It All Started With Three Sheets of Paper
By Scotty Patrick, Magoffin County Community Foundation chair
I grew up in Magoffin County and learned a lot in my early years there. My teachers taught us the three Rs and the importance of respecting each other. My education extended beyond the classroom as I realized how those around me helped me. From picking me up when I failed to taking me to places where I learned new things and met new friends, so many in Magoffin County were instrumental to my learning experience as a youngster. I am forever grateful to them.
Fast forward to 2000 when I pondered what to do after retiring from Ashland, Inc., where I’d worked for 40 years. My home county in Kentucky seemed like a good place to start. Even though I have not lived in Magoffin County for many years, I returned often to visit family and friends, roam the beautiful rolling hills and serve on the local bank board.
During these trips, I learned about the community projects that Magoffin residents wanted to pursue but struggled to find the funds to complete. I thought I could be a catalyst to help them and use this opportunity to repay my hometown community. After talking with many local people, we
decided to form a community charitable foundation. However, we soon learned that what seemed easy to imagine was not easy to make a reality. Creating our own charitable organization was going to be complicated due to the legal, administrative and financial requirements. Fortunately, we approached Blue Grass Community Foundation, and they quickly offered to lighten our load. Joining Blue Grass Community Foundation as a
community affiliate would allow our local organization to focus on putting the programs together for the Magoffin County community. Thus, a simple agreement on “three sheets of paper” was signed, and we were in business.
Looking back, what have we accomplished these past 20 years? For starters, 195 Magoffin County high school seniors have received scholarship assistance in attending a college of their choice. Dozens of local nonprofits have raised $1,324,000 through participation in our annual Community Day fundraiser. Hundreds of people volunteer for the event each year, and we partner with the local high school so students can participate in Community Day and learn about philanthropy. And, our community foundation has made numerous grants to support specific projects to benefit our community, such as Meals on Wheels and drug avoidance efforts.
This year, we embark on our most ambitious effort: the construction of a new career center at the local high school, through a personal donation of $5 million. More about this exciting project will be shared as it progresses.
The motto of the Magoffin County Community Foundation is “Neighbors Helping Neighbors.” Just think what thousands of hours of local neighbor volunteer efforts and “three sheets of paper” have accomplished. And we are not done yet!
Whether you can give $5, $50,000 or $5 million, BGCF is here to make giving back to the community you love easy and rewarding! Visit bgcf.org/community-funds to learn more.