There are some exciting things happening in Richmond. One of them is Pogo Park, a project spearheaded by Toody Maher to renovate small pocket parks in the heart of the iron triangle, an area known for drug dealing and crime. The first park is complete and is an exceptional example of people coming together as a community to serve children, to rejuvenate an area, and to motivate others to join in.
The Pogo Park team is now tackling a strip of land abandoned by a railroad running through the city. This has attracted artists in metal sculpture, wood carving, and mural painting, all of whom want to contribute to their community and create positive change from the ground up.
Years ago Philanthropic Ventures Foundation was an initial funder and now it is a current supporter with an immediate grant for discretionary use.
Toody recently described her first experience with my find ‘em and fund ‘em approach: “You are a central part of a story I tell over and over: how, when I was first starting out, Pogo Park needed a $5,500 match to secure a $30,000 grant. Fifteen minutes after meeting us and hearing what we were doing and what we needed, you just blurted out ‘We’ll give you $5,500!’ and the check came a week later.”