In 2020 Lake Rabun Responded:
In a difficult year filled with unanticipated challenges the Lake Rabun community responded with uncommon generosity. While the pandemic altered many things we take for granted, the LRF experienced a record year for contributions from LRA members. In turn, the LRF was able to donate at a record level to worthy causes in Rabun County.
Thanks to our membership’s largesse the LRF has provided $106,000 in college scholarships to our Lake Rabun Scholars. Additionally, the Foundation supported several students attending North Georgia Technical College. The Foundation made grants totaling $73, 000 to charitable organizations, church ministries, and schools in Rabun County. The spring Covid-19 Relief fund request raised $26,000 which went to the Rabun County Family Connection Partnership which serves families in need. Larger grants were also made to FAITH, the Mountain Branch of the Food Bank, and Rabun Habitat.
Lake Rabun Foundation Grants Reach $2,000,000:
Since inception and a single scholarship award of $1,000 in 1967, your LRF has provided $1,259,085 in scholarships and $733,565 in outreach grants to local recipients…some $7,350 short of $2,000,000 in total contributions. The LRF Trustees recently voted to surpass the $2,000,000 level of giving with a $10,000 grant to FAITH.
FAITH is a non-profit organization that provides free and confidential services to the victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and child abuse in NE Georgia. Over the past year FAITH has experienced greater demand for assistance while having to cancel its major fundraising event. Forced to consider reduction in staff, the LRF is pleased to extend assistance to this worthy organization!
In responding to the LRF grant, FAITH Executive Director Caroline Wells wrote “Rabun County has been blessed having such an engaged and caring LRA. Since day one the LRA has assisted FAITH both monetarily and by providing many hours of volunteer service. I feel like the LRA has been the cornerstone allowing FAITH the ability to grow our programs as to best serve the community. I am very thankful for everything your lake families have done and continue to do to help make Rabun County the best it can be.”
Mentioned and appreciated but unquantified is the tremendous amount of time and energy LRA members contribute to volunteerism in Rabun County. Our members chair, preside, and serve in numerous non-profits and give benevolently directly to charitable entities. One thing that I find particularly gratifying is knowing that in Rabun County the LRA and LRF have truly made a difference…positively affecting lives for over 50 years here in the Blue Ridge.
On Behalf of the Lake Rabun Foundation,
2020 Annual Fund Letter
Dear LRA Member,
This year has surely been one of the most difficult on record for our country with the Covid-19 crisis and the resulting upheaval of American lives. For our Lake Rabun community, it has been a year with no meetings, parties, LRA fundraising events or opportunities to meet our 43 scholarship students.
Still, as I talk to neighbors around the lake, it strikes me just how fortunate and truly blessed we all feel in this community. Over a summer that started early and ended late, many slowed down to enjoy time with family and close friends. So often I have heard folks say, “we are so blessed to be here at the lake”. I could not agree more. Lake Rabun is, and always has been, about community.
That said, needs here in Rabun County have become more dire. In a county dependent on tourism as a major employer, the jobless rate has soared. The Food Bank and church outreach programs have seen demand increase. FAITH has requested additional assistance to meet the cry of those encountering abusive situations. The Rabun County Community Partnership has experienced a steady stream of requests for help with food, rent, utilities and medical supplies.
As we enter this Holiday Season, I know that many in the Lake Rabun community will, as always, share their generous spirit by supporting the Lake Rabun Foundation. This is a year with no major fundraiser other than our Annual Fund. At the same time, the foundation has provided more financial assistance to the community and to our scholarship students than in any previous year. We need your help. We need the support of every LRA family. This is an opportunity to show our gratitude, by sharing our gifts with our neighbors in Rabun County. It is easy to donate online. CLICK HERE and make your donation. You can also mail in a check. See instructions below.
Thank You! And Best Wishes to you and your family for a safe, healthy and Peaceful Holiday Season!
Please make check payable to: NGCF-Lake Rabun Fund
North Georgia Community Foundation
615 F Oak Street-Suite 1300
Gainesville, GA 30501
Rabun County has recently welcomed back a native daughter, Mandy Pileski, who was a Lake Rabun Scholar circa 2001. Mandy was born and raised in Rabun County and attended RCHS and UGA before postgraduate work took her to “parts north” where she earned a PhD in Counseling Psychology from the State University of New York.
The lure of home, family, and an “opportunity to give back” brought Mandy and her family back to Rabun County earlier this year. She established Georgia Mountain Psychological Associates to increase affordability and accessibility of mental health services in Rabun County.
I had an opportunity to speak with Mandy and she shared just how important the LRA scholarship was as she continued her education. At the time Mandy was awarded a scholarship there were only four annual recipients…this year the Lake Rabun Community is sponsoring 43 scholarships. Since inception $1,250,000 of scholarships have been awarded and $700,000 of charitable grants have been distributed in Rabun County.
Your contributions to the LRF Annual Fund support many students like Mandy and your continued support is critical to the continuation of our outreach in the Rabun County community.
I hope you enjoy this short conversation with Mandy. The LRF would like to thank Ken Young for the videography and editing on this video.