Hessler named top young philanthropist
In honor of those who give to others, the Eastern West Virginia Community Foundation recognized the individuals and businesses in the Eastern Panhandle who make a difference in the community through philanthropy. Held at the Purple Iris, the Eastern West Virginia Community Foundation hosted the 2012 Philanthropist of the Year Awards - on National Philanthropy Day.
Farmers & Mechanics Insurance received the Corporate Philanthropist of the Year Award; Bonn "Buzz" and Lisa Poland were named the Individual Philanthropist of the Year Award; and Chelsea Hessler accepted the Youth Philanthropist of the Year Award.
When Hessler was 16 and a junior at Berkeley Springs High School, she established the Morgan County Scholarship Program as a way to instill confidence in young women by teaching them self-confidence, public speaking and presentation skills and the importance of academics and giving back to the community.
Now 20 and a sophomore at Shepherd University studying elementary education, Hessler has donated more than $4,000 in cash scholarships and $5,300 to local nonprofit organizations through the net profits of the program. In addition, proceeds from last year’s program created an on-going college scholarship, the Ann Moss Smith Community Service Scholarship, for a graduating senior in Morgan County.
Eastern West Virginia Com-munity Foundation President, Stew Borger presented each recipient with a blue award statue and a proclamation from Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin. Each award recipient received $500 to be donated to the charity or nonprofit organization of choice. Farmers & Mechanics Insurance chose Hospice of the Panhandle to receive the donation; the Burke Street Promise Neighborhood Initia-tive accepted the donation from the Polands; and Morgan County Starting Points accepted the grant from Hessler.