Wood River Women's Foundation Sun Valley Ketchum Idaho
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JUNE 2023 News Brief


Grants Spotlight 

North Blaine County Fire Station

L-R: Rich Bauer, Chris Jaussi, Walt Femling, Jed Gray, Sarah Michael, Earl Engelmann, Angenie McCleary, Peter Hendricks and Taan Robrahn

2023 Grantee North Blaine County First District has already put the funds from their $20,000 grant to use! A groundbreaking celebration for the construction of first responder housing at the Greenhorn Fire Station located at East Fork Road and Highway 75 took place on 6/7. Many supporters gathered under the threat of thunderstorms to acknowledge the dedication, hard work, and collaboration that has taken place over the last three years to bring this project to life.

Jed Gray, Chairman of the North Blaine County Fire District, spoke passionately to the attendees about his excitement for this project. He explained that when several local entities cooperate to house our first responders, the entire community benefits. This collaboration stretches far and wide; for example, the North Blaine County Fire Station is working with the Idaho Transportation Department to lease the land, the Spur Foundation is serving as a repository for fundraised dollars, and organizations like WRWF have contributed financially to the project.

While a significant sum has been raised towards the project goal of $3.2 million, they are still approximately $1 million short of the goal. As more money is raised, rent rates for the first responders living in the units will decrease. Affordable housing is a persistent problem that affects individuals from all walks of life, including our courageous first responders. Helping to alleviate some of this pressure by providing a total of eight affordable housing units at the Greenhorn Fire Station location will allow these men and women to live within the areas of our community that they are committed to serving.

Please read more about this fabulous project in articles from Eye on Sun Valley and Idaho Mountain Express and look out for progress updates!

Grantees in the News

Environmental Resource Center

Environmental Resource Center

In May, the Environmental Resource Center’s (ERC) 27th annual Clean Sweep event attracted 62 participants in Ketchum, 66 in Hailey, and 40 in Bellevue, according to ERC officials. Each year as the snow melts away and the trash stays behind, the nonprofit enlists volunteers to scour the valley for litter as part of its long-tenured cleanup program. ERC Program Coordinator, Trish Kerner served in the Clean Sweep event with her son Reagan, his teammates from Wood River Baseball Association (WRBA), families and community members, businesses and nonprofits. “This was my first year organizing Clean Sweep, and I couldn’t believe how generous local businesses were with their donations,” said Trish. “I saw first-hand how the donuts, coffee, and lunch certificates put a smile across everyone’s face. It is great to be in a community where local businesses are excited to give back and support events like this.”
The Community, Hailey and Bellevue Libraries
Kristin Marlar-Gearhart
Register for the 2023 Adult Summer Reads program hosted by Hailey Public Library, The Community Library and Bellevue Public Library! This summer’s theme, “Exploring Our World,” aims to encourage summer reading across cultures, languages, and borders. Summer Reads will run from Saturday, May 27 to Tuesday, Sept. 5 at each library. “Summer reading isn’t just for kids. We hope adults will enjoy the opportunity to learn something new, too!” stated Kristin Marlar-Gearhart, Bellevue Public Library Director. Participants can register in person or online, with the library most convenient to them. They’ll receive a “passport” in either Spanish or English with guided activities and reading prompts, offering options in the Wood River Valley, across the state, and around the world.
Committee Corner – Governance
Jeannie Shroads

The WRWF Governance Committee (GC) is a standing committee of the Foundation’s Board of Directors. Our work strengthens the organization by providing oversight of governance documents and supporting the leadership of other working committees on issues of governance, policy, and compliance. Our major responsibilities include serving as the in-house experts on the WRWF Articles and Bylaws, ensuring our activities are in compliance with our governing documents, periodically reviewing key operational policies, maintaining committee charters, and designing Board effectiveness and training materials. The Governance Committee also plays a key role in presiding over the WRWF Annual Meeting and election of new Board members. Be on the lookout for information about the upcoming 2023 Annual Meeting on August 2!

The WRWF Board President appoints the Governance chair, who serves until a successor has been appointed. Jeannie Shroads is the current Chair of the GC following in the footsteps of Gail Landis. Jeannie joined the WRWF in 2021. She has many years of experience providing guidance to board leaders and organizations as a corporate attorney.

The GC is an exceptional committee that benefits from the collective expertise of its members. The Committee includes Gail Landis, Marcia Liebich, Esther Ochsman, Kathy Edwards, Leslie Mitchell, Sandy McCullough, WRWF President (serving the GC ex officio).

Please join us in this very important work. We meet three or four times throughout the year and would happily welcome any new members with an interest in governance and supporting the effectiveness of the WRWF! Please contact Jeannie Shroads at Jeannie.shroads@gmail.com for additional information.

Committee Corner – Governance
Karissa Price-Rico

To everyone who participated in our recent WRWF all-member survey – thank you! We hit an all-time response high of 66%. The goal of the survey was to continue to deepen our understanding of our members, to hear your voices on what is compelling for you in terms of our mission, and to further learn what we can improve on as your leadership team to ensure everyone has the opportunity to experience the benefits of being a member of our collective giving circle.

An email with survey highlights will be coming to your inbox soon. Here are some teasers of what you will see:

  • Most members report they understand WRWF’s mission, are informed about events and programs, and that WRWF is fulfilling its mission.
  • The majority also feel welcome to become active participants, and would recommend WRWF to a friend.
  • About 50% of members describe themselves as “active members” with 14% considering themselves “very active”
  • The longer a member of WRWF, the more apt you are to feel WRWF has increased your knowledge and commitment to philanthropy.
  • The values of WRWF that most resonate with our members are: collaborative, community, inclusive, transparent, professional and inspirational.

Again, thank you to everyone who participated in the survey; we are grateful for all you do to make our volunteer organization thrive! And most of all, thank you to all members for caring about the Wood River Valley community and making a positive impact through your membership. It truly takes a village, and WRWF plays a significant role in making a positive difference in the lives of our village.

Karissa Price Rico, Communications Committee Chair
& The Board of Directors



Date: June 23
Time: 10:00 am
Location: Democrat Gulch in Hailey


Annual All-Member Meeting & Celebration of Grantees from

Date: August 2nd
Time: 4:00-6:00 pm
Location: WRWF Board Member’s home in Elkhorn.


Legacy Giving Information Session

Date: August 23 
Time: 3:00-5:00 pm
Location: hosted by the President’s Council



The Member ‘Tini

Please join us in celebrating our members and our success at the annual Member ‘Tini! Hosted by The Foundation and the WRWF President’s Council, The Member ‘Tini will take place on Friday, June 30th from 4:00-6:00 pm at the home of
Barbara Thrasher – 104 Defiance, Elkhorn.

The theme is Lemon Drops & Pearls!

Please RSVP by June 25th via our website or the email invitation.
Since attendance is limited, we invite members to bring only one guest.

2023 Annual Meeting

Please join us for the WRWF signature celebratory event –
The Annual Meeting – Wednesday, August 2nd from 4:00-6:00 pm.
The planning team is excited to bring you a new look, location and time this year – with the same mission-focused fun!
We will gather at the home of a WRWF Board Member in Elkhorn.
Please look forward to…
* Delicious appetizers from The Haven
* Plenty of Prosecco
* 2023 grant recipients
* Fun photo scavenger hunt to foster new connections
* Plus a few more, yet-to-be-confirmed speaker and music surprises
RSVP details will be available in July – Thank you!

Event Recap 

May M&M
L-R: Karen de Saint Phalle, Heidi Marcus, Lisa Mayer, Dianne Tibbs Johnson, Krista Felton, Pam Colesworthy

We gathered on 5/25 for a special spring Meet & Mingle. Laura Rose-Lewis, Executive Director of I Have a Dream Foundation – Idaho (IHDF), graciously invited our WRWF members and other grantee guests to her home. Attendees had the chance to mingle before Laura spoke to the group about IHDF. She expressed her sincere gratitude for the longtime support that WRWF has provided for the organization and emphasized the impact it has had over the years.

The Community, Hailey and Bellevue Libraries
Girls on the Run 5K Field Trip!
Congratulations to WRWF Grantee Girls on the Run of Southern Idaho for a successful end-of-season 5K on 6/3. This special event celebrates the work each of the girls has put in throughout the year and gives an opportunity to experience the gratification of crossing the finish line! It takes a range of volunteers to put on this event and make it exciting for the participants. From check-in, to running buddies, to course monitors, and water station helpers, it is an all hands on deck scenario. Thank you to our WRWF members who turned out on a Saturday morning to support this Grantee organization and the whole community!
New Member Spotlight – Joy Prudek
Joy Prudek


We are happy to welcome new member Joy Prudek. Here she shares a bit about herself:

I started coming to Sun Valley in 1995 to enjoy the summers, including the summer ice skating program. I fell in love with the area and moved here in 1998, leaving New York City and a career on Wall Street. I am the Public Relations Manager at St Luke’s Wood River Medical Center, where I have worked since January of 2015. Prior to joining St. Luke’s, I worked in economic development and owned a wine bar/art gallery.

One of the reasons I love living here is the sense of community and that people take care of each other, even if they don’t know each other. I have served on numerous not-for-profit boards in the Valley, am impressed by the WRWF and the significant impact you all have on this community. I look forward to getting to know more of you and more about the organization!

I enjoy ice dancing, skiing, hiking, the arts, food, wine and spending time with friends, family, my wonderful husband Jack and our chocolate lab, Bailey!

new members

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

Amy Albright
Andrea Rifkin

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. Welcome!


Member Call to Action

We have seen a great deal of progress recently in our impact across our channels! Your social media team is calling everyone at WRWF to share our post content about members, grantees, and events via Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Re-sharing our posts will further our mission of increasing visibility, reach, and engagement. If you have questions or need any assistance with re-sharing our posts, please contact Rebecca Ybarra Palma at rebeccapalma01@gmail.com

Please help us connect with our community even more!

in memorium

With deep sympathy and gratitude for her generosity,
we honor the passing of former Board Member
Margery Gail Friedlander
February 2, 1937 — June 13, 2023

An obituary with more information about her life and
philanthropic involvement can be found here.

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 TO OUR contributors

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