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2020 November News Brief

By December 22, 2020News Item, Newsletter

News Briefs

November 2020 News Brief

Sun Valley Culinary Institute| Sun Valley, ID

Preparing dishes at the Sun Valley Culinary Institute

Grantee Spotlight: Sun Valley Culinary Institute

The Sun Valley Culinary Institute provides vocational training to local students, allowing them to stay in the community and continue their education while becoming skilled workers in an industry that offers services to visitors and residents alike. WRWF granted the SV Culinary Institute $1433 to help fund their culinary education program.

Read Eye on Sun Valley’s story about new classes being offered by the SV Culinary Institute.

Grantee Spotlight: St. Luke’s Wood River Foundation

St. Lukes Wood River Foundation| Wood River Womens Foundation|Sun Valley Idaho

St. Luke’s Wood River Foundation, in collaboration with Dr. Tom Archie, a Ketchum-based holistic primary care physician, is offering free COVID tests to asymptomatic members of our community. The tests, which use COVID-19 Viral Detection Nasal Swab PCR testing, are an effort to slow the spread of the virus within the Wood River Valley. WRWF has been proud to fund the work of St. Luke’s Wood River Foundation through the Keith Sivertson MD Compassionate Care Program and commends the Foundation for its important work in addressing local COVID concerns.

To read Eye on Sun Valley’s story about this important health initiative, click here.

Blaine County Nonprofits Need Us—Please Renew Your Membership!

Celebrating Membership|Wood River Womens Foundation|Sun Valley Idaho

Celebrating Membership

Our Blaine County nonprofits need us more than ever. The Membership Committee is reaching out to all WRWF members who have not renewed their membership and encourage you to renew as soon as possible. To have as many dollars in our 2021 Grant pool as possible, we are asking you to complete your membership renewal before December 15, 2020. This is without a doubt the most important time in our fifteen-year history to generate grant funds for our local nonprofits. Click this link to access the Member Renewal form.

The WRWF Finance Committee kindly reminds members to write renewal checks out to the WRWF instead of the ICF. We also ask that you send checks directly to our P.O. Box. Please inform your charitable trusts of the change of address.

Grants Application Process Goes Live

The Wood River Women’s Foundation (WRWF) is pleased to announce that it began accepting applications for its 2021 Grants program on Monday, November 2, 2020.

“We look forward to continuing WRWF’s support of the important work local nonprofits are doing at this critical time,” Gina Wolcott, Grants Committee Co-Chair said. “This year, in addition to reviewing project-based requests, we will also be focused on organizational support and sustainability.”
Over its fifteen-year history, WRWF’s pooled fund has granted nearly $2.5 million in more than 150 grants to local nonprofits. In 2020, more than $300,000 was awarded to seventeen organizations in grants ranging from $75,000 to $1,433. The amount of funding available each year depends on the number of women who collectively contribute into the pool.

“We are a group of women who pool our resources to achieve greater impact in Blaine County,” said Terri Bullock, WRWF President. “The deadline for contributing towards the 2021 pool is December 15, 2020, and we welcome all women to join us in working towards positive change in our community.”

The completed application, including required attachments, is due on or before midnight on Tuesday, December 1, 2020. WRWF accepts grant applications in a variety of areas including Arts, Education, Environment, Health and Recreation, and Social Services, with grants awarded in amounts from $5,000 to $25,000. Awarded grants will be distributed in July of 2021.

Full details and instructions for the online grant application can be found under the “Apply for a Grant” tab on the WRWF website.


Idaho Community Foundation no longer requires our members’ donations to be on deposit for six months prior to grant payout. This allows us more flexibility to issue grants sooner, putting your donation dollars to work faster.

Recap of Zoom Into Philanthropy Session:
Addressing the Equity Gap in Education in the Covid-19 Era

The Space|Wood River Womens Foundation|Sun Valley, ID

Our November 12 Zoom into Philanthropy (ZIP) Session, “Addressing the Educational Equity Gap in the Time of Pandemic,” was presented by the Executive Director of The Space, Tamar Dolgen, and its three founding members, Naomi Runkel, Kate Ristow, and Millie Reidy. This group works with under-resourced middle and high school students who have become even more marginalized during our current virtual learning. The presenters described the enormous and growing gaps in academic achievement, college and career preparedness, and external supports that many of our lower income students face. Fortunately, The Space’s professionals can provide tutoring, college counseling, and general mentoring for individual students and their families thanks to grant support from entities such as the Blaine County Education Foundation, and referrals from several other nonprofits that the WRWF has funded in the past. This is one of many Blaine County organizations working hard to diminish the equity gap, one student at a time.

Recap of Zoom Into Philanthropy Session:
Supporting Our Valley’s Students

Kristy Heitzman, Executive Director of BCEF

Listening to Kristy Heitzman, Executive Director of the Blaine County Education Foundation, speak during our most recent ZIP Session, we could hear her passion for working to meet the needs of students in our valley. The BCEF primarily serves the students of the Blaine County School District, though its reach has extended to other schools in the valley as well. Consistently reliable programs like the Backpacks, Teacher Mini Grants, Can Do Fun and Afterschool Study Programs have been essential during the opening of schools amidst the pandemic. New offerings include the Academic Tutor Scholarships as well as finding ways to get reliable internet to homes of students as they navigate the challenges of learning using a hybrid and/or fully remote model. These times have been especially difficult for our friends in the Hispanic community. While events like the first ever Scholarship Fair that was held last year have been put on hold, it doesn’t stop Kristy from thinking about what our students need next. She is currently in talks with Ford Motor Company about starting an Automotive Technology Program with the Wood River High School. We can’t wait to see where it goes!

Catching Up with The Advocates

Diana Tellez-Munoz, an ETC intern with the Advocates

The challenges of COVID-19 haven’t stopped good work from happening at the Advocates, a 2020 WRWF grantee. Diana Tellez-Munoz, an Every Teen Counts intern with the Advocates, recently helped organize a virtual conference for middle and high school students. The purpose of the conference was to empower teens to become catalysts for change within their communities.

Read Eye on Sun Valley’s report on this virtual conference.

Touring the Swiftsure Ranch

Swiftsure Ranch Tour|Wood River Womens Foundation|Sun Valley ID

Braving the elements during the Swiftsure Ranch Tour

On Wednesday, November 18, nine WRWF members braved the chilly, wet weather to take a tour of Swiftsure Ranch Therapeutic Riding Center. Executive Director Paul Bennet, along with Office Manager, Volunteer Coordinator Jennifer Comstock led the tour.

Our group observed a session in the arena involving two skilled instructors and three young boys on horses. Watching the lesson was very inspirational, given all the skills required in following directions to improve communication. We were shown a very special saddle made for a woman who became a quadriplegic after a car accident. It took her five years to overcome depression, but being able to ride with assistance allowed her to recover a measure of confidence.

WRWF has previously funded the purchase of a number of horses for use by the ranch’s participants. We have also provided grants for the purchase of a Polaris machine used to till the sand and fiber surface of the arena.

Swiftsure Ranch Tour Training| Wood River Womens Foundation|Sun Valley ID

Training in session

Overall, the Swiftsure Ranch Tour provided an excellent opportunity to witness how WRWF grant funds benefit our community.

Welcoming New Members

New Member Orientation|Wood River Womens Foundation|Sun Valley ID

New Member Orientation Zoom

The Membership Committee held their annual New Member Fall Orientation on November 17, 2020. Usually this would be a brunch event at one of our member’s beautiful homes with all WRWF members invited to attend. This year due to COVID-19, it was necessary to hold a virtual event with new members. Thirty attendees joined in on this virtual session, including fourteen new members, nine Committee Chairs, WRWF President Terri Bullock, WRWF Founder Barbara Thrasher, Past President and Incoming Nominating Committee Chair Peggy Grove, and three guests. Each committee chair provided a short presentation on her own journey with WRWF, a description of the purpose and work assigned to her committee and, of course, made a pitch to new members to join her committee. Following presentations by committee chairs, each new member in attendance gave a short introduction about her time in the Wood River Valley, how she came to join WRWF, her professional background and personal interests. There has been great feedback to this format and everyone came away with a better knowledge of the Wood River Women’s Foundation.

Click on this link to watch a video recording of the WRWF New Member Fall Orientation.

Annual Holiday Celebration Cancelled

Holiday Social 2019|Wood River Womens Foundation|Sun Valley ID

Recognizing new members at our 2019 Holiday Celebration

Blaine County continues to see daily records of new COVID cases, and given that the state has rolled back to Stage 2, we regretfully need to cancel our annual Holiday Celebration.

This year-end celebration of our membership and our work is always a December highlight, at least in a normal year! We love our membership and will continue to exercise the care necessary to ensure we are doing our part to keep you, our families and our friends safe and healthy. Enjoy this photo from last year’s event where we were honoring 2019’s new members and look forward to seeing our 2020’s members in December’s News Brief.
Thank you all for your understanding, and we hope to see you in 2021!

Holiday Memories Wanted!

Save the Date: Winter Education Forum

State of the Valley—2021

Tuesday, January 12, 2021
6:00 PM
Livestream from The Community Library
Watch for more details.

As an active member of the WRWF, you may now enjoy the many benefits available to Philanos affiliates. One of those benefits is access to Philanos webinars, which cover important philanthropic topics. Click here to access the Philanos webinar calendar. The next webinar is scheduled for January 12, 2021 at 9:00 AM PST. Click here to register.

If you haven’t already done so, please contact Christina Bauer, WRWF Executive Assistant ( and give her your email address. She will help you set up a member account with Philanos.

Social Media Committee Needs You

The Social Media Committee is seeking new team members. The committee is an active part of the Communications Committee, which oversees the Website, News Brief, Marketing, Sponsorship, Advertising, Media Relations, Photography, Publicity and ZIP Sessions. As a member of the Social Media Committee, you will learn more about WRWF communications, becoming part of a savvy group of women working to coordinate our mission-driven communications.

The Social Media Committee is a standing committee that oversees WRWF mission-centric communications via Social Media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Using these platforms, the team shares timely information about our community engagement, interaction with our grantees, our educational forums and our member activities with our membership and the public at large.

If you are interested in joining this amazing team or would like to hear more about the Social Media Committee, please contact Carrie Morrow at or 858-922-8857.

Making a difference with AmazonSmile

Just a reminder that every little bit adds up. Each purchase you make on AmazonSmile generates much needed and much appreciated funds for WRWF’s operating expenses.

Welcome New Members!

Amy Anderson- Ketchum, ID

Diana Citret – Ketchum, ID

Susan Countner – Glenbrook, NV

Cathy Dobbs Goldstein – Ketchum, ID

Jill Grossman – Ketchum, ID

Trish Wilson – Ketchum, ID

WRWF President’s Closing Message

Terri Bullock President Wood River Womens Foundation Idaho

WRWF President, Terri Bullock

November officially starts the Holiday Season for me. Although Thanksgiving is just around the corner, this year I will be ‘celebrating’ as never before because my family and I have made the difficult decision to wish each other health and happiness virtually as we continue to shelter from COVID.

The challenges of this year have caused me to ponder on the following and what they mean to me. Here are my reflections:

FAMILY – my family grounds me. They give me unconditional love, in spite of knowing my flaws and weaknesses. Each child, grandchild, sibling and parent holds a special place in my heart. We are forever bonded to each other.

FRIENDS – My friends are an extension of my family. Some friends may even know me better than my family. We share a special bond that is unique to us. I can trust them with my secrets, count on them for a laugh, and a cry and certainly for a hug, knowing that they can count on me for the same.

HAPPY – What makes me happy is helping someone else feel the same. Writing a note, sending a text, enjoying a coffee or even taking in a deep breath of mountain air fills me with such happiness, especially when shared with friends or family.

THANKS – Giving thanks is something I try to do daily, but as Thanksgiving Day approaches, saying thank you becomes a much more conscious act. My thanks go to every WRWF founder, past president, past and current board member, past and current committee chair, and every member who selflessly volunteers time and talent to WRWF. EVERY member falls into one or more of these categories. THANK YOU!!

GIVING – Giving money and time, paying for a stranger’s coffee, or making dinner for a friend brings me joy. No matter how small or how big my gift is, it ALWAYS moves my heart in a physical and emotional way. I feel happier, healthier, and more connected to the community.

What checks all the boxes for me is being a member of WRWF; indeed, membership is as rewarding to me as it is to the community we serve.

Wishing you all a Happy November!

Until next month,
Terri Bullock

Thank you, Little Caesars, for your generous sponsorship!