july 2023 News Brief
Wood River Early Learning Collaborative Launches Strategic Action Plan, New Website, Childcare Directory—and more!
This summer has been busy for the Wood River Early Learning Collaborative (WRELC), which created a new website, Facebook page and local childcare services directory in June, and more recently unveiled a Strategic Action Plan to guide decision-making over the next three years.
The Collaborative (seeded by the WRWF’s $200,000 two-year Focus Grant and administered by the Idaho Association for Education of Young Children) comprises 14 of the valley’s leading nonprofits, including The Hunger Coalition, St. Luke’s Center for Community Health, Blaine County Recreation District, The Advocates, and many others.
This spring, members from the Collaborative’s Advisory Committee took a day off to gather at the Hunger Coalition and kick off strategic planning. Over multiple Zoom meetings, they formulated and tweaked a Strategic Action Plan as a response to last fall’s Needs Assessment, which documented the many struggles faced by working parents and childcare providers in Blaine County.
On June 6, Kathryn Ivers (WRELC Project Director) and Martin Balben (Idaho AEYC Early Learning Collaborative Project Director) shared the group’s Strategic Action Plan with WRWF Focus Grant Committee members in a virtual presentation.
Grantees in the News
Blaine County’s First Responder Support Team (BCFiRST) is launching this year in an attempt to meet the mental health needs of the county’s emergency workers. This is largely thanks to a fighterfighter and widow of suicide, Kelly White, who repurposed donations for the cause. When Kelly lost her husband, Tom, she said that she “[doesn’t] want anyone to feel the way Tom did.” She received almost $11,000 in donations after Tom’s death, and BCFiRST is where she began putting those funds to work.
The BCFiRST board is made up of five members: Kelly White, Wood River Fire and Rescue Chief Ron Bateman, Retired Blaine County Sheriff’s Deputy Curtis Miller, Blaine County H.R. Generalist Justin Highhouse, and Sun Valley Ski Patrol Medic Stacie Ivie. Donations to BCFiRST can be made online at bcfirst.org. An anonymous donor has offered to match up to $10,000 in donations.
In a press release from D.L. Evans Bank, it was announced that ARCH Community Housing Trust was chosen as the recipient of a $45,000 donation from the company’s larger philanthropic campaign. Dedicated to improving the quality of life for hardworking families, ARCH’s mission is to ensure that the people who serve the community can afford to live there.
ARCH is a member of the National Community Land Trust Network and has helped resort workers, first responders, construction workers, teachers, and many other low-to-moderate-income residents in the area.
Happy Summer WRWF members! Hope your days are filled with hikes, tennis, bike rides, golf and BBQs now that the good weather has finally arrived.
As the Communications Committee Chair I want to share the value we bring to the foundation as the main resource for internal and external audiences to learn and stay up-to-date on how we support the community. Our committee goals are to promote our grantees, acknowledge our volunteers and highlight the fun we have as a women’s giving collective.
Through the generous support of member Jill Grossman and the Graybird Foundation, we’ve been able to accomplish so much over the past few years. We cannot thank Jill, Renee, Carol, and Rebecca enough for their contributions to WRWF in general and the Communications Committee in particular. Their legacy will live on for a long time.
And all good things come to an end so in August we will be transitioning back to an all-volunteer committee. The team has been working to prepare for this transition and we’ve created new ways to volunteer that allow folks to be drop-in contributors of pieces that go into our News Brief, or posts for social media, all while maintaining the high levels of editorial professionalism that we’ve established.
There are so many ways to volunteer with the Communications Committee including recurring activities such as:
And our special projects:
Does making an impact through communications appeal to you? If so, we’d love to have you join our committee and contribute what you can, when you can and for as long as it works in your life! Take photos at events, interview grantees or new members, it’s all valuable and contributes to the News Brief our members love to read! We meet 1x a month and you are welcome to come in person or Zoom in! For more information, please send me an email at KPriceRico@gmail.com
Welcome to three members who are stepping up to help our organization thrive: The WRWF Board is pleased to share that the following accomplished women are taking on leadership roles with our organization.
Tracy Kanowsky will be serving as non-Board member Grants Co-Chair with Sarah Lurie. Tracy has been a member since 2021 and has volunteered on both the Membership and Grants Committees previous to taking on this role. Tracy moved to the Valley from Santa Barbara where she served as a prosecutor in the Santa Barbara DA’s office and founded the Domestic Violence Unit as well as the Elder Abuse Unit. Tracy brings deep experience in non-profit work having served as a Board member for the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History & Sea Center as well as volunteer work for Storyteller Children’s Center and the Crane Country Day School.
Joy Prudek has agreed to become our new Membership Committee Co-Chair. Joy has over 25 years in the Wood River Valley, is a new WRWF member and has been the Public Relations Manager for St. Luke’s since 2015. Joy also has extensive non-profit experience including with the Ice Dance International board, the US Bank Advisory Board and the Sun Valley Economic Development Board. Joy has previously served on the Swiftsure, The Advocates and Company of Fools boards and has a deep knowledge of not only our community but also its non-profits. We are excited that Joy is willing to share her commitment to the community with WRWF’s Membership Committee.
And last but certainly not least, Karen de Saint Phalle is joining the board as an At-Large Board Member. Karen has been a member of WRWF since 2018. She moved to the Valley in 2012 from NYC. Karen has served on the Finance Committee for 5 years and was instrumental in creating our new financial dashboard. Karen has an MBA and has worked in Finance and strategic consulting. She currently serves on the Boards of Wood River Land Trust, Wood River YMCA, Our Lady of the Snows Foundation and Finance Committee, plus Karen volunteers at the Hunger Coalition. Members will have the opportunity to approve Karen’s appointment to the Board in the Annual Meeting package that will be emailed soon.
WRWF continues to enjoy the support and engagement of highly qualified and talented volunteers to help advance our mission. The Board is grateful to Tracy, Joy and Karen for their willingness to share their time and expertise as we work together to support our non-profit partners throughout Blaine County. Welcome!
2023 annual meeting
2023 Annual Meeting
Please join us for the WRWF signature celebratory event
The Annual Meeting & Grantee Celebration
Wednesday, August 2nd from 4:00-6:00 pm
4:00 Mingling, Drinks, Bites & Photo Scavenger Hunting
4:30 Welcome, Voting Results & Guest Speaker Sarah Sentilles, Award-Winning Author
5:00 Grantee Recognition
5:15+ After-Party Mingling and Revelry with DJ Alex
Attendees will be chauffeured to the venue from the Sun Valley Event Parking Lot (unpaved lot across from Pavilion) by bus at 3:50 and 4:00. Please be ready to catch the bus by 3:45. Buses will return to the parking lot as requested throughout the afternoon, and the last bus will depart the venue just after 6:00.
$60 per person – RSVP here by Wednesday, July 26
Legacy Giving Information Session
Our Legacy Giving Information Session will be hosted by the
WRWF President’s Council on
Wednesday, August 23 from 3:30-5:00 pm
in the Lecture Hall at the Community Library in Ketchum.
Kris Kamann, Idaho Community Foundation’s (ICF) Senior Philanthropic Advisor will be our guest presenter to discuss overall Legacy Giving and answer questions.
This session will also be streamed live for those who cannot attend in person.
Date: July 19
Time: 10:15 am
Location: Alturas Elementary
Date: August 2
Time: 4:00-6:00 pm
Date: August 23
Time: 3:30-5:00 pm
Date: Nov 5-7november
Calling all WRWF members! We’re here to remind you 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 and unique networks. Remember, there is no limit to how many rewards you can receive in a year. Be sure your BFFs 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.
Please note that the Celebration of Life for Wendy Pesky is at 4:00 pm on July 27 at the River Run Lodge in Sun Valley, ID
THANK YOU, Sponsors!
THANK YOU TO OUR contributors