Clara B Farlow Logo

Foundation chooses first recipient

Carole Farlow Vaughn, right, chose Rut Vasconcelos as the first recipient for assistance from the Clara B. Farlow Foundation.

After several months of planning and fundraising, an organization that was founded last year to help local children recently selected its first recipient of aid.

Carole Farlow Vaughn, founder and director of the Clara B. Farlow Foundation for Children of Surry County, made a presentation to Nora Ferias for her 6-year-old daughter, Rut Vasconcelos.

At the presentation, Vaughn said, “I am both honored and pleased to let you know the foundation has selected Rut as its very first recipient for financial assistance.”

The foundation was created in the spring of 2009 to help children with major medical needs. For its first recipient, the foundation paid balances owed to Blue Ridge Orthopaedics, Northern Hospital of Surry County and Mount Airy Emergency Physicians and Triad Radiology. These covered fees totaling $1,678.75 that were charged to treat Rut’s broken right tibia.

At the presentation, Vaughn said, “I hope this will lessen the financial burden on your family, and Rut will go forward to be a happy, healthy, spirited child.”

The foundation accepted applications for assistance in November, and anyone was welcome to submit an application for someone. In Rut’s case, her application was initiated by Jan Casstevens, her school nurse. The application can be found on the organization’s Web site,

Vaughn plans for the organization to disperse funds twice a year. Applications will probably be accepted in July and December for disbursements to take place in August and January. The number of acceptable applications received will determine the number of children served each year by the foundation.

In December, the foundation received three applications. One of the applications could not be approved, and one is now in the works. Applicants must have a certain level of financial need to qualify for assistance.

The director said she has been fundraising since May. Financing for the organization come from donations, fundraising efforts and pledges. Vaughn is working on an upcoming fundraising event.

“We want as close to 100 percent as possible going to help the children,” Vaughn remarked.

She organized a kick-off luncheon last May 29 to introduce the organization and begin fundraising for it. Vaughn said people have been enthusiastic about the organization and its purpose.

“It’s all been great feedback,” she said.

Vaughn was inspired to found the organization with the help of her husband last year. She said they frequently gave donations to charities, but were never sure exactly where their money was going. So they decided to found an organization to help children.

“We have a soft spot in our heart (for children) ... And I think there’s sort of a deficiency in this area,” Vaughn explained.

The foundation was named in honor of one of Vaughn’s relatives. At the presentation to Rut’s family, Vaughn said, “Its namesake is my great-aunt Clara, who was a genuine advocate for children and a mentor in my life as a little girl. This was a great way for me to honor her memory.”

Born in 1900, Clara Farlow became a school teacher in Guilford County and wrote letters to former students and other people serving in World War II. At one point she was writing to more than 250 people. Even after the war she continued to write letters to those who had not returned. Clara saved more than 600 letters sent to her.

Continuing in Farlow’s legacy, Vaughn hopes to expand to serve more children. Right now the foundation serves just Surry County, but Vaughn would one day like to see it reach to other counties. She said, “Our goal is to help children.”

The foundation can pay for a variety of treatments for children younger than 18 with physical or mental challenges or illnesses. The family must meet a level of financial need.

For more information about the Clara B. Farlow Foundation, visit or call 786-8936.

Article published in the Mount Airy News, January 23, 2010

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