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2022 January News Brief

By January 20, 2022News Item, Newsletter

News Briefs

Wood River Women's Foundation Sun Valley Ketchum Idaho

January 2022

News Brief

Grantee Spotlight: I Have a Dream Foundation – Idaho

I Have A Dream Foundation – Idaho

The I Have a Dream Foundation – Idaho provides academic & social-emotional support to under-resourced youth in Blaine County in an effort to “close the equity gap in education.” These ‘Dream Scholars’ also benefit from life skills learning, community service experiences, and college prep assistance throughout the span of their educational careers. 

In 2021, WRWF awarded The I Have a Dream Foundation – Idaho $25,000 for their Elementary Program. In particular, the grant helped to fund the role of one new Dream Scholar Cohort Coordinator. The cohort of 40 first-graders are students at Bellevue, Alturas, and Hailey Elementary Schools. 

The staff for the Elementary Program includes a team of education, administration, and social-emotional learning specialists who have been implementing both academic curriculum and extra-curricular programs. This team also works hard to foster a culture of community within the student cohorts and emphasizes the importance of family involvement. 

Expressing her immense gratitude to WRWF for the 2021 award, Executive Director Laura Rose-Lewis stated, “This grant was hugely instrumental for us to put our stake in the ground and tell the community ‘We are launching our next cohort!’”

Grantees In the News:

Hailey Public Library
Blaine County Education Foundation

Hailey Public Library Hispanic Offerings

A big WRWF congratulations to the Hailey Public Library who received a competitive grant from the American Library Association! The funds are being used to enhance the library’s programs and collections to better serve the Hispanic community. 

The library purchased almost 200 Spanish/bilingual books and rearranged the Children’s Library to spotlight them. Each month will feature a Spanish language movie night and bilingual storytime, as well as free classes and social gatherings beginning at the end of this month. Informal social events and cultural exchanges also known as “Tertulia” will also be monthly beginning in the spring. 

“Hailey’s richly diverse population is over 30% Hispanic but we realized only a fraction uses the library’s services. Through this initiative, we learned a lot about what barriers exist and to create a more welcoming environment and expand our collections, programs, and services,” said Kristin Fletcher, Hailey Public Library Project Director, and Program Manager. 

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Blaine County Education Foundation (BCEF)

Blaine County Education Foundation (BCEF) truly embodied the 2021 season of giving by donating over $80,000 to local teachers and schools! Thanks to the support of our donors and grants from community foundations such as the Wood River Women’s Foundation and the Nicholas Martin Jr. Family Foundation, BCEF has awarded over $80,000 worth of materials to classroom teachers and schools to support students. 

“Not only has the Education Foundation been able to award classroom and lab materials to schools but we were also able to purchase a new vision screener for BCSD nurses to efficiently and effectively test student’s vision beginning in Kindergarten,” explained Kristy Heitzman, BCEF Executive Director. 

Tim Rierden, a math teacher at Wood River High School, will use BCEF funds to explore the Pythagorean Theorem, where students launch rockets and calculate the altitude the rockets reach. BCEF aims to support teachers in inspiring and engaging students to learn and find their passion.

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Something New!

We are ringing in 2022 with a brand new feature – The Committee Corner! Helmed by a board leader, The Committee Corner will explore one of our active areas of focus. Our inaugural contributor is our very own Jenni Riley, Board member and head of the Education Committee. And don’t worry, The President’s Message will return on a quarterly basis!

The WRWF Education Committee is thrilled to kick off the Committee Corner series!


Jenni Riley, head of the Education Committee

The purpose of the Education Committee is to present educational opportunities to our members and community that support the mission of WRWF. Our focus is to increase philanthropy by women and provide information that will lead to wiser, more effective giving. The primary educational event is the Winter Forum, usually held in February, with smaller, more focused events throughout the year as opportunities arise. 

Our Winter Forum this year is the 3rd Annual Community State of the Valley, coming up on Tuesday, February 15, 2022, at the Community Library in Ketchum.  The theme is “Maintaining Community Values while Balancing Growth.”  According to Harry Griffith, executive director of Sun Valley Economic Development, the collective data indicates that since the COVID pandemic began in March 2020, 1,700 to 2,700 new full-time residents of all ages and genders came to live here. That means a lot of new faces and could lead to changes in the social fabric.  

The Forum will be moderated by Wendy Jaquet, former member of the Idaho House of Representatives, and features four panelists representing the sectors we identified as having significant impact on our growing community:

  • Education – Jim Foudy, Superintendent, Blaine County School District;
  • Environment – Josh Johnson, Acting Central Idaho Director, Idaho Conservation League;
  • Housing – Michelle Griffith, ED, ARCH Community Housing Trust; and
  • Recreation – Mark Davidson, ED, Blaine County Recreation District.

Our most visible community-facing event is this annual forum, and for the first time ever we are seeking underwriters to fund advertising that will increase the audience reach in the community and produce take-home materials for attendees. We extend a huge thank you to those who have already pledged to support the event: Hazlett Wealth Management, Graybird Foundation, and Sun Valley Ketamine Clinic.  We are seeking additional supporters at $100, $250, and $500 levels.  Event underwriters will be recognized in advertising, the informational take-home booklet, and the projection screen behind presenters. If you, too, would like to support this Community Education event, please contact Jenni Riley at  

We hope every member is able to join us either in person with your mask or via the live stream that will be provided by the Community Library.  We will send out the link as soon as it is available.

Joining the WRWF Education Committee is a great way to meet new members and make a difference in both our own organization and the community through educational events. We convene once a month on the fourth Monday from 4:00-5:00 pm MT and would love to have additional members.  For more information contact one of the co-chairs: Jenni Riley or Susan Passovoy

Cheers to an amazing 2022!

Sponsor Update

Shout Out to Zions Bank!


The WRWF would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to Zions Bank for making a generous in-kind donation that enables the Wood River Women’s Foundation to have a home on the second floor of their Ketchum branch.

An early and long-term generous proponent of WRWF, Zions Bank has also been a strong leader in supporting local nonprofits and championing gender equality.

WRWF’s very own LeeAnne Linderman was instrumental in expanding our relationship with Zions. It began when we started looking for a larger conference room that could accommodate our board meetings. We were seeking a meeting space equipped with the technology that could project Zoom. Around that same time it became evident that WRWF had outgrown our Ketchum Works office space. 

Mary Sfingi, WRWF member and Zions Bank Ketchum Branch Manager, paved the way for the new office space arrangement. On behalf of WRWF, she directly approached Zions Bank CEO and President Scott Anderson. Our request was met with enthusiastic approval!

Zions is providing two large offices, each with conference tables that can be reserved for use by our committees. By moving to the Zions building our organization will realize an annual savings of $8,400 on office space that has a market value of $20,000 per year! We sincerely thank Zions for helping us grow our mission with their continued support.

Renew Your Membership

Riddle me this: 

It’s January so how can you exercise your power to vote in the 2022 grant cycle if your membership still needs renewal??

Clue: It’s about time!

Answer: You can use this link to complete your renewal now. Your dollars will count for the 2023 grant cycle but you’ll be able to vote for the 2022 grantees.  

Let’s go! We need everyone’s support!

Company Match Programs

Double Your Impact! 


Thank you to everyone who has renewed their Wood River Women’s Foundation membership so we can support our local nonprofits! 

We might be surprised to learn that your donation may be eligible for a matching gift!  Did you know that thousands of companies match donations made by their employees to organizations like ours? Please ask if your company has a matching gift program. 

WRWF is a 501(c) (3) and our Federal Tax ID number is #81-4000190. If you need assistance, or if you can confirm that you’ve submitted a matching gift request, kindly email us at Thank you.

Grant Season Update

Grant Season In Full Swing!


Every January our grant volunteer teams kick into gear and this year is no exception. As of mid-month, all five “Pooled Grant” teams have been assigned their applications and are beginning the in-depth review process. Not to be left behind, the Focus Grant 22 team had their initial review, narrowed the field, and is beginning to schedule virtual site visits. By mid-February the teams will gather via Zoom to present their assigned applications and then vote on which ones advance to the final slate. 

Please save March 2nd to hear via Zoom from each of the nominees’ executive directors as they give their final presentations to our entire WRWF membership. Then, between March 2 and March 16, all members will receive a ballot and cast their vote! Our 2022 Grantees recipients will be announced shortly thereafter! 

We are grateful to the 80 volunteers doing the rewarding work of evaluating our Pooled Grant and Focus Grant applications this year. See who is sharing their time and talent to help WRWF deliver on our collective giving mission here. If you’re not on this list, you are welcome to join a team next year!

December Meet & Mingle

Members bundled up at the base of River Run on December 16th to enjoy a cup of hot cocoa and one another’s company. Membership Chair, Kathleen Eder, inspired attendees to share some of their most loved parts of the holiday season…from cherished ornaments and holiday carols to favorite family traditions. It was a beautiful send-off into the busy holiday time and certainly made spirits bright!


  • 2/15/22 3rd Annual Community State of the Valley Forum
    “Maintaining Community Values while Balancing Growth”
    3-6pm Ketchum Community Library
  • 3/2/22 Final applicant executive director Zoom presentations to WRWF membership
  • 3/2/22-3/16/22 Member voting opens via Survey Monkey
  • 3/16/22 – 3/18/22 Applicants informed about award status
  • Late March TBD: Award notices to board, membership, media

New Event:

Save the Date:

Mark your calendars for the State of the Valley Forum

at the Community Library in Ketchum 2/15/22
3:00 – 6:00

Our February State of the Valley Forum is fast approaching!  The theme is “Maintaining Community Values while Balancing Growth.”

WRWF In Depth

Janet DeBard

Get to know fourth President Janet DeBard: Founding member reflects on growth during her term

By Emily Jones

Supporting the arts, education, health and social service sectors have long been priorities for past Wood River Women’s Foundation President Janet DeBard (2013-2015).

A native of St. Joseph, Michigan, DeBard received her Master’s in Inner City Education from Case Western Reserve University and Doctoral Studies in Education from UCLA. She first became involved in philanthropy and the arts as a young adult living in Pacific Palisades, California.   

Just over 23 years ago, DeBard and her husband, Roger, moved from L.A. to Ketchum, where they made their home for two decades. The couple recently moved to Montecito, California, but has maintained their grant support to a variety of Blaine County nonprofits, including The Community Library, The Hunger Coalition and St. Luke’s, where Roger serves as Chair of the Foundation Finance Committee. 

DeBard remains involved with WRWF through service on the President’s Council, an advisory arm to the WRWF Board, and the 2022 WRWF Focus Grant Committee, whose task is to review nonprofit applications that support programs to close the opportunity gap in education.  This is the first ever $100,000 grant offered by WRWF.  

In addition to her presidential role, DeBard chaired WRWF’s Grants and Nomination committees and served as an editor for the organization’s monthly News Brief. 

Keep on reading to learn more on her background, what the foundation was like when she was president and what she believes her contributions were.

Continue Reading…

Leadership Transition 

Leadership Transition in the Works


With Terri Bullock’s tenure as WRWF President coming to a close in August, Sandy McCullough has been tapped to serve as President-Elect. The Board will formally vote on the move later this year and, per WRWF Bylaws, the membership will vote on Board and Officers in advance of the August Annual Meeting.

“Sandy and I have worked together as board and executive committee members for a couple of years now, and I am confident in her ability to lead WRWF through our next evolution of growth,” said Terri. “Sandy understands the legacy that WRWF was built upon, and she will bring the creativity and direction necessary to explore and encourage strategies that are mission-centered around creating significant, positive change in our community.  I couldn’t be more excited to partner with Sandy over these next several months to assure a seamless transition.”

Sandy has served on the Board for the past five years in a number of roles – most notably as Past-Chair of our Communications Committee. She is currently Board Secretary and on the Executive Committee. Look for more information in the coming months!

A Warm Welcome to New WRWF Members

We are delighted to extend a warm WRWF welcome new members who joined this month!

  • Katie Craig
  • Alli Frank
  • Kristine Monroe
  • Dawn Sabo
  • Jeannie Shroads
  • Sarah de la Torre, Future Forward

New WRWF members are invited to provide photos and a bit of information about themselves to share in the News Brief. We have so many interesting members and it is fun to read about everyone’s background. Thanks so much and we look forward to meeting you soon.

Meet our two newest members,

Jeannie Shroads and Katie Craig

Jeannie Shroads Bio:

Jeannie grew up on Amelia Island in Florida and has been progressively moving north and west.  She lived in Virginia for many years after graduating from the University of Florida with a journalism degree and the University of Richmond with her law degree. She is blessed with two daughters – Hannah and Shelby. Hannah is a junior studying journalism at the University of Iowa and Shelby is a first-year architecture student at the University of Miami in Florida.  Her partner’s name is John Rogers. John also has two daughters. There are a lot of girls in their lives!

After becoming empty nesters in August, Jeannie and John moved from Virginia to Ketchum. They’re excited to spend more time here now in the condo they’ve had for a couple of years. John learned how to ski in Sun Valley as a boy, and he’s come full circle – now he’s a ski instructor for Sun Valley!

  Jeannie was an in-house corporate attorney for 20 years and also spent many years at a global nonprofit membership association. She now works part-time for a national travel and vacation rental company.  This spring she is starting a new chapter as a graduate student at the Carter School for Peace and Conflict Resolution at George Mason University. 

John and Jeannie enjoy fishing (here and in Alaska every summer!), skiing and hiking on all the trails.  Her goal is to get on Nordic skis this winter – as there are not too many opportunities to learn that growing up in Florida. She is an avid reader and her favorite place in town is the Community Library. Welcome, Jeannie!

Katie Craig Bio:

Katie moved to Hailey in June of 2020, relocating from Moraga, California when she retired and became an empty nester.  Katie worked as a Registered Nurse for 34 years. 

She had heard from a few people that WRWF is an excellent and purposeful organization. Joining was a good way to get involved in the community as well as a path to meet new people. 

Katie loves the outdoors, hiking and golfing.  She enjoys playing bridge and is embracing all that winter has to offer.  Welcome, Katie!

Member Activity – Call for Photos!!

  • A picture speaks a 1000 words!
  • Teamwork makes the dream work!
  • Our members make the world go-’round! 

We’d love to see your pics from Meet & Mingles, outings with your furry friends and your love of our beautiful Wood River Valley! Please email Anne Jeffery ( the photos of your activities with other members and any grantees. Bonus points if you identify people in the photo captions 😉 Thank you!

In Memoriam 

With deep sympathy and gratitude for her generosity, we honor the passing of:

Carol Lynn Shephard, Member March 2019 – 2020 

February 5, 1950 – December 23, 2021 

Board Update – Endowment 

Endowment Explained!

Interested in understanding more about the Wood River Women’s Foundation endowment strategy? Click here to read our updated Endowment FAQ. If you have more questions, send them to and we will do our best to answer them. If you would like to donate to our endowment, please contact Gail Landis, Investment Committee Chair at

Thank you, Sponsors.

And, thank YOU for signing up with Amazon Smile

Many thanks to members who have designated WRWF as their selected charity on AmazonSmile! To link Wood River Women’s Foundation AmazonSmile to your Amazon account, click here and get signed up. Then, whenever you shop Amazon, use the AmazonSmile website.

We begin 2022 with our hearts full gratitude for our local sponsors. A hearty WRWF thank you to Little Caesar’s and Zions Bank!

Thank you, Contributors!

Thank you to this month’s News Brief contributors:
Terri Bullock, Jill Grossman, Carol Hoffman, Anne Jeffery, Emily Jones, Sara Lichtenberg, Sandy McCullough, Deb Prost, Jenni Riley, Sarah Shepard, Renee Spooner, & Rebecca Ybarra Palma