About the Foundation

Our Story

Through our partnership with citizens of Smyth County, area non-profits, and our local governments, Smyth County Community Foundation is able to support our students as they build their skills to be successful, caring citizens and able to support area non-profits as they work to improve our community, one project at a time.

We are on a Mission to partner to build pathways for a stronger community by creating opportunities and giving hope for a brighter future.

Our Shared Purpose is to build a community where all people can lead healthy, successful lives and are inspired to help one another.

Our Foundation is based on the following Core Values:


Honesty, transparency, and ethical behavior in all we do.


Building our reputation and gaining community trust through what we do and how we do it.


Bringing excellence and innovation to make an impact in Smyth County.

Wise Stewardship

Careful and responsible management of the assets entrusted to us.


Caring, addressing needs, inclusivity.

Meet Our Board

Michael M. Robinson, Ph.D., Chair

Emily Bralley, D.O.

Dennis G. Carter, Ed.D.

Brian Cregger

Paul Holcombe, Esq., Vice Chair

Dave Fields

Sarah Gillespie

John H. Graham, Esq.

Chelsea Hamman, M.D.

Sandra Catalan, Secretary/Treasurer

Dickie Kegley

David Kiser, M.D.

Brian C. Thompson, D.MD.

Merrelle Ward

Our History

Smyth County Community Foundation was established in 1998 to support Smyth County Community Hospital (SCCH) and enhance the health of local residents. Over the years, it changed ownership and mission. In 1999, funds from the hospital’s partial sale were transferred to the Foundation, which used them to build the Lifetime Wellness Center. In 2005, the Foundation re-acquired an interest in SCCH, followed by its majority acquisition by Mountain States Health Alliance (now Ballad Health).

In 2021, Ballad Health purchased the Foundation’s remaining interest in SCCH. Faced with this change, the Foundation decided to adopt a two-entity model. Smyth County Charitable Fund continues the tradition of grant-making for non-profits in health, wellness, and education. Smyth County Community Foundation promotes philanthropy across the county by encouraging endowments for scholarships and grants. Through collaboration with citizens, non-profits, and local governments, the Foundation supports students and area projects to improve the community.

Linda Helton and Mike Robinson with the Smyth County Community Foundation presented a matching grant to Mayor David Helms and the Marion Town Council for their project to upgrade Ogburn Park.

Support Smyth County Community Foundation

We appreciate your contribution to our scholarship and grant-making endowments.

If you would like to send a check instead, address it to Smyth County Community Foundation and include the scholarship or endowment name on the “For” line. Please mail your check to 1 Health Way, Marion, VA 24354​​​​.