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The Alliance of Champion Communities is a community-based, citizen-led partnership that assists West Virginia communities in becoming more economically competitive by providing education, technical assistance, and the sharing of best practices in community development.
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The Alliance of West Virginia Champion Communities inspires leadership by example. Those who participate learn how to facilitate meetings, develop agendas, conduct surveys and network with other leaders. Members mentor emerging community leaders in structuring projects, writing grant applications, organizing volunteers and other important leadership skills.
Awards Program


The Celebration concluding the 2008 Technology Minigrant Program was attended by 41 project teams from across the state. The event was held on April 4, 2009 at the Preston County Sheltered Workshop in Reedsville. Participants were asked to vote on which of the projects they would like to see replicated in their own community. Each of the top winners received a pillow quilt made by the Preston County Literacy Volunteers as their prize.

April 09 Celebration
Project teams enjoyed hearing about all the technology projects from other communities. (photo by Gwen Hagaman, Clendenin)
A Team
The Celebration Team is shown introducing Project Teams. (left to right) Jonathan Price; Shelly Huffman; Corinne Fortin, Alliance Intern; Marcel Fortin, Alliance Executive Director. (photo by Eddie Lowe, Point Pleasant)

First Place ... Knock, Knock… Who's There?

A "Free Public Wi-Fi" program, utilizing state-of-the-art technologies to foster community awareness, growth and social intercourse for the citizens of Doddridge County, WV in areas of education, business development and tourism via the internet. A video of project highlights is available on YouTube.

Knock Knock
T. David Franklin of Glen Elk Village accepts the first place award for the Knock-Knock Project on behalf of his project team from Doddridge County. (photo by Corinne Fortin, Alum Creek)

Second Place ... The WV Teen Zine

The WV Teen Zine Website is an afterschool program using technology-based learning to address Morgan County needs by promoting positive youth development, providing mentor leadership, increasing civic engagement, and offering locally-based internet learning experiences, website design and technology skills linking the community to the classroom, acting as a clearinghouse for parent resources, and developing computer workforce training.

Teen Zine
Megan Hauser, a community educator for The Oasis Center in Berkeley Springs, WV accepts the second place award for the Teen ZINE Website on behalf of her team from the Morgan County Partnership. (photo by Corinne Fortin, Alum Creek)

Third Place ... The Ladder Project

The Ladder Project -- High Rocks of Hillsboro will create an oasis of connectivity and capacity for use by High Rocks teenagers and their older alumnae for educational and career advancement.

Ladder Project
Amanda Peaytt (left) and Lauren Garretsom (right) accept the third place award for the Ladders Project on behalf of their team from High Rocks for Girls. (photo by Corinne Fortin, Alum Creek)


Participants of 2007 Technology Minigrant Program were asked to vote on which of the projects they would like to see replicated in their own community.

First Place ... Wyoming County Project Lifesaver

The Wyoming County Family Resource Network choose to provide search and rescue equipment for citizens with brain disorders that would cause them to become dislocated, lost, or wander away. The money provided by the grant allowed the county to train emergency personnel as well as purchase tracking equipment. The mission of the group has sparked interest from the community and local churches and these groups are coming together to purchase additional tracking devices beyond the scope of the grant. Although they have yet to do a search and rescue since the project started it will prove to be a valuable service that will cut search and rescue time from days to minutes and result in saving lives and preventing accidents. This project is a great way for the community to service some of the most under serviced citizens.

The winning project team received a ticket and accommodations to attend the Create West Virginia Conference held at Snowshoe Mountain Resort held October 2008.

Second Place ... Diabetic E-Monitoring Project

Tug River Health Association, Inc. won second place for their Diabetic E-Monitoring project. The McDowell County team connected an educator via video phone and "Health Buddy" technologies with newly diagnosed diabetic patients to teach techniques of disease management and home self-monitoring of blood glucose. Their goals were better care and higher commitment from patients in regular monitoring of their blood glucose.

Third Place ... Reach Out Through Technology

Richwood High School saw a need to enhance community and school communication and chose to address this concern by purchasing an electronically displayed LED sign that would be highly visible. The purpose of this sign would be to advertise school and community events as well as business advertising. This project was warmly embraced by the community and business and as a result additional money was obtained and a bigger more visible sign was purchased. Richwood High School was able to leverage business, technology, and the community to provide a service that reaches out and informs the community’s residents. The value of this sign provides an additional medium to encourage local economic development as well as keep residents informed on community events. This project has proven itself to be a simple way to show the value of technology as well as being easily duplicated in other areas.

Nominated Projects

Central Appalachia Empowerment Zone (CAEZ)
Clay County's Safety Project provided video monitors at selected locations to make the community safer for citizens.

Mountain Hospice, Inc.
Caring for the Caregiver is a project produced a three-format (VCR, DVD, PowerPoint) educational presentation for use of primary caregivers and health care professionals who tend the terminally ill.

Barbour County Economic Development Authority and Mountain Partners in Economic Development
The Technology Development Youth Initiative launched technology-based projects through education, which provided coordination and development of solutions to community-based problems.

Lincoln County Economic Development Authority
Creation of a Lincoln County Website and Online Community provides residents and other site visitors with one-stop access for everything that is Lincoln County.

Stop Abusive Family Environments, Inc. (SAFE)
SAFE's Technology for Marketing project provided education for McDowell County groups to market their products and services.

Barbour County CDC and KinetiX, Inc.
The Digital Presentation Program produced an educational DVD showing the importance of using video in communications. KinetiX, Inc. offers affordable multi-media services available to rural WV organizations.

Tri-County Child Advocacy and Nicholas County Family Resource Network Let's Keep It Confidential provided private FCC frequencies and required equipment which was needed to protect confidential interviews conducted with abused children from interception from unauthorized devices.

Mt. Vernon Elementary School Elementary Research in the Digital World expanded available computer equipment, software and peripherals to allow use of the existing Intelliboard. This access enhancement allowed grade 3 to 5 students to present research projects to classmates and adult judging panels.

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