Community Foundation Expands Nonprofit Grants Program

The Outer Banks Community Foundation has announced a significant expansion of its flagship grants program.

Effective immediately, the Community Foundation will now award grants to include nonprofit staff wages as part of its Community Enrichment Grants Program. This is in addition to its traditional focus on funding tangible items, one-time costs, capacity-building endeavors, program scholarships, and capital assets and improvements.

“This is exciting news for Outer Banks nonprofits,” said Lorelei Costa, the Community Foundation’s executive director, “because it will help fill such a huge funding need for our local charitable sector.”

The Community Enrichment Grants Program is the Community Foundation’s largest and broadest funding opportunity. Last year the Community Foundation awarded over $225,000 in Community Enrichment Grants to 35 local nonprofits.

Community Enrichment Grants are offered on a competitive basis for any kind of charitable project that benefits Dare County, Ocracoke, and/or the Currituck beaches. Areas of interest include arts and culture, animal welfare, children and youth, education, the environment, disaster relief and prevention, health and wellness, historic interpretation and preservation, and other human services.

In the past, Community Enrichment Grants have supported local charities by funding tangible items or one-time project costs. In 2017, for example, the Community Foundation sponsored playground equipment for the safehouse at Outer Banks Hotline, new vehicles for the Corolla Wild Horse Fund to care for the historic equine herd, new/additional parking spaces for visitors to the Nags Head Woods Nature Preserve, and restoration of the 1911 Chicamacomico Life-Saving Station.

“While tremendously impactful, grants for supplies, assets, and delimited services do not always cover a nonprofit’s greatest need,” said Ms. Costa. “Many nonprofits also need professional staff to do critical work — yet funds to pay staff are often the hardest dollars to raise. Now, thanks to our generous donors, the Community Foundation’s grant funding has grown, and we are able to offer grants that include program staff wages, as well as other hard costs.”

The Community Foundation is anticipating high demand for staff funding. Grant applications will be competitively evaluated against several criteria, with priority 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 an organization’s financial sustainability, and/or promote collaboration and efficiencies amongst multiple entities. New programs are prioritized, as well as established programs that are filling a gap and/or meeting a vital, urgent need.

Most of all, the Community Foundation will assess applications based on community impact.

“We ask all applicants to tell us, in as much detail as possible, how the project will benefit the Outer Banks — who will be served, how many people, and how the project will make a difference,” said Ms. Costa. “The strongest applications will connect the staff support to specific, positive outcomes.”

Nonprofits can apply now to the newly expanded Community Enrichment Grants Program via the online application. The next deadline is Friday, July 27, 2018, and the last deadline of the year is Friday, October 26.

The Community Foundation is offering a special grant-writing clinic for local nonprofits that want to learn more about the program expansion. The informative workshop will be held on Thursday, July 12 from 1:00 to 3:00 pm at the UNC Coastal Studies Institute in Skyco on Roanoke Island. Nonprofits are asked to register for the workshop in advance by clicking here.

“If your organization has hesitated in the past to apply for a grant, we invite you to read our new criteria on our website, attend our workshop on July 12, and call our staff to discuss your needs. Your projects may now be a perfect fit for our grants program,” said Ms. Costa.

Additional Resources:
Community Enrichment Grants Guidelines
Community Enrichment Grants FAQ


The Outer Banks Community Foundation is a public charity that connects people who care with causes that matter. The Community Foundation manages $17 million in 175 charitable funds for individuals and agencies, awards grants to local nonprofits, administers 50 scholarship programs, and provides tailored services to help donors pursue their charitable interests. Since its inception in 1982, the Community Foundation has awarded more than $8 million in grants and scholarships to local nonprofits and students.

A Lifetime of “Putting Back”

Story by Kip Tabb

Jack Adams, one of the founding directors of the Outer Banks Community Foundation, has a history of giving back to the community in which he lives.

“I’ve always had the desire to help. It’s something I’ve always believed in,” he said.

That desire to give back may have been why Jack signed on to the fledgling charitable foundation in 1982. Or it may have been founder David Stick, who could be very persuasive.

The first CPA to live and work in Dare County, Jack had gotten to known David through work.

“David Stick was a client of mine,” he recalled. “He was one of the owners of Southern Shores Realty and Kitty Hawk Land Company. I was working very closely with him.”

There must have been something about Jack’s work that David liked, because he broached Jack with an idea he had been discussing with other community leaders.

“He came to me one day and said he had been talking with Edward Greene, Andy Griffith, George Crocker, and Marty Kellogg. He didn’t want a private fund, but something that gave back into the community. Based on what he said, we were able to get a 501c3 so we could get money from various donors,” Jack said.

As important as David was to Jack’s community involvement, what seemed to truly motivate him was a slogan crafted by Wallace McCown, one of the first members of the Community Foundation.

“He came up with the slogan, ‘Put something back.’ It stuck in my mind, that you can’t just keep taking something from a community without putting back to help others,” he said.

Although no longer living on the Outer Banks, that belief in “putting back” is still a part of his life. He and his wife have recently created two endowments at the Community Foundation that will help to make the Outer Banks a better place to live.

The Adams Family Fund for Animals was established last year to provide grants to nonprofit organizations that work with animals, with an emphasis on groups that provide shelter for dogs with the goal of finding them a permanent home.

“My wife and I have dogs. Specifically bassets,” he explained. “My wife, Susan Brown, has devoted all of her time to the rescue of animals, especially dogs. We have fostered numerous dogs over the last 20 years for the purpose of finding loving homes for them. It’s something we’ve always been interested in.”

In addition to the Fund for Animals, Jack also established the Adams Family Fund, an unrestricted fund.

“For whatever the needs of the community are,” he said. “Scholarships. A grant for the Food Pantry, if that is what is needed. It’s just like a general fund type of thing.”

Thanks to a relatively new tax law, Jack has been able to contribute to both funds directly from his retirement investments.

“The IRS allows you to make a contribution directly to a nonprofit from a retirement plan,” Jack said. This strategy is often recommended by the Community Foundation and by tax experts, because donating directly from a retirement account can result in a significant savings on income tax. (More information on the IRA strategy here.)

He has also pledged a planned gift to the Community Foundation—a bequest that one day will increase his two endowment funds and perpetuate his legacy of giving.

Jack remained active with the Community Foundation throughout the time he lived in the area. “After David Stick, I was the President of the organization,” Jack said.

“I left the Outer Banks in 1994. Until that time I was involved in it,” he said.

His giving—his putting back—has not been limited to just the Outer Banks.

The lessons he learned about making his community a better place and how to contribute stayed with him, even after he left Dare County.

He moved to Arkansas and then to Savannah, Tennessee, where he now lives, and where he continued to work with community organizations.

“One of the things Hardin County, where I live, needed was a cancer treatment center,” he said. “I was the President of the Hardin County Community and Healthcare Foundation for eight or nine years that raised $1.3 million for the construction of a cancer treatment center. I was also the Treasurer of the Darryl Worley Foundation that also provided $600,000 for the construction of the cancer treatment center.”

For Jack Adams there has been a history of giving back, and much of that philosophy began with those talks with David Stick, the slogan that Wallace McCown created, and the first days of the Outer Banks Community Foundation.

“You can’t just keep taking something from a community without putting back to help others. It just gets back to what you’re supposed to do,” he said.


Photograph Above: Jack Adams (second from right) visited the Community Foundation office with his grandson in 2017 to establish the Adams Family Fund and the Adams Family Fund for Animals. He and his grandson are pictured here with fellow founder Ray White and executive director Lorelei Costa.

2018 Scholarships — A Gift from a Caring Community

Story By Kip Tabb

The numbers are remarkable. So far in 2018 the Outer Banks Community Foundation has awarded $147,500 in scholarships to 72 local students. And a number of those scholarships are renewable, bringing the total amount awarded to Outer Banks students to almost $220,000.

But those are just numbers, and although they tell a remarkable story of a caring community that believes in supporting the hopes and aspirations of students, it doesn’t tell the full tale of what it means to know that achieving a dream is one very tangible step closer.

Manteo High School graduate Vanessa Salazar was awarded the Jerry and Arlene Davis Scholarship, a $6,000 renewable scholarship that will help her to begin her studies in nursing at Appalachian State. The Davises, recognizing that college is becoming more expensive, increased the grant this year from $5,000 annually to $6,000.

“It’s a really good career,” she said. “And I can help my community, to provide assistance to people who need help.”

Salazar has already identified what she hopes to do with her nursing skills.

“When I was in the Interact Club, we visited a special needs program. It opened my sight to special needs nursing,” she said.

It is a tribute to Dare County schools that through their studies, many students are able to recognize what they are hoping will be their careers.

The Milton Jewell Academic Scholarship is a $6,000 renewable scholarship that is awarded to one Dare County graduating senior every year. The qualifications include high academic achievement, exceptional school and community involvement, and proven leadership. This year’s recipient, Manteo High School Valedictorian Elizabeth Wheless, exceeded all of the requirements, and is off to UNC Chapel Hill in the fall to major in media and journalism.

“Last year I realized I wanted to work in journalism when we were creating an edition (of Sound to Sea, the MHS school paper). Working on the stories and the editing, I knew it was what I wanted to do,” she said.

The desire to give back to the community seems to be an important theme with the 2018 students who were awarded scholarships.

The R. Stewart Couch Hatteras Island Scholarship was established through a bequest from Stewart Couch, a Hatteras Island native who built Hatteras Realty from a small real estate firm to a nationally recognized property management company.

It is, perhaps, fitting that Kayleeann Jones, the 2018 recipient of the $8,400 scholarship, dreams of coming back to the Outer Banks one day to own her own business.

“During my senior year of high school, I took an entrepreneurship course,” she said. “My partner and I decided to outline a plan for opening an event planning business…on the Outer Banks…I realized this is something that I would like to do myself,” she said, adding, ”My…goal is to return to the Outer Banks …and run a wedding planning business on Hatteras Island.”

The scholarships seem to be a validation of the dreams of the students, but there is also the very real understanding of the financial burden of a higher education.

Echoing the thoughts of the students who were interviewed, Jones observed, “Receiving the R. Stewart Couch Scholarship relieved my family and me of struggling to pay for my college tuition. It puts me many steps closer to my career goals.”

Although helping with the cost of college was important, the sense of pride in the achievement and love of their parents are also memories the students will cherish.

“When they told me I would be getting the scholarship, my parents hugged me and told me they were incredibly proud of me,” Wheless said.

For Salazar, an AVID student who will be the first in her family to attend college, her accomplishment is also a source of family pride, something that was evident at the scholarship award ceremony.

“They were very happy for me,” she said. “My father has been my biggest champion. He is my example of what work ethic and character should be.”

2017 Annual Report Now Available!

The Outer Banks Community Foundation has released its 2017 Annual Report, showcasing 19 new endowment funds and $750,000 in grants and scholarships.

The report spotlights our director emeritus, Josephine Oden, and her mother, Inez Daniels Austin, and the scholarships endowments established in their memory. It also highlights Community Enrichment Grants to the Corolla Wild Horse Fund for new transportation, to the Beach Food Pantry providing cold storage for nourishing fresh foods, and to First Colony Foundation for their OBX History Weekend sharing the discovery of Site X.

Click here for special recognition of our Life Members on our website, who donated at special giving levels early in the Community Foundation history.

The Community Foundation gratefully thanks and acknowledges all of our generous 2017 donors, including designer, Barbara Noel, who generously donated 30% of the graphic design services for this beautiful report.

Download the report here: Outer Banks Community Foundation 2017 Annual Report.

OBCF Welcomes Lauren Mahler as 2018 Milton Jewell Intern

The Outer Banks Community Foundation is delighted to welcome Lauren Mahler this summer as our 2018 Milton Jewell Intern. Lauren has just finished her sophomore year at the College of William and Mary in Virginia, where she is studying public policy and economics, and where she serves as president of her residence hall. Over the next 12 weeks, Lauren will be in our office part-time to help us update and improve several of our key databases, including our grants and scholarship records, and our nonprofit database. Lauren graduated from First Flight High School in 2016, and she is a past recipient of the Outer Banks Association of Realtors Scholarship. Welcome, Lauren!

Community Foundation Now Accepting Applications for Special Focus Grants

The Outer Banks Community Foundation is now accepting applications for its annual Special Focus Grants. Areas of Special Focus include Animal Welfare, Aviation Education, Health/Wellness, and Opportunities for People with Disabilities. Applications must be submitted by Friday, April 27, 2018.

Aviation grants will be drawn from the Aviation Education Fund. Requests for $500 or less may be made through a simple, one-page letter that explains the project and how the grant money would be spent. Applicants must also submit proof of tax-exempt status (e.g., 501c3 letter from the IRS). If an organization has a larger project in mind, it can apply for matching funds through the Community Foundation’s online application.

Animal welfare grants will support efforts to protect, rehabilitate, and care for animals, both domestic and wild. Animal grants will be drawn from the All God’s Creatures Fund, the Adams Family Fund for Animals, and the Schiffman Fund for Animals. In this category, requests for $1000 or less may be made through a one-page letter that explains the project and how the grant money would be spent. Proof of tax-exempt status must be attached. If an organization has a larger project in mind, it can apply for matching funds through the online application.

Health and wellness grants will be made from the Annual Advice 5K Turkey Trot Fund to improve and support the health and wellness of all people of the Outer Banks. Here, health and wellness is defined broadly, to include initiatives that attend to physical, social, emotional, and environmental health, and including projects that focus on prevention, education, and direct care. To be considered for a health and wellness grant, organizations must submit an application online.

Finally, in the area of opportunities for people with disabilities, the Community Foundation will utilize three special focus funds: the David Aycock Loy Memorial Fund, the Pauline Wright Endowment for Currituck County, and the Pauline Wright Endowment for Dare County. While the Loy Endowment focuses on children with developmental and/or learning disabilities, with a priority for children with autism, the Pauline Wright Endowments may give priority to programs for adults with Down syndrome. The Pauline Wright Endowments are available to nonprofit organizations, schools, and government agencies, serving either Currituck or Dare residents, or both. To be considered for a Loy or Wright grant, organizations must submit an application online.

In addition to these Special Focus Grants, the Community Foundation is also accepting applications for its general Community Enrichment Grants Program, which is open to any nonprofit for any kind of charitable project that benefits the Outer Banks. This includes: arts & culture; children & youth; education; the environment; disaster relief & prevention; historic interpretation & preservation; and other human services.

Most Community Enrichment Grants will support the direct costs of a charitable project or program (e.g., art supplies, educational materials); however, Community Enrichment Grants are also awarded for capacity-building projects, with a goal of enhancing a nonprofit’s long-term effectiveness, financial stability, and/or program quality (e.g., computers, office equipment, strategic planning).

Program scholarship grants are also available; these are grants that enable a nonprofit to offer scholarships for its programs to participants in need. These scholarships would offset or reduce the participation fees normally charged for any sort of enrichment program, such as a day camp, educational offering, and/or after-school program.

Before submitting an application for any Special Focus or Community Enrichment Grant, prospective applicants should first review the criteria at, and then contact Lorelei Costa at 252-261-8839 to discuss their projects. The deadline to apply is Friday, April 27, 2018. Grant decisions will be announced on Thursday, June 7, 2018.

Community Foundation Announces $66,000 in Grants

In its first meeting of the year, the new board of the Outer Banks Community Foundation awarded over $66,000 to support 15 vital nonprofits. The grants will support a variety of local causes, from cancer support to music lessons for children, from historic preservation to environmental education.

The Pea Island Preservation Society earned a Community Enrichment Grant of over $29,000 for the “Freedmen, Surfmen, Heroes” project. Community Enrichment Grants are awarded on a competitive basis to nonprofits that apply for funds.

With this grant, the Pea Island Preservation Society will share the story of Richard Etheridge and the Pea Island Life-Savers, illustrating positive messages of unity, diversity, and equal opportunity on the Outer Banks. The Pea Island Life-Savers was the all-black crew of surfmen best known for their courageous rescue of the E. S. Newman in 1896, when the heroic life-savers swam through a hurricane to retrieve the shipwrecked passengers one at a time. (The waves were too fierce for the surfboat.)

Elizabeth R and Company also received a Community Enrichment Grant: $10,000 to bring Verdi’s opera La Traviata to the Outer Banks on September 15, featuring local star Tshombe Selby, the NY Opera Studio, and local artists and musicians in the orchestra, chorus, and stage crew.

The Dare County Youth Orchestra received $3,866 for student workshops with the Virginia Symphony, and the Outer Banks Center for Dolphin Research received $4,588 for dolphin monitoring and educational panels at Jennette’s Pier.

Several donor-advised funds also made grants in March, including the Kelly Family Fund, the JoAnn and William Small Family Fund, and the Just for Today and Tomorrow Fund, in memory of Dorman N. Doutt and Florence B. Satterwhite. Donor-advised funds are managed on behalf of individuals and families, who recommend the grants that are awarded. This month’s recipients included a host of organizations, including locally the NC Coastal Federation, the Coastal Studies Institute, the Outer Banks Hospital for the Cancer Center Fund, the Coastal Voices program, and the NC Lions VIP Fishing Tournament.

The Community Foundation also established a new grant-making fund at its March meeting: the Serbousek Family Fund, a flexible, perpetual endowment that will award grants through the Community Enrichment Grants program each year for whatever urgent local needs and promising opportunities arise. The fund was established by Janie and Michael Serbousek of Martin’s Point.

The Community Foundation is now accepting applications for its next cycle of Community Enrichment Grants. 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 causes, including arts and culture, children/youth, disaster relief and prevention, education, the environment, historic interpretation and preservation, and other human services.

Special Focus Grants are also available this cycle, with dedicated funds set aside for animal welfare, health and wellness, aviation education, and opportunities for people with disabilities (both Dare and Currituck).

Prospective applicants are urged to review the grant guidelines online at, and then call the Community Foundation to discuss their ideas. The application deadline is Friday, April 27, 2018.


The Outer Banks Community Foundation is a public charity that connects people who care with causes that matter. The Community Foundation manages $17 million in 175 charitable funds for individuals and agencies, awards charitable grants to local nonprofits, administers 50 scholarship programs, and provides tailored services to help donors pursue their charitable interests. Since its inception in 1982, the Community Foundation has awarded more than $8 million in grants and scholarships to local nonprofits and students.


Photo: The Board of the Outer Banks Community Foundation. From left to right: Back row: Clark Twiddy, Greg Honeycutt, Chris Seawell, John Tucker, Ray White, Scott Brown, Bruce Austin. Front row: Nancy Caviness, Teresa Osborne, Lynda Hester, Nancy Sugg, Jane Webster. Photograph by Biff Jennings, Shooters at the Beach.

Community Foundation Announces Marketing “Boot Camps” for Nonprofits

Thanks to popular demand, the Outer Banks Community Foundation is excited to announce two communications and marketing “boot camps” for local nonprofits.

The first class will be held on Thursday, April 5, from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm at the College of the Albemarle’s Diane Baum St. Clair Technology Education Center at 132 Russell Twiford Road in Manteo. A similar, miniature-size boot camp will follow on Ocracoke Island on Friday, April 6, from 1:00 to 4:00 pm at the Ocracoke Fire Station.


Led by Dawn Crawford and Sharon Bruce of BC/DC Ideas, the seminars will focus on marketing strategies for charitable nonprofits of all shapes and types. Both courses will cover communications planning, Gantt charts, brand realignment, and best practices for newsletters, social media, event promotions, media relations, and more.

“A strong communications plan will recruit more people to your nonprofit as donors, volunteers, and lifelong supporters,” said Ms. Crawford. “When you walk out of this class, you’ll have executable advice and tools to ensure everyone knows the story and mission of your nonprofit.”

“Last year, when we asked nonprofits to tell us their greatest training needs, marketing and communications were the most requested topics by far,” said Lorelei Costa, the Community Foundation’s executive director. “So we’re excited to offer these classes, which will give a broad overview of marketing and communications strategies for nonprofits of all sizes.”

“Normally, for a course of this scope and caliber, a nonprofit would have to travel to Greenville or Raleigh and pay tuition of $150 per person,” continued Ms. Costa. “It’s one of our goals at the Community Foundation to offer this level of training here on the Outer Banks, at an affordable cost, to help build skills and capacity in our local charitable sector. We’re particularly excited to be able to offer an encore seminar in Ocracoke, which is home to such a vibrant nonprofit community.”

Registration is required for the full-day class in Manteo and is only $15 per person for any board or staff member representing an Outer Banks charitable nonprofit. The registration fee includes a full lunch and morning coffee. Please register for the Manteo class by Sunday, April 1 to ensure your seat—and your lunch.

The Ocracoke seminar is FREE for any Outer Banks charitable nonprofit, but does not include a meal. Please register for the Ocracoke class by Thursday, April 5.


Headquartered in Raleigh, North Carolina, BC/DC Ideas is a creative agency that specializes in nonprofit communications, marketing, and fundraising. Founded in 2010, their unique approach to communications creates interactivity and engagement with a nonprofit’s target audiences. Their leadership team has nearly 15 years of dedicated nonprofit communications experience, paired with a decade of corporate advertising experience. This combination allows them to think about the big picture with unique and creative tactics, all while scaling projects for nonprofit budgets.




The Outer Banks Community Foundation is a public charity that connects people who care with causes that matter. The Community Foundation manages $17 million in 175 charitable funds for individuals and agencies, awards charitable grants to local nonprofits, administers 50 scholarship programs, and provides tailored services to help donors pursue their charitable interests. Since its inception in 1982, the Community Foundation has awarded more than $8 million in grants and scholarships to local nonprofits and students.

Community Foundation Elects New Board and Honors 2018 Champion

The Outer Banks Community Foundation announced the winners of its Champion Award and its Nonprofit Video Contest at the organization’s annual meeting last month. Two new board members were elected by the organization’s members, and two departing board members were honored.

About 150 guests celebrated $750,000 in grants and scholarships awarded to the Outer Banks in 2017, and $8 million awarded since the Community Foundation’s establishment in 1982.

The event featured an exhibit by the Dare County Arts Council from its Power of Art Program, which was established in part by a grant from the Community Foundation. Power of Art serves special groups in need, including people with otherwise limited access to arts programming and education. The exhibit featured paintings, masks, poetry, jewelry, essays, and other works by artists from GEM, Monarch Beach Club, and the Veterans Writing Project.

After guests enjoyed a delicious lunch, Lorelei Costa, the Community Foundation’s executive director, described the 19 new endowments established in 2017, and said that each fund would be invested in perpetuity to award grants and scholarships to the Outer Banks for generations to come. She also talked about the Community Foundation’s unifying role, bringing together people from all backgrounds and beliefs to work together to improve the community and help others.

Members of the Community Foundation unanimously elected two new directors for the organization’s board: Lynda Hester of Manteo, and John Tucker of Southern Shores. Mr. Tucker is a lifelong educator, while Ms. Hester is retired from the US Coast Guard and the College of the Albemarle; both have served in extensive leadership roles in the Outer Banks’s nonprofit sector.

Two outstanding board members were thanked for their service after reaching their maximum consecutive years of service: Loretta Michael of Southern Shores, who had served as the Community Foundation’s secretary, and Scott Leggat of Rodanthe, who had served as the grants chairman.

Mr. Leggat honored the grantees in attendance and announced over $600,000 in grants that were awarded in 2017. He also showed the winning videos from the Community Foundation’s annual contest. The Frisco Native American Museum came in first place, followed by Interfaith Community Outreach in second place, and Ocracoke Community Radio in third place. The winning videos, as well as all of the entries from this year and past years, can be viewed by scrolling down and clicking play.

Scott Brown and Nancy Sugg, co-chairs of the scholarship committee, announced that the Community Foundation had awarded over $150,000 in scholarships to 80 deserving students in 2017. They shared photos, videos, and stories from recent scholarship recipients.

Finally, Jane Webster conferred the 2018 Champion Award posthumously to Warren Judge, the community leader who devoted his life to serving the Outer Banks, and especially its youth. Ms. Webster enumerated Mr. Judge’s many honors, appointments, accomplishments, and leadership roles, including his 16 years of service on the Dare County Board of Commissioners, his receipt of Dare County Citizen of the Year in 2011, and his receipt of the Order of the Longleaf Pine Award in 2016.

Tess Judge accepted the award, along with his son, Mike Dixon, and granddaughter, Elizabeth Dixon. Ms. Judge reminded the audience of one of Mr. Judge’s favorite sayings: “At the end of the day, we are all One Dare County.”

Finally, Teresa Osborne, the president of the Community Foundation, closed the meeting by sharing plans for the upcoming year, and with thanks for all donors, volunteers, and community partners.


Photo: The three living founders of the Outer Banks Community Foundation were reunited at the organization’s annual meeting in February. From the left: Ray White, Edward Greene, and Jack Adams. Photograph by Biff Jennings, Shooters on the Beach.


Below: Press play to watch all of the videos ever submitted to our video contest since 2012!

The Outer Banks Community Foundation is a public charity that connects people who care with causes that matter. The Community Foundation manages $17 million in 175 charitable funds for individuals and agencies, awards charitable grants to local nonprofits, administers 50 scholarship programs, and provides tailored services to help donors pursue their charitable interests. Since its inception in 1982, the Community Foundation has awarded more than $8 million in grants and scholarships to local nonprofits and students.


New Scholarships Honor Beloved Parents

Story by Kip Tabb

Overseeing almost 50 scholarship programs and with a history of working with the community to help students reach for their dreams, the Outer Banks Community Foundation has been awarding scholarships to students since its founding in 1982.

The scholarship program has grown every year since the first scholarships—the Inez Daniels Austin Scholarship and the George W. Neighbors Memorial Scholarship—were awarded in the early years, awarding $154,000 in scholarships in 2017.

For many the scholarships are a way to remember a parent, or spouse or a son or daughter who was passed away, and in remembering them, honoring a legacy of caring.

Billy McOwen and his wife, Monica, recently created the Jeannette U. McOwen Memorial Scholarship Fund as a way to celebrate his mother, who taught in some of Cincinnati’s most troubled schools.

“My mom was a teacher and became a single mother and she raised us on a teacher’s salary,” McOwen said.

For him the scholarship represents a way to remember his mother and show his appreciation for the Outer Banks community.

“My son grew up having really good teachers here in Dare County,” McOwen said. “It just made sense for us. I could find a way to honor my mother in perpetuity and also create a scholarship fund that would be to the benefit of people locally that were interested in becoming teachers.”

The fund, which will be administered in partnership with Manteo Rotary, will enable students to continue to use the scholarship over a number of years, according to McOwen.

“The one thing in talking to Lorelei (Costa, Community Foundation Executive Director) in how we could do this, the second year, third year, fourth year, we didn’t want to keep it for just the first year. We kept it open so that people could even get it for their graduate years,” he said.

The McOwen Scholarship is not the only scholarship that is being introduced this year. The Lillian W. Riddick Scholarship for Nurses is also new, and also named for a parent.

Lillian Riddick did not become a nurse until she was in her 50s following her husband’s death. After earning her nursing degree she went to Africa where she served until failing health forced her to retire.

Like the McOwen Scholarship, the Lillian Riddick Scholarship for Nurses is a way to honor the love and dedication to family and the community. Similar to the McOwen Scholarship, it can be renewed as a student goes through their college career.

If the scholarship funds represent a way to pass along a legacy for the donors, for the students who have earned the awards it is a chance to experience everything that college life has to offer.

The Milton A. Jewell Academic Scholarship is the most prestigious Community Foundation scholarship, offering students a four-year grant of $6,000 per year, provided they maintain a 3.0 GPA.

Attending Cornell University, 2017 Jewell Scholar, Sarah Skinner, seems to be living a dream.

“I absolutely adore the place I am going to school,” she told the Community Foundation. “The campus is beautiful, the people around me are exposing me to new and different ways of seeing the world, and the opportunities available are truly awesome.”

In spite of a heavy academic workload, Skinner found time to join the staff of the Cornell Daily Sun, which, as she points out, is the oldest independent college newspaper in the nation, and because she is on the staff of the paper she has had opportunities that can have a lifelong impact.

“Working on the Sun has been an amazing experience,” she said. “And it allowed me to attend a news writing workshop with Pulitzer Prize winner, and Sun alum, Jay Branagan.”

Sawyer Scholar Christian Eberhard is majoring in film studies at American University in Washington, DC. His experiences at the college are what make attending school so important in learning about the world around us.

“When I got there, I was worried that I would be all by myself but it was only a few days before I started to make some really good friends,” he writes.

Active in theater when he was a student at First Flight High School, Eberhard is taking full advantage of what the school has to offer.

“My favorite club… is American University-TV’s sketch comedy show The Break. My friend Eli and I joined the club together, and it’s been some of the most fun I’ve had,” he writes, adding, “As a film major, it’s really great to have this hands-on work and experience which the club provides.”

The stories Skinner and Eberhard tell are what makes the college experience so important, and the support the Outer Banks community has given the students over the years has helped to create a healthy, thriving community.

“Each of our 50 scholarships has a story about the donors who created them and, often, the people who inspired our donors,” Community Foundation Executive Director Lorelei Costa said. “It’s an honor for us to steward these legacies and support the amazing students who receive the awards.”

The Outer Banks Community Foundation is now accepting scholarship applications online. The deadline to apply is 11:59 pm, Sunday, March 25, 2018. Students may go to to start their application.


Photo: The Jeannette U. McOwen Memorial Scholarship is one of the Outer Banks Community Foundation’s newest scholarships, created by Billy and Monica McOwen (third and fifth from the left) as a way to celebrate his mother, who taught in some of Cincinnati’s most troubled schools. Photograph by Deborah Sawyer.