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Wood River Women’s Foundation Awards $300,000-Plus in Grants

By May 4, 2020May 8th, 2020Press

Story by Karen Bossick (originally published at

One thing that has not changed in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic is the commitment of the Wood River Women’s Foundation to the causes of non-profits in the valley.

The organization’s 350 members were able to hear from applicants and vote where they wanted their $309,280 in grants to go just before the valley was shuttered in mid-March.

And, it turned out, that some of the grants addressed needs that have become paramount during the pandemic.

Among them: the St. Luke’s Wood River Foundation, which received $25,000 for its Keith Sivertson, MD, Compassionate Care Program, which assists patients with various costs related to treatments, and The Hunger Coalition, which also received $25,000.

In light of the COVID-19 crisis, the foundation has waived any restrictions on the use of this year’s grants.

“While many grantees may still use the funds for the purpose requested, we felt it best at this unprecedented moment in time to give our non-profit partners the flexibility to decide the best use of our support to meet their organization’s mission,” said Grants Committee Co-Chairs Gina Wolcott and Patti Zebrowski.

The WRWF’s pooled grants fund has awarded nearly $2.5 million to nonprofits since its founding 15 years ago.

“Just like in year one we are honored to support the hard work being done by non-profits in this community,” said WRWF President Terri Bullock. “More than 80 of our volunteers committed several months to this year’s grants process with both dedication and diligence, as well as great enthusiasm about participating in such a rewarding philanthropic project.”

This year’s grantees:

3rd Chance Inc./B&G Produce to provide drug court clients with produce to increase well-being and receptiveness to therapy. $1,433

I Have a Dream Foundation-Idaho—To fund academic tutoring and learning about life skills, goal setting and opportunities to give back to the community for 45 low-income students with the goal of preparing them for college or vocational school. $15,000

Advocates—Safe Housing First Phase II to purchase appliances for six apartments under construction. $25,000

Crisis Hotline, Inc.—To expand its My Life Matters program, which provides education for middle school students about depression and suicide, available resources and how to stay emotionally safe. $25,000

Education Foundation of Blaine County School District—To expand its Scholarship Fair, which includes bringing in a speaker. $1,433

Hailey Public Library—To buy 10 laptops, portable WiFi connectors and new tables and chairs for the Technology Enrichment and Collaborative Help Project, which includes a twice monthly technology training program for the community. $1,515

Ketchum Community Development Corporation in collaboration with Ketchum Sustainability Advisory Committee, Sun Valley Institute and Environmental Resource Center to create an effective countywide recycling and waste management program. $75,000

Men’s Second Chance Living—To fund repairs and upgrades to plumbing and kitchen for its Hailey home. $20,000

NAMI-Wood River Valley, Inc., to expand local support groups from 27 to 44 per month and to add three more schools to its Bluebirds teen resiliency program. $25,000

National Forest Foundation—To rebuild the Penny Lake fishing platform, which was destroyed in 2019 by an avalanche. The platform will be accessible for children and others with mobility limitations. $1,433

St. Alphonsus Regional Medical Center to help fund the annual Ski and Mountain Trauma Conference, which educates 500-plus attendees about the latest techniques for providing wilderness medical care at the scene of avalanches and other accidents. More than a hundred of the attendees are Wood River Valley first responders, including Sun Valley Ski Patrol, firefighters, EMS personnel, paramedics and search and rescue personnel. The conference is the only one of its kind in the country combining educational presentations with hands-on training. $25,000

St. Luke’s Wood River Foundation—The Keith Sivertson, MD, Compassionate Care Program, which helps no- or low-income patients in Blaine County pay for supplemental healthcare needs, such as transportation, medical supplies, medications. $25,000

Sun Valley Culinary Institute, Inc.—To help fund the Institute’s culinary education program, which offers a one-year technical certificate for aspiring chefs. $1,433

The Hunger Coalition to fund the creation of a community room in the new Bloom Community Food Center for workshops with such partners as The Advocates, The Alliance and St. Luke’s Mental Health Clinic. $25,000

The Senior Connection to replace the 30-year-old heating, ventilation and air conditioning equipment in hopes of cutting utility bills and making the 750 seniors regularly served at the Center more comfortable. $18,600

The Spot Sun Valley Inc—To support operating costs, such as performance rights and musicians’ fees, for the fall production of the Young Company musical. $1,433

Wood River Community YMCA—Power Scholars Academy Camp, a five-week program designed to mitigate summer learning loss for children with low academic achievement. $15,000.