to fund more nonprofits serving the communities of Fauquier, Rappahannock and northern Culpeper Counties,” says Christy Connolly, president and CEO of PATH.

“Each one of these recipients has demonstrated a solid plan or program that aligns with our mission to strengthen the health and vitality of our community. The board and staff appreciate this opportunity to help with their efforts.”

The projects selected and announced this past week relate to one or more of the foundation’s four priority areas: access to care, childhood wellness, mental health, and senior services. The selected grantees have one year to use the funding provided to them.

A total of $746,881 will be awarded to the organizations, including $40,000 to RappU; $35,000 to Rapp at Home; $20,000 to Kid Pan Alley; $10,000 to Foothills Forum; and $10,000 to the Headwaters Foundation.

Reacts Doug Schiffman, founder of the Sperryville-based RappU: “Two years ago, the PATH Foundation agreed to help RappU get started by covering the cost of training our local nurses to be Nurse Aide instructors. Last year, a PATH grant allowed us to expand our roster of healthcare training classes by paying for phlebotomy and EKG equipment and supplies.

“And now, through their continued generosity, PATH will supplement our operating funds so that we can continue to keep our course tuition as low as possible while paying our instructors a decent wage to teach the workforce training courses. It is extremely gratifying to have the PATH Foundation believe in our mission and support our operations to serve our community.”

RappU will use the generous grant for its Healthcare Training Leadership and Management Program, and forwarding their workforce development initiative in Rappahannock County.

Larry “Bud” Meyer, board chairman of the Foothills Forum, a Rappahannock-based independent news nonprofit, is equally pleased: “PATH’s support helped Foothills Forum develop the award-winning reporting on the status of rural health care and transportation last year. We’re grateful for PATH’s continued support for research and reporting on key community issues.”

The grant to Foothills will be used to support research and reporting on education, employment, volunteerism and workforce development in Rappahannock County.

The renowned Rappahannock-based children’s songwriting nonprofit Kid Pan Alley will use its funding to support a community building project, creating original songs written by youth to bridge the gap between the young and the aging.

“We’re grateful to the Path Foundation for their generous support for our ‘Stories Between Us’ songwriting residency programs in local schools,” says Kid Pan Alley founder and musician Paul Reisler.

“We’ll be bringing in members of the community, some well-known with larger than life experiences and some everyday citizens, to tell their story to the children. Those personal narratives will then become the inspiration for the songs the kids write with us,” he explains.

“There is a story behind all art — a story that informs the emotional truth of the work. Yet, we live in a time when the power of story is getting decimated in the 140 character limit of some of some social networks,” Reisler points out. “We’ve found that these conversations and their transformation into song help foster the communication and relationship between the generations and they help us look up instead of down at our tiny screens.”

The $35,000 gift to Rapp at Home, which supports the needs of seniors in Rappahannock County, will help support the Senior Village Initiative. This program links neighbors together to maintain their independence through staying active, and having access to necessary services in Rappahannock.

“The PATH Foundation has been a crucial partner in Rapp at Home’s mission of creating a thriving ‘senior village’ here,” says board chairman Sharon Pierce, who speaking on behalf of everybody involved “is deeply grateful to PATH for the generous grant, as well as for its past support.

“Rappahannock’s seniors contribute enormously to the community, and helping them stay socially engaged and independent strengthens us all,” Pierce says.

Headwaters, meanwhile, says its funding from PATH will continue support of its After-School Enrichment Program offered to students in Rappahannock County.

“The grant from PATH Foundation will support . . . allowing Headwaters to provide afternoon programming to students in grades 2-7, including supervised homework time, free outside or gymnasium playtime, and interesting and fun enrichment activities,” says Headwaters executive director Kevin Brandriff.

Other awarded PATH grants include:

Afro-American Historical Association of Fauquier County: $65,765 to collect and catalogue local historical data within the African-American community.

Aging Together: $62,000 to facilitate strategic planning in assessing issues facing seniors and caregivers in our region.

Fauquier CADRE: $20,000 to continue and expand the Lock Your Meds program.

Fauquier Community Child Care: $14,500 for the Let’s Keep Movin’ healthy eating and active living initiatives project.

Fauquier Education Farm: $22,540 for the 2019 Workshop Series and expansion of its new farm incubator program.

Fauquier FISH: $88,650.19 for the Weekend Power Pack program, providing backpacks of meals to children at risk of hunger during weekends, school holidays and snow days.

Fauquier Free Clinic: $81,000 to continue the expansion of oral health resources within its dental clinic.

Fauquier Habitat for Humanity: $75,571.88 for the Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative that advances social cohesion, sense of community and collective action within the Haiti Street neighborhood.

Greater Piedmont Trauma Informed Community Network: $30,000 for a new program to provide psychoeducational classes to at-risk children and their families at Sycamore Park Elementary School in Culpeper.

Northern Virginia Therapeutic Riding Program: $9,700 for a 12-week equine-assisted, hands-on learning program in collaboration with the Boys and Girls Club of Fauquier.

Piedmont Dispute Resolution Center: $43,500 to support conflict resolution through mediation and restorative justice education and services.

Piedmont Symphony Orchestra: $18,000 for its youth community outreach programs, Music Mentors Program and the Young Artists Competition.

Rappahannock Goodwill Industries: $20,404 for The Groundwork Project. The program encourages leadership development, builds teamwork, and establishes careers for young people through hands-on learning and experiential education.

The Clifton Institute: $17,750 to expand its outdoor experiential education program for local elementary and secondary school students.

Verdun Adventure Bound: $62,500 for the Youth Resiliency Program, through a partnership with Fauquier Community Child Care.

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John McCaslin is the editor of the Rappahannock News. Email him at