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Jo Ellen Diehl Yeary | Generosity rooted in pride, remembrance, dedication to home

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FAO Receives $50,000 to Increase Conservation Resources

(April 15, 2009 (Nelsonville, Ohio) — The Foundation for Appalachian Ohio has announced a $50,000 match challenge available for donations to the Ora E. Anderson Conservation Fund for Appalachian Ohio through the end of this year.

The gift, given by an anonymous donor, will double any donations made to the Ora E. Anderson fund between now and December 31st by matching them dollar-for-dollar up to $50,000. The conservation fund awards grants to projects and organizations that are carrying out Anderson’s vision of enhancing the natural beauty of Appalachian Ohio.

The donation-match challenge is highlighted on the fund’s new website,, unveiled this month. The site features background on Anderson, news on fundraising events and photo galleries of Anderson’s woodcarvings and scenes from the Appalachian Ohio landscape.

The site includes a place for visitors to leave comments about Ora Anderson, whose legacy as an advocate for natural areas, the arts and culture inspires others.  The first comments are authored by Jean Andrews, who created the 2005 documentary “A Forest Returns,” chronicling Anderson’s conservation work in the formation of Ohio’s Wayne National Forest and Athens-area architect David Reiser, both members of the fund’s advisory committee.  Other committee members are Hocking Valley Bank President Bick Weissenrieder and Anderson’s granddaughter, Cary Tomoser of Beavercreek.

“The website is an absolutely wonderful resource for anyone to learn about Ora Anderson’s life and the things he cared deeply about, especially natural resource conservation.” said Jean Andrews.  “We’re delighted to work with the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio to grow and promote the fund in order to help preserve and enhance our region’s landscape and the natural environment unique to Appalachian Ohio.”  

Anderson’s dedication to preserving the natural beauty of Appalachian Ohio dates back to the 1930s, when he was a young reporter and editor covering the establishment of the Wayne National Forest.   During the next seven decades, Anderson was a tireless advocate for conservation in the region. He became the president of the Ohio Forestry Association and chairman of the Ohio Chapter of the Nature Conservancy, among other roles. He was also a keen observer of nature, authoring several essays and poems and carving replications of the birds he saw. Shortly before his death, he narrated the documentary on the history of the Wayne National Forest. He was posthumously inducted into the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Hall of Fame, which is the state’s highest conservation honor.

The Ora E. Anderson Conservation Fund exists to provide a permanent source of charitable funding for conservation activities and programs in the areas of watershed restoration, sustainable forest practices and promotion of the region’s cultural and environmental history. Through this fund, Anderson’s legacy of protecting the natural beauty of Appalachian Ohio continues.

Gifts can be made to this fund in the form of cash, appreciated stocks, real estate or other assets. All gifts are added to the endowment, which is invested over time and is a permanent source of community capital that will impact environmental conservation in Appalachian Ohio in perpetuity.

As the endowment grows, so will the number and amount of the grants made from this fund. The fund’s advisory committee is responsible for making distribution recommendations to the Foundation.

Make an online donation to the Ora E. Anderson Conservation Fund at or
contact the Foundation at 740-753-1111.