DAVIS - Canaan Valley Resort hosting the Tucker Community Foundation's 25th annual Uncle Sam's Birthday Party event Friday evening.
More than 25 years ago, a group of Tucker County residents had what they considered a lofty dream - to create a scholarship fund for local students and community members in need. They hoped to raise $1 million, but in the beginning struggled to have money for stamps, envelopes, pens, paper and the telephone bills. So members devised a plan to raise funds for those needs - a patriotic red, white and blue themed event, as close to the 4th of July as possible - which offered dinner, dancing and a drawing.
Today, the Uncle Sam's Birthday Party is still going strong, and folks travel from across the state and the nation to attend.
The Inter-Mountain photo by Beth Christian Broschart
A blindfolded Oliver Archuleta enlists the help of Uncle Sam, David Cooper, as he selects the last ticket to be eliminated during the Tucker Community Foundation’s Uncle Sam’s Birthday Party Friday evening at Canaan Valley Resort.
Dr. Tom Patrick, one of the charter members of the Tucker Community Foundation, served as emcee of the event for its first 11 years. His daughter, Anna Patrick, stepped in Friday night as emcee on the silver anniversary of the event, saying she was honored to serve in the role.
The event sells 250 tickets, and this year four winners each took home $2,800. Elkins resident Ron LaNeve was selected as winner of a new prize - a $10,000 new endowed fund or $10,000 to an existing fund.
The four winning tickets, held by the "Bucket List," Dan and Judy Bucher, Dr. Elaine Moore and "All of Us," earned their owners $2,800 in winnings.
The Tucker Community Foundation is a tax-exempt public charity that serves eight counties in West Virginia and Garrett County, Md. The Foundation is guided by a volunteer board of directors and a staff including two full time employees, a part-time office manager and a senior trainee. The Foundation manages more than 100 endowed funds with $20 million in charitable assets. These endowed funds are set up to serve specific needs and interests. Tucker Community Foundation administers annual grant and scholarship awards in Barbour, Grant, Mineral, Preston, Pocahontas, Randolph and Tucker counties in W.Va. and Garrett County, Md.
Since the organization was formed in 1989, it has granted more than $5 million. Some of the Foundation's newest funds include the Tucker County Emergency Medical Services Fund, the Tucker County Economic & Community Development Fund, the WVHighlands Artisans STArt Fund and the Mountaintop Public Library New Building Fund.
Another large event for the Tucker Community Foundation is Run For It, giving community groups the opportunity to earn money for their organization. Proceeds of more than $145,000 were distributed to many community causes throughout the region.
Additional information about the Tucker Community Foundation is available by calling 304-478-2930 or online at tuckerfoundation.net.