APPALACHIA – (October 11, 2023) – Christian Appalachian Project (CAP) has selected Rev.
Dwayne P. Mills and Callie D McGrath Foundation as its 2023 Champions of Appalachia. The
award recognizes individuals and organizations that have had a positive, long-term impact in
the lives of people in the region.
“We are proud to honor these Champions of Appalachia and shine the spotlight on the great
work they are doing to transform the lives of people in need,” said Guy Adams, CAP’s
president/CEO. “It takes all of us, every one of us, doing what we can to make a difference. The
Champions of Appalachia Award celebrates the great philanthropic endeavors of our honorees
because we can all make a difference together.”
Rev. Mills is a native of Martin County, Kentucky. His education and early career drew him out
of the eastern Kentucky mountains, but the love for his people and vocational calling brought
him back. He is the executive director of Appalachia Reach Out (ARO) which serves over 120
families monthly at its food pantry and operates a thrift store for household items, clothes, and
building supplies to increase access to necessities. ARO also partners with local schools to
provide students hygiene items, coats, shoes, and more. Rev. Mills travels 30+ times per year
across the nation to fundraise and advocate for the mission and people of eastern Kentucky.
“It is an honor to be here. I do what I do because of God’s radical call on my life,” Mills said.
“My goal is always to point to Him. I can’t think of another place I’d rather be than where I
serve right now. My heart is always to tell the good things that happen in Appalachia.”
Hector Santillan, Bank of America trustee, accepted the Champions award on behalf of Callie D
McGrath Foundation. The foundation’s combined gifts over the past two decades have
provided CAP with the kind of continuous annual support that drives the vitality and
consistency of our ever-evolving human services operations. Santillan, along with the other
members of the board that directs these gifts, has proven to be a true advocate and friend to
CAP and a real champion of Appalachia.
CAP also announced to attendees that RISE and Shine: The Campaign for Christian Appalachian
Project is now in its public phase. During the campaign thus far, $75.6 million has been
committed out of a three-year $95 million goal. “This campaign will touch all of CAP’s
programs. We will focus on standing with Appalachian youth and families, meeting the most
basic human needs, building strategic partnerships, and strengthening the heartbeat of
volunteerism,” said Andrew Wegryzn, vice chair of CAP’s Board of Directors.
The annual Champions of Appalachia celebration is underwritten by NetGain Technologies, a
leading provider of Information Technology services and solutions since 1984. Netgain’s
sponsorship supports CAP’s mission to build hope, transform lives, and share Christ’s love
through service in Appalachia.