Charter Foundation kicks off annual community voting event

Published 1:00 pm Saturday, June 11, 2022

WEST POINT — The Charter Foundation’s annual Community Voting is now underway. It gives people from the Greater Valley Area and LaGrange the opportunity to decide which worthy causes in the community receive a $5,000 grant from the Charter Foundation. Residents of Chambers County in Alabama and Troup and Harris County in Georgia can vote once for up to five of their favorite 501(c)3 organizations in their local community.

“The voting started on June 3,” said Bill Gladden of the Charter Foundation. “This year, there are 82 organizations eligible to receive a $5,000 grant. Forty-three of them are in LaGrange and 40 are in the Valley. This year we have gone from three grant awards to five, and you are no longer limited to voting in Valley or LaGrange. You can vote for any organization on the ballot.”

The rules are simple:

  • Go to www.charterfoundation.net.
  • Click on the VOTE HERE button.
  • You will see a screen of information about voting. Go to the bottom of the screen and click on NEXT.
  • Scroll through the ballot and vote for up to five organizations. At the bottom of the ballot, there are four “no” votes. If you do not vote for five organizations, mark enough “no” votes to make a total of five boxes checked. Your ballot will not be recorded unless exactly five boxes are checked.
  • At the very bottom of the ballot, click the VOTE button and your ballot is cast.
  • Go tell others who support your organization how to vote.

“Be sure to vote for your five favorite organizations,” Gladden said. “If you don’t vote for them, they can’t win. Last year, Knights Basketball, Circles of Troup County and Harmony House in LaGrange were winners, along with Point University, the Christian Service Center and Huguley Elementary School. Each received an extra $5,000 that could go to their needs. Go out and support your five favorite organizations. Who knows, they might win, and your vote would have made a difference.”

The Charter Foundation was established in 1995 and endowed by Charter Federal Savings & Loan.

“The Charter Federal Board of Directors at that time felt that the success of the local area’s Savings & Loan was because of the support they had received from the people of the Valley and LaGrange,” Gladden said. “In appreciation of that, they established the Charter Foundation with the intention of giving back to the community for years to come.”

For the first ten years, the Foundation’s board had made all the decisions in awarding grants. The board then decided to let customers have a say-so in this, and customer voting was born.

“We would let customers vote for their favorite charities and award $5,000 to the charities getting the most votes. At the start, we did this in each market we served,” Gladden said.

In September 2018, CharterBank was sold to Florida-based CenterState Bank, and the Charter Foundation became a separate entity from the bank.

“We were now on our own, but what about community voting?” Gladden said. “We had no customers, but we did have some great communities. The board decided to go back to our roots and concentrate on the Valley and LaGrange areas.”