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President’s Message

Dear Members of WRWF,

Snowy days, sunny skies, and skiing down the mountain slopes are quintessential Sun Valley images. Gifts in support of our nonprofits, happy children, and families gathered together also create lasting memories.

In this issue we present three of the non-profits who have received grants from WRWF:  The Blaine County Education Foundation, Flourish Foundation and Syringa Mountain School. They are prime examples of non-profits who are using their grants to help young people reach their highest potential and to lead lives that embrace kindness and compassion for all.

The holidays…we in WRWF are giving and gifting through our thoughtful philanthropy to many Blaine County non-profits in order to pass along the potential for the best childhoods and thoughtful, cheerful holiday memories that will last forever.

Joanne Wetherell


This month we focus on grantees whose mission involves support for students and teachers in school settings.

Grantee Spotlight: Blaine County Education Foundation, Signature Programs for Student and Teacher Support $22,500 BCEF will distribute this grant among four of its signature programs: Teacher Mini-Grants to enhance classrooms; Educational Enhancement Programs for before and after school programs for both advanced and struggling students; Academic Excellence Assistance including clubs and competitions; and the Can Do Fund addressing financial need for academic extras like AP exams. From Kristy Heitzman, Executive Director – “Support from the Wood River Women’s Foundation’s generous grant has allowed us to ensure that we have an impact on both students and teachers through our four primary programs. A helping hand at a critical moment can be life-changing for a young person. With funds from the WRWF grant, we have supported 13 teacher mini grants; instrument rentals; insurance for BCSD athletes; back to school supplies; after school homework clubs; and a social skills workshop to teach tools to empower students. We are grateful to the WRWF and for your commitment to our community.”

Bellevue Elementary School Homework Club

Grantee Spotlight: Flourish Foundation, School Based Mindfulness Education Program $25,000

Flourish Foundation will expand its School-Based Mindfulness Education program into elementary and high school classrooms. Students gain self-understanding and understanding of others, impart relaxation, focus, kindness and compassion and thereby help reduce bullying and increase student abilities to concentrate on academics. The goal of the grant is to increase the number of classrooms using these programs beyond 5th grade and to initiate a teacher-led program once per week in the high schools.

From Ryan Redman, Executive Director – “In light of recent events in San Bernardino and Paris, we mustn’t forget that acts of violence begin in the mind and to uproot terrorism, humanity must work diligently to bring forth a mindset that truly values peace, love and acceptance.  In an effort to strengthen these values we are honored to have generous support from the WRWF in providing our Mindful Awareness Program to youth in the valley.  Our program is stronger than ever, serving 1,200 students and teachers on a weekly basis.  In addition to supporting direct programming, some of the funds that we received from the WRWF have allowed us to train new facilitators in our first ever fall seminar.  By building a strong network of facilitators, we are able to meet the increasing demand for supporting students throughout the school day in building attention skills, inner-resiliency, and global compassion.”

Handhugs given during Mindfulness training

Grantee Spotlight: Syringa Mountain School, Chromebooks for 3rd through 8th Grade Students $2,900

Through the purchase of Chromebooks for 3rd through 8th Grade Students, Syringa Mountain School will be able to participate in mandatory student testing.

From Mende Coblentz, Education Director: “We are so grateful to the Wood River Women’s Foundation for the $2,900 grant toward improving our technology at SMS.  The acquisition of Chromebooks has been a tremendous aid to our overall learning environment.  The students are able to work on typing skills, develop computer literacy, write more efficiently, complete research projects, and create presentations.   Additionally, each year the state of Idaho requires that students undergo testing that is administered electronically.  The Chromebooks will help facilitate the testing of 100 students this spring and in future years.”

Students at Syringa Mountain School depend on their Chromebooks daily.

Recommended Gift Books for Children (by the News Brief Committee)

The Wonderful Things You Will Be – by Emily Winfield Martin, Penguin Random House (3-7 years)

A Friend for Lakota: The Incredible True Story of a Wolf Who Braved Bullying, by Jim Dutcher and Jamie Dutcher, National Geographic Kids (ages 5-9)

Dear Santa, Love, Rachel Rosenstein, by Amanda Peet and Andrea Troyer, Penguin Random House. (ages 3-7 years)

El Deafo, by Cece Bell, Amulet Books (age 9 +)

Egg and Spoon, by Gregory Maguire, Candlewick Press (young adult)

Brown Girl Dreaming, by Jacqueline Woodson, Nancy Paulsen Books (middle grades)

Heap House, by Edward Carey, Overlook Press (illustrated young adult novel)

Membership News

1st Annual Secret Santa Tea was organized by Dede Huish, Lisa Leach, Leslie Silva, Marie Gallo and Judy Cahill (Kathleen Ebert who hosted is not pictured). Money raised will “secretly” pay off Christmas layaways at a local toy store in the valley, to provide relief and good cheer to a number of families.

WRWF Members in the Spotlight

Julie Weston – Award Winning Writer 

Julie Weston, a WRWF member, and Gerry Morrison, her husband, collaborated on MOONSHADOWS, a mystery set in Ketchum and Hailey in the 1920s, available now in bookstores, libraries and on-line (or directly from Julie).  Gerry, a photographer, was the expert consultant for Julie, who wrote the book.  Gerry’s photo graces the cover, which won Best Cover for Fiction in the Idaho Author Awards this year.  Gerry took this photo in the light of a full moon north of Ketchum, just like the one described by Julie in her book!

Marcia Liebich – One of Idaho’s 2016 Women of the Year

Marcia was inducted into the Idaho Business Review’s Top 50 2016 Women of the Year to honor her personal and volunteer accomplishments. Marcia was a founding member of WRWF, served as Grants Chair for three years and then President for a term.

Marcia and her husband Don are international philanthropists as well.  “We have also been interested in Tanzania as a result of our travels. We took our family there for our 50th wedding anniversary and it was wonderful to be able to show our children and grandchildren a small clinic that we built there as a result of a conversation with our guide while on safari a few years ago. The village welcomed us with music and treats. When the clinic was dedicated the women wrote a beautiful song to “Mama Marcia”. It is a matriarchal society. At least Don’s name is on the sign they placed on the building!”

Angenie McCleary – Award Winner

Angenie McCleary recently received the University of Washington 2015 Early Career Achievement Award.  Her background as a social worker and service on the Board of Blaine County Commissions allows her to provide expertise on community issues relating to health, safety and quality of life issues.

“Blaine County is a very special place to live.  I am honored to serve such an amazing community.  I believe it is the role of Blaine County government to improve the quality of life for all, preserve our beautiful natural surroundings and work with local jurisdictions, businesses, nonprofits and individuals to create a strong sense of community.”

Upcoming Topics of Idaho Nonprofit Initiative at CSI
Sponsored by Don and Marcia Liebich

For more information and to register, contact CSI at 788-2033

Deming Foundation Leadership Workshop – The W. Edwards Deming Institute® is a non-profit organization dedicated to furthering the understanding of Dr. Deming’s principles and management philosophy to making peoples’ lives better, improving the communities we live in and organizations where we work. This Workshop is built around real-life, challenging situations and decisions that leaders and managers encounter on a regular basis that are both opportunities and barriers to creating and fostering an effective, efficient and productive culture.  Thursday, January 21st, Time: 9 a.m. -12 noon, Tuition: $25

Idaho Gives Trainings Presented by Janice Fulkerson, Executive Director of the Idaho Nonprofit Center

First Session: Idaho Gives 101
Are you new to Idaho Gives? Learn how it got started, the goals of the event, why it’s important to participate, and how to get started. Tuesday, January 26, 10:00 a.m. -11:30 a.m. Registration required. Tuition: Free
Second Session: Idaho Gives Updates
Participated in Idaho Gives before? Learn about new updates, how to make the most of the media, and community organization plans. Tuesday, January 26, 12:00-1:00 p.m. Registration required. Tuition: Free
  Third Session: Idaho Gives Social Media Training
Learn how to develop an Idaho Gives Social media campaign. Tuesday, January 26, 1:00-2:00 p.m. Registration required. Tuition: Free

President’s Closing Statement

In all parts of the world and within all belief systems, we celebrate holidays and important events with gift giving.  Gifting is the main focus of the Wood River Women’s Foundation.  Philanthropy supports well-deserving nonprofits in their mission to create social change.  This is our gift to the community.

Joanne Wetherell

Joanne Wetherell

Joanne Wetherell, President

Our Mission Statement

The WRWCF inspires and educates women to become leaders in philanthropy and brings significant, positive change to the community by pooling and distributing its members’ resources.

Wood River Womens Foundation

PO Box 3686
Ketchum, ID 83340

Please note that the old website address will take you to the new website

New Members:

Mary Jane Armacost
917 Lake House Drive
North Palm Beach, FL 33408

Alexandra Ayer
PO Box 3777
Ketchum, ID 83340

Sylvia Miller
PO Box 4672
Ketchum, ID 83340

Important Dates:

The Holiday Social
December 21st, 5:30-7:00
at the home of Penny Weiss,
10 River Sage court; $20.00
per person; shuttle from
Greenhorn Gulch/East Fork
parking lot. Members and
guests invited but ladies
only! Please RSVP and
register on the website!
Click here to register

Grant Volunteer Training for
Site Visits – 10:30 a.m.,
Wednesday, January 06, 2016,
Light on the Mountain, Hwy 75,
north of Gimlet.

New Member Apres Ski Tea
February 17th, 4 – 5:50 at the
home of Deborra Bohrer
232 Bitterroot Road, Sun Valley

The Winter Educational Forum
February 22nd, at the Valley
Club; $20.00 per person;
members and guests invited.
RSVPs required. Check WRWF
website. Click here to RSVP

Annual Dues for WRWF
members are due by December, 28th.

Please visit the
WRWF website to see
the dues form and fill
it out in order to
designate how you
would like your dues
to be used.

News Brief Team:

Alice Calvert
Janet DeBard
Peggy Grove
Louisa Moats
Julie Weston