Foundation Awards $20,000 to Marion-Dillion Special Needs Board for Job Readiness Training

MULLINS, S.C. -- The Marion County Healthcare Foundation Board recently approved $20,000 in funding to the Marion-Dillon Disabilities and Special Needs Board for their Job Readiness Training Program.   Project IMPRESS- Initiating Meaningful Progress Regarding Employment Situations will be implemented under the leadership of Reverend Marvin Hemmingway, Director of the Marion County Youth Day Special Needs JRT.  

“The mission of Job Readiness Training (JRT) is to improve the overall function of all consumer students and adults at home, in school and in the community” said Reverend Hemingway.

Through the program, students will receive instruction on how to properly and professionally work on jobs, write resumes, search for jobs based on their skills, as well as how to handle peer pressure and other issues on the job.  

“Job readiness is key to helping individuals prepare for, and be successful, in finding meaningful employment” said Pete Mazzaroni, Executive Director for the Marion County Healthcare Foundation.   “We are pleased to be able to partner with Reverand Hemingway on this important project” continued Mr. Mazzaroni.

Marion County Healthcare Foundation provides funding to nonprofit organizations throughout Marion County.  Mazzaroni said the foundation’s funding focus is education, economic development and healthcare.

For more information on submitting grant requests, please visit the Marion County Healthcare Foundation at http://www.marioncountyhfoundation.org.

About the Marion County Healthcare Foundation:  MCHF is a health legacy foundation whose mission is to improve the quality of life in Marion County through inspired philanthropy, grants and innovative community programs.

MCHF Award $200,000 for Disaster Recovery in Marion County

NEWS RELEASE

November 30, 2016

Marion County Healthcare Foundation Awards $200,000 to Support Disaster Recovery

(Marion County, SC) Marion County Healthcare Foundation (MCHF) is challenging the people of South Carolina and beyond to support Nichols and Marion County as they rebuild after the devastation of Hurricane Matthew.

Both the Town of Nichols and outlying areas of Marion County were hit hard by Hurricane Matthew.  The heavy rains caused the Lumber and Little Pee Dee Rivers to flood the entire Town of Nichols leaving over 90% of the 260 homes underwater and uninhabitable.  Six churches and all 22 local businesses were also flooded.  Mayor Lawson Battle explained that most of the town’s 400 residents are elderly or disabled, making it even more difficult to cope with the hardship of losing everything.

MCHF will be matching dollar for dollar up to $100,000 all contributions to support the Town of Nichols with disaster recovery. Contributions should be made out to:

Town of Nichols Disaster Recovery
In care of:  Anderson Brothers Bank
PO Box 310
Mullins, SC  29574

MCHF is also pledging a $100,000 match to all contributions supporting Marion County’s disaster recovery.  Those contributions should be made out to:

Marion County Recovery Aid Fund
In care of:  Anderson Brothers Bank
PO Box 310
Mullins, SC  29574

The criteria for fund distribution is being developed and that information will be shared with the public as soon as it is available.  Mary Dunbar, Executive Director of the Marion County Healthcare Foundation asks, “As you are contemplating your end-of-the-year contributions to charity, please keep in mind those so greatly affected by the destruction of Hurricane Matthew.  Consider contributing to the Disaster Recovery efforts in Nichols and Marion County.  MCHF will double your donation.  We at MCHF thank you on behalf of our friends and neighbors in Nichols and Marion County.”

Marion County Healthcare Foundation is a health legacy foundation whose mission is to improve the quality of life in Marion County through inspired philanthropy, grants and innovative community programs.    

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MCHF Awards $367,440 for Adult Education

Marion, S.C. -- The Marion County Healthcare Foundation announced it is awarding $367,440 to the Marion county School District for the Adult Education Program. The funding will allow the Adult education Program to be moved from its current position on Liberty
Street to the Academy of Careers and Technology.
“We are very pleased and appreciative of the generosity of the Marion County Healthcare Foundation,” said Dr. Dan Strickland, Superintendent of the Marion County School District. “This has been a project that has been talked about for many years and it is wonderful to see it come to fruition.”
“We believe just as the school district does that by moving Adult Education to the Workforce
Development Center at the Academy of Careers and Technology there will be a great synergy created.
Expanding the adult education program and offering workforce training opportunities to our adult students on the same campus will be helpful for the students, and just makes sense,” shared Mary
Dunbar, Executive Director for the Marion County Healthcare Foundation.
“The MCHF’s Board of Directors’ focus this year has been education, economic development and healthcare. Providing financial support for this project touches on two of our three areas of focus: education and economic development. Education and training of our adult learners will open up the world of employment for them. Further, it will hopefully encourage businesses to locate in Marion County as we provide educated and skilled labor. This is a win-win for Marion County and our adult students.”

MCHF Announces Scholarship Program

MULLINS, S.C. -- The Marion County Healthcare Foundation announced Thursday the start of new scholarship award for local high school graduates.
Executive Director Mary Dunbar said the foundation will provide eight scholarships to high school graduates residing in Marion County. The foundation will be funding two $2,000 scholarships for students attending Florence Darlington Technical College, two $2,000 scholarships for students attending Francis Marion University and four $1,000 scholarships to students enrolling in their second year of the LPN program at Marion County Academy of Careers and Technology.
“I applaud the Foundation’s board of directors for implementing these scholarships,” Dunbar said. “It is such a valuable investment in the youth of Marion County. We look forward to seeing Marion County students take advantage of these scholarship dollars and we plan to follow the success of these students into their careers.”
Eligibility requirements include a GPA of 2.5 or higher, and students must exhibit financial need (defined as household income under $60,000). The $2,000 scholarship awards are renewable each year for a total $8,000 over four years if the student maintains a cumulative grade point average of 2.5 throughout their college career, she said.
Interested students should contact the financial aid office of the respective institutions of higher education to apply for the Marion County Healthcare Foundation Scholarships.
Dunbar said the mission of the foundation is to improve the quality of life in Marion County through inspired philanthropy, grants and innovative community programs. MCHF has awarded over $3.5 million in funding since 2010

Legend of the Swamp Fox, funded by $3,500 from MHCF

MARION, S.C. -- The Marion Chamber of Commerce continues its Book Project this year which is to give all Marion County third grade students a copy of Francis Marion and the Legend of the Swamp Fox.
Chamber of Commerce Director Cindy B. Rogers said the organization is proud of the project as it expands student’s knowledge of the history of General Francis Marion.
“We had the pleasure of having the books delivered to the Chamber office by the author, Kate Salley Palmer and her husband Jim Palmer,” she said. “This year the Chamber received a mini-grant in the amount of $3500 from the Marion County Healthcare Foundation to assist with the purchase of over 450 books.”
Marion County Healthcare Foundation Director Mary Dunbar was on hand for last week’s presentation. Rogers said an insert will be placed in each book denoting the sponsors of this project.
The books will be distributed to Marion County third graders today.

Mullins Chamber names MCHF Business of the Year

MULLINS, S.C. – Members of the Mullins Greater Chamber of Commerce celebrated another year of activity with their annual meeting at the Academy for Careers and Technology.
Frank Jones passed the ceremonial gavel to Luke Gasque, while presentations were made by Mullins Mayor William “Bo” McMillan and Nichols Mayor Lawson Battle for City Employee of the Year.
Jones said having a good board of directors makes the job easy and appreciate the efforts of all involved. He also thanked his wife for the support since taking on the task two years ago. “My wife is that strength,” he said of public service.
Neal Fairbanks was given the Community Service Award for his efforts over years serving with Marion County Progress, Marion County Library System, teaching Sunday School and local school board.
“I certainly don’t seek recognition,” Fairbanks said. “I thank you and just try to make Mullins a little better in my own way. There are some good people in this community … if we all try to do a little each day then we can achieve much.”
Guest speakers for the event were Conway Planning Director Adam Emrick and Hilary Howard, director of Conway Downtown Alive.
Business of the Year was awarded to the Marion County Healthcare Foundation. Industry of the Year was presented to Bill Jennings, operations executive at Sopakco Inc . “It was just amazing and we’re proud to be in Mullins,” he said.
MCHF Director Mary Dunbar said she was proud of the award. “We’re just honored to be a part of the community and to be able to help in the areas of healthcare, education and economic development to make Marion County a better place to be,” she said.
Gasque said he looks forward to a successful year. Upcoming events include the annual Legislative Breakfast on Feb. 29 at Mullins First Baptist Church.

House of Blessing receives $7,718 for new heating system

MULLINS, S.C. -- The Marion County Healthcare Foundation provided $7,718 in funding to the House of Blessing Transitional Homeless Shelter recently. Funds will be used to replace the failing heating and air conditioning system. The check was presented to Pastor Grayland Graham by MCHF’s Executive Director Mary Dunbar and Rev. Charles Johnson, who serves as chairman of the foundation’s grant evaluation committee.
Dunbar said the funding will also be used to replace flooring and drywall, providing a much needed face lift to the building’s interior.
“We are pleased to be able to support the shelter’s work of providing our community’s homeless a warm place to sleep, and nourishment of their bodies and souls as they work to turn their lives around,” she said.
Marion County Healthcare Foundation provides funding to nonprofit organizations throughout Marion County. Dunbar said the foundation’s funding focus in 2016 is education, economic development and healthcare.
The House of Blessings Shelter is located at 110 East Proctor St. in Mullins. The shelter can house up to 16 individuals. House of Blessings is a 501c3 nonprofit organization and would welcome additional contributions of men’s clothing, bedding, food or monetary donations, which can be dropped off at the shelter.
For more information about the shelter and how you can help, please call 910-234-1124.
To learn more about the MCHF or how to apply for grant funding call 843-464-0533.

Nichols Pavilion funded by MCHF

NICHOLS, S.C. – Town in officials in Nichols presented their Fourth Annual Christmas in the Park Sunday, treating the public to an evening of touring the Christmas light illuminated park, pictures with Santa, train rides and dazzling fireworks display. The highlight for the crowd was the unveiling of a new pavilion facility.
Mayor Lawson Battle said the new look park is all possible due to a grant from the Marion County Healthcare Foundation.
“I think it’s a great thing, especially this year,” Battle said. “I want to thank the Marion County Healthcare Foundation for helping provide this park, council for the hard work they did and our clerk Sandee Rogers, without her we couldn’t have and it’s one of the best things to happen to this town.”
Battle said the park is equipped with new bathrooms and makes for several options for community activities in the future. “We’re still not finished but we’ve come a long way,” he said. “We put everything together, everything was done by the town to help celebrate Christmas.”
Rogers called it a wonderful surprise for the town of Nichols. “It is a beautiful story,” she said. “Several years ago one of our residents, Mr. Butch Pace, came to us with a dream for a pavilion in our park. With the many things Nichols needed we did not see how we could make this happen but loved the idea. A year or so ago, it came to my attention that the Marion County Healthcare Foundation had the ability to grant funds for wellness type needs.”
Rogers took the initiative to apply for a grant requesting the facility in the park hoping it would meet the criteria needed by the Healthcare foundation. “Thankfully, it did and now a year in the making, we have a lovely facility for all to enjoy,” she said.
Alabama Theater performer Victoria Huggins was the entertainment entertainment for the night, singing Christmas songs for the more than 200 people gathered

FDTC opens Tech College in Mullins with $400,000 in funding from MCHF

FLORENCE, S.C. -- Florence-Darlington Technical College’s Mullins Technology Center will unveil a 3,000 square-foot renovation Aug. 5 at the college's Mullins campus at 109 South Main Street.  A ribbon cutting ceremony will feature FDTC President Dr. Ben Dillard and members of the Marion County Healthcare Foundation which contributed $400,000 to fund the renovations.
The new instructional areas will increase the size of the Mullins site to 11,000 square feet in the heart of downtown Mullins.
The new construction is a building next to the College’s site that formerly housed a substation for the Mullins Police Department.
Workers were able to construct a door to join the two buildings together.
The addition features new classrooms and added biology labs which will keep many students in Mullins instead of having to travel to the main campus in Florence. The renovation also has space for a Certified Nursing Assistants program.
The Mullins Technology Center allows students to take classes and labs leading to diplomas, certificates and associate degrees.
For more information about the Mullins Technology Center and its renovations, contact Site Director Marie Ferguson via email at marie.ferguson@fdtc.edu or by phone at (843) 676-8558.

MCHF provides $275,000 to Agriporium

MARION, S.C. -- Marion County Council members were presented a big check from the Marion County Healthcare Foundation Tuesday to help move forward with the planned Pee Dee Agriporium.
“Its important to us to support projects that ultimately help support healthy living and health in Marion County,” Executive Director Mary Dunbar said. “We felt that providing farmers an opportunity to provide their fresh produce to restaurants and the grocers in the area.” The food hub is a great way great way for farmers to be successful and allows them a place to sell, she said of the connection.
The MCHF awarded $275,000 to help fund the Pee Dee Agriporium Food Hub commercial kitchen facility. Marion County Economic Development Commission Director Norman said the grant will help provide for marketing and distribution services and trying to retain a portion of the multibillion dollars spent on food in the state. “I think we’ve achieved a tremendous amount in the last year in a half with five projects announced, four expansions, one new company that has located and now the food hub as part of the first phase of the Pee Dee Agriporium,” she said. “I think this is going to be a huge economic engine for Marion County and the region and will help to spur additional activity especially related to agribusiness.”
In an update to council, Norman said construction on the facility will begin soon and securing commitments from 50 farmers and 24 retailers for the purchase of produce is underway. “We have about 40 farmers who have committed and we know exactly what they’re growing and how many acres committed,” she said. Gathering information for the monthly items demand needed from restaurants is the next step. A director for the food hub remains a need and job announcement will be reposted, she said.

MCHF Awards $800,000 in Grant Funding

MARION, S.C. -- The Board of Directors of the Marion County Healthcare Foundation awarded six Community Impact Grants and three Mini Grants totaling $800,000 during their April board meeting. A $275,000 check helping to fund the Pee Dee Agriporium Food Hub commercial kitchen facility will be presented to county officials at the May 12 County Council meeting. MCHF will add to the project that includes funds from the Department of Commerce ($600,000), the Department of Agriculture ($261,000) and Marion County ($300,000), a press release said.

Executive Director Mary Dunbar said she was impressed with the due diligence shown by the grant review committee, chaired by Rev. Charles Johnson as part of her first grant cycle. “They met with many of the grantees one-on-one, performed site visits and took seriously their charge to fund the initiatives that provided the greatest community impact,” she said. “You can see from the diverse projects funded that MCHF believes in the importance of focusing on economic development issues - providing training and getting our people to work; supporting our seniors and children; and beautifying the cities and towns in Marion County. I’m proud of the work of the Foundation and excited to be here as the foundation continues to fund meaningful projects that enhance the well-being of the people in Marion County.”


Marion County Economic Development Commission Director Julie Norman said as many as 85 farmers are willing to supply the food hub and held pre-bid conference on the renovation of the building.
“We have posted for a food hub director,” she said. “We’re just talking about phase one at this point, which is the food hub. The economic impact this kind of thing is going to have on not only in Marion County but the entire Pee Dee region is fast turning. ”
Other projects awarded include:
- $42,834 to Pee Dee Regional Transportation Authority to support the current bus routes to transport residents of Marion County to their jobs in Myrtle Beach. This is a three year grant award with $13,106 being awarded in year one; $14,259 in year two; and $15,469 in year three.
- $54,789 to the Marion County Library System to replace the Marion Library’s air conditioning. The Library System spent thousands of dollars on repairs to their current air conditioning last summer, but the system is in need of replacement. “New air conditioning will allow us to keep the library open this summer and continue our summer programming. The improved climate control will also help protect our books and equipment. This is a huge gift to the library and to the community,” shared J. N. Fairbanks, Library Board Chair.
- $72,300 to Historic Marion Revitalization Association to create the Marion Marketplace in downtown Marion. Four years ago a fire destroyed three adjacent buildings in downtown Marion. The space has stood empty since that time. Al Blake, Executive Director of HMRA explained, “By creating an outdoor space, we will enhance downtown property values, preserve the historic essence of the Historic District and provide a safe place for the community to gather and relax.”
- $125,000 to the Marion County Council on Aging to renovate their facility at 307 West Dozier Street. With a limited operating budget and minimal cash reserves, the MCCOA requested funds to repair parking lot grading issues, replace the roof, make restrooms ADA compliant and to provide other structural and aesthetic improvements.
- $230,000 to Marion County Academy of Careers and Technology to create the Workforce Development Center. This center will serve as a hub for workforce training for local businesses, and current and future employees. The Center will house manufacturing training programs, adult education programs and a new dedicated space for customized training for existing and new industry.
In addition to the Community Impact Grants described, the MCHF Board of Directors also awarded three Mini Grants totaling $15,000.
- $5,000 to Pee Dee Regional Transportation Authority to support two additional bus routes to transport residents of Marion County to seasonal employment in the Myrtle Beach area.
- $5,000 to Children Outreach Program for Education (COPE) to provide school supplies and school uniforms for underserved children in Marion County.
- $5,000 to First Steps Partnership of Marion for the 1000 Books Before Kindergarten program.

Marion County Farmers Market to get new banners

Historic Marion Revitalization Association will use its grant reward of $4,125 to help pay for banners that will be displayed at the Marion County Farmers Market. In addition to the banners, the money will go towards newspaper advertising and a billboard advertising the farmers market.
The City of Marion's Historic Marion Revitalization Association, works with the City of Marion and the Marion Chamber of Commerce to ensure the master plan developed for the Historic downtown is carried out. The organization is committed to leading the revitalization of downtown Marion, making it a desirable place to live and work. The future of Marion depends on building a community that provides a higher quality of life for its citizens.
“We are very excited to receive this money that will help reestablish our farmers market,” said Chuck Wiegert, Historic Marion Revitalization Association. “We need to get the word out that the Marion County farmers market offers good organic food at good prices to help our citizens live a healthier life.”

Art Council of Marion County receives $1000 in grant money

 

The Arts Council of Marion County was awarded its grant request for $1,000 to upgrade its computer system, purchase new printers and create a new website.


The Arts Council of Marion County is a non-profit organization whose mission is to cultivate, promote and preserve arts in education and the community by developing innovative programs and events by forming meaningful partnerships with other cultural, educational and business entities in Marion County.


“Our county is enriched by our artists and we want to bring new vibrancy to our residents,” said Tom Griggs, executive director, The Arts Council of Marion County. “I want to thank the Marion County Health Foundation for this grant, which will help us with our longstanding need. This equipment will greatly aid us in performing our duties.”

Marion County Collaborative Action receive funds for their HELP Project

 

The HELP project grant funds will provide the research, design, compilation, promotion and distribution of a one-stop resource manual.  The funds awarded will be used in Phase I for a focus on locations, range and scope of services.


“We are proud to be helping our community in such a big way so soon. We haven’t been around that long and we are already making a big impact,” said Gene Tucker, executive director, Marion County Healthcare Foundation.

The Marion County Library receives money to enhance Summer Reading Program

 

The Marion County Library is a countywide system serving a population of 35,466 through the Marion headquarters library, branches in Mullins and Nichols, and a bookmobile. The Marion County Library is an essential community resource whose mission is to insure that all residents have access to the library resources that meet their educational, informational, cultural and recreational needs. The Marion County Library impacts positively the quality of life in the community through continually

  improved library services and outreach.

 

  “Summer reading programs put books in the hands of Marion County children which is so important to avoiding the ‘summer slide’ in children’s reading achievement,” said Gene Tucker, executive director, Marion County Healthcare Foundation. “We are happy to help provide access to books and library programs over the summer to help improve literacy and improved reading skills in Marion County.

Council On Aging gets much needed grant to repair senior van

 

The Marion County Council on Aging has been awarded its grant request of $4,000 to repair a van that transports senior citizens.


The Marion County Council on Aging is committed to improving the quality of life for older adults in Marion County by providing services that enrich, enhance, and promote independent living.  The Council on Aging provides funding for home and community-based services for Marion County residents age 60 and older, regardless of income. 


“Our goal is to coordinate and develop a comprehensive program of local resources and services to best meet the needs of our citizens,“ said Ernistine Wright, director, Marion County Council on Aging. “We recognize the need to be respectful and responsive to our older adults and this money will help us be accountable to all Marion County citizens.”

Marion County Healthcare Foundation awards Red Cross with disaster relief grant

 

  The American Red Cross has been awarded $5,000 to support Marion County families that have suffered from  disaster. The money will bring relief in the form of temporary housing, food and clothes for family members.


 The American Red Cross is a humanitarian organization, led by volunteers and guided by its Congressional Charter and the Fundamental Principles of the International Red Cross Movement, which provides relief to victims of disaster and helps people prevent, prepare for, and respond to emergencies.


 “The Red Cross works hard to support Marion County in time of need and this money means a great deal to area families that are suffering,” said Linda Boone Smith, executive director, Marion County Red Cross. “I can’t say thank you enough to the Marion County Health Foundation for supporting our needs by funding our grant request.”

Wildlife Action’s Internet Initiative

 

Marion County Healthcare Foundation Board of Directors also approved the Wildlife Action’s Internet initiative grant request for approximately $5,000 to install cable Internet connection, computers and audiovisual equipment in the Resource Education Center in their national headquarters at Fort Retch, S.C.


Wildlife Action is a private, non-profit grass roots organization that promotes public awareness about wildlife habitat, conservation, preservation and restoration of our natural resources.


“These funds will give the county a phenomenal full access meeting center for corporate retreats, business meetings, seminars and civic gatherings which highlights Marion County’s natural resources and history,” said Gault “Bunny” Beeson, founder and national president of Wildlife Action, Inc.

Habitat for Humanity Grant

 

Habitat for Humanity applied for $15,000 to purchase building materials for new construction of a house in Nichols, SC. The 1,250 square foot three bedroom two bath home will be the 33rd home built in Marion County by Habitat for Humanity.


Marion County Habitat for Humanity is a locally-run affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International, a non-profit Christian housing organization. It works in partnership with people in need to build or renovate affordable housing. The houses are sold to partnering families at no profit with no-interest cost.


“The Directors and I are pleased to be a participant in improving the living conditions and home ownership to one more Marion County citizen,” said Bruce Siegal, chairman of the Marion County Healthcare Foundation board of directors.

Foundation Joins in Celebration for Francis Marion Days

Activities include reenactments, Fireside Chats, 10K and 5K runs, children's fun run, Chilli Cook Off and Opera House Musical.  Other demonstrations and exhibits to enjoy are Colonial Surveying Techniques, Revolutionary War Wapons, Colonial Coffee Shop, Soap Making, Candle Making, Militia Drills, and Militia Arms demonstrations. The festivities wrap up with special 18th Century service at Marion Presbyterian Church on Sunday morning at 9:30 AM

Blue Cross Foundation makes grant to Helping Hands Free Medical Clinic

Blue Cross Blue Shield South Carolina Foundation has given a generous grant of $75,000 to Helping Hands Free Medical Clinic for 2012.  This grant will be used to add a Physicians Assistant in order to expand the hours that clinic can operate allowing the clinic to better serve the needs of the community.  It will also add diagnostic testing for radiology, labortory services, ultrasounds, etc.

Ribbon Cutting and Open House

Ribbon Cutting and Open House

The Marion Country Healthcare Foundation's Ribbon Cutting Ceremony and Open House was held Wednesday, December 7, 2011 at 10:00 AM

The Staff and Board welcomes the community as the foundation officially celebrates the opening of the foundation and pledges to support its commitment of caring for the community. Foundation Chair, Bruce Siegal, along with several board directors, Mary G. Eaddy, Janie McClellan Johnson, Dianne Herrington, Edwin P Rogers, Jr., Rev. Charles R. Johnson, Dr. Gangi Mathi, and Clem Ham join in on the official cutting of the ribbon.  Foundation Director Gene Tucker presided over the ceremony.  The event concluded with a tour of the new foundation office, slideshow presentation, unveiling of the new website and brunch reception for all those in attendance at the event. 

Toys for Tots

Toys for Tots

The Marion County Healthcare Foundation is an official drop off point for Toys for Tots.  Help bring Christmas joy to a girl or a boy this holiday season by dropping off a new, unwrapped toy to the Marion County Healthcare Foundation Office between December 7 and 16.

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