Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

December 23, 2013

Local causes get helping hand

Barry Porterfield
Pauls Valley Democrat — The future looks bright for a Pauls Valley effort as it continues to get stronger with the hope of helping all kinds of local causes for some time to come.

Established a few years ago the Pauls Valley Community Foundation is seen as some as ideal for establishing the financial resources to fund a whole variety of community projects well into the future.

The effort is going so well the PV group is the local foundation set to be featured in a publication by the Communities Foundation of Oklahoma (CFO).

“We’re being featured on their annual report,” said Arlen Williams about the CFO.

“They look at Pauls Valley as the poster child because we’ve done so much for the community,” he said.

“It’s worked well for Pauls Valley.”

It was back in 2009 when a group of local residents that included Williams banded together to establish the PV foundation.

It was started with around $16,000 raised by the group for the local foundation’s endowment fund, which is invested and managed by the CFO.

Things started slowly at first before picking up steam as the investments started to pay off in a big way by paying for a number of community projects here in Pauls Valley.

The reason is simple — the endowment has grown to around $80,000 with about 10 percent of that now available to fund various local projects.

For Williams and others the foundation is a way to create the funding needed to complete any number of things needed in the community.

“It’s a way for people to give back to their community,” Williams said. “We want to be advocates for the future of the Pauls Valley community.

“We want to give to projects that help the entire community; for projects that help out all the community.”

The first project ever funded by the foundation was to place a series of cigarette receptacles at various sites all over town. The project is described as having helped “keep the city clean.”

Next up was helping with a large beautification project in downtown PV. For that project the foundation contributed to some of the landscaping upgrades.

Other projects receiving foundation help over the years have been the signs welcoming visitors to Pauls Valley, assisting the local chamber of commerce and Main Street program with supplemental funding during a time of budget cuts for both and donating to the construction of a new local water park.

Each year the foundation also gives money to the Pauls Valley High School marching band for a contest that brings in bands from all over the region each fall.

Outside money was also raised in the foundation’s name, nearly $12,000, to go toward the building of a new recycling center here.

Through the CFO, the foundation here has also helped a handful of other local organizations achieve true non-profit status giving them a better opportunity to thrive well into the future.

“That’s why we’re the poster child,” Williams said.

“Through the foundation we’ve helped set up all these other entities here in town.”

Some examples are the local Toy and Action Figure Museum, the PV Foundation for Academic Excellence, Main Street PV and most recently the PV Samaritans food pantry.

“It’s now officially designated as a non-profit entity,” Williams said about the Samaritans.

“This means any individual or groups giving to the Samaritans will have a true tax deductible donation.

“This will also allow them to enhance their ability to raise funds.”