In addition to managing endowed funds, the Community Foundation of the Northern Shenandoah Valley assists community organizations with their fundraising campaigns. We currently help support the Chain of Checks committee with their annual Chain of Checks campaign and Winchester Rotary’s Coats for Kids campaign with Q102.
The Community Foundation of the Northern Shenandoah Valley serves as the fiscal sponsor for Chain of Check. The annual fundraising campaign has raised almost $2 million for local charities since its inception. Additionally, the Foundation assists the Chain of Checks committee by soliciting and reviewing applications from potential beneficiaries each year.
The Community Foundation of the Northern Shenandoah Valley also holds the Chain of Checks Endowment Fund, which will serve as a legacy to Barry Lee and the Chain of Checks for generations to come.
What is Chain of Checks?
In December of 1986, morning radio host Barry Lee invited WINC-FM listeners to mail in Christmas cards to decorate the broadcast studio for the holidays. Wanting to create a “tangible” link with the station’s “extended family,” Barry carried the card campaign one step further and asked if the listeners enclose a one dollar check for charity. Those checks were then made into a paper chain that “decked the halls” of the studio and adjacent offices… thus, the WINC-FM Chain of Checks was born!
In 2012, the Chain of Checks became an official nonprofit organization through the Community Foundation of the Northern Shenandoah Valley. That same year, “Chain of Checks” became trademarked. In 2012 the Chain of Checks became a two-day Radiothon with volunteer phone operations in the WNC-FM studio and volunteers manning the Chain of Checks kiosk at Apple Blossom Mall. In 2021, following the sale of WINC-FM and Barry Lee’s retirement, Chain of Checks became an annual year-end grant program funded from Chain of Checks campaign fund raising activities and administered by the Community Foundation.
Each year the Winchester Rotary raises money to purchase new coats for children in our community who otherwise would go without. A brand new jacket is sometimes all it takes to ensure that children will not only be safe but that they will fit in with their peers. It truly helps build self-esteem!
The Winchester Rotary established the Winchester Rotary Coats for Kids Fund at the Community Foundation of the Northern Shenandoah Valley in 2011. This fund is growing rapidly thanks to the hard work of the Winchester Rotary and the many donors who support their efforts. Eventually, this endowed fund will be able to purchase enough coats annually with the interest earned on their investment.
The Winchester Rotary partners with Shenandoah Country Q102 and with local KFC, Sonic and Arby’s locations to raise money through mid-December for the annual fund. The Community Foundation of the Northern Shenandoah Valley processes these donations for the Winchester Rotary. Once the needs of the current year are met, the proceeds go into the endowed fund to grow and fund future coat purchases.
Donations to the Winchester Rotary Coats for Kids Fund are accepted year round.