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
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.
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.
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.
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.”
Children’s Charities Outline Funding Needs During Pandemic
Part of our corporate culture at the Rye Foundation is to meet face-to-face with every organization which is being considered for funding support.
To achieve this ambitious goal, we frequently sponsor “Champions for Children Day,” when children’s charities make formal presentations on their mission, funding priorities, and current needs.
Recently, charities from across North Carolina traveled to the Historic Brookstown Inn in downtown Winston-Salem. They came from Hendersonville in the west, from Farmville in the east, and from throughout the Triad. During the informative sessions with Rye leaders, one theme rose to the top of the agenda.
“It was uplifting and encouraging to learn how child-focused charities are responding creatively to the global pandemic,” said Warren Steen, the President of the Rye Foundation. “During these challenging times,” he continued, “nonprofits are showing both creativity and resilience.”
One example is the excellent work of Young Life of Henderson County. Graham Wright spoke to foundation leaders about two brand new initiatives, “Quarantine Breakfast Club” and “Zoom Campaigners.”
According to Steen, the event is especially helpful for Board members, who receive detailed information on trends, programming priorities, and capital projects. Many of the groups are invited to submit formal requests during Rye’s next funding cycle.
Steen expressed his appreciation to all the participants and to Allison Watts, the director of sales at the Historic Brookstown Inn, who helped with planning for the statewide event. Established as the community of Salem’s very first factory in 1837, the renovated Inn is now recognized for its guest rooms and meeting space, all located in close proximity to Old Salem.
Over the years, a total of 124 charitable organizations have made presentations at the “Champions for Children Day” event.