The Rapha Foundation, a philanthropic organization dedicated to improving health and access to education in Wise and Dickenson counties and the city of Norton, made its first major gift on Thursday, Feb.27, when its Board of Directors presented $1 million to the University of Virginia’s College at Wise Foundation.

The $1 million gift will be matched by the University of Virginia’s Strategic Investment Fund, which means The Rapha Foundation Bicentennial Scholarship Fund will be funded at the $2 million level.

“Our Foundation Board of Directors is so excited to make a major gift of this magnitude,” board chair Charles “Jibber” Ward said. “The Foundation’s mission is to support initiatives that focus on healthcare and education in the region. Establishing The Rapha Foundation Bicentennial Scholarship Fund will help make a college education possible for many students in Wise and Dickenson counties and the city of Norton, and we are extremely pleased to support such a worthy endeavor.”

The Board of Directors presented UVA Wise Chancellor Donna P. Henry and Vice Chancellor for Advancement and Alumni Engagement Valerie Lawson with the gift during a check presentation ceremony.

“The Rapha Foundation’s generous gift will have far-reaching impact on UVA Wise and our students from Wise and Dickenson counties and the city of Norton,” Chancellor Donna P. Henry said. “We are extremely grateful to The Rapha Foundation for making such a powerful investment in the lives of our students. The scholarship fund will truly make a positive difference in countless ways for generations to come.”

About The Rapha Foundation Bicentennial Scholarship

The income of the fund shall be used to provide need-based scholarships to undergraduate students attending the College at Wise. It is the donor’s preference that scholarships be awarded to students who have graduated or earned General Education Diplomas and who live in the Wise County, Virginia, and Dickenson County, Virginia areas

About Rapha Foundation

The Rapha Foundation is governed by a nine-member volunteer board created to manage the proceeds from the sale of its minority share of Norton Community Hospital to Ballad Health. Rapha Foundation administers, invest in, and create major grants focused on addressing root causes of health and education inequality. The Foundation will create opportunity and provide major resources to create new partnerships and bolster the efforts of other hardworking local organizations in Wise and Dickenson counties and the city of Norton.

The mission of the Rapha Foundation is to support projects that promote or improve the population health of citizens and projects that promote or improve the education of citizens in the city of Norton, Wise County, and Dickenson County, Virginia. Rapha means ‘healing’ in Hebrew and the Board members believe they are in a great position to support healing of the communities in which they proudly serve.