History of the Virginia Community Foundation

It all began with a walk around Baileys’ Lake. Local resident Marieta Johnson and a friend realized something needed to be done about the debris around the lake. Marieta applied for a $500 grant from a local bank to fund the first Baileys’ Lake clean-up event.

Inspired to build philanthropic resources to better the community, Marieta, who was an employee of the Northland Foundation, sought support from the city of Virginia to start an endowment fund. A development committee was formed made up of local leaders. Among them were Beverly Bonner, Elder Metsa, Patty Phillips, David “Orlo” Anderson, Vic Lager, Lisa Pattni, Kevin Pietrini, and Carol Sundquist. In 1991, a permanent endowment was created with $100,000 from the city and $20,000 from the Northland Foundation for technical support.

The Foundation was called a community “savings account.” Using investment returns, it began funding projects in 1992. Priorities included beautifying Virginia’s lakes and parks and responding to emerging needs in the community.