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Million Dollar Gift from AEP Will Build Permanent Resources for Regional Prosperity


AEP Gift Builds Foundation for Appalachian Ohio’s Pillars of Prosperity

Nelsonville, OH On November 10, the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio (FAO) celebrated its 20th anniversary by reflecting on its two decades of building opportunities in the region while also envisioning a future of regional prosperity. The first step toward this future was announced this same evening.

American Electric Power Foundation and the AEP Ohio Foundation have jointly pledged a $1 million gift to FAO’s Pillars of Prosperity. The Pillars are a key piece of FAO’s strategy of growing the philanthropic dollars Appalachian Ohio needs for a future where the region has access to a toolbox of permanent resources designed to empower its citizens to achieve a clean environment, a healthy population, access to a high-quality education, a thriving regional economy, and a flourishing arts and culture scene.

“Quality education and environmental stewardship are critically important to the sustainable development of the Appalachian Ohio region,” said Julie Sloat, AEP Ohio president and chief operating officer. “We are very proud to support the region’s development through FAO’s Pillars of Prosperity program and to partner with FAO to help address the issues that are crucial to the region’s future success.”

The AEP Foundation and AEP Ohio Foundation gifts will focus on the growth of the Education and Environmental Stewardship Pillars. The gift will be structured to strategically invest in projects impacting communities today, supporting educators in expanding the books and resources in their classrooms and making deeper investments in Appalachian Ohio’s natural environment.

“AEP’s gift to the Pillars will unleash the potential of the region’s children through education and ensure that the region’s natural beauty continues to refresh and encourage people for generations to come,” said Cara Dingus Brook, president and CEO of the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio. “It is so visionary, and we are truly grateful.”

FAO’s Pillars of Prosperity are designed to develop the resources needed for deeper and more strategic investment in the areas needed for a more vibrant region – Arts & Culture, Community & Economic Development, Education, Environmental Stewardship, and Health & Human Services.

AEP has long worked with FAO to advance a brighter future for the region. Twenty years ago, AEP provided one of the earliest donations that matched public funding to establish FAO. Since then, the company has invested in environmental education through FAO and served as a cornerstone champion of FAO’s first-of-its-kind Initial Philanthropic Offering (IPO), where donors made gifts designed to support the Foundation’s operations so that the region’s communities could benefit from greater philanthropic dollars for grants and scholarships. Now, with this $1 million gift, the AEP Foundation and the AEP Ohio Foundation continue as philanthropic leaders in Appalachian Ohio.

For information about how you can create opportunities with FAO and the Pillars of Prosperity, please visit FAO’s website at


About the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio

The Foundation for Appalachian Ohio (FAO) is a regional community foundation serving the 32 counties of Appalachian Ohio. A 501(c)(3) public charity, the Foundation creates opportunities for Appalachian Ohio’s citizens and communities by inspiring and supporting philanthropy. For more information about FAO, visit

About the AEP Foundation

The American Electric Power Foundation is funded by American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP) and its utility operating units, including AEP Ohio. The Foundation provides a permanent, ongoing resource for charitable initiatives involving higher dollar values and multi-year commitments in communities served by AEP and initiatives outside of AEP’s 11-state service area.

The Foundation focuses on improving lives through education from early childhood through higher education in the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, and by meeting basic needs for emergency shelter, affordable housing and the elimination of hunger. Other Foundation support may be offered to protect the environment, support healthcare and safety, and enrich life through art, music and cultural heritage.

The Foundation is based in Columbus, Ohio.