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January 2024 News Brief

happy new year!!


WR Legacy Softball

Empowering Young Girls Through Sports
Wood River Legacy Softball, a beacon in the local sports community, has been instrumental in providing opportunities for girls aged 14-16 to engage in softball. Recognizing the concerning trend that girls leave sports at twice the rate of boys in this age group, the organization is committed to reversing this by fostering strength, unity, and leadership among young women.

Building Tomorrow’s Leaders
With a generous grant of $2,200 from the Wood River Women’s Foundation, matched by an additional donation of $7,000 from a WRWF member, Wood River Legacy Softball has made significant strides. These funds have facilitated the construction of a dedicated equipment shed at Founders Field, creating a permanent home for the team’s gear. This development marks a significant step, especially as softball and baseball in the region have evolved under separate banners.

Nurturing Growth and Community
The organization’s current initiatives focus on growing the sport within the Wood River Valley and nurturing strong, confident young women. By offering scholarships and subsidizing costs for tournaments, including lodging expenses, they are actively working towards keeping the teams united and supportive of each other.

The annual tournament hosted by the organization is more than just a sporting event; it brings nearly 400 people to the valley, contributing significantly to the local economy. More than that, it’s an opportunity for these young athletes to learn invaluable life skills like teamwork, camaraderie, and resilience.

A Community Effort

Wood River Legacy Softball’s role transcends sports; it’s about shaping community leaders and instilling strength and determination in young girls. Many of these athletes are junior philanthropists, actively participating in community service and fundraising, showcasing their commitment to their community and personal growth.

We are deeply grateful for the ongoing support of the Wood River Women’s Foundation. Your contributions are not just aiding a sports program; they are investing in the future leaders of our community.

Members in the News

The Hunger Coalition Recognized

Congratulations to The Hunger Coalition’s committed leadership including WRWF members Krista Felton, Director of Philanthropy, Jeannie Liston, former Executive Director, and THC Board Members Carter Cox, Deb Van Law and Patti Zebrowski for being honored by The Hispanic Commission.
Focus Grant Update

The Wood River Early Learning Collaborative, established with our two-year Focus Grant, continues to make substantial progress toward the goals of its Strategic Plan. In an update provided to us in mid-November, Kathryn Ivers, Project Director, reported that the Advisory Council now includes 15 valley nonprofits with a strong interest in the wellbeing and education of young children.

committee corner

vp of operations – dianne tibbs johnson

VP of Operations – Dianne Tibbs Johnson

The Vice President – Operations, is responsible for overseeing the administration of WRWF including the coordination of committee work and the strategic plan of the organization. The VP-Operations is recommended by the WRWF Board President and voted on annually by membership. The current VP-Operations is Dianne Tibbs Johnson. Dianne has served in this role since mid-2022 and has served on the WRWF Board since 2021.

One of the most important roles of the VP-Operations is working with each committee to review and update the team’s processes and procedures to ensure operational excellence, and to identify areas to increase efficiencies. With the new efficiencies implemented in last year’s grant cycle, it’s key to our success as an organization to continue to review the adjustments and examine what went well as well as what we can continue to improve upon. Heading into the New Year, Dianne is eager to jump in and collaborate with members across all the committees to identify best practices, document procedures, and meet operational goals.

Any members interested in more information regarding the work of the VP-Operations please contact Dianne Tibbs Johnson at dianne.tibbs@gmail.com for further information.

2024 grant cycle

The Grants Cycle Has Begun – with our “ART” Volunteers in full swing

Our 19th Annual Grants Cycle Has Launched!

Despite the first snowstorm of the season, about half of the Grants Committee Application Review Teams (ARTs) volunteers braved the wintry conditions to meet their teammates and get briefed on this year’s review process by committee Chair Linda Segre. Many thanks to Megan Pepin for serving as Volunteer Coordinator for the Grants Committee AND for generously hosting the kickoff for the ARTs on January 9th!

The window for this year’s applications opens on Friday, January 12 and closes on Friday, January 26. Once the window closes, WRWF’s volunteer teams swing into action spending February and early March reviewing their assigned applications, conducting site visits and determining which applications will advance to the final ballot that the full membership will vote on. The work of the ARTs is central to our mission and every one of the 40 members who have volunteered to take on this gratifying task is very much appreciated! Here are the teams by color – thank you ladies for sharing your philanthropic time and talent on behalf of WRWF! The full membership looks forward to voting on this year’s applicants in March.

The Grants Leadership Team includes Linda Segre, Chair; Megan Pepin, Volunteer Coordinator; Sally Halstead, Grantee Engagement Lead; and Jori Potiker, Volunteer. Further assistance to the team is provided by Lindsey Larrivee, WRWF Administrator; Emily Boettger, Admin Assistant; Dianne Tibbs Johnson, VP-Operations; Karissa Price Rico, Communications Chair; and Carol McTigue, Volunteer.

Committee corner

Become a Volunteer

Membership Committee volunteers delivering the WRWF mission and having fun doing it!

New year and a new chance to lend your services to our great, all volunteer organization. All of our committees could use additional help so reach out and explore the options. From Communications to Membership, Education and Finance, we’ve got just the opportunity for you to contribute whether you are here full-time or part-time. This month, we are spotlighting the Membership Committee.

Are you passionate about connecting with new faces, fostering their engagement with the Wood River Women’s Foundation, and sharing your enthusiasm for our mission? If so, we invite you to join our dynamic Membership Committee whose primary responsibilities are growing and retaining our membership. After all, members contributions to the pooled fund are what enable the WRWF to meet our mission of serving our nonprofit partners—-growth in membership means growth in the funds we have to invest to support the growing needs of our partners!

Whether you’re full or part-time in the Valley, an outgoing extrovert or a more introspective personality, your involvement is up to you – from a few hours a year to a couple of hours each month. Your time matters, no matter the quantity. From helping with nametags to shaping event experiences, from extending warm welcomes to new members to brainstorming innovative ways to enhance member appreciation, every moment you contribute makes a tangible impact. Opportunities abound for every level of availability!

Our monthly one-hour committee meetings are accessible via Zoom and in person. Your attendance, as your schedule allows, is warmly encouraged. Together, let’s create meaningful connections and shape a brighter future for our community!

If you have questions please don’t hesitate to call or email us!
Membership Co-Chairs:


5 th Annual State of the Valley Community Forum

Panelists and WRWF members at last year’s State of the Valley
  • When: Tuesday, February 6th
  • Where: Wood River High School
  • Time: 4:00-6:00

This year’s theme is “Educate Us – Discussing challenges for education in the Wood River Valley.”  We are looking to highlight issues the educational system needs to address through programming, tutoring, early education, and alternative programs.  We will be looking at what is being provided currently and what additional support is needed.

Wendy Jaquet will be moderating a stellar panel line up that you will not want to miss.

  • Aaron Bronson – The Space, Executive Director
  • Jim Foudy – Blaine County Schools, Superintendent
  • Kathryn Ivers – WR Early Learning Collaboration, Project Manager
  • Laura Rose Lewis – Far + Wise, Executive Director

We hope you can join us.

Contact Jenni Riley, Education Chair with any questions. Jenniriley12@gmail.com

Aprés ski member appreciation event

Last year’s Après host Gail Severn

WRWF’s Après Ski Member Appreciation is an exclusive member appreciation event that brings together our members and your invited guests for an afternoon of treats, and conversation. It’s a great opportunity to connect with other like-minded individuals and learn more about the impact our organization is making in the community. This year, we are excited to announce that Aaron Bronson, ED of The Space Idaho will share information on their mission and how our nearly $40,000 in two, recent grants have impacted their organization.

Attendance for the Après Ski Member Appreciation event is limited due to popular demand. To ensure everyone has a comfortable experience, RSVPs are required for this event. We encourage our members & their guests to sign up as soon as possible to secure their spot.

We can’t wait to see you at the Après Ski Member Appreciation event at the Culinary Institute on February 16th from 4-6 pm to celebrate another successful year of women-powered philanthropy.

Thank you for your continued support and dedication to our mission organization. Let’s continue to make a difference together!


Grant Application Window Opens

The submission period for the 2024 grant cycle begins on January 12, 2024, at 8:00 am and concludes on January 26, 2024, at midnight. The Wood River Women’s Foundation will host virtual presentations by nonprofit finalists on March 20, 2024, from noon to 4:00 pm via Zoom.

More Information


State of the Valley Winter Forum

Location: Wood River High School
Date: February 6th
Time: 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Join us for an invigorating exploration of community and growth at the upcoming State of the Valley Winter Forum.

More Information


Après Ski Member Appreciation event

Location: Sun Valley Culinary Institute
Date: February 16th
Time: 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Attendance will be limited; rsvp’s required.

Learn More

Nonprofit Finalists Presentations

Location: Virtual Presentation
Date: March 20th
Time: 12:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Mark your calendars for an extraordinary showcase of inspiration and community impact at the Wood River Women’s Foundation's virtual presentations by nonprofit finalists on March 20, 2024.


Event Recap

2023 Holiday gathering

More than 50 WRWF merry-makers enjoyed holiday festivities together on December 19th, at the home of WRWF Board Member, Trinka Dyer. We were delighted to celebrate another year of collectively supporting our community – a year in which we welcomed more than 50 new members, raised a record $353k Pooled Fund that was awarded to 22 nonprofit partners in April, and saw our members reach deep into their pockets to help fund local needs as well as the WRWF Endowment Fund. Thank you for your commitment to our mission and community!

And our work continues. We are excited about the upcoming grants cycle which opens January 12th and look forward to voting as a collective in March.

Thank you to all for your continued support of our wonderful community and organization and best wishes for a happy, peaceful and prosperous 2024!

Year in Review Slideshow

Grant Cycle

new members

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

  • Susie Zachman
  • Jennifer Gennuso
  • Kelly Chung

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!

New Member Spotlight


We are happy to welcome new member Kelly Chung. Here she shares a bit about herself:
  • What inspired you to join WRWF?
    • I just moved to the Wood River Valley full-time this summer and after surveying opportunities to be involved in the community, I was very impressed with how well the WRWF is organized and the reach this group is able to have. I am looking forward to learning more about the process of evaluating grants and learning about the projects going on in the valley!
  • What can you tell us about your professional life, education and previous volunteer experience?
    • I just retired from a 30-year career as an ophthalmologist, half of which was spent in academia and half in private practice in Portland, Oregon. My husband, is also an ophthalmologist, and I enjoyed volunteering internationally over the years, both performing surgery and teaching as well as being on the Eye Care America panel for many years.
  • What do you like to do for fun? (hobbies/recreation)
    • I love the outdoors like most of the other people who live here. I enjoy playing golf, hiking and fly fishing in the summer and being on skis, nordic and downhill in the winter!


a new volunteer recognition program

Leslie Silva & Carol Hoffman

At the Wood River Women’s Foundation, it is truly our volunteers who make it all happen! Our fun social gatherings, our thought provoking Field Trips, our Educational Events like State of the Valley, this Newsbrief that you are reading, our Financial Management, our Operations, our Grants cycle and so much more!

2024 will be the year of the “Wowies” – recognizing those volunteers who go the extra mile for our organization or community, those volunteers who selflessly give their time and their bounty to help the WRWF serve our mission.

Here is where you come in – please nominate a member who you believe deserves recognition along one of these dimensions by sending their name and a brief reason why you are nominating them. Awards will be announced at our gatherings 2x a year.

Submit your 250 word (max) nominations to: wrwfcomms@gmail.com

Membership Renewal Reminder

Renew your membership if you haven’t already

Thank you for being committed to supporting WRWF’s nonprofit partners across Blaine County! We are honored to contribute to the work they do to ensure a healthy and vibrant community. Our next grant cycle will be WRWF’s 19th year of generous women pooling our funds to meet our mission – we hope you will be part of it

This year we have onboarded a new membership management platform and you will see something a bit different when you click this link to renew.

To begin the renewal process, click the “member renewal” button. You will be asked to “login” to the website. If you haven’t done this since the switch to the new website in August, please click “forgot your password” and put in your email address currently associated with your WRWF account. You will receive an email that details further instructions. Now you are ready to fill out the form on the membership renewal webpage!

These transitions are always a bit tricky and we appreciate your patience as we smooth out any hiccups. If you prefer to renew by check or DAF, there is a button to “Pay Later” that will capture your information in the new software system and allow you to mail the check in separately. If you just want to mail a check in that’s fine too, just send it to P.O. Box 3686, Ketchum, Idaho 83340.

If you have any questions while working your way through the form, please don’t hesitate to email the office for help at info@woodriverwomensfoundation.org – we welcome your questions.

If you have already received a renewal email and completed your renewal – thank you! If not, please renew at your earliest convenience and no later than November 15 so we can ensure we are ready to meet the next batch of grant requests from our non-profit community.

With Gratitude, your fellow members on the WRWF Board.

Blaine County School District Survey

Blaine County School District invites WRWF member participation in survey

In a nod to the respect WRWF has earned throughout the community, the BCSD will be sharing a survey with our membership as a step towards helping the school district develop its 2024-2029 strategic plan. Look for an email sent from WRWF with a link to the BCSD survey in January. Following the survey, BCSD will be conducting a series of community round table discussions. The last question on the survey will ask if the responder would be interested in attending a round table discussion which will go deeper in details and gather additional feedback.
We appreciate this opportunity to help the school district define its future strategic direction. It is yet another example of the value of your WRWF membership, giving you an amplified voice in Blaine County!

BFF! Membership Initiative

Calling all WRWF members! We’re here to remind you about our 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 your 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!

Keep spreading the word about WRWF and our mission!

This reward is being underwritten by a generous WRWF member.

job opening


The Wood River Women’s Foundation office is busy! If you know anyone who is proficient with technology wants to make a positive impact on our community, and is interested in a part-time year-round job, please refer them to us.

THANK YOU, Sponsors!

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

THANK YOU TO OUR contributors

Thank you to this month’s News Brief contributors:

  • Carol Hoffman
  • Sandy McCullough
  • Karissa Price Rico
  • Sarah Shepard