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NRV Leading Lights Board President Dick Arnold (from left), founding gift donor Judy Job, NRV Leading Lights Treasurer Tim Rosche and CFNRV Executive Director Jessica Wirgau came together in June for a ceremonial check handover to establish the NRV Leading Lights endowment at CFNRV.

The Community Foundation of the New River Valley is pleased to announce the establishment of a new endowed fund by New River Valley Leading Lights.

Founded in 2009 by the German Club Alumni Foundation and other community organizations, NRV Leading Lights acknowledges and honors volunteers across the New River Valley who are making community-changing impacts.

Each year, the group solicits nominations for awards at the high school, college and community levels, culminating in a banquet to celebrate these “Leading Lights.” In 2019, 60 dedicated Leading Lights were honored, including 11 Distinguished Awardees. Each of these receives $500 ($1,000 for Lifetime Awardee) to donate to the NRV group of their choice where they volunteer. To date, this program has honored 574 Leading Lights and distributed $57,000 to area community organizations.

With this successful record, NRV Leading Lights is looking to secure the long-term, permanent existence and impact of this program by establishing an endowment fund with CFNRV that will grow and produce income over time. This long-term planning for the future will allow them to carry out their mission and vision in perpetuity.

The initial $15,000 gift that enabled the creation of this endowment was made by Judy, Rob and Amy Job, in honor of Judy’s recently deceased husband, Bob Job, who was a longtime board member of NRV Leading Lights. Major donors to the endowment will have the opportunity to name an NRV Leading Lights Distinguished Award.

“We are excited about the endowment for the future of NRV Leading Lights and the community,” said Dick Arnold, president of the NRV Leading Lights Board of Directors. “Establishing this endowment will allow us to begin building sustainability toward honoring volunteer Leading Lights for their dedication and leadership, and inspiring a culture of volunteerism that is rewarded and recognized. We thank the Job family who made this possible.”

Jessica Wirgau, executive director of CFNRV, is excited to welcome NRV Leading Lights as an endowed fund-holder.

“Creating an endowed fund at the Community Foundation is one of the best ways for organizations like NRV Leading Lights to build sustainability and ensure the long-term impact of their programs,” Wirgau said. “We know how important dedicated volunteers are to all types of organizations, including our own, and we are honored to help ensure that the NRV’s many Leading Lights are celebrated for generations to come through this endowment.”

Individuals or organizations interested in learning more about designated or agency funds and other ways to magnify the impact of giving with the foundation can visit or contact Jessica Wirgau at for more information.

Submitted by Claire Gilbert

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