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Wood River Women’s Foundation Awards $287,928 to 20 Local Nonprofits

By April 1, 2021April 2nd, 2021Press

April 1, 2021 – Press Release

Contact: Patti Zebrowski, Grants Committee Co-Chair, 503.709.8892

Members’ votes have been tallied and the Wood River Women’s Foundation (WRWF) will be awarding grants totaling $287,928 to 20 local nonprofits in 2021. Since its founding in 2005, the Foundation has awarded 173 grants surpassing $3.2 million to nonprofits throughout the Wood River Valley.

“This past year has shown us with even more clarity the extent of philanthropic assistance needed across Blaine County,” said Terri Bullock, WRWF President. “We are honored to support those doing the work to deliver services throughout our community, especially given the extreme difficulties of this pandemic.”

This year, the 350-member Foundation funded local nonprofits that provide COVID-19 relief programs, housing assistance, education programs and services, outdoor initiatives, senior transportation and more. Four nonprofits received first-time WRWF funding including The Alliance of Idaho, Blaine County Charitable Fund, Blaine County Housing Foundation and Wood River Trails Coalition. Two of these new grantees, The Alliance of Idaho and Blaine County Charitable Fund are new nonprofits formed in 2020.

“Our grant-making process provides members a window into the important work being done by nonprofits in the valley, as well as equipping them with the technical tools necessary to evaluate grant proposals,” said Patti Zebrowski, WRWF Grants Co-Chair. “This year our team saw requests from a number of nonprofits that have never applied for WRWF funding. Members heard detailed presentations about community efforts that emerged in 2020; we appreciate the opportunity to support this critical work.”

WRWF is a collective of women who pool their contributions in order to achieve greater community impact while advancing their philanthropic skills. All women are welcome to join and participate in assessing the dozens of applications received each year, and vote on the awards.

Listed below are WRWF 2021 grantees, grant titles and amounts awarded. Descriptions of how grantees plan to put their funds to work are provided at the end of the press release.

  • Blaine County Charitable Fund, Emergency Assistance Grant Program, $25,000
  • Blaine County Education Foundation, Back on Track Support, $25,000
  • Blaine County Housing Foundation, Housing Gap Grants, $11,000
  • Blaine County Recreation District (BCRD), Quigley Trails Park Infrastructure, $25,000
  • Friends of the Hailey Public Library, Furniture and Outdoor Space, $25,000
  • Girls on the Run, Blaine County Programming for Girls Grades 3-8, $9,940
  • I Have a Dream Foundation, Elementary School Program Expansion, $25,000
  • Lee Pesky Learning Center, Pathways to Literacy Program, $25,000
  • Little Wood River District Library, Completion of Xeriscaping, $10,000
  • Swiftsure Ranch Therapeutic Equestrian Center, Arena Footing – Main Arena, $15,664
  • The Alliance of Idaho, Legal Support, $25,000
  • The Senior Connection, New Bus for Senior Transportation, $15,228
  • Wood River Community YMCA, Power Scholars Academy Camp, $25,000
  • Wood River Trails Coalition, Volunteer Trail Boss Program, $22,460

The following hard-working organizations received smaller WRWF grants: 3rd Chance, Flourish Foundation, Hailey Ice, Idaho Conservation League, Mountain Humane, The Space Idaho.

Wood River Women’s Foundation 2021 Grant Descriptions

WRWF is funding BCCF’s Emergency Assistance Grant Program which provides financial aid to citizens in Blaine County who are experiencing hardship due to an unanticipated crisis, and who lack other resources to obtain financial assistance. Assistance is focused primarily on housing, utilities, transportation and healthcare.

Funds for BCEF’s Back on Track Support program will be used to compensate teachers and staff for after school tutoring, provide digital tools to help teachers facilitate online learning more effectively, and enable students to continue to access resources online while catching up from pandemic related learning loss.

The BCHF grant will help provide funds for households in Blaine County that are facing challenges in paying their rent or mortgage. At a time of critical housing/rental assistance needs, BCHF works to keep working people housed while they continue to provide vital services to Blaine County residents and visitors.

BCRD’s grant will help fund access and infrastructure improvements at the south access of the Quigley Trails Park. BCRD is working to meet community needs for accessible, non-motorized winter and summer trails in the southern Wood River Valley.

WRWF’s grant will help fund FOHL’s Expanded Program Space Initiative which is focused on maximizing the library’s usable space by installing moveable furniture allowing the library to welcome larger audiences for story time, lectures, community information presentations, and more. The initiative also addresses improvements for the library’s outdoor space.

This grant will help fund the cost of running two GOTR 8-week sessions for approximately 65 girls from three Blaine County schools. GOTR is a life-changing, experiential learning program for girls ages 8-13, teaching life skills through dynamic, interactive lessons and running games. Each session culminates with girls being physically and emotionally prepared to complete a celebratory 5k running event, “Color Me Fearless.”

IHADF-Idaho’s grant will sponsor two new groups of elementary school Dream Scholars comprised of approximately 60 first grade students from Alturas and Bellevue elementary schools. IHADF-Idaho provides an academic program that supports the development of the whole child by providing social-emotional learning to reinforce well-being and scholastic achievement. The program is year-round, multi-year, consistent, intensive, bilingual and when necessary, interventional.

WRWF’s grant to the Pesky Center will help fund a reading specialist and four tutors. The specialist will train and supervise the tutors as they provide direct, high-quality reading instruction to 25 incoming first grade English language learners. This intensive program helps children develop the foundational skills needed to become successful readers and works to address the opportunity gap in literary achievement. The Pesky Center’s long-term goals with this program are to support local Hispanic students while building awareness of and community support for systemic changes in reading instruction so that all students are served well.

LWR Library is a district library in Carey serving the large agricultural community in southern Blaine County. This WRWF grant will fund the installation of an outdoor patio in order to provide the library with expanded usable space, a safe outdoor place for children and families, and establish a new community gathering spot.

Swiftsure’s grant from WRWF will fund the cost of replenishing the footing material in the main indoor arena. This all-purpose footing material is a critical infrastructure requirement to ensure the safety of the horses, participants and volunteers. With an average of 110 lessons each week all year long, replenishment is required every 3-5 years to prevent injuries to both riders and horses.

WRWF’s grant to this new nonprofit supports a contract with a local attorney who will provide high quality, ethical legal support and services for The Alliance and its clients. The Alliance is working to build a safe, inclusive community in Blaine County by helping to reunify parents separated from their children at the border, working with asylum seekers, helping people find dependable and affordable general legal services, paying for citizenship fees and DACA renewals, and connecting families with the resources they need when their primary wage earner has been detained.

This grant from the WRWF provides The Senior Connection with the matching funds necessary to secure funding from the Federal Transportation Administration to purchase a new 14-passenger bus. The new vehicle will replace their current bus which must be retired by 2021 per Federal safety guidelines. Transportation, following health issues, is the second largest concern of the elderly. The Senior Connection’s transportation services are a key element in fighting isolation and loneliness in local seniors, 80% of whom live alone.

WOOD RIVER COMMUNITY YMCA – Power Scholars Academy Camp (Power Scholars)
WRWF’s grant will help fund this years’ Power Scholars, a five-week, six-hours a day summer academic and enrichment program designed to address summer learning loss for first and second graders. Power Scholars has a five-year track record of success; in 2021, it will enroll 65 students and provide its program at no cost to the families.

WRTC will use WRWF funding to employ a seasonal volunteer coordinator who will train eight Trail Bosses to assist with three major maintenance events this summer. The Trail Bosses will organize 200 volunteers to maintain 400 miles of hiking/biking/equestrian trails in the Wood River Valley. The Trail Boss program improves volunteer retention which builds skills and increases the amount of trail maintenance the WRTC can accomplish each season. WRTC partners with the BCRD, the BLM and the Ketchum Ranger Forest Service District.