Make an Impact
As West Virginia’s top tourist destination, the 6th largest employer in the Ohio Valley, and the center of many community and family celebrations, Oglebay and Wheeling Park represents the best of Wheeling.
The parks provide in excess of $50 Million in direct economic activity to local businesses, significant measureable health benefits to the youth, adults, and senior citizens who enjoy the recreational programs and facilities, and the conservation of the West Virginia hills, forests, meadows, and streams that serve as diverse ecological centers of the community.
Your gift to The Oglebay Foundation is an investment in building healthy community and a place for organizations, groups, families, neighbors, and colleagues to gather to play, learn, and celebrate. Explore the Guide to Giving and Naming Opportunities page to learn more about ways your gift will impact the parks and community and leave a legacy for future generations.
Impact of Contributions
Why Your Annual Contribution is Important
Annual support through Friends of Oglebay is important because your gift, no matter what size, is added to many others to be used where it is needed most and currently, to help fund the Access to the Parks program. It is a way you can be a part of the parks’ success story even if you are not in a position to consider a major donation at this time.
Friends initially raised money to start the renovations at Bissonnette Gardens in the late 1980s. When Access to the Parks was started in 1999, most annual gifts were put toward this innovative program that provides quality recreation experiences for local youth who do not have the financial means to pay facility fees. Today, depending on your interest, you can designate your annual gift for Access, America’s Future Trees, the Good Zoo, skiing upgrades or wherever it is needed most.
If you make a contribution online, you can choose to make an annual gift or sign up to give on a sustaining basis by having a specified amount debited from your checking or savings account each month. You can track your giving on our website and also designate memorial gifts and company matches.
How to Make a Good Gift Better
Many of you who make an annual gift to Friends of Oglebay ask about planned giving and major gift options available through The Oglebay Foundation. We are pleased to tell you that the following are all available for your consideration: bequests by wills, gift annuities, charitable trusts, in-kind gifts such as securities, life insurance and real estate, and endowment gifts. There may be other options that would work for you, so it is important to contact Foundation officials or your financial advisor or tax attorney if you wish to consider a major gift to the parks.
A planned gift can be made to benefit the parks now (current gifts) or later if it better fits your financial situation (deferred gifts). A planned gift requires more thought than a quick check against monthly income. Major gifts often come out of estate assets. You need to consider the impact of your gift on your over-all financial condition.
Careful planning can actually make a good gift better. Consider these potential benefits:
By providing the various options and providing helpful illustrations, Foundation officials can assist you in planning the best gift plan for your needs in a confidential manner. Please call 304-243-4166 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Oglebay and Wheeling Park National Leadership
- Oglebay’s Good Zoo is the only AZA accredited zoo in West Virginia. This rigorous accreditation process ensures Wheeling has a facility dedicated to providing excellent care for animals, a great experience for you, and a better future for all living things. A point of pride for all that live in the area should be that Wheeling is one of the smallest communities in the country with an accredited zoo- a testament to the region’s tradition of support for youth focused education and recreation facilities. In 2012, the Good Zoo received the Conservation Prize from the AZA for its research on native wildlife populations.
- Oglebay is home to the National Training Center, offering programs for professionals in the parks, special events, public facility, and health related fields. Each year, more than 1,500 leaders visit Oglebay to learn and train on the latest best management practices and how to improve their operations and community.
- Oglebay is home to the region’s first green building, the Schrader Environmental Center.
- Oglebay is home to the Mansion and Glass Museums, two of the five AAM accredited museums in West Virginia. The Oglebay Mansion is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
- Oglebay’s Festival of Lights is one the largest, oldest, and most successful holiday light shows in North America.
- Oglebay serves as the founding location of both the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and the National Recreation and Parks Association.
- Oglebay and Wheeling Parks are leaders in conservation and sustainability. Investments and improvements are made annually to shrink the parks’ ecological footprint and provide education to the next generation of stewards.
Visitor Stories & Quotes
“We realized how important the parks have been to our family and we wanted to be part of something that is important to all the community’s children.”
– Amy & Frank O’Brien on their Access to the Parks gift in memory of their daughter, Brigid
“I love having fun and seeing all my cousins. It’s my favorite vacation!”
– 10-year old at her four-generation family reunion in the Hess Cottage
“During all the stages in our lives Oglebay has been a great place to be. There is so much to do here for all ages.”
– Al and Bev Higley, donors for the construction of three deluxe cottages
“Oglebay, for me, has been that rare place that is imprinted on my mind. All my memories are positive and cheerful. Working there as a youth was the best and most important job I ever had.”
– Philip B. Crosby, business quality guru and creator of Zero Defects concept
“Not only do I get a good return on my financial investment, but I am also pleased that my donation is going to benefit a place I care about deeply.”
– Ann Potter, donor/participant in an Oglebay Foundation Charitable Program
“It is wonderful that a city the size of Wheeling has a facility as nice as the Good Zoo.”
– Helen Prince, donor to Good Zoo’s veterinary facility
“The money was earned in Wheeling and that’s where it should stay.”
– Ellen Lutz Aldridge in her bequest that supported revenue generating additions to Wilson Lodge