The Outer Banks Community Foundation celebrated its 40th anniversary on Tuesday, not only with its annual meeting and luncheon at Jennette’s Pier in Nags Head for the first time in three years, but by also announcing major news about its future.
Executive Director Chris Sawin told the more than 175 attendees the foundation is establishing the Outer Banks Center for Nonprofits, a new collaborative location that will provide flexible office space and services for nonprofits on the Outer Banks.
“After forty years of serving the Outer Banks community, the Outer Banks Center for Nonprofits, along with our new office space, represents an innovative move toward the future,” Sawin said.
The foundation was launched in 1982 by Andy Griffith, David Stick, Edward Greene, George Crocker, Ray White, Jack Adams and Martin Kellogg to support local needs in Dare County and the Outer Banks communities from Corolla to Ocracoke.
Made possible through the generosity of Southern Bank, the Outer Banks Community Foundation will be relocating later this summer to the bank’s former branch on Roanoke Island.
Saying the foundation has outgrown its current location in a historic flattop cottage in Southern Shores, the new facility “will also benefit other
local nonprofits facing challenges securing appropriate space for their operations”, according to a news release.
While the future of the current offices on Skyline Drive adjacent to Southern Shores Town Hall is still being determined, the foundation’s board of directors has been working since last July with Southern Bank on purchasing the building at 704 S. Highway 64 at below-market value.
“We are committed to enhancing the quality of life on the Outer Banks and positively impacting Outer Banks organizations and residents,” Sawin said.
“In our new home, we will continue our work with donors and partners as we further OBCF’s mission and support the broader nonprofit community on the Outer Banks,” Sawin said.
Southern Bank Chairman & CEO Drew Covert, who also serves as Chairman of the Southern Bank Foundation, said supporting the Outer Banks Community Foundation in this manner would allow the bank to also support many other non-profits in the community.
“This facility served our customers and employees well for many years,” Covert said. To be able to have it repurposed in a way that will lift up many non-profits and the people that they support, it aligns perfectly with our company’s values and our commitment to investing in the betterment of our communities.”
“The dynamic new center being established in our former branch will provide a home for the Community Foundation as well as benefit the entire nonprofit community on the Outer Banks,” said Southern Bank Executive Vice President and Coastal Region Supervisor Jason Waughtel
The establishment of the center will help address the challenges of securing appropriate office space for nonprofit business operations on the Outer Banks and foster collaboration and networking opportunities,” Waughtel said. “That’s a huge win-win for all involved and we at Southern Bank are extremely proud to have played a role in this important effort.”
To support this effort, the foundation embarked on a capital campaign to raise funding for this important project, inviting donors and grantmaking organizations to contribute to establishing the Outer Banks Center for Nonprofits.
In addition to Southern Bank, numerous donors from the Outer Banks and across eastern North Carolina, some of whom have had not previously been involved in the Outer Banks or with the foundation, made significant contributions to the establishment of the new center.
According to the news release, donors include Percy W. & Elizabeth G. Meekins Charitable Trust; Jane Webster Charitable Fund; Burwell A. Evans Charitable Fund; and several who asked to remain anonymous.
What They Are Saying: Expressions of Thanks and Support for Outer Banks Community Foundation
Wally Overman, Dare County Commissioner
As Vice-Chairman of the Dare County Board of Commissioners and Co-Chair of the Saving Lives Task Force, I have seen firsthand the positive impacts of funding offered through the Outer Banks Community Foundation. Both the Savings Lives Task Force and the Dare County Veterans Advisory Council have been awarded grants that have made possible some very meaningful, effective, and even life-changing events and programs for our community. I am grateful to this organization for all that they have done—and continue to do—to fill gaps and meet the needs of so many people here in Dare County.
Danny Couch, Dare County Commissioner
Thank you OBCF board, staff and the OBX community for the great work done in the past, today and continuing into the future for making Dare County and our region a fantastic place to live and work. I am delighted to hear OBCF will be spearheading the Outer Banks Center for Nonprofits. As a lifelong Hatteras Island resident and Dare Commissioner, this endeavor will benefit Dare from Duck to Hatteras and expand charitable purposes and opportunities for all our citizens. Congratulations!
Patricia O’Sullivan, Veteran Services Officer, Dare County Department of Health & Human Services
Thanks to Outer Banks Community Foundation, and a generous grant provided by the General P.X. Kelley Memorial Fund, the Dare County Veterans Advisory Council is able to bring The Wall That Heals to Dare County. The Wall that Heals is a traveling replica of the Vietnam Wall Memorial in Washington, DC and veterans in Dare County, as well as the surrounding counties will be able to visit it, especially those that may be unable to visit the actual Wall in DC. The grant provided by the Outer Banks Community Foundation made it possible for the Council to be able to provide a significant amount of the deposit needed to secure the Wall. The Outer Banks Community Foundation continues to prove to be an asset to Dare County.
Clark Twiddy, 2022 Outer Banks Community Foundation Board Chair
We think a great deal about legacy, of course, as those who came before us positioned us so well as an organization. We also think, as they would, about the future–we’re working on a future that makes our wonderful donors proud to make the right impacts around our region. This new building will unlock new capabilities to work together, with more stakeholders, for more impact, for the next forty years. We’re delighted and humbled to take the next step. This move to a more central spot in Dare County positions the Outer Banks Community Foundation well for the next forty years–we’ll be more visible, more impactful, and more capable of doing the things that matter most to our donors.
Barbara Davidson, Executive Director, Dare Education Foundation
For 20 years, the Dare Education Foundation has collaborated with the Outer Banks Community Foundation to respond to our schools’ most pressing and complex issues. Grants from the Outer Banks Community Foundation were instrumental in constructing and developing our
renowned teacher housing programs, which provide an innovative solution to teacher recruitment. We’ve also been able to address District-wide technology needs on a scale that would not be possible without more broad support. We are excited to see the Outer Banks Community Foundation expand their offices and know this will nurture even more collaborations. We’re grateful for all that contribute to the Outer Banks Community Foundation. The strength of the community-wide support for education allows us to provide supportive resources that create school environments across the Outer Banks where our students can thrive.
Tess Judge, Outer Banks business leader and foundation board member
The Outer Banks Community Foundation has for many years made an enormous impact by financially supporting local nonprofits on the Outer Banks helping them to fulfill their various important and needed work throughout our communities. This support has provided resources
for all ages in our communities from youth to our seniors. The Outer Banks Community Foundation has been integral in helping Dare County be the wonderful place it is to live and work by being aware of what is happening in our area and what the needs are. We are so fortunate to have The Outer Banks Community Foundation.
Ronnie A. Sloan, President, Outer Banks Health
The Outer Banks Community Foundation is an organization that is clear about its mission and achieves it consistently. The fact that they “connect people who care with causes that matter” matters to all of us here at Outer Banks Health. So many of our patients and team members
are helped by the community foundation. From college scholarship support to human services programs, and everything in between and beyond, we are proud to partner with the Outer Banks Community Foundation and excited to see them grow.
Chris Seawell, Director Emeritus, Outer Banks Community Foundation
I have lived and practiced law on the Outer Banks for almost 50 years until my retirement a couple of years ago and have been witness to the tremendous growth of our community. One of the most impressive things I have observed during this time is the establishment and growth of the Outer Banks Community Foundation, which has occurred due to the foresight and continuing support of our residents, leaders, and businesses. This has enabled and continues to enable the OBCF to provide substantial monetary grants, training, and other assistance to our
local nonprofit organizations, as well as educational scholarships for our students. I also served on OBCF’s Board for a number of years and know that without this support many nonprofits and students would have difficulty succeeding in their endeavors. Our community is a very generous giving community and I am confident that OBCF will continue to grow to provide for the future needs of the people and organizations it serves.
Karen S. Brown, President & CEO, Outer Banks Chamber of Commerce
The Outer Banks Community Foundation is a valuable asset in the Outer Banks community and region. Their mission and message of philanthropy and assisting others is one to be proud of and championed. I have watched the Foundation over the years offer assistance to our
community when disaster strikes and also when there are simple needs in the community. The Outer Banks Chamber is a recipient each year of an award that allows us to invite non-profit leaders to be part of our Leadership OBX program which helps develop leaders as well as
provide participants with a better understanding of the needs in our community. The Outer Banks is certainly a better place because of the Outer Banks Community Foundation.
Dr. Jack Bagwell, College of the Albemarle President
We are so excited to welcome the Outer Banks Community Foundation as a neighbor to COA-Dare, College of The Albemarle’s Campus on Roanoke Island. The College has a strong working relationship and friendship with OBCF; having them close by will benefit both organizations. The community is lucky to have OBCF, and we are blessed to be located on the Outer Banks and have a friend and neighbor like OBCF.