Community Foundation Announces Planning Workshop for Nonprofits

The Outer Banks Community Foundation is offering a strategic planning workshop for local nonprofits on Friday, October 16 from 8:30 am until 4:00 pm at the UNC Coastal Studies Institute in Wanchese. Click here to register online.

Led by trainer and advisor Jeanne Allen, the workshop will focus on strategic planning for charitable nonprofits of all shapes and sizes. The course will cover all of the key components of an organizational strategic plan, the essential practices of the planning process, and the practical tools a nonprofit can use to evaluate itself.

The class will compare and contrast such tools as the SWOT Analysis, Sustainability Matrix, and Strategy Canvas. Participants will also review samples of actual strategic plans from real nonprofits in order to gain a better vision of the end result.

“A good strategic plan can transform a nonprofit organization,” said Lorelei Costa, executive director of the Outer Banks Community Foundation. “With a good strategic plan, you can engage your board members, synchronize your programs, prioritize spending, and set realistically ambitious goals that will inspire your donors and volunteers.”

Costa continued: “We always get lots of requests for help with strategic planning. As part of our mission to support local nonprofits, the Community Foundation is thrilled to offer this six-hour training to local charities at a hugely reduced price.”

Registration for the workshop is just $15 per person for any board or staff member representing an Outer Banks charitable nonprofit. The fee includes a full lunch and morning coffee.

Jeanne Allen is a BoardSource Certified Governance Trainer with 30 years of experience in the nonprofit sector. She is a trainer, speaker, consultant, and advisor to nonprofits on such topics as board development, strategic planning, and social media strategy. She has worked for a variety of local and national nonprofits, including the Girl Scouts USA, Susan G. Komen of NC, and Clean Energy Durham.

As an Instructor with the Duke University Nonprofit Management program, Allen teaches classes on succession planning, board governance, volunteers, and, of course, strategic planning. Allen is a Newswire Contributor for Nonprofit Quarterly, and she is on the Editorial Board for the Nonprofit Technology Network magazine CHANGE. Hailing from the Triangle Region of North Carolina, Allen is an active leader with the nonprofit tech group NCTech 4 Good.

Space is limited for the workshop, and advance registration is required by Monday, October 12. Download the flyer here, or register at


Flat Top Painting Sold at Arts Council Gallery in Manteo

SOLD!!! A recent donation of a large oil painting by Helen Crouse will help preserve one of the last remaining Flat Top cottages of Southern Shores.

Debbie Weiland of Richmond, Virginia, donated a Crouse original to the Outer Banks Community Foundation to benefit the Flat Top Preservation Fund, a perpetual endowment that helps fund the maintenance, protection, and preservation of the 1953 Frank Stick Flat Top cottage at 13 Skyline Road in Southern Shores.

Flat Top cottages once dominated the Southern Shores landscape. Known for their distinctive cinder block walls, flat roofs, jewel-toned soffits, and vertical shutters, Southern Shores Flat Tops were designed by Frank Stick, the visionary developer, painter, avid outdoorsman, and architect. Today, only approximately thirty Flat Tops remain, most built from indigenous Outer Banks materials.

Crouse was a Flat Top lover, having spent many summers in Southern Shores in a Flat Top cottage built by her grandfather from blocks he cast by hand on site. As an adult she made a study of this vernacular architecture, painting a series of over 50 oils on the subject, including the donated work. In her paintings, she hoped to “capture this time before telephones, televisions, or air conditioning… when vacation meant being alone with nature and perhaps a book or a sketch pad.”

Debbie Weiland was another lover of this Southern Shores style. She spent 9 idyllic years on the Outer Banks with her husband, Joe, walking the beach, sunning among the dunes, watching sunsets, and tending fish ponds and gardens. They purchased the 24 x 36 inch “Structural Organic” in 2011.

“Structural Organic” depicts a sun-draped corner of the Knight Cottage at 113 Ocean Boulevard, examining the play of light on the architectural angles of the cottage’s quintessential soffits, juxtaposed against the natural shapes of a cactus and the cumulus clouds overhead.

After her husband’s passing, Ms. Weiland generously donated “Structural Organic” to the Outer Banks Community Foundation. In partnership with the Dare County Arts Council, the Community Foundation sold the work to benefit the Flat Top Preservation Fund. All proceeds will be placed in this endowment to maintain and preserve the cottage, which is the only Flat Top in permanent protection. The cottage was bequeathed to the Community Foundation in 2007 by an anonymous donor and is now used as the Community Foundation’s office.

Anyone wanting to contribute to the Flat Top Preservation Fund can do so via our website. Select “Other Fund” and choose the Flat Top Fund from the list that appears.

Now Accepting Grant Applications Through July 31

The Outer Banks Community Foundation is currently accepting online applications for its Community Enrichment Grants Program. The application deadline is Friday, July 31.

The Community Foundation supports charitable projects that directly benefit all or a portion of its service area, which includes Dare County and all Outer Banks communities, from Corolla to Ocracoke.

Last year the Community Foundation awarded almost $225,000 in grants through its Community Enrichment program, plus another $195,000 through its donor-advised and designated funds. Already this year the Community Foundation has supported a range of nonprofits across the Outer Banks, including the Lost Colony, Beach Food Pantry, Interfaith Community Outreach, Special Olympics, NEST, Mano al Hermano, the Outer Banks Children’s Museum, and the Ocracoke Community Park.

The Community Foundation supports charitable projects of all types, including arts and culture, animal welfare, children and youth, disaster relief and prevention, education, the environment, health, historic preservation, and other human services.

Priority is given to projects that: involve or benefit a broad segment of the community; provide an innovative approach to addressing area needs; attract additional funding from other sources; promote collaboration and efficiencies amongst multiple organizations; and/or fill gaps and address urgent community needs, among other considerations.

Any 501(c)3 organization is eligible to apply, as are other tax-exempt organizations for charitable projects that meet a public need. Applications are reviewed on a quarterly basis; the last two deadlines of 2015 are July 31 and October 30.

For more information about the Community Foundation’s grants program, or to apply for a grant, please visit Before applying, all applicants are urged to call Community Foundation staff at 252-261-8839 to discuss their projects.

Community Foundation Awards $109,000 in Grants

The Outer Banks Community Foundation awarded more than $109,000 in grants last week to 19 separate charities. Nonprofits from Dare County, Ocracoke, and Currituck County will benefit, on programs ranging from ball fields to libraries, sea turtles to arts groups, college-bound students to adults with disabilities.

The largest grant awarded was to the Beach Food Pantry of Kitty Hawk: $50,000 over two years toward the purchase of a new pantry and office space. In 2014 the Pantry helped feed 4,100 people, which represents about 15% of Dare County’s population. With the Community Foundation grant for the building’s down payment, the Pantry will be saving $300 each month in mortgage payments, allowing them to feed an additional 20 Dare County residents each and every month.

The Network of Endangered Sea Turtles received a $3,975 grant for a new ATV, which will allow this all-volunteer group to identify turtle nests on the beaches between Virginia and Nags Head, mark and protect the nests, assure that hatchlings reach the ocean, and educate beachgoers about those amazing and ancient creatures.

Mano al Hermano received a $2,264 grant for translation equipment, and the Carolina College Advising Corps received a $10,295 grant to help support a full-time advisor for Dare County’s three public high schools. Targeting low-income, first generation, and other underrepresented students, the goal of the program is to increase the college-going rate of Dare County seniors, help students find the best post-secondary institution for them, and increase the outside scholarship dollars received by Dare County students.

For Ocracoke, the Community Foundation awarded $25,000 for the Ocracoke Community Park — the third installment of its three-year commitment for the island’s first-ever baseball field. The park officially opened this past spring.

The Community Foundation also awarded its second annual David Aycock Loy and Pauline Wright Grants, which specifically target adults and children in Dare and Currituck Counties with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The Special Olympics received a $5,000 grant to provide training and competition opportunities for over 60 athletes from Dare and Currituck Counties, subsidizing uniforms, facilities, and travel costs to the state competitions. The Lighthouse Club of Monarch received $2,400 for a community kitchen, and the Beach Club of Monarch received $3,800 for an art instruction room.

The Dare County Library also received a grant through the Aviation Education Fund to purchase additional copies of David McCullough’s Wright Brothers biography.

In addition, the Community Foundation also awarded grants from several donor-advised funds, which are funds managed on behalf of donors and families who recommend the grants that are awarded. The Francis W. and Virginia H. Meekins Family Fund awarded a grant to the Beach Food Pantry for needed food/resources, and the Kelly Family Fund awarded grants to the Outer Banks Relief Foundation, Pocosin Arts, Father’s Heart Ministries, Meredith College, and the Children and Youth Partnership of Dare County.

The Preston Family Fund awarded grants to Food for Thought in honor of Evelyn B. Preston, the Shriners Hospital for Children in memory of Norman G. Preston, GEM Adult Day Services in memory of Mabel S. Preston, the Community Care Clinic of Dare in memory of Elizabeth K. Preston, and Interfaith Community Outreach in memory of Rev. Norman G. Preston, Jr. for the Dare Cancer Support Group.

The Community Foundation is currently accepting applications for its Community Enrichment Grants program. The next application deadline is Friday, July 31. Eligible projects must directly benefit all or a portion of the Community Foundation’s service area, which includes all of Dare County, and all Outer Banks communities, from Corolla to Ocracoke Island. Community Enrichment Grants support all charitable categories, including arts and culture, animal welfare, children/youth, disaster relief and prevention, education, the environment, health, historic interpretation and preservation, and other human services.

For more information, and to submit an application online, visit


The Outer Banks Community Foundation is a public charity that connects people who care with causes that matter. The Community Foundation manages $13.5 million in 135 charitable funds for individuals and agencies, awards charitable grants to local nonprofits, administers 45 scholarship funds, and provides tailored services to help donors pursue their charitable interests. Since its inception in 1982, the Community Foundation has awarded more than $6.8 million in grants and scholarships to local nonprofits and students.

Community Foundation Awards $147,000 in Scholarships

Sixty-nine talented and hard-working local students are getting help this year in fulfilling a dream — the dream of a college education.

The Outer Banks Community Foundation announced 89 scholarship awards this spring totaling $147,000 to students of all backgrounds and interests, from ballerinas to basketball players, English majors to engineering majors, aspiring chemists to aspiring criminologists.

Forty-one graduating high school seniors from First Flight, Manteo, Cape Hatteras, Ocracoke, and Currituck are receiving Community Foundation scholarships, totaling $82,000 in academic awards. Twelve of those students received multi-year scholarships, representing an additional $67,500 in future, committed scholarship awards.

In addition, 28 college students — all originally from the Outer Banks — received renewed scholarships from the Community Foundation, totaling another $65,000 in awards this year.

Among the scholarship winners this year is Zach Warren, who received the R. Stewart Couch Hatteras Island Scholarship, the Community Foundation’s largest one-year award, totaling $8,900 this year. This need-based scholarship combines an endowment bequest left by the late Stewart Couch, along with donations raised by the Outer Banks Association of Realtors in memory of Mr. Couch after his passing in 2012.

“Many scholarships look for traditional achievement in one area or another, but the Stewart Couch Scholarship is a little bit different,” said Jackie Ricks-Sample, the executrix of Mr. Couch’s estate. “For this scholarship, we were looking more for a ‘diamond in the rough,’ the young person who has outstanding potential, but just needs a little help to achieve his or her educational dreams.”

“I can’t imagine a more deserving first recipient than Zach Warren,” she said. “Zach has excelled in balancing classroom demands with extra-curricular activities that included soccer, tennis, and trombone at Cape Hatteras. He did this while working to help support his family, yet still finding time to volunteer at Three 1 Six Ministries in Frisco. He meets and exceeds every criteria for the Stewart Couch Scholarship.”

Zach plans to study English and secondary education at UNC Charlotte in the fall, with the hopes of one day becoming an English teacher. Zach was also the recipient of the Community Foundation’s Scott Day Family Scholarship, a new award for Hatteras students who plan to study education. The scholarship was established by the family of the late Scott Day, in memory of the teacher and coach who supported countless students in his career, before passing away from cancer in 2014. The scholarship’s goal is to continue Mr. Day’s legacy of inspiring and helping young people.

Another remarkable scholarship recipient this year was Charity Durand, who received the Jerry and Arlene Davis Scholarship, a four-year, $20,000 need-based award. Mr. and Mrs. Davis established this extraordinary scholarship in 2007 to help hard-working students achieve educational dreams that might not otherwise be possible.

“Charity was the outstanding choice for the Davis Scholarship,” said Teresa Osborne, Chair of the Community Foundation’s Scholarship Committee. “She has worked hard at jobs, volunteers at her church, is a section leader in the school orchestra, and has earned wonderful grades. But most of all, Charity inspired us deeply with her maturity and her ability to overcome obstacles and use them as a motivating force for good.”

Charity plans to study nursing at UNC Wilmington in the fall.

Another talented scholarship recipient this year was Matthew Thibodeau, who received the Milton A. Jewell Scholarship, the Community Foundation’s most prestigious merit-based award. Established by bequest by the late Ruth Medgyes of Southern Shores, the Milton A. Jewell Scholarship is granted each year to a new graduating senior with exceptional academic achievement and outstanding leadership qualities. Due to investment earnings, the Milton Jewell award increased this year from $5,000 per year to $6,000 per year, for a total, four-year scholarship of $24,000.

Matthew is the valedictorian of his First Flight High School graduating class, President of the Student Government Association, Field Commander of the marching band, and Captain of the award-winning Remotely Operated Vehicle Club. Matthew plans to attend Rice University in the fall and is interested in studying materials science.

The Community Foundation manages 45 scholarship programs on behalf of families, churches, civic groups, nonprofits, and businesses across the Outer Banks. Anyone can establish a scholarship endowment with the Community Fund, or contribute to one of our existing scholarship funds. Since the organization’s inception in 1983, the Community Foundation has awarded more than $1.6 million in scholarships to over 1,300 Outer Banks students. For more information, call 252-261-8839 or visit


Outer Banks Community Foundation 2015 Scholarships

Catherine Carrington Clawson Scholarship
Waverly Reibel: $1,500 (Manteo Class of 2015)

Charles H. & Dorothy S. Luedemann Art Scholarship
Savannah Brown: $1,200 renewable (Cape Hatteras Class of 2014)
Gage Clawson: $1,200 renewable (Manteo Class of 2014)
Natasha Fink: $1,200 renewable (First Flight Class of 2015)
Matthew Harrington: $1,200 renewable (First Flight Class of 2015)
Amelia Kasten: $1,200 renewable (First Flight Class of 2013)
Morgan Leatherwood: $1,200 renewable (First Flight Class of 2013)
Nickolas Nelson: $1,200 renewable (First Flight Class of 2013)
Anastasia Ratti: $1,200 renewable (First Flight Class of 2015)
Andrew Sanchez: $1,200 renewable (First Flight Class of 2013)
Jose Valle: $1,200 renewable (First Flight Class of 2014)
Summer Warrington: $1,200 renewable (First Flight Class of 2014)

Courtney M. Burgess Memorial Scholarship
Rachel Dutton: $1,000 (last year of four-year award) (Manteo Class of 2012)
Lia Raves: $1,000 renewable (Manteo Class of 2015)
Sara Seto: $1,000 (last year of four-year award) (First Flight Class of 2012)

Curtis Creech Memorial Scholarship
Abby Haywood: $1,500 (Manteo Class of 2015)

Dare County Association of Fire Officers Scholarship in Memory of Doug Remaley
Stephen Brake: $1,000 (First Flight Class of 2015)
Brandon Farrow: $1,000 (Cape Hatteras Class of 2015)
Colby Sawyer: $1,000 (Manteo Class of 2013)

Dare County Outer Banks Jaycees Scholarship
Cheyanne Wescott: $600 renewable (Manteo Class of 2013)

Dare Math & Science Scholarship
Victoria Moore: $1,200 renewable (Manteo Class of 2015)

Dorothy Scott Townsend Fletcher Memorial Scholarship
Krista Cartwright: $1,000 (Cape Hatteras Class of 2015)
Sarah Jennings: $1,000 (First Flight Class of 2015)
Kristen Mugford: $1,000 (Cape Hatteras Class of 2015)

Duck Woods Ladies Tennis Association Scholarship
Ryan Scarborough: $1,000 (Cape Hatteras Class of 2015)

Elmer & Betty Jo Sawyer Scholarship
Charity Durand: $1,000 (First Flight Class of 2015)
Kate Tawes: $625 (Cape Hatteras Class of 2015)
Katherine Williams: $625 (Cape Hatteras Class of 2015)

First Flight Society Scholarship
Will Fallon: $675 (Currituck Class of 2015)

Founders Scholarship (Duck Woods Ladies Golf Association)
Will Fallon: $2,000 (Currituck Class of 2015)

Frank M. Cahoon Memorial Scholarship
Julia Tawes: $1,500 (Manteo Class of 2015)

George W. Neighbors Memorial Scholarship
Taylor Bancroft: $1,200 renewable (First Flight Class of 2014)

Glenn Eure Arts Education Scholarship
India Murray: $1,000 (Manteo Class of 2015)

Greg & Eden Honeycutt Scholarship
Lucy O’Neal: $3,000 (Ocracoke Class of 2015)
Kate Tawes: $2,000 (Cape Hatteras Class of 2015)

Inez Daniels Austin Scholarship
Myra Caldwell: $2,400 (Cape Hatteras Class of 2015)

Jerry & Arlene Davis Scholarship
Madeline Bailey: $5,000 renewable (First Flight Class of 2014)
Charity Durand: $5,000 renewable (First Flight Class of 2015)
Charles Shotton: $5,000 renewable (First Flight Class of 2013)
Hunter Wright: $5,000 (last year of four-year award) (Manteo Class of 2012)

John T. Daniels Scholarship
Suzanne Mullins: $1,000 renewable (Currituck Class of 2014)

Kellogg Cuthrell Manteo Rotary Scholarship
Jay Cueva: $1,200 (First Flight Class of 2015)
Kaitlyn Midgett: $600 (Manteo Class of 2015)

Kiwanis Leo Sheetz Memorial Scholarship
Austin Banks: $1,000 (First Flight Class of 2015)
Rachel Zuhars: $1,000 (First Flight Class of 2015)

Lacy J. McNeill First Flight Rotary Scholarship
Emily Lyster: $1,800 (First Flight Class of 2015)

Linda Porter’s Shear Genius Scholarship
Krista Cartwright: $1,000 (Cape Hatteras Class of 2015)

Lucian Griffin Scholarship
Connor Jarvis: $1,100 (Currituck Class of 2015)

Mabel O. Cooper Scholarship
Mitchell Foster: $1,500 (last year of four-year award) (First Flight Class of 2012)
Lia Raves: $1,500 renewable (Manteo Class of 2015)
Paige Twyne: $1,500 renewable (Manteo Class of 2014)
Cheyanne Wescott: $1,500 renewable (Manteo Class of 2013)

Milton A. Jewell Academic Scholarship
Taylor Cecil: $6,000 renewable (Manteo Class of 2014)
Richard Murphy: $6,000 (last year of four-year award) (Manteo Class of 2012)
Zachary Owen: $6,000 renewable (First Flight Class of 2013)
Matthew Thibodeau: $6,000 renewable (First Flight Class of 2015)
Molly Weybright: $1,100 renewable (First Flight Class of 2014)

North Banks Rotary Scholarship
Austin Banks: $1,000 (First Flight Class of 2015)
Jay Cueva: $1,000 (First Flight Class of 2015)
Blair Flatt: $1,000 (First Flight Class of 2015)
Rachel Parsons: $1,000 (First Flight Class of 2015)
Lia Raves: $1,000 (Manteo Class of 2015)

Ocracoke Island Realty and Village Realty Scholarship
Madeline Bailey: $1,000 renewable (First Flight Class of 2014)
Maclean Frazier: $1,000 renewable (First Flight Class of 2015)
Amanda Gaskins: $1,000 renewable (Ocracoke Class of 2014)
Madeline Nance: $1,000 renewable (Manteo Class of 2015)
Caitlyn Silvio: $1,000 renewable (Currituck Class of 2015)
Courtney Silvio: $1,000 renewable (Currituck Class of 2015)
Daniel Garza Salazar: $1,000 renewable (Beaufort County Community College Student)
Jose Valle: $1,000 renewable (First Flight Class of 2014)
Samantha Styron: $1,000 renewable (Ocracoke Class of 2015)

Outer Banks Association of Realtors Scholarship
Jay Cueva: $1,000 (First Flight Class of 2015)
Charity Durand: $1,000 (First Flight Class of 2015)
Abby Haywood: $1,000 (Manteo Class of 2015)
Violet Krawchuk: $1,000 (Cape Hatteras Class of 2015)
Isaiah Lewis: $1,000 (First Flight Class of 2015)
Lia Raves: $1,000 (Manteo Class of 2015)
Kate Tawes: $1,000 (Cape Hatteras Class of 2015)
Anderson Weeks: $1,000 (First Flight Class of 2015)

Peggy O’Brien Scholarship
Leighanne Davis: $1,200 (last year of four-year award) (Currituck Class of 2012)

R. Stewart Couch Cape Hatteras Island Scholarship
Zach Warren: $8,900 (Cape Hatteras Class of 2015)

Ralph and Ida Lee Saunders Scholarship
Will Fallon: $500 (Currituck Class of 2015)

Robert E. Rollason, Jr. Memorial Scholarship
Mary Alice Blackstock: $1,200 (First Flight Class of 2015)

Sawyer Scholarship
Aaron Zeigler: $5,000 renewable (First Flight Class of 2013)

Scott Day Family Scholarship
Zach Warren: $1,000 (Cape Hatteras Class of 2015)

Sgt. Earl Murray Memorial Scholarship
William Geraghty: $350 (First Flight Class of 2015)

Tom O’Brien Scholarship
Tucker Jarvis: $1,100 (last year of four-year award) (Currituck Class of 2012)

Wallace H. McCown Scholarship
Charity Durand: $1,150 (First Flight Class of 2015)
Abby Haywood: $1,150 (Manteo Class of 2015)

Note: Ocracoke winners will be announced on June 15 at the Ocracoke School graduation.


Check out our Facebook page for more photographs of our scholarship recipients!

Community Foundation Releases Annual Report

The Outer Banks Community Foundation has released its 2014 Annual Report, showcasing 12 new endowment funds and over $560,000 in grants and scholarships. The report also spotlights the Giving for Good Giving Circle, Legacy donor Dorothy Luedemann, and grants to Mano al Hermano, Ocracoke Alive, and Coastal Voices. The Community Foundation gratefully thanks and acknowledges all of our generous 2014 donors, who are listed in the report, including local design firm Three Dog Ink, which generously donated half the designs costs of the beautiful report.

Download the report here: 2014 Annual Report.

Community Foundation Names New Emeritus Directors

The Board of Directors of the Outer Banks Community Foundation has named two new individuals into the honored ranks of Emeritus Director. Sharon Elliott (left) served as a volunteer on the Community Foundation’s board from 2009 to 2015, including two years as the organization’s Treasurer and two years as President. Avery Harrison (right) served on the board from 2011 to 2015, including two years as Secretary and three years as the organization’s Scholarship Chair. The Board of Community Foundation is profoundly grateful for the dedication, wisdom, and expertise these extraordinary women lent to the organization.

OBCF Celebrates Record-Breaking Year at Annual Meeting

The Outer Banks Community Foundation held its Annual Meeting on March 19 to celebrate another record-breaking year of philanthropy. Board President Bob Muller led the meeting, which was attended by about 160 people.

Executive Director Lorelei Costa announced that the Community Foundation’s endowment had reached $13 million, up from $10 million two years ago, thanks to an extraordinarily generous community. She likened the Community Foundation’s endowment to a community garden, in which donors plant seeds, tended by the Community Foundation, yielding fruit each year for the Outer Banks to harvest.

From this metaphorical garden, she said, the Community Foundation “harvested” over $560,000 in grants and scholarships in 2014, even as its permanent endowment continued to grow for future grant-making.

Avery Harrison presented the Community Foundation’s scholarship highlights. She said that the organization had awarded over $140,000 in scholarships in 2014 to 89 local students. Ms. Harrison showed a video from Aaron Zeigler, a 2013 graduate of First Flight High School, who is the current recipient of the prestigious, four-year Sawyer Scholarship. Mr. Zeigler attends UNC Charlotte and will be interning with the Community Foundation this summer.

Dorothy Hester presented 2014 grant highlights. She said the Community Foundation awarded nearly $420,000 last year in grants to local nonprofits. Ms. Hester showed the winning videos from the Community Foundation’s nonprofit video contest. Room in the Inn, GEM Adult Day Services, and Interfaith Community Outreach won the first place, second place, and third place prizes, respectively. (Click the links to watch each organization’s winning video.)

The Community Foundation named two Champion Award winners at the meeting. The first honoree was Pat Herman, a senior attorney with Vandeventer Black, who practices in both Norfolk and Kitty Hawk. Ms. Costa credited Mr. Herman with donating countless hours of legal counsel to the Community Foundation on everything from policies to endowment agreements to estate planning.

Ms. Hester honored the second Champion: the late Sterling Webster III, who served on the Community Foundation board from 2000 to 2002 and was instrumental in starting the Disaster Relief Fund, which has helped hundreds of families across Dare County recover after devastating storms. Jane Webster, Sterling Webster IV, and several employees from the Hilton Garden in Kitty Hawk and the Ramada Plaza on Nags Head Beach accepted the award. The late Mr. Webster was also one of the first to join the Community Foundation’s Legacy Society, declaring his intention to leave a planned gift to help the Outer Banks for generations.

Ms. Costa announced the establishment of 12 new charitable funds in 2014, including the Webster Family Fund. Other funds started in 2014 were the Preston Family Fund, the Christopher Ellison Fund for the Arts, the Scott Day Family Scholarship Fund, the R. Stewart Couch Hatteras Island Scholarship Fund, the BANXblock Beach Fund, the Love in Action Fund, the Liberty Christian Fellowship Endowment, the Friends of Whalehead Fund, the Buck Thornton Memorial Fund, the Franklin Y. Hundley Education Fund, and the Jim Wood Endowment for Children’s Arts.

The Community Foundation membership elected Scott Brown and Nancy Sugg as new members of the organization’s board of directors, and Scott Leggat and Loretta Michael for their second terms on the board. Jo Whitehead, Bill Massey, and the 2016 Board President were elected by the membership to the 2016 nominating committee.

Mr. Muller thanked the Community Foundation’s board members, emeritus directors, fund holders, Legacy Society members, in-kind contributors, donating members, and grantees for all their various contributions to the community.

Featured image courtesy of Jonathan Clark, Village Realty. See our Facebook page for additional photos.

Now Accepting Applications For Aviation Education Grants

The Outer Banks Community Foundation is now accepting applications from nonprofits for the Aviation Education Grant Program. Applications are due on Friday, May 1, and prospective applicants are encouraged to contact the Community Foundation before applying.

The Aviation Education Fund was established by Phil and Mary Woodruff in 2007 to support charitable projects focusing on aviation education. The fund is structured as a perpetual endowment; as such, the principal of the fund remains invested for growth, while a portion is available for grants each year.

The fund has just over $322 to award in 2015, but excellent projects that meet certain criteria may be eligible for matching dollars from other Community Foundation grant funds.

“We invite any organization working in aviation education to apply for this award,” said Lorelei Costa, the Executive Director of the Community Foundation. “Because it is a smaller grant, organizations can apply with a simple, one-page letter that explains their aviation education project and how they would spend the grant money.”

Nonprofits should also attach a copy of their IRS letter verifying their 501c3 status.

“If an organization has a larger project in mind, they can apply for matching funds through our online application at,” said Costa. Any larger request should meet the Community Foundation’s Community Enrichment Grants Criteria (click here).

In years past, the Aviation Education Fund has supported projects like the December 17 Aviation Flyby and the acquisition of an educational replica of the Wright brothers’ aircraft.

The application deadline for Aviation Education Grants is Friday, May 1. Before submitting an application, prospective applicants are urged to contact Lorelei Costa at the Community Foundation at 252-261-8839.

Stewart Couch Leaves Generous Scholarship Bequest

When Stewart Couch passed away, unexpectedly in February 2012, a heart-broken community searched for a way to memorialize this local leader. Within days, the Outer Banks Association of Realtors (OBAR) and the Outer Banks Community Foundation established a scholarship fund in his name to benefit Hatteras students. From across the country, dozens of people contributed to the fund.

Little did they know, Stewart himself had the exact same idea.

Stewart Couch grew up on Hatteras Island and graduated from Cape Hatteras High School in 1968. After earning his business degree from East Carolina University, Stewart came home to Hatteras, purchased a young Hatteras Realty in 1982, and grew that small company into the nationally-known vacation rental business it is today.

Stewart came from a family of community-minded citizens (his father, the late Ray Couch, helped establish the Outer Banks Preservation Association), and Stewart followed that family tradition, serving as president of OBAR and the Outer Banks Chamber of Commerce, among other positions.

Though devoted to his native Hatteras, Stewart was also a world traveler, and journeyed around the globe to ride the world’s greatest surf breaks. It was in Nicaragua, on one such surf trip with friends, that he passed away so suddenly, leaving behind a daughter, Nikki, two brothers, John and Danny, a large and beloved family, and countless friends and colleagues.

Stewart was known for his generosity, so no one was surprised that his will included bequests to many coworkers and family members. Then one autumn day in 2014, as the complex estate continued to settle, a check arrived to the Outer Banks Community Foundation: $160,000, a bequest from Stewart Couch to be invested as a scholarship endowment to help Hatteras students attend college.

“Mr. Couch’s gift was truly extraordinary,” said Lorelei Costa, the Executive Director of the Community Foundation. “Combined with the funds raised by OBAR in 2012, the R. Stewart Couch Hatteras Island Scholarship will be our largest one-year scholarship to date: $8,900.00 this year, which is about the total cost of tuition, fees, and books for a full year at most in-state universities.”

“Because Mr. Couch chose to invest his gift as an endowment, the scholarship fund will continue to grow,” said Lorelei, “even as it awards an annual scholarship each year for generations to come.”

“We gave a lot of thought to the type of student that Stewart would have wanted to support,” said Jackie Ricks-Sample, the executrix of Stewart’s estate. “The selection will be based on community service, academics, work history, extra-curriculars, and financial need most of all.”

“Anyone who knew Stewart would know that he’d want to help an underdog, a diamond in the rough who might have been overlooked by others, but who could really excel if just given an opportunity,” said Jackie.

Graduating seniors from Cape Hatteras Secondary School can apply for the R. Stewart Couch Hatteras Island Scholarship through the Community Foundation’s website: The application requires a current transcript, three letters of recommendation, a financial need form, and an essay.

The Community Foundation manages over 45 local scholarships, including several that are exclusively for Hatteras students, such as the Inez Daniels Austin Scholarship, the Scott Day Family Scholarship, and the Greg and Eden Honeycutt Scholarship. Applications for all scholarships, including the Stewart Couch award, are due on Sunday, March 29.

The first R. Stewart Couch Hatteras Island Scholarship will be awarded at Senior Awards Night on Tuesday, June 2.

Though Stewart Couch’s community was left in shock upon his passing in February 2012, many found some solace by giving back to Hatteras for a scholarship in his name. And now we know that that was his exact wish.

For more information about the Community Foundation’s scholarship program, including information on establishing a scholarship fund or leaving a scholarship bequest, please click here, or call Lorelei Costa at 252-261-8839.