$131,757 in Funds Go to 12 Organizations
SISTERSVILLE – Harry E. and Olive T. Barth’s legacy will long endure in Tyler County.
A dozen organizations in Sistersville and greater Tyler County area have been awarded grant funds totaling $131,757 from the Harry E. and Olive T. Barth Charitable Trust.
The Community Foundation for the Ohio Valley oversees the grant making process of the Trust, while WesBanco Bank Inc. serves as Trustee and Investment Adviser.
“This is an exciting program for Tyler County and I look forward to seeing the outcomes of these grants this year and for years to come,” said Debbie Bloomfield, CFOV grants and special projects administrator.
Grants and gifts made from the Trust are determined by an advisory committee comprised of stakeholders and advisers. This structure enables input from the community and encourages strategic use of available resources. Members of the advisory committee include Cindy Perring of WesBanco Trust and Investment Services, Linda Henriksen, Dr. Ralph Boone, Tammi Bowers and Judy Yaeger.
“They were good people,” Boone said. “They were well liked in town and very generous. Olive Barth was very dedicated to helping animals and they did what they could for the community. They loved Tyler County.”
A reception was held on Dec. 7 at Sistersville Public Library. Grantees and representatives of the Trust gathered to celebrate this significant philanthropic gift and learned more about the projects receiving funding.
The Barths established the Trust to extend their dedication to the Sistersville area after their death. Through this, the Barths’ interest in supporting animals, community organizations and beautification efforts can continue for all time.
“The Barths loved their county and especially their hometown of Sistersville and they established a trust with WesBanco to benefit projects in Tyler County,” Bloomfield said. “The grant program will award grants each year and applications will be available each August. An advisory committee met in November to review the applications and make recommendations for the awards.”
Sistersville General Hospital received a $12,026 grant for a new refrigerator.
“The laboratory refrigerator contains over $100,000 worth of reagents, calibrators and controls,” said Brandon Chadock, SGH interim chief executive officer. “This grant will allow us to replace the 20 year old unit which was beginning to have compressor and humidity regulation issues.”
City Hall received a $54,000 grant for a handicap accessibility ramp.
“This is fabulous news for the citizens,” Mayor Bill Rice said. “We now can get to work making city hall handicap accessible. I would like to thank everyone involved this is something we have needed for some time now.”
Olive Branch Animal Rescue and Refuge, the namesake of Olive Barth, received a $5,000 grant for a cat quarantine shelter.
“We needed an area to quarantine cats. After a feline leukemia test they need quarantined for 30 days between vaccinations,” said Vickie Folden of the Olive Branch. “And any cats that become will need an area for isolation. Right now we have a makeshift area. It serves but is not the best solution. Any new cats coming in need to be quarantined pending testing and overall health check. Sometimes we just don’t have the space. With over 200 cats, you can imagine the issue. We do all that we can to ensure our animals are healthy. This includes isolating new arrivals, to help ensure something like that is less likely to happen.”
Sistersville’s Parks and Recreation Board received $8,000 for new camp sites and $2,000 for a new ramp at the pool.
“I’m beyond pleased with this new line of grant funding and the potential it creates for Sistersville,” said Councilman Alex King. “With so many projects in mind, and revenue being limited, the Barth Trust is an answered prayer. I would like to thank Linda Henriksen for her role in facilitating discussion about this and carrying the torch of the Barth legacy. Their act of generosity will be further magnified by all of the community groups making use of the funds.”
Sistersville Ferry will be the beneficiary of a more than $16,000 grant for an updated radar system with an automated information system that enables the ferry pilot to know about river traffic up and down the Ohio River before he is able to see it in person.
“This system is a Coast Guard requirement, but it is not required – yet – on the river,” said Captain Herman “Bo” Hause. “If it is required later, we will be in compliance. It is a safety issue. With radar, we are only able to see in a straight line, but with this system, we will be able know what’s going on up or down the river. With all those barges coming and going, that’s important.”
Barbara Gage, chairwoman of Sistersville Ferry Board added, “The ferry board is very grateful to the Barth Foundation for the grant that will allow us to upgrade our radar and radio systems. This will ensure that the ferry can operate in all conditions and traverse more than just across the river, but will allow us to transit north and south on the river.”
The display check presented earlier showed a figure of around $126,757. Bloomfield explained that a prior $5,000 grant to Olive Branch was not included when the amount was totaled up to print on the check.
Grant applications for the Harry E. and Olive T. Barth Charitable Trust will be accepted on an annual basis. Interested applicants can learn more at www.cfov.org/grants or by calling CFOV at 304-242-3144.
Since 1972, the Community Foundation for the Ohio Valley has connected donors who care with causes that matter by making grants to organizations working to improve the quality of life in the Upper Ohio Valley. With assets of more than $34 million, the Foundation assisted in distributing more than $2 million in grants and scholarships during 2015-16. From strengthening community schools to assisting local arts programs, from building health centers to assisting victims of violence or natural disasters, the Community Foundation continues to enhance our region. To learn more, please visit the Foundation online at www.cfov.org.