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Lottery gift keeps giving

A Stafford County couple who won the Powerball jackpot in February are spreading their wealth around the region.

Nine local organizations recently received a total of $266,800 in grants through the Honeywell Charitable Fund, set up by Dave and Nancy Honeywell under the auspices of the nonprofit Community Foundation of the Rappahannock River Region.

The Honeywells donated $4 million to the Community Foundation after their jackpot win, the largest gift in the fund’s 16-year history.

The foundation’s board of governors approved the nine grants, the largest being $60,000 to Stafford Emergency Relief through Volunteer Efforts (SERVE). Greater Fredericksburg Habitat for Humanity also received $60,000; Micah Ecumenical Ministries and Rappahannock Goodwill Industries received $30,000 each.

With their grant, Rappahannock Goodwill Industries will provide expanded aid to the disabled in the community with a new technology lending library.

The facility will provide workstations for the disabled to try equipment such as keyboards, computers and adjustable chairs to find the best option for their needs.

President and CEO Woody Van Valkenburgh said currently, disabled members of the community use the one all-access work station downtown “extensively.”

He hopes to give a positive report back to the foundation after the work stations become available.

SERVE also plans to expand their ability to serve community members.

SERVE offers financial assistance, food pantry access and seminars on financial planning, as well as computer skills and job employment skills. The $60,000 grant will help the organization start construction of a 30- by 50-foot metal warehouse to store donated food.

Right now, donations are stacked in the main building or in a rented pod, according to Executive Director Marilyn Stevens. With about 100 families to assist per week, and donations topping 14,000 pounds, Stevens said the warehouse will be a huge asset to the organization and will “make the food pantry process a lot smoother.”

To add to the excitement, Nancy Honeywell delivered the check to Stevens herself.

She “genuinely gave from her heart,” said Stevens, who said the warehouse will be named for the Honeywells.

After clearing donated food out of SERVE’s office space, the organization will be able to hold supplemental seminars on topics such as diabetes, heart health and WIC, a government-sponsored nutritional program for women, infants and children.

“It’s all for them,” Stevens said, referring to the many community members the organization helps every day.

Regina Weiss: 540/374-5417



Nine local organizations recently received grant money from a fund created by Dave and Nancy Honeywell, a Stafford couple who won the lottery earlier this year. Among the recipients:

  • SERVE, $60,000 to build a 30- by 50-foot metal warehouse for food donations, allowing more workspace for volunteers.
  • Greater Fredericksburg Habitat for Humanity, $60,000 to support home construction, rehabilitation and repair.
  • Micah Ecumenical Ministries, $30,000 to support the employment program, Step Forward, and the work transportation service.
  • Rappahannock Goodwill Industries, $30,000 to create new Job Help Center opportunities for people with disabilities. Two assistive technology work stations will also be built.
  • Fredericksburg Area Food Bank, $24,800 to buy a refurbished forklift and scale to speed up large donations to agencies that serve the hungry.
  • St. Seton’s Orphaned Animals/Thomas Beath Veterinary Clinic, $24,400 for general operating support to prevent cruelty to animals, including a program to provide low-income pet owners with pet food and spay and neutering services.
  • St. George’s Episcopal Church—The Table, $20,000 to support and expand the food pantry, including the purchase of fresh local farm “seconds” and the addition of an evening component of the Table.
  • Hospice Support Care, $10,000 to expand the Hospice Family Care volunteer corps to 20 members.
  • The Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary, $7,500 to support the annual auxiliary’s Shoe Fund, which provides vouchers to parents in need of shoes for their children.