In The News

2023 Grant Awards

October 16, 2023
For Immediate Release
Contact: Jill Miracle, (828) 202-4630

RHI Legacy Foundation Awards Grants

RHI Legacy Foundation recently completed their 2023 grant year, electing to contribute $1,128,338 to non-profit organizations and municipalities in Rutherford County.

Board chairman John Condrey stated, “RHI Legacy Foundation is blessed to have wonderful organizations with great leadership in Rutherford County that we can help with our grant program. This is our tenth year of awarding grants with over one million dollars committed this year. In addition, we have invested heavily in the construction of the Thermal Belt Rail Trail. We have also committed significant funds to construct a new soccer complex. We look forward to seeing how these projects enhance people’s lives in the future.”

The Foundation approved commitments for 36 initiatives for projects that align with RHI Legacy Foundation’s three focus areas which are designed to make Rutherford County a healthier place to live.

  • Active Living – 11 grants totaling $674,038
  • Chronic Disease –6 grants totaling $105,000
  • Healthy Eating – 17 grants totaling $349,300

Each grantee submitted a proposal summary during the Spring and was invited to complete a full grant application during July. Agencies that receive funding provide regular reports and have conversations with Foundation staff throughout the year regarding the health impact that the grant is accomplishing.

Jill Miracle, community impact director for the Foundation, explained, “We believe that partnerships are keys to identifying and resolving issues that affect the health of our county. We will be bringing grantees with common missions together throughout the year to learn more about their work and create opportunities to learn from one another.”

Miracle continued, “We continue to make investments in active living and healthy eating opportunities for our residents because active lifestyles and good nutrition have such an important impact on the quality and length of life we can expect. Our county struggles with both areas, as reflected in the county’s rankings compared to other areas of the state. Supporting the organizations that offer opportunities for residents to make healthier choices, regardless of their ability to pay for those resources, is important to us and to our county.”

Terry Hines, executive director, stated, “RHI Legacy Foundation remains committed to supporting local nonprofits and municipalities in their efforts to address our three focus areas of active living, chronic disease, and healthy eating in Rutherford County. The contributions this year bring the financial support from RHI Legacy Foundation to our community to over $15,500,000.00 since 2014.”

2023 Grant Awards

Active Living

Chimney Rock Village and the Town of Lake Lure – Engineering study for the Riverwalk underpass – $15,000

Friends of the Lake Lure Flowering Bridge – Education center – $20,000

East Rutherford High School – Women’s sports facility – $50,000

Forrest Hunt Elementary School – Play area and summer physical activity programming – $27,000

Rutherford Housing Partnership – Home modifications to provide healthier living environments – $25,000

Rutherford Outdoor Coalition – Outdoor recreation programs and promotions – $35,000

Safe Kids of Rutherford County – Traumatic injury prevention – $11,000

South Mountain Christian Camp – Rutherford County camper scholarships – $19,200

Town of Ellenboro – Colfax Cotton Gin Park including a play area and tailgate market – $284,338

Town of Lake Lure – Morse Park enhancements including a play area and walking trail extension – $100,000

Town of Rutherfordton – Purple Martin Trail northern expansion – $87,500

Chronic Disease

Blue Ridge Hope – Access to mental health services – $20,000

Community Health Council of Rutherford County – Coordination of Council services, community garden grants, RutherfordHELP, cancer services, and the community resource guide – $15,000

Rutherford County Transit – Transportation of residents to key health resources – $25,000

Pisgah Legal Services – Access to healthcare and income security programs – $20,000

Rutherford County Schools Outreach Program – Assistance for students in temporary housing situations – $15,000

United Way of Rutherford County – NC 211 – $10,000

Healthy Eating

Adaville Baptist Church REACH program – equipment for food pantry – $4,800

Basics Christian Ministries – Operational support for food distribution – $25,000

Gilkey School Community Center – Hot meals for the hungry – $5,000

Grahamtown Team – Food distribution – $5,000

Hickory Nut Gorge Outreach – Food supplies for Lake Lure Classical Academy students – $21,000

KidSenses Interactive Children’s Museum – The Factory – $50,000

Lake Lure Classical Academy – Breakfast on the Go – $6,000

Liberty Baptist Food Pantry – Thanksgiving meals for elderly – $3,000

Neighbor’s Pantry – Equipment and food supplies – $25,000

New Beginnings Soup Kitchen – Meal supplies – $17,500

Rutherford County Schools Education Foundation – Backpack Program Coordinator – $45,000

Rutherford County Schools Education Foundation – Supplemental Backpack supplies – $25,000

Rutherford County Senior Center – Home Delivered Meals – $40,000

Rutherford Life Services – Food pantry for clients – $30,000

St. Gabriel’s Episcopal Church – Jericho Road Soup Kitchen – $5,000

Thomas Jefferson Classical Academy – Backpack supplies – $4,000

Union Mills Learning Center – Healthy eating programs – $10,000

Washburn Community Outreach Center – Mobile food distribution – $20,000

Wells Spring United Methodist Church – Emergency food assistance – $8,000

Plans for the next grant cycle will be made in the Spring of 2024. Some changes to the focus areas and grant timelines are expected to be announced at that time through press releases and social media. Please visit the RHI Legacy Foundation website at or the organization’s social media to learn more. Contact Jill Miracle at (828) 202-4630 with questions about the grant-making process.