Foundation investments help community for years to come

Published 12:35 am Friday, September 23, 2022

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There are many Davie residents who wish to change the lives of students by investing in their education through scholarships administered by the Davie Community Foundation.

“These are important investments by generous people who understand the value of education,” said Jane Simpson, foundation CEO and president.

“There are other generous people in Davie County who choose to invest in our community through the foundation but do it in a much broader way. These donors create Community Funds. Whether the fund is unrestricted in its use or limited for use in a specific area of interest, they are the most important investments community members can make in Davie County.

“Because the foundation board can use the distribution of earnings from these funds to make ever changing grants to agencies, organizations, and projects in our community, they can vary as the needs and opportunities change over time.

“Community Funds are especially important in times of emergency as we saw in March 2020 when COVID-19 struck. Because the distributions are directed by the foundation board, they were able to direct $50,000 to create the Davie County COVID-19 Relief Fund, joined by the Mebane Charitable Foundation which matched another $50,000 and community members also contributed.”

Grants from the fund could be made immediately to non-profit organizations hit hard by COVID. Suddenly the support for agencies had stopped, but the need for their services had exploded.

“In those very uncertain times, the foundation was able to respond quickly ultimately granting $125,920 to agencies and non-profit organizations,” she said. “This was only possible because of the generosity of community members who had created Community Funds for Davie.”

Who are these donors? “We will meet them over the next month or two. You will recognize many of their names and faces as they are your friends and neighbors. They share a common goal of providing lasting support for their community.”

• Ken and Betty Dwiggins grew up in Davie County. They returned in July 1997 after Ken retired from more than 35 years of service to Ford Motor Co. Ken wanted to share his talents with the community he loved as a child. He was quickly recruited and given the task of reorganizing the foundation that had been incorporated in December 1988 as the Davie County Foundation.

Ken, along with then board chair, Joan Carter, set the foundation in motion to follow the model of community foundations throughout the state and country. They spent months meeting with colleagues from other community foundations to understand their business model and learn more about the legal aspects. They ultimately decided that the missing piece was a staff person who would nurture and grow the foundation over time.

On April 1, 2003, the board hired Simpson as the foundation’s first staff. She was later named President and CEO of the organization as Ken stepped away.

They established the Ken and Betty Dwiggins Fund. The distributions from their fund’s earnings have been combined with those of other Community Funds to make investments in schools and organizations for the last 13 years.

Because the fund is endowed, invested permanently, grants will continue to be made from the fund in Davie County forever.

“Thank you, Ken and Betty, for your vision and your generosity,” Simpson said. “You are truly Davie County philanthropists who have given of your time, your talents, and your treasure to help our community.Thank you.”

To learn more about the Davie Community Foundation contact Simpson at (336) 753-6903 or or visit