History of the Virginia Community Foundation

The Virginia Community Foundation story begins with a walk around Baileys Lake on an early spring day in 1989 when unseasonably warm weather brought walkers out. Marieta Johnson and friends found themselves on the partially built walk path near Bailey’s Lake. To say the litter and condition of the lake area shocked them is an understatement. Prompted to clean up the lake, Marieta applied for and received a $500 grant from the Norwest Bank Foundation for the first Baileys Lake clean-up event. The seeds were planted that grew into the Virginia Community Foundation.

Building a community foundation in Virginia was important because the time had come for citizens to begin doing something about improving its lakes, parks, and community life. The resources available from the mines, IRRR and state aid were shrinking and unable to solve all the problems. This foundation would attract philanthropic donations and grow into a permanent resource for our greater community area.

Local business and community leaders created a permanent resource for building a better community. The Virginia Community Foundation was established in 1991 with $100,000 commitment from the city of Virginia and a $20,000 grant, along with technical assistance and administrative support from the Northland Foundation.

The Foundation strives to combine the character of the past and the good ideas of the present to create an even better future for the greater Virginia area.

Founding Business and Community Leaders:

Larry Asbach, Beverly Bonner, Dorothy Karon, Bob Leiviska, Elder Metsa, Lisa Pattni, Patty Phillips, Kurt Sundquist, David “Orlo” Anderson, Patty Phillips, Vic Lager, and Kevin Pietrini.