MASON COUNTY — Since its formation in 2009, the Robert and Louise Claflin Foundation has presented $282,441.44 to help Mason County organizations with grants and student with scholarships.
“This is the vision that Robert Claflin expressed before his death in 2007,” said foundation President Stephen Littlepage. “Mr. Claflin wanted to help those in need go to college and organizations with community projects to have that money for improvement.”
According to Littlepage, the first monies disbursed were to community organizations in the form of grants totaling $30,778. The 2010 disbursements totaled $38,275.50 with both scholarships and grant awards.
“The scholarships were presented to graduating seniors and the wonderful aspect of the Claflin Scholarships is that they are perpetual,” Littlepage said. “Essentially, college students can have $1,000 for each of their four years of college.”
Also in the foundation’s second year, the Pleasant Valley Hospital Chapel was dedicated to the Claflin couple.
The third year disbursements more than doubled at $111,064.01 due to an increase in the grant applications and subsequent awards, and collaborations with the Mason County Community Foundation and The Point Pleasant River Museum.
Most recently in 2012, the Claflin Foundation awarded a total of $102,323.93 with a continuation of the Spirit of Community Program, scholarships and grants. Also, the collaborative effort with the river museum had an economic impact with helping set up a training facility for river workers.
“There are focus areas for the grants process,” Littlepage said. Because of those focus areas, there are organizations that have received funding during all four years of the foundation’s existence, including the Mason County Library and the Animal Shelter.
“Bob Claflin believed that everyone needed access to a good library, and he loved animals and had the neighborhood’s stray cats on an eating schedule,” Littlepage said. The animal shelter and its animals have benefitted from a dog bathtub, a refrigerator, a covered outdoor kennel area. The library awards also helped purchase books, and other much needed supplies in conducting library business.
Littlepage also said Louise Claflin was very active with her church’s children since she did not have children of her own. Many projects have been funded that target or benefit children and children with special needs.
Littlepage also said the Robert and Louise Claflin Foundation is interested in partnering with organizations as it has with the Mason County Community Foundation, The Point Pleasant River Museum and Pleasant Valley Hospital. Inquiries on how to do so can be directed to Littlepage.