Danville Regional Foundation receives $13M gift from MacKenzie Scott

The organization announced the gift Monday.

“This gift is a recognition of the Dan River Region’s efforts, not DRF’s, as we all work together to transform our community for the better,” Clark Casteel, president and CEO of the Danville Regional Foundation, said in a news release. “Everyone should be proud that Ms. Scott saw the collaborative efforts in our community and chose to invest here.”

The foundation’s goal is to be a “catalyst for long-term transformation” in the region. It supports programs and activities to address health, education and the overall well-being of residents, according to the release.

“DRF will serve as a steward of this investment, and we know that this region will come together to make wise decisions about the use of these funds in ways that make our future generations proud,” Casteel said.

The foundation outlined a set of principles as it embarks on a new future of the area. The first is to recognize that different sectors of the community — education, businesses, health and civic infrastructure — are interconnected.

Another is to acknowledge that collaborative spirit and advocating for regional interest is vital to growth. Groups working across the city-county lines include the Partnership for Regional Prosperity, the Danville-Pittsylvania Regional Industrial Authority, the Southern Virginia Regional Alliance, the Dan River Nonprofit Network, The Health Collaborative and GO Virginia Region 3.

The foundation also realizes that public-private partnerships are key to the local job industry. The release provided examples including the U.S. Navy recently becoming the first project partner at the Center for Manufacturing Advancement at the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research in addition to the partnership with the Institute and Danville Community College — along with other industries — at the Gene Haas Center for Integrated Machining.

The final guiding principal puts shared progress over partisan divides.

“Our region is one that is built from the ground up by generations who have lived here and experienced great disruptions — both economically and socially,” Casteel said. “This culture of resilience and how we embrace innovation is embedded in our progress to date.”

For more information on the foundation, visit www.drfonline.org.

From Staff Reports