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December News Brief

By December 27, 2019January 1st, 2020News Item, Newsletter

December 2019 News Brief __________________

Panelists (from top left): Erin Pfaeffle, Heather Crocker, Kristen Poole, Jenny Emery-Davidson, Dani Southward  


Winter Education Forum

“The State of Our Valley, 2020”

Monday, January 13, 2020, 3:00-5:30 PM, Community Library

You are invited to participate in our Winter Education Forum, “The State of the Valley, 2020.” We will begin with a panel presentation by valley experts, including Erin Pfaeffle, manager of St. Luke’s Community Health; Dani Southard, environmental scientist and conservationist; Heather Crocker, Communications Director for Blaine County Schools; and Kristin Poole, Artistic Director of the Sun Valley Center on the Arts, moderated by Jenny Emery-Davidson, Executive Director of the Community Library. Following the panel presentation, we will organize small group discussions to consider the information and join in discussing its relevance to the mission and granting philosophy of our organization. There is no charge for this event. Members and their invited guests are welcome.

Holiday Social

Many of our 2019 new members were introduced at the Holiday Social by WRWF President Terri Bullock

Penny Weiss opened her home to over 100 members and guests for this year’s Holiday Social. Here she is pictured (left) with WRWF President Terri Bullock.
Yanna Lantz, of The Spot, surprised our guests by entertaining us with a reading of ‘The Christmas Story.’
  Our Holiday Social had such a festive vibe this year. Over 100 members and guests came together under the neon lights that decorated the home of Penny and Richard Weiss. As we walked into the home, a huge vase was filling up quickly with non-perishable food items, as a gift from WRWF to The Hunger Coalition in order to help with their higher demand during the holiday season. As attendees registered and donned their name tags, new member Brittany Pieschl was selling raffle tickets. All proceeds from this raffle go into our pooled fund for this grant cycle – so the Valley nonprofits really won the raffle! Eileen Reiss of At Your Service Catering provided scrumptious appetizers and the bartenders assured that everyone had a libation. Terri Bullock, President, welcomed everyone, recognized the dedication and passion of current and past board members, our Executive Assistant, and all members who currently serve on a committee. She also introduced all of the 2019 new members, and asked for a moment of silence in honor of the 3 members who passed away this year. Yanna, from The Spot was our surprise guest of the evening, who entertained us by reading ‘The Christmas Story’. What a celebration to finish out 2019 events and our 14th year as a WRW Foundation. Additional expenses related to this event were generously underwritten by a WRWF member. We thank you and are so grateful for your generosity. — Terri Bullock All photos courtesy of Denise and Bryan Anderson


WRWF Grantee Holiday Giving Events

WRWF grantees have been busy, sponsoring events to benefit those in need during this holiday season. Many WRWF members volunteered at these events. Here are some photos from the recent Secret Santa, Festival of the Trees, and YMCA helping families in need event.
WRWF at the Secret Santa
Festival of the Trees at the Senior Connection
YMCA Giving Event

WRWF’s Kat Vanden Heuvel in Saudi Arabia

Kat Vanden Heuvel with Saudi workshop participants

WRWF’s Kat Vanden Heuvel and another Hailey resident, Susan Fierman, have conducted workshops on the art of effective presentation skills to Saudi Arabian men and women. Read about their inspiring adventures in Karen Bossick’s Eye on Sun Valley story.


Boulder Mountain Clayworks Popup Event – Video Update

At a special pop-up event on Wednesday, November 13, Boulder Mountain Clayworks opened its doors to volunteers to create and paint bowls that will support the Boulder Mountain Clayworks and Hunger Coalition fundraiser “Empty Bowls,” which is scheduled for January 2020. Eye on Sun Valley’s Karen Bossick featured this special event in a video. See the video by clicking here.


Family Health Services – Update

In 2018, WRWF awarded a grant of $25,000 to Family Health Services to help them purchase equipment for a clinic they planned to open in Bellevue that would provide low-cost, sliding scale fee primary health care services. FHS was unable to secure a key, large grant they needed to open the clinic and the WRWF allowed them to explore alternative plans, but FHS was ultimately unsuccessful. Unfortunately for FHS and many in the Wood River Valley, this will effectively put a hold on their plans to bring affordable primary care services to the area, at least for the time being. If they can secure an affordable space in the near future and have a more concrete timeline with fewer contingencies, they will consider once again applying for a grant from WRWF. FHS has returned our check and the $25,000 will be added to our 2020 pooled fund. In her letter of explanation, Stephanie Atkinson from FHS said: “We so appreciate your support and patience while we tried to put all the pieces together. And thank you for all the good work you’re doing in your communities! We are all the better for it.” — Gina Wolcott


Save the Date – Upcoming Education Events


Winter Education Forum

“The State of Our Valley, 2020” Monday, January 13, 2020, 3:00 – 5:30pm, Community Library

Catalist – PowerUp 2020 Conference

Hosted by Washington Women’s Foundation

February 23 to 25, 2020 Motif Hotel Seattle, Washington


Terri Bullock – President of WRWF

Closing Message

WRWF President, Terri Bullock
What a fantastic 2019 the WRWF has had! In addition to the impact we continue to make across Blaine County, I see so much for us to be proud of as an organization. Let’s take a walk through a few 2019 accomplishments: * January – We finalized a two-year Strategic Plan, Advancing Mission – Building Sustainability, which will build a solid foundation under WRWF. The work of the Strategic Planning team is well underway toward achieving our key initiatives. * February – The Education Committee brought in renowned speaker and President/CEO of the Ms. Foundation, Teresa Younger, to share her inspirational story and the challenges faced to “Be the Kind of Woman” we strive to be, and the important influence we hold in philanthropy. * March – We held our grant finalist presentations and every member had the opportunity to vote on the $267,918 awarded to Blaine County nonprofits. We announced 2019 grantees in April. * May – We created an Impact Team Task Force to examine other Collective Giving Organizations for best practices and develop ideas about how we might improve our impact activities. This task force reported their findings to the board during the November board meeting and is currently working on recommendations and actions. * July – We refreshed our Mission Statement and created a Vision Statement. * August – We voted in a new President and Board, we partnered with The Giving Guide for a robust panel discussion on charitable giving, and launched our new and improved website and News Brief. And with all of the above going on, we also managed to hold Meet & Mingles, New Member Orientations, and multiple Education Forums. My gratitude goes out to all of you who continue to give your time and resources to generously support our Mission. You are the gears that make this organization run. Looking ahead, I’m excited for the possibilities in 2020 as this will be our fifteenth anniversary. As always, we will continue to grow our philanthropic efforts, work towards improving our community, and continue to challenge ourselves by asking “How can we help?” Wishing you all joy and peace during the holidays. Please enjoy the gift of Harriet Tubman’s inspiring words: “Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars and change the world.” — Terri Bullock