The mission of the Rye Foundation is to make a life-changing impact on North Carolina children
by providing grants in the areas of Religion, Youth, and Education.

News from the Rye

Bryan Award Reaches $150,000

Latest Winner is Pitt County Nonprofit
Students at the Building Hope Community Life Center receive instruction and encouragement from adult role models.

Students at the Building Hope Community Life Center receive instruction and encouragement from adult role models.

GREENVILLE – The Rye Foundation has named the recipient of the annual Bryan Award, and the winner is Pitt County’s faith-based Building Hope Community Life Center.

Warren Steen, the President of the Rye Foundation, said the Bryan Award is the highest honor given by the foundation and includes a charitable grant of $25,000 to expand and enhance programming. He said the award is named for Goldsboro businessman and philanthropist Ray Bryan, who died in 2016 at the age of 84.

Atlas Kelly, the executive director of Building Hope, described the organization as “a Jeremiah 29:11 ministry.” which helps children and youth to discover and develop their God-given talents. The Center offers after-school programs, summer camps, and a Service Saturday, where participants give back to the community in hands-on activities such as painting and raking leaves.

Rye board member Ingram Hedgpeth traveled to Greenville for a recent site tour at Building Hope and came away impressed. “It was uplifting to learn that their mission places an emphasis on academic achievement and spiritual development,” he said. “This is exactly the kind of project we are looking to support.”

Steen expressed his appreciation to Sid Bradsher of Heart for Eastern North Carolina, whose phone call started the process that led to the big announcement. “I want to thank Sid for his role in connecting the Rye Foundation with Building Hope,” he stated.

The $25,000 award will be used to:

  • Launch a new program for young entrepreneurs.
  • Sponsor summer camp field trips to colleges and area businesses.
  • Increase technology at the Center.

Building Hope is the sixth winner of the Bryan Award, and a total of $150,000 has now been distributed to help children’s charities fulfill their mission.

All-State Choir Performs Again

Rye Provides Scholarships for Singers

After a two-year hiatus due to the global pandemic, the All-State Youth Choir brought “the sound of music” to audiences this summer.

Over the years, the Rye Foundation has given thousands of dollars in scholarship support for the teenaged musicians.

In the past, the group has performed in Duke Chapel and aboard the Battleship USS North Carolina, as well as in churches and retirement homes throughout the state. This summer, the Choir traveled to Albemarle, Asheboro, Greensboro, Kannapolis, and Winston-Salem.

Phil Campbell, the minister of music at First Baptist Church in Lincolnton, is the long-time leader of the All-State Choir. He expressed his appreciation to the singers, their parents, volunteer leaders, choral director Shane Stephens of Lincolnton, and accompanist Michael McKnight of Greenville.

The theme verse was Psalm 104:33, which says, “I will sing unto the Lord as long as I live.

“This has been an emotional summer,” stated Campbell. “Our singers have brought hope and encouragement to many people as they lifted their voices in song.”

Since the Choir was established, over 1,000 singers have participated in the ministry. Leaders of the Rye Foundation firmly believe that their gifts are investments in the future.

Rye Announces Winner of 2022 Bryan Award:

Johnston County Projects Receive $25,000

CLAYTON – In Johnston County, 19 percent of children face “food insecurity”, and the Rye Foundation decided to do something about it.

The Board of Directors voted to name The Woman’s Club of Clayton as this year’s recipient of the Bryan Award, the highest honor given by the Foundation. It includes statewide publicity and a charitable grant of $25,000.

Since 1918, the club has forged partnerships and focused on improving the quality of life for area citizens. The grant will enable it to expand financial support for three faith-based organizations:

  • Clayton Area Ministries
  • Backpack Buddies
  • Serve the Need of Johnston County

Rye board member Ingram Hedgpeth led a delegation to Clayton, and a memorable day included a site tour and meetings with community leaders. Subsequently, club president Betsy Grannis and vice president Sarah Brooks traveled to Winston-Salem and made an outstanding presentation at Rye’s “Champions for Children Day.”

Hedgpeth explained that Clayton Area Ministries operates a food pantry which serves over 500 families each month. He said the popular Backpack Buddies program has great support from area churches, and Serve the Need provides a free Thanksgiving meal for 2,000 children and adults.

Warren Steen, the president of the Rye Foundation, stated, “During his lifetime, Ray Bryan was one of our most generous supporters. He believed that every child needs positive role models, and they also need encouragement and direction in life.” A Goldsboro business leader and philanthropist, Mr. Bryan died in 2016 at the age of 84.

The Bryan Award recognizes his legacy of service and is given annually to a child-centered charity.

Rye Gives $10,000 to Boys and Girls Homes of NC

LAKE WACCAMAW  –  In its latest round of charitable grants, the Rye Foundation made an investment of $10,000 in the life-changing work of the Boys and Girls Homes of North Carolina.

Known statewide for “making futures brighter since 1954”, the Homes served over 400 children during the past year in a wide array of services.

Rye leaders said their philanthropy will help the Homes to:

  • Expand music opportunities for children on campus.
  • Create the Rye Leadership Award, to be presented to a child at the year-end recognition banquet.
  • Provide pandemic-related equipment and supplies for Rotary Cottage.

A recent site tour was arranged for the Foundation and included visits to Rogers Chapel, Rotary Cottage, and an on-campus classroom at Thomas Academy. The informative tour showcased several opportunities to support and encourage children.

Ray Cockrell, of the Homes, expressed his appreciation for the gift. “This is the third time that our friends at Rye have made a significant investment”, he said. “We are thankful for their support, and we promise to spend these funds wisely as we carry out our mission of helping children and families.”

5 Ways to Help Children

  • Make a gift of cash.
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  • Establish a family fund.
  • Take advantage of a “named gift opportunity” and place the name of a family member on a building or special fund.

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