Middleburg to Donate $40,000 to 9 Charities

Continuing with its annual obligation to donate revenue generated from the quarter-acre Health Center property to charity, the Town of Middleburg this year will donate about $10,000 more than it usually does.

The Town Council on Thursday night voted unanimously to approve $40,000 in donations to nine separate charities—$9,000 to Seven Loaves Services, $8,000 to the Middleburg Community Center, $5,000 to Middleburg FISH, $4,000 to the Middleburg Museum Foundation, $4,000 to the Windy Hill Family Services Program, $4,000 to A Place to Be, $3,000 to Backpack Buddies, $2,000 to the Cherry Blossom Breast Cancer Fund and $1,000 to the Loudoun Abused Women’s Shelter.

“We’ve always picked organizations that impact Middleburg,” said Vice Mayor Darlene Kirk.

Mayor Bridge Littleton and Councilmembers Cindy Pearson and Kevin Hazard did not vote. Littleton serves on the Middleburg Museum Foundation’s board of directors, Pearson works with the Middleburg Community Center, and Hazard is on the Seven Loaves board of directors.

Since the town took ownership of the Health Center in 1979, it’s been required by the 1939 incorporation document to donate the money it’s made from leasing space in the property’s 3,400-square-foot building.

This year, the donation will be pulled from the town’s General Fund. According to Town Administrator Martha Semmes, the town didn’t have enough money in its Health Center Fund to make the donations. “[The property] wasn’t producing as much income as it had in the past,” she said.

The donation is the largest the town has made in recent years. In the past three years, it donated an average of $31,500.

According to their requests, Seven Loaves will use the money to buy food; the Middleburg Community Center will use it for its swimming pool; Middleburg FISH will use it to help financially-distressed residents pay their rent; the museum foundation will use it to fund educational events, fundraising and start-up costs; Windy Hill will use it to help fund its Family Services Program; A Place to Be will use it to provide therapeutic treatment for 16-24-year-olds who are experiencing financial trouble; Backpack Buddies will use it to buy food for packed lunches; and the Cherry Blossom Breast Cancer Fund will use it to fund grants for organizations that detect, treat and educate people about breast cancer.

Although the town didn’t get a request from the Loudoun Abused Women’s Shelter, the Health Center Advisory Board—made up of Kirk, Councilman Philip Miller, former fire chief Edward Swain, Howard Armfield and former councilman Erik Scheps—recommended that the Town Council approve a $1,000 donation to the organization because it’s never done so.

Moving into next year, the incorporation document will require Old Ox Brewery, which recently purchased the Health Center from the town for $750,000 to put in a 2,900-square-foot tasting room and a 1,000-square-foot outdoor beer garden, to make charitable donations.

Now that the town doesn’t own the property, it won’t stop making donations. Semmes said that once the sale is final in the coming months, the town will set up a foundation that will use the $750,000 and the remaining balance in the Health Center Fund to donate to charity for years to come.

pszabo@loudounnow.com

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