VHCA Grant Application Deadline Approaching

By Peggy Berg, VHCA Board Member and Safety Chair

VHCA Grant & Community Gift Program

The Virginia-Highland Civic Association’s grant program supports not-for-profit organizations and public initiatives that benefit the Virginia-Highland community. 

Funding: In its annual budgeting process, VHCA establishes funding for the grant program. In addition, the Board may on occasion vote to provide a unique grant for a specific purpose.

Applying: Grant applications are available online at www.vahi.org and should be submitted to budget@vahi.org no later than the deadline established by the Board, which this year is August 26, 2016.

Process: VHCA grants are awarded at the discretion of the Board, which reviews all applications. Each year the budget for grants will vary based on the Board’s consideration of other VHCA commitments.

Selection Criteria: Proposed grant benefits and accomplishments should be accessible and beneficial to a wide range of citizens without regard to race, religious preference, gender, or sexual orientation. 

While exceptions may occur – permanent or long-lasting installations of publicly visible art, for example – funding is not typically considered for projects on residential or individually owned sites.

Successful applicants also meet all or some of the following criteria:

  • Promote Virginia-Highland or physically improve the public spaces of the neighborhood.
  • Support education, life-long learning, sustainability, healthy living, ecological health, art and aesthetics,  historic preservation, environment, recreation, or safety in Virginia-Highland
  • Include and demonstrate other sources of support.

Accountability and Restrictions: Unless other arrangements are made, grant and community gift recipients are expected to report on the use of the funding by May 1st of the year following the award is announced and provide specific results and (where applicable) photos.

You can view and download a copy of the VHCA grant application here.


Grady High Announces VHCA-Supported Award Recipients

By Anna Winer, Grady High School College and Career Center Volunteer, with introduction by VHCA Board Member and Tour of Homes Chair Robin Ragland


Grady High School grant recipients Grace Hawkins, left, and Anna Pozniak

Each year, the Virginia-Highland Civic Association (VHCA) makes grant awards to a variety of community institutions and individual applicants who serve and enrich the neighborhood. Those awards are supported by funds raised at two resident-based VHCA events, Summerfest and the Tour of Homes.

Being able to make such awards is  one of the most rewarding aspects of being the Chair of the Tour of Homes Committee.  The Committee has quite a few new committee members this year, as well as eight gracious homeowners who will play host to us the first week in December.  Several of them asked me how much money we raise and what we do with it.  Many were surprised to hear that over the last decade,  the VHCA has provided just over a quarter of a million dollars in grants to our neighborhood schools, public library, parks, partner non-profits, and others.  About 45% of that total went to our local public schools.

Annual grants represent only a portion of the initiatives funded by VHCA, but they are important and make a difference to each recipient.  Anna Winer, a parent volunteer at Grady High School’s College and Career Center, shares with us (below) how their 2015 grant helped two students further their education.

VHCA congratulates these two worthy recipients for what they’ve accomplished so far in their educational careers and for what they’re sure to accomplish in the future. 

Grady High School’s College and Career Center is grateful to have received a generous grant from the VHCA this year, which we used to fund two $500 scholarships for graduating Grady seniors. The Grady CCC Founders Scholarship was established to honor the service, creativity, and passion of the three volunteers who started  the CCC in 2006. Applicants each wrote a brief essay describing how they’ve used the resources in the CCC to help them navigate their college search. Volunteers in Grady’s Writing Center evaluated the applications, and the winners were announced at Grady’s pre-graduation ceremony, Visions of the Future, on May 14th. For the past two years, we have awarded a single scholarship, but the VHCA grant allowed us to offer scholarships to two students this year.

The second-place winner was Grace Hawkins, who is headed to UCLA in the fall to study theatre, with an emphasis in directing. Grace wrote in her essay, “The best thing about the CCC is the support structure it provides. The CCC is a place where little things add up, where the path to your goals is taken one step at a time. From lunch periods spent typing essays worked on in sections, the work I accomplished bit by bit in the CCC has added up to the success I now enjoy. Looking back, I feel pride in knowing that I achieved my success myself, but not on my own.”

First-place winner Anna Pozniak immigrated to America from Russia just two years ago when her family won the Green Card Lottery.  In that short time she has had to master an unfamiliar American educational system, both high school and the often-daunting college application process. Anna credits the CCC with helping her “pick schools, decipher the paperwork, and connect with the right people,” and she says that the CCC’s “welcoming, supportive atmosphere is infectious,” and that our volunteers are “helpful, encouraging in hard times and genuinely happy with every success.” Anna will attend Purdue University in the fall, where she’ll study industrial engineering.


VHCA Grant Applications for 2015 Now Open

Mosaic_Intow_Hardwareby Peggy Berg

VHCA’s grant program supports not-for-profit organizations and public initiatives that benefit the Virginia-Highland community. Applications for 2015 are due by August 15, 2015.

Successful applicants in past years have included the College and Career Center at Grady High School, SPARK for supplemental materials for a science program, Trees Atlanta, PEDS, Inman Middle School for computer equipment, Stephanie Coffin to support the installation of public art – the mosaic at Intown Hardware, and a variety of other initiatives the benefit the community.

Successful grant applicants met some or all of the following criteria:

  • Promote Virginia-Highland or physically improve the public spaces of the neighborhood.
  • Support education, life-long learning, sustainability, healthy living, ecological health, art and aesthetics, historic preservation, environment, recreation, or safety in Virginia-Highland
  • Include and demonstrate other sources of support.

If you are interested in applying for a grant, please review the Grant Process Document on and send in the Grant Process Application. Call Peggy Berg with any questions at 404.236.9064.


CINS Awards Grants to Grady, Inman, SPARK

cinslogo. to Grady High School, Inman Middle School, and Springdale Park Elementary School for being among those awarded grants by the Council of Intown Neighborhoods and Schools. A complete list of this year’s award winners follows.

If you want to learn more, you’re invited to attend the CINS Grant Showcase on Wednesday April 30, 2014 at 6:30 PM  at Hope-Hill Elementary School. There will be a special performance from Hope-Hill’s Pre-K class, and grant recipients will make brief presentations on their projects.

2014 Grant Awardees

  1. Instructional Personal Access Device Strategies (IPADS): Centennial Place Elementary
  2. Connecting to Literacy in a Technological Age: Hope-Hill Elementary
  3. For the Love of (Leveled) Reading: Intown Academy
  4. Yoga in the Classroom: Mary Lin Elementary
  5. Study Island: Mary Lin Elementary
  6. “There’s an App for That”: Mary Lin Elementary
  7. “So You Think You Can Cluck?”: Morningside Elementary
  8. SPARK science kits: Springdale Park Elementary
  9. Study Island: Inman Middle School
  10. Epson Document Camera: Inman Middle School
  11. Tracking the Rotational Rate of the Sun: Grady High School

Grady High College and Career Center Says Thanks for Grant

Henry_W_Grady_High_School_AtlantaEarlier this year, the Virginia-Highland Civic Association awarded an $800 grant to Grady High’s College and Career Center in support of the work the center does with seniors to prepare them for life after high school. The grant was part of a total of $15,000 in grants awarded by the VHCA in 2013.

The center’s director, Susan Muntzing, emailed last week to say thanks on behalf of the students and staff who have directly benefitted from the grant.


Grady students Nadia Brewer (left) and Tatum Young use the facilities at the Grady College and Career Center.

“The Grady CCC is appreciative!” Muntzing wrote. “We could not accomplish what we do for the students without generous donations from supporters like the VHCA.”

“The VHCA Grant Committee is excited to support the Grady CCC,” says VHCA board member Peggy Berg. “It’s a remarkable resource with many volunteers doing excellent work with our graduating seniors.”

For more information on Grady’s CCC, click here or visit the center’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Grady-High-Schools-College-and-Career-Connection/281342895780.


John Howell Park Receives $1,000 “Love Your Block” Grant

IMG_0846The Friends of John Howell Park group is currently partnering with the City of Atlanta and Hands On Atlanta in a city-led impact service initiative, “Love Your Block,” where residents are encouraged to participate in beautification projects and programs specific to their community.

With the support of Home Depot and UPS Foundations, the VHCA has received a $1,000 grant that will go towards making improvements at John Howell Park. More information will come about a volunteer work day in the fall where we will put these funds to good use.


John Howell Park Gets $50K Grant for Improvements

Park Pride announced last month it was awarding a $50,000 matching funds grant to the Friends of John Howell Park for improvements to the west side of the park, including the volleyball courts and sidewalk. The project will take place over the next year and a half. The Friends of John Howell group will begin fundraising efforts immediately to raise the remainder of the funds needed to match the grant. If you are interested in getting involved with the Friends of John Howell Park group please email us at parks@vahi.org.

Click here for a Patch article with more information on the grant.


Voice – Winter 2003

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– Build a playground at John Howell Park
– Meet your new board of directors (bios)
– Dramatic transformation of Piedmont Park continues with the help of VHCA challenge grant
– Public menorah lighting, by Rabbi Eliyahu Schusterman
– President’s address, by Kevin Cronin (Summerfest funds raised; $46K in grants to neighborhood)
– Highland Hoer: Gardening in Virginia-Highland has come a long way since the ’70s, by John Wolfinger


2001 Annual Meeting

The Virginia Highland Civic Association held its Annual Meeting on September 5, 2001. The most important agenda items for this meeting have typically been the election of a New Board of Directors, recognizing contributions to the neighborhood and grants from the Civic Association to the various institutions and groups that help make our neighborhood a great place to live, shop and dine out.

Community Service Awards
Stephanie Coffin for her contributions and efforts to protect and preserve our neighborhood’s green spaces

Betty Baumann for creating the donation boxes for the entrances to Summerfest that resulted in donations to the neighborhood of over $1,000.

Kathy Barkley for her efforts in making the Summerfest Artist Market a wonderful success this year, and in the past

Chris Clark, our Summerfest Security Chief, for keeping the peace and maintaining order during what is always a hectic week. Chris and his crew successfully thwarted several thefts from artists and were instrumental in making key arrests of the perpetrators.

Each recipient of a Community Service Award was given a Gift Certificate to La Tavola Trattoria, which were graciously donated by its management company, The Fifth Group.

Grants by the Civic Association

  Atlanta Fire Department, Station 19 $    500
Trees Atlanta $ 1,500
PEDS $    500
Ponce de Leon Branch Library $ 2,000
Morningside Elementary School $ 2,000
Inman Middle School $ 2,000
Grady High School $ 2,000
YWCA, NE Intown Branch $    500
Virginia-Highland Baptist Church $    500
Project Open Hand $ 1,000
Council of Intown Schools $ 1,000
John Howell Park $ 3,500


The term for the new Board is October 1, 2001, to September 30, 2002. The list of candidates was as follows:

Betty Baumann*, Erin Chance*, Stephanie Coffin, Winnie Currie*, Patrick Flinn, Chip Gallagher*, Louise Glancy, Linda Guthrie, Mike Hastings, Jean Jordan, Steve Kushner*, Seth Lynn, Steve Luben, Kris Reinhard, Debbie Skopczynski* and Wiley Sommerville*

(*incumbent). Two Board members, Ruthie Penn-David and Ben Barkley, the Civic Association’s President and Vice-President for the past two years, chose not to run for re-election.

Prior to the election, the issue of whether voting by proxy was permissible was addressed to the Board. During a Board meeting, the consensus from a review of the Civic Association’s By-Laws and the Georgia Non-Profit Corporations Code was that proxies were permissible. The issue was discussed at length at the Annual Meeting, and conducting the elections with proxies was challenged. A motion was made from the floor to continue the meeting, which passed by a large majority of the members present.

The breakdown of votes, including votes by proxy, is listed below. The use of proxies had no impact on the election.

Nominee Votes in Person Votes by Proxy Total
Chip Gallagher 89 193 282
Seth Lynn 86 185 271
Wiley Sommerville 85 192 277
Kris Reinhard 83 186 269
Steve Kushner 81 177 258
Steve Luben 76 178 254
Louise Glancy 72 202 274
Jean Jordan 70 162 232
Kevin Cronin 68 137 205
Dave Ferguson 54 82 136
Stephanie Coffin 53 63 116
Patrick Flinn 50 44 94
Linda Guthrie 43 53 96
Betty Baumann 42 48 90
Winnie Currie 38 57 95
Erin Chance 33 60 93
Debbie Skopczynski 32 34 66
Mike Hastings 24 30 54

In addition to these elected members of the Board of Directors, two members are appointed, one each by the Atkins Park Neighborhood Association and the St. Charles/Greenwood Neighborhood Association. These appointed members are Conne Ward-Cameron for Atkins Park and John Craft for St. Charles/Greenwood.

The Civic Association’s new Board is as follows:

The following people were elected/re-elected to the Board of Directors:

Chip Gallagher
Seth Lynn
Wiley Sommerville
Kris Reinhard
Steve Kushner
Steve Luben
Louise Glancy
Jean Jordan
Kevin Cronin
Conne Ward-Cameron (Atkins Park)
John Craft (St. Charles/Greenwood)
Dave Ferguson (Alternate)


The new Board and a few members of the outgoing Board met during the Transitional Meeting required by the By-Laws on September 12. At this meeting, Officers were elected and committees formed. While each committee must include a Board member, committee membership is open to the entire neighborhood and we encourage you to join us on these committees. The new Officers and the initial members of each committee are as follows:

  President Steven Kushner
Vice President Steven Luben
Treasurer Wiley Sommerville
Secretary Louise Glancy
Membership Chip Gallagher, Jean Jordan, Kris Reinhard, Seth Lynn
Parenting & Education Louise Glancy, Jean Jordan
Parks Rob Glancy, David Ferguson, Louise Glancy
Public Safety David Ferguson, Steve Luben, Krista Miller, Billie Jo
Planning Kevin Cronin, Conne Ward-Cameron, John Craft, Chris Bailey
Communications Krista Miller, Seth Lynn, Chip Gallagher, Conne Ward-Cameron, Jean Jordan, Steve Luben
Summerfest Chair – Pam Trettle, Co-Chair – Steve Kushner
Summerfest Steering Wiley Sommerville, Kris Reinhard, Jana Wolkow, Aaron Gross
Summerfest fundraising Chip Gallagher, Jean Jordan

Voice – Winter 1994

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Board members each answer 6 interview questions (J.D. Christy, Debbie Skopczynski, Winnie Currie, Tom Austin, Bruce Taylor, Arnold Gross, Amy Waterman, Steve Jaggers, Mary Jo Peed, Melanie Davenport, Paul Concannon)
– Everything you wanted to know about zoning but were afraid to ask, by Stephen Jagger and Debbie Skopczynski
– President’s Corner, by J.D. Christy
– Annual meeting seats new board, by Beth Marks
Photos from annual meeting
– Bike Stuff
– Environmental potpourri, by Nan Hunter
– Col. Mustard reviews Camille’s
– Happy (1st) birthday, Virginia-Highland Business Association
– Art supports A.I.D.S., by Shelley Scher
– Local group (CAUTION) makes a difference, by Shelley Scher
– School news
– Tips from the trade: Review of The Common Pond, which sold environmentally friendly products
– John Howell Park project, by Tinka Green
– Greening up for the gold, by Stephanie Coffin, co-chair Parks
– Letters of thanks from recipients of VHCA grants