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2023 April News Brief

By April 19, 2023Newsletter

News Briefs

Wood River Women's Foundation Sun Valley Ketchum Idaho

April 2023

News Brief

2023 Grantees

Wood River Women’s Foundation Awards
Record-Breaking $353,450 to Idaho Nonprofits


We are delighted to announce that The Wood River Women’s Foundation (WRWF) members voted to award 22 Idaho nonprofits that serve the Wood River Valley with grants totaling $353,450 in 2023. Since its founding in 2005, WRWF has awarded 215 pooled grants surpassing $3.4 million to nonprofits throughout Blaine County.

“For 18 years WRWF members have demonstrated extraordinary generosity and this year set yet another record of nearly $354,000 for our pooled grant fund,” said Sandy McCullough, WRWF President. “We are both honored and delighted to join together in support of our nonprofit partners who are doing the difficult and much needed work to deliver services throughout Blaine County.” This year the Foundation of 325+ members funded nonprofits that address housing, education, outdoor initiatives, and emergency, social and therapeutic services.

The Foundation’s Focus Grant—a special-purpose grant of up to $200,000 over a two-year period created to address a pressing need in the Wood River Valley— was also funded. In March of 2021, WRWF members chose to focus on “Closing the Opportunity Gap in Education.” In 2022, the WRWF Focus Grant was awarded $100,000 and in this 2023 cycle it received an additional $100,000 grant. WRWF members voted to award the Focus Grant for the creation of the Wood River Early Learning Collaborative with the Idaho Association for the Education of Young Children. For more information about the Focus Grant click here.

Click to view the WRWF 2023 Pooled Grant Recipients, grant titles, and amounts awarded.

  • Girls on the Run Southern Idaho—Girls on the Run Program Blaine County $9,700
  • Hospice and Palliative Care of the Wood River Valley—LatinX Outreach & Human Resource Apps $5,000
  • I Have a Dream Foundation—Idaho- Elementary Program New Cohort $20,000
  • Idaho BaseCamp—Sahm 5th Grade Outdoor Adventure Education Program $20,000
  • Kids Mountain Fund—Rota-Rippers and Rota-Ravens lease equipment $14,000
  • Men’s Second Chance Living—Extension of Programs $20,000
  • North Blaine County Fire District—First Responder Housing at Greenhorn Fire Station $20,000
  • The Advocates for Survivors of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault—Youth Services $20,000
  • The Community Library Association—Community Outreach Initiatives $17,350
  • The Crisis Hotline, Inc.—Neighbors Helping Neighbors Support $12,00
  • The Senior Connection—Nutrition $20,000
  • The Space Idaho—Educational Opportunity— $20,000
  • Wood River Community YMCA—SummerBridge 2023 $20,000
  • Wood River Fire & Rescue—Resuscitation Through Simulation $20,000

The following hard-working organizations received smaller, unrestricted WRWF grants:

  • Environmental Resource Center—Expansion of Recycling Education and Outreach $2,200
  • Flourish Foundation—Half Time Grant Writer $2,200
  • Parent Band Booster Club—Wood River High School Band Programs $2,200
  • Unega Mountain Dog Rescue—$2,200
  • Wood River Land Trust Company—Colorado Gulch Restroom Kiosk $2,200
  • Wood River Legacy Softball Inc.—Help Girls Hit a Home Run! $2,200
  • Wood River Wolf Project—Operational Funding $2,200

For descriptions of how the WRWF 2023 Grantees plan to use the funds, visit our website here.

Grantees in the News

Higher Ground

Sit-skiier Jason Knoeller & Higher Ground Instructor Charlotte Kilborn in Muffy Davis Cup on Dollar Mountain

In March the Ski History Challenge offered people a chance to participate in the Muffy Davis Cup, view a night of films about female athletes and learn how to become a junior ski patroller as part of the Sun Valley Resort events.

Higher Ground and SheJumps partnered with the resort to offer a variety of activities in the spirit of International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month. Participants had the opportunity to ski as someone with a disability would during the Muffy Davis Cup, an adaptive ski training experience.

Sit-skier Jason Knoeller and Higher Ground instructor Charlotte Kilborn took on Dollar Mountain in Higher Ground’s inaugural Muffy Davis Cup. “It was such a fun day seeing people in our community come out and celebrate the hard work that Higher Ground does,” Knoeller said.

“What a fantastic day and event,” Dollar Mountain manager Nick Zelaya said. “It was so great to see members of our community learn to ski Dollar in a new way and it really puts into perspective the amazing work Higher Ground does teaching adaptive sports.” Nick concluded, “I personally had a blast learning to mono ski, can’t wait for next year!”

Sourced from Eye on Sun Valley here and Idaho Mountain Express here

Men’s Second Chance Living

We are thrilled to see that Men’s Second Chance Living, a WRWF grantee in 2023 and other recent years, has received additional funding from the community.

The St. Luke’s Health System awarded $10,000 to Men’s Second Chance Living to support the nonprofit’s work in providing affordable, sober housing and support services to men recovering from addiction.

The St. Luke’s Community Health Improvement Fund grant will help cover housing programs and support services provided at a new, second sober-living house in Hailey the organization added last October.

In photo: A sculpture titled “Solidarity” by Mary Ann Chubb was commissioned by Men’s Second Chance Living donor Kathy Carson. “To me, it’s a permanent reminder of men working together and giving each other a hand. Two men with hands clasped together are stronger than one,” Carson said.

Sourced from Idaho Mountain Express:
St. Luke’s awards grant to Hailey sober house | Health |

President’s Message

Happy Spring everyone! After this very long, snowy winter, I imagine we’re all anticipating a change in scenery with spectacular wildflowers, green grass and dry hiking paths. Here at WRWF, we are also making changes thanks to the voices of members who eagerly share their opinions throughout the year.

Over the years, many (many!) of you have inquired about uncertainties around our renewal process – the Board of Directors is thrilled to share that over the next several months, the Foundation will be bringing on a new database management system that will enable the organization to better manage our financial and membership processes. Thank you to all of you who have prompted this improvement – your voices have been heard and we’ve responded!

This new platform will result in multiple efficiencies across the Foundation including the ability to offer members clarity and convenience around renewing. In short, we will be moving to an anniversary-based timeline rather than directing everyone to renew at the end of the year. For example, if a member joins in June, she will be notified each June that her renewal is due that month. No more mystery!

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Members, including myself, who don’t remember the month we joined, will choose our anniversary month and for some members, the end of the year will continue to be the preferred time to make their annual contributions. The full details of this system are yet to be worked out but we couldn’t wait to share the concept with you given how many of you have been asking for clarity around your renewals.

It will take a year to fully implement this transition – in the meantime, you are welcome to send in your 2023 renewal contribution whenever you prefer; the month you choose to renew this year will become your annual renewal month going forward.

Another advantage of this renewal system is that your Foundation anniversary will be detailed in our database which affords us the opportunity to celebrate and appreciate your years as a valued WRWF contributor. We look forward to that! A huge thank you to the Finance Committee under Trinka Dyer’s leadership for conducting a multi-month exploration into understanding and creating this framework – your due diligence is greatly appreciated!

The Foundation has wrapped up our 18th successful grant cycle, and awards from our record-sized fund are being distributed to recipients this month. Big congratulations and much gratitude to everyone who served on the Grants Committee this cycle for contributing your precious time and joyful talent to help deliver our mission. And to every single WRWF member – your contribution to the 2023 Pooled Fund is what makes our service to the community possible. Thank you so very much for stepping up – you are appreciated!

On another happy note, please keep your eye on your inbox and the WRWF calendar as committee volunteers have been hard at work creating wonderful engagement opportunities for you! We are setting up a full schedule of M&Ms, FieldTrips!, the Member Appreciation ‘Tini Party and more. You’ll want to come join the philanthropic fun! And please join Board Members at the next BoardWalk (June date TBD) – member voices are most welcome and we invite you to share yours. BoardWalks offer a relaxed and enjoyable environment for ‘talking shop’; your Board looks forward to walking and talking with you!

With WRWF gratitude,
Sandy McCullough, President

Call to Action – Survey

Happy Spring WRWF members! This is a time of rejuvenation and new life and we rely on members’ feedback in order to keep our Foundation blooming and fulfilling our mission. On that note, it is time to conduct an all-member survey where you have a chance to tell us more about your experience and what is working for you as a member, and what you’d love to see evolve. The survey will take 5 minutes or less to complete — you can access it below, or through the All-Member email that will reach your inbox this week. Please fill it out by May 10th. Your answers are anonymous and results will be shared in a future News Brief.

Thank you for your membership and time – and a big thank you to member Deb Prost for putting this survey together for WRWF.

Upcoming Events

Mark your calendars!
The Philanos National Conference is back Nov. 5-7, 2023!

“PowerUP! Baltimore: The Spark Igniting Collaboration” is Philanos’ National Conference for visionaries who believe in the power of women’s collective giving to create an impact in local communities. Regional giving circles and networks of philanthropic organizations have joined forces to collaboratively host this event. Breakout sessions will address best practices for innovative, inspiring, and inclusive collective giving as well as trends that affect philanthropic initiatives.

As a Philanos affiliate, the Wood River Women’s Foundation has been well represented both on panels and in attendance at Philanos national conferences over the years. These events are terrific opportunities to gather with our sister collectives, learn about emerging issues and best practices, and hear what others are doing in this space.

Early bird registration opens May 1, 2023

  • $595: Early Bird Pricing, for Philanos Affiliates
  • $750: Non-Early Bird, for Philanos Affiliates
  • $850: Non-Member

Learn more about the conference and how to sign up at their website.


  • April 20 Meet & Mingle at Sun Valley Golf Club – 5:00-6:30 pm
  • May 4 New Member Orientation via Zoom – 4:00-5:15 pm
  • May 25 Meet & Mingle at the home of Laura Rose-Lewis – 5:00-6:30 pm
  • June TBD BoardWalk! – More Details to Come
  • June 30 Member Appreciation ‘Tini Event, “Lemon Drops & Pearls” – 5:00-7:00 pm
  • Aug 23 – Legacy Giving Information Session hosted by the President’s Council – 3:00-5:00 pm
  • Nov 5-7 Philanos: PowerUP! Baltimore 2023 National Conference: The Spark Igniting Collaboration

Check the calendar on our website for live updates!

New Members

We are delighted to extend a warm WRWF welcome this month to:

Stephanie Saitta

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.

New Member Form

Max. file size: 50 MB.
Max. file size: 50 MB.

BFF! Membership Initiative

Calling all WRWF members! We’d like to give a reminder about our new membership initiative program “BFF! – Bring Forth Friends!”

If two new members join WRWF under your encouragement, you will be thanked for your recruitment efforts with either a $25 coffee card or a bottle of wine. This is an opportunity to continue growing and strengthening our collective membership through our personal, unique networks. Remember, there is no limit to how many rewards you can receive in a year. Be sure your BFF’s give you credit when they join so we can track your success towards a reward!

The starting date for BFF! is retroactively set to January 1, 2023. Keep spreading the word about WRWF and our mission!

This reward is being underwritten by a generous WRWF member.

Internship Opportunity

Learn from engaged philanthropic women!

WRWF will be providing an opportunity for a college or high school student to gain some experience in philanthropy this summer! Detailed below is the part-time internship posting that was advertised in the Idaho Mountain Express and shared with members by email. f you know of a qualified young person who might be interested in this opportunity, please feel free to share this posting with them.

WRWF members are truly the best information sharers!

WRWF Summer Intern description

WRWF Summer Intern:

Work with a strong team of women philanthropists! Wood River Women’s Foundation (WRWF) seeks a part-time summer intern to assist the Foundation’s Administrator with support tasks. Duties include database updating, general office help, monitoring email, scheduling committee meetings, digital and paper filing, assisting with member events, and other tasks as needed. The ideal candidate has an interest in learning about local nonprofits, is familiar with Google Drive, has the ability to learn new software, and has excellent organizational and communication skills. This is a seasonal, part-time position with a wage of $18/hour.

Submit your resume and letter of interest to or call 208-309-2530 for more information.

WRWF’s mission is to inspire and educate women to become leaders in philanthropy. We encourage and create significant positive change in our community through pooled grant-making. Visit to learn more.

Grantee Announcement

Past grantee Wood River Trails Coalition is hiring a Development Director! Please read the position summary below and reach out to Sara Gress at if you know someone who might be a good fit. Find more information at the WRTC website here.

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We are looking for an experienced development professional to lead our fundraising program and help us continue to grow our impact. The ideal candidate is someone who is excited to help build a strong foundation for the organization and understands what it takes to do so. We want this position and our fundraising team to grow with the organization, so this position will be given the budget and latitude to hire a Coordinator in conjunction with that growth. We are committed to raising the salary for this position as the department expands and as the financial capacity of our organization grows to meet the increased salary goals we have for all of our talent.

We are looking for an individual with strong leadership skills, a passion for the outdoors, an understanding of and passion for small nonprofits, and the ability to see ideas through to implementation. The ideal candidate has a proven track record of successful fundraising, the organizational skills to manage multiple responsibilities and supervisory skills to create a healthy, positive team atmosphere. Our organization values community, so the ideal candidate must be able to communicate, interact with and connect with a wide variety of supporters, members, volunteers and donors.

We have a number of established fundraising strategies and activities that this position will be responsible for. While these have worked well for us, we are also very open to change and are willing to do things differently. If you are excited by the idea of a (mostly) blank slate and the leeway to run with an idea, this is the job for you.

This position reports to our Executive Director and will work with them closely to achieve the WRTC’s development goals. Some evening and weekend work will be required in support of fundraising activities.

Thank you, Sponsors.

We are grateful for our sponsors and extend a hearty WRWF thank you to Graybird Foundation, Little Caesars and Zions Bank!

Thank you, Contributors!

Carol Hoffman, Emily Jones, Heidi Marcus, Sandy McCullough, Rebecca Ybarra Palma, Karissa Price Rico, Sarah Shepard, Renee Spooner