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Ohio Valley Youth Network receives grant

NELSONVILLE — The Steubenville-based Ohio Valley Youth Network is one of three organizations to receive a grant from the Dale Hileman Legacy Fund, officials have announced.

The Ohio Valley Youth Network, which serves the region of Jefferson, Columbiana and Harrison counties, received funding to support the Sycamore Young Entrepreneurs Program. The program provides financial literacy and is designed to inspire youth to start their own businesses. Funds will purchase items to create products for the businesses the students launch.

The Athens-Meigs Educational Service Center, serving Athens, Meigs and Perry counties, received funding for Project RISE: Paid Summer Internships, a program that provides paid internships for high schools students in Athens and Perry counties. Students gain hands-on job experience and improved social and communication skills. The grant will provide stipends for students to overcome barriers to participation, such as transportation or work clothes.

Cambridge Main Street in Guernsey County received funding for the Even Bigfoot Shops Downtown Marketing program. Cambridge Main Street serves as an advocate and promoter for the small businesses of downtown Cambridge. Funding will allow the organization to expand upon the Even Bigfoot Shops Downtown Marketing campaign started in 2020 through the creation of video, print and social media encouraging residents to support small downtown businesses.

The organizations received a combined $2,300.

The fund supports organizations working to promote economic growth within the 16 counties served by the Eastern Ohio Development Alliance, including Athens, Belmont, Carroll, Columbiana, Coshocton, Guernsey, Harrison, Holmes, Jefferson, Monroe, Morgan, Muskingum, Noble, Perry, Tuscarawas and Washington.

“We are pleased to honor Dale through grants that will continue his legacy and support economic development in Eastern Ohio,” said Jim Schoch, executive director of EODA. “We look forward to seeing the impact that these programs will have in the region.”

Hileman died in February 2015. A native of Columbiana County, he worked for Columbia Gas of Ohio for 40 years, serving Carrollton, Jackson and Cambridge in Appalachian Ohio. After his retirement, he remained committed to improving quality of life and promoting his community of Cambridge in Guernsey County, where he shared his final years with his wife, Evelyn.

EODA made the initial $10,000 gift to establish the Dale Hileman Legacy Fund at the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio to recognize and honor Hileman’s legacy. Columbia Gas of Ohio also made a $25,000 gift to the fund to recognize Hileman’s years of service to the organization and to the region.

This year’s presentations were made during the 32nd-annual EODA meeting held April 29 at the Carlisle Inn in Walnut Creek.

Gifts to the fund are tax deductible and can be made in many ways, including cash, bequests and life insurance. To mail your donation, please designate the Dale Hileman Legacy Fund and mail to the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio, PO Box 456, Nelsonville, Ohio 45764. Gifts also can be made online at AppalachianOhio.org by selecting the Dale Hileman Legacy Fund when donating.

Since 1998, FAO has been working with donors who are passionate about Appalachian Ohio, its communities and its future. The organization helps donors give back in ways that are meaningful — to them and to our region.

For information about the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio, visit www.AppalachianOhio.org or contact info@ffao.org or (740) 753-1111.

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