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President’s Message

WRWF is Celebrating its 10th Anniversary!

Carol’s Dollar Mountain Lodge
August 3rd – 11:30 to 2:00 pm

Please join us at Carol’s Dollar Mountain Lodge on August 3rd from 11:30 am to 2:00 pm for our Annual Meeting and celebratory luncheon.  (Invitation to follow)  We will be celebrating the power of collective giving and the positive impact we have in our community.

To date, WRWF has granted more than $1,400,000 in support of positive change in people’s lives.  This will be a time to gather with other members and enjoy the fellowship of women who support the concept of pooled giving for social change.

We have much to celebrate:

  • A membership that has grown to more than 270
  • Committee involvement by a large number of our members
  • A dedicated working Board that is responsive to our operational needs

We look forward to seeing you on Aug. 3rd.  Be sure to RSVP when you receive your invitation, as space is limited.

On another note — This will be my last article as President, as I will turn over the presidency to Joanne Wetherell at our Annual Meeting.  It has been an honor to serve on the Board of WRWF for most of the last ten years and to serve as President during this period of rapid growth.

Know that you will be in good hands with Joanne as your new President!

Janet DeBard

ARTS IN BLOOMThe next several issues of the WRWF News Brief will focus on the various 2015 grantees. This month our focus is on the grants in the arts.

Wood River Community Orchestra

In order to renew her love of playing the violin, Lynne Heidel had a goal of finding a community orchestra when she retired from her busy law practice in San Diego.  Find one she did—the Wood River Orchestra here in the Wood River Valley.  She serves as president of the Orchestra with goals that include increasing the number of musicians and growing the audience.

Because of a limited budget, the orchestra is dependent upon donations and grants.  Lynne (a member of WRWF) applies for and receives grants from local foundations as well as the Idaho Community Foundation and businesses.  The Wood River Women’s Foundation has chosen the orchestra as a grantee for 2015.

The orchestra has 34 to 40 members of all ages.  Currently, the youngest is 12 and the oldest is 87.  The members are teachers, public officials, a sheriff’s deputy, a nurse, office workers and a court clerk as well as students and retirees.  Some members play for several months and then go away, often to return, depending on their work schedules.  All are welcome no matter their ability.

-Music is important to a child’s development for many reasons from language to math skills.  In the case of WRO, our youngest musicians are middle school students who develop confidence playing with and interacting with adults in the orchestra.  In addition, we encourage adults to bring their children to performances.  In many cases the WRO performances are the first exposure of children to orchestral music.

Brad Hershey is the Musical Director.  He has an extensive musical background and is currently the Upper School Music Director at the Community School.  In addition to conducting the Wood River Orchestra, he performs on bass throughout the Valley at various venues as well as the Boise Symphony when needed.

The  WRWF funding will help with the purchase of instruments needed in order to expand the orchestra’s repertoire, music folders and binders, a portable podium and public address system to use when they play at venues with no stage.  Instruments are often rented or borrowed, or passed on as one musician leaves and another arrives.
Lynne has this to say about the orchestra:  “When the orchestra was founded in 2007, it played simple arrangements of classical music.  In the last two years, we have played full symphonies by Mozart, Haydn and now Beethoven.  We continue to welcome musicians of all abilities.  Urged on by our musical director, we have stretched our musical ability  and have reached performance levels that to some of us seemed impossible or at least improbable.”


Recommended Reading: 

For Music Fans:

The Music of Man by Yehudi Menuhin and Curtis Davis
Bel Canto by Ann Patchett.
“The Red Violin” on Netflix

Boulder Mountain Clayworks

Boulder Mountain Clayworks has received a $10,000 grant from the Wood River Women’s Foundation for the 2015 Grant Cycle.  As BMC has evolved over the years, its interest in sharing the love of clay with the community has grown.

When Susan founded BMC, she had three guiding principles:

1.  A professional clay art education program for children and adults.
2.  A state-of-the-art clay studio in which independent artists create.
3.  A commitment to the community to provide events that are open and free and for the public’s continued appreciation of the clay arts.

The studio serves students of all ages and abilities—children , parents and grandparents.  Working with clay is a hands-on expression of one’s vision, a holistic experience that includes space, time, engineering, chemistry, color, light and geometry.  All pieces are created and fired in the Studio. The glazes are mixed on site–alchemy in action!   Recently developed are a sculpture room and glass fusion classes.

In the words of Susan Ward  regarding the youth programs at BMC:

“Art is active.  Clay teaches creative thinking: the dog begins to look like a horse … maybe it should be a horse.  Or, a unicorn.  It is this creative exploration, this ability to see the problem from different points of view that creates a confident child who will become an intellectual asset to our community.

High school and middle school young people are a source of great energy and fun for the Studio. They love to work on the wheel making something round : bowls, cups and vases.  Mastering the art of clay is especially empowering for a teen.”’

BMC hopes to work with the YMCA to develop a one-day a week after school clay program.  The WRWF grant will help with this project.  In the middle of May, a new class began at BMC for teen mothers from Silvercreek.  Boulder Mountain Clayworks gives a clay experience to 25 children involved with Ketchum’s Park and Recreation summer programs.  BMC also participates in the Ketchum Arts Fair and is planning children’s clay art camps and a guest artist workshop series this summer.

Susan Ward says teachers  from outlying school districts like to bring their students into Ketchum to see the galleries, the Sun Valley Center for the Arts and Boulder Mountain Clayworks.  BMC is developing a few two hour classes for these visiting middle and high school students.  Pilot projects with Wood River High School Art Club and the Carey Art Department have been successful.

Working in the Studio with Susan Ward are Sandy Hohofferver, the office administrative director who, with the help of the WRWF Grant, will now have time for Grant Writing, and Loren Street as the Studio Manager.

Recommended Reading:

“Centering.  A Poet and a Potter”  by M.C. Richards.  This is a beautiful book about building community, the environment , and the mystery of life.

Sun Valley Center for the Arts

The Sun Valley Center for the Arts applied for a grant to provide three in-school education programs.  Their goal has been to give students in Blaine County direct access to art and to artists.  Kristin Poole and Kathryn McNeal described how these programs assist students now and in the future.  Studies have shown that art programs increase empathy and compassion in students by giving students shared experiences.  Students “lean in” to study art and music and with hands-on experiences, they can ask questions and learn new skills.  The Center works hard to link the art topics to what students are being taught in school.

1.  Residency programs for musicians in the schools.  One of this year’s residencies just occurred with TORQ, a drumming group from Toronto who played for all the students at Hailey Elementary, as well as Sage School students.  The students thrilled to the percussion music, their mouths open, their hands waving and clapping, their own hands drumming on the gym floor.  When question and answer time came, hundreds of hands flew up.

The residencies that WRWF grant monies will support in the coming school year are Black Violin, a classically trained group that will perform hip-hop on violins for the Middle School next winter and a Canadian vocal duo, Dala.

These vocalists are returning to the valley for a second visit to work with a group of high school students who participate in Wood River High School’s strong music program, in this case the Girls’ Choir.  The students will study the music in advance and then practice and perform with Dala.

2.  School tours to The Center gallery compose a major aspect of how local students build a relationship with visual art.  In these tours, students engage with objects, look at art work, talk about it and also have an opportunity to create their own art.  The number of field trips to the Center has increased from 27 in 2011-12 to a projected 70 in the 2014-2015 year.  The number of students has matched those leaps in participation, from 853 to 1,982 this school year, so far.  Students often bring their parents into the Center, too.  With each exhibition, students strengthen their looking and perception abilities.  They also get to learn hands-on skills.  With the Animation exhibit this spring, students are learning to make flip books.

3.  Company of Fools plays are the third way the Center provides students with access to art and artists.  This year, students will be invited to matinees for A Year with Frog and Toad for all students and Outside Mullingar and August: Osage County for high school students.

Kristin Poole is the Artistic Director of the Sun Valley Center for the Arts.  She has a Masters in Art History and studied literature and ceramics in undergraduate school.  The education programs are directed by Katelyn Ziegler, who has a Masters in Museum Education and Danica Robrahn, who is certified to teach art to K-12 students.  Kathryn McNeal is Director of Development for the Center.

Recommended Reading:

“Teaching in the Art Museum” by Rika Burham and Elliott Kai-kee.
“Visual Thinking Strategies:  Using Art to Deepen Learning Across School Disciplines” by Philip Yenawine

Impact Team Members Needed

The Grants Steering Committee is seeking Wood River Women’s Foundation members to serve on Impact Teams for our 2015 grantees with awards greater than $10,000.  Appointment to the nonprofits will be made in July.  Prior experience on a grants committee is recommended.

The purpose of the teams is to get acquainted with the activities and outcomes of the grant projects that we fund.  The teams make mid-year and end-of-year site visits as well as attend as many activities of the nonprofit as possible.  The schedule is flexible with mid-year visits occurring in January and February and end-of-year visits in June or July.  Attendance at one or more of the nonprofit’s activities is dependent upon the schedule of each grantee’s project.

The new WRWF website provides additional information about the Impact Teams as well as comments about the experiences of current teams.  If you would like to sign up, please contact Gail Wilkie at .

What’s New?  Our Funded Agencies and Our Members:

Our member Ruth Lieder was selected for the 2015 Blaine County Museum Heritage Court.  She served as mayor of Sun Valley from 1981-1994 and is now active in Caritas Chorale and The Hunger Coalition, among other organizations.  She and the rest of the Heritage Court will ride in Hailey’s 4th of July Parade and the Bit Hitch Parade in Ketchum during Wagon Days.

American Contract Bridge League:  In a recent weekly regional tournament in Jackpot, Nevada, that attracted almost 2000 entries, several WRWF members played top hands in various events.  Jo Murray secured a first place.  Lynne and Steve Heidel were part of a Sun Valley group with second and third places.

The YMCA has been a grantee several times so we were pleased to read  CEO Jason Fry was recognized as a “CEO of Influence” by the Idaho Business Review.

Our member Julie Weston’s new mystery, MOONSHADOWS, will be published in late July.  Her launch party and reading will be at the Community Library on August 18.  All are welcome!  This novel is set in 1920’s Ketchum and Hailey and features a young woman photographer Nellie Burns and her black Lab Moonshine.  Read about the Wood River Valley before it was Sun Valley!  More information on .

President’s Closing Statement

WRWF is pleased to be able to award three grants in the arts in this grant cycle.  The arts offer a place for creativity, calm and community—a positive impact for everyone in the Wood River Valley. 

Janet DeBard

 Janet DeBard

Our Mission Statement

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

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PO Box 3686
Ketchum, ID 83340


June 22 - 5-6:30 pm for 
Second Annual New Member Party
Sawtooth Botanical Garden

Summer Member Forums:*
June 25 at 10:00 am
June 29 at 4:30 pm
July 1 at 2:00 pm
July 7 at 8:30 am
July 9 at 5:00 pm
*Contact Rebecca Michael 
for address and registration 
to attend your selected forum.

Summer Social
July 7th
5:30 - 7:00 pm

Annual Meeting:  
August 3 – 11:30 – 2:00 pm
Carol’s Dollar Mountain Lodge

Peggy Grove ~ Editor and Communications Co-Chair Alice Calvert ~  News Brief Co-Editor