What makes Virginia Beach great? A quality of life that is second to none. And what makes that quality of life so rich? Private nonprofit groups that contribute more than $8 million to city facilities annually.
Sixteen private foundations and nonprofit groups raise the money every year for the arts, city museums, performing arts centers, rescue squads and historic houses, according to a tally by the city’s Department of Museums & Historic Resources.
“Virginia Beach is a richer, more vibrant place because of these private groups,” said Lynn B. Clements, director Museums & Historic Resources. “Our goal is to create cultural and recreational experiences that are authentic, interactive, accessible and memorable. These private groups help us reach that goal.”
City Councilmember Barbara Henley added, “I can’t say enough about our nonprofit groups. The value they bring to Virginia Beach is staggering.”
Among the largest private donations in 2013:
- $3.7 million from the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center Foundation.
- $1.6 million from the Virginia Beach Rescue Squad Foundation and other rescue squad donations
- $250,000 from the Public Art Virginia Beach Foundation
- $176,610 from Virginia Beach Friends of the Library
- $158,555 for the Old Coast Guard Museum
- $130,000 from the Virginia Beach Library Foundation
- $103,000 from the Sandler Center for the Performing Arts Foundation.
In addition, the Sandler Center Foundation raised $6.7 million recently to help fund the region’s premier performing arts center. The Aquarium Foundation will soon kick off a $14 million capital campaign to help expand and improve the state’s most-visited destination.
The $8 million raised by these private groups is equal to roughly 2 additional cents on the real estate tax. It does not include the value of the institutions’ volunteers or capital campaigns for special projects.
“We can’t thank these 16 foundations and nonprofits enough for the great gifts they have given to our citizens,” Clements said.
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