Bowers Trusts awards more than $328,000 in grants

This Mannington home was once owned by West Virginia politician and entrepreneur George W. Bowers.

FAIRMONT — The George W. Bowers Family Charitable Trust recently distributed more than $328,000 in grants and scholarships to 47 organizations and three Marion County high school graduates.

Frances Bowers established the George W. Bowers Family Charitable Trust at WesBanco Bank Inc. as way to benefit students and specific organizations, either public or charitable, for civic and governmental purposes as well as for civic improvement projects dedicated for public purposes in the City of Mannington, in Marion County, or in the state of West Virginia.

George W. Bowers, a Mannington businessman whose businesses included the Bowers Pottery Company and Warwick China Company, died in 1943 and left his estate to his three daughters, who remained in the same home where they were raised in Mannington.

Frances Bowers, the last remaining Bowers daughter, died March 15, 2000. In her will, she directed that a portion of the Bowers family estate be left to WesBanco Bank Inc., as trustee, for the establishment of the George W. Bowers Family Charitable Trust.

The trust accepts applications from area organizations between May 1-June 15 annually. At the time of application, organizations must have been designated as a 501(c)(3) charitable organization and comply with all other trust stipulations.

This year’s grant awards were distributed to: Augusta Levy Learning Center, Blackshere Elementary School, BPOE No. 388 Mannington Elks Lodge, Brooke Cemetery Co., Carolina Improvement Association, Connecting Link, Inc., IdaMay Improvement Association, King’s Daughters Child Care Center, Laughlin Community Center, Inc., Mannington Board of Parks and Recreation, Mannington Celebrate Recovery, Mannington Food Pantry & Clothes Closet Inc., Mannington MS, Marion County Humane Society, Marion County Schools, Milan Puskar Health Right Inc., Oglebay Foundation, Pricketts Fort Memorial Foundation, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Pittsburgh and Morgantown Inc., The Clarksburg Mission, The Disability Action Center, The Homestead Farm Center Inc., Town of Farmington, West Augusta Historical Society Inc., West Virginia Botanic Garden Inc., Winfield Community Improvement Association, Youth Services System Inc., YWCA of Marion County.

One student from each of the three Marion County high schools received a scholarship. Taylor Buonamici of North Marion High School, Kylie Kiser-Shaver of Fairmont Senior High School, and Mark Webb of East Fairmont High School will each receive $4,000 each year for four years of college. Each student must maintain a 2.5 cumulative grade point average at the end of the first year and a 3.0 grade point average at the end of each subsequent year.

Including this year’s disbursements, the Bowers Family Charitable Trust has awarded more than $5.1 million in grants and $627,000 in scholarships since it was founded in 2001.

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