WRWF’s Winter Forum Explores the “State of the Valley, 2021”

By January 4, 2021 Press, Uncategorized
Wood River Women's Foundation Sun Valley Ketchum Idaho

January 4, 2021

Contact: Louisa Moats, Chair, WRWF Education Committee, (208) 720-9096

KETCHUM – On Tuesday, January 12, the Wood River Women’s Foundation and the Community Library will sponsor a forum to discuss the condition of the community and what collective efforts can be made to support improvements.

The Winter Forum is an annual education event produced by the WRWF. This year’s event will explore how—in the midst of the pandemic—we are doing as a community and how we—as individuals and together—can jump start recovery in the coming year. What are our most pressing needs? What opportunities are there for solving problems with investment and creative approaches? How can a healthier, more inclusive, more equitable society be built in our valley? In a free-ranging discussion, panelists will reflect on these issues from their unique perspectives in county governance, education, and community health.

“Given the pivotal moment we all find ourselves in, this is a perfect time to engage with the community on these important questions,” said Terri Bullock, WRWF President. “The needs are great and WRWF is motivated by our mission to continue exploring pathways to understanding the challenges and delivering support.”

Jenny Davidson, Executive Director of The Community Library will lead the discussion among panelists Angenie McCleary, Blaine County Commissioner; Brad Henson, Principal, Alturas Elementary School; and Ruby Garcia, Bilingual Outreach Coordinator, St. Luke’s Community Health.

“These panelists work everyday to respond to and resolve the critical issues facing our community; they represent voices we can all learn from,” said Louisa Moats, Chair of WRWF’s Education Committee. “We anticipate a robust conversation resulting in real actions.”

The forum will be live-streamed from the library from 6pm – 7pm. Access to the Livestream can be found here https://www.comlib.org/event/state-of-the-valley-2021 or by visiting the events section on The Community Library’s website, comlib.org. Optional small group discussions on Zoom will follow. This event is open to the public and the Blaine County community is invited to join this important conversation.

Panelist Bios

Angenie McCleary has served as Blaine County Commissioner since 2008. Her term will expire in 2022. Angenie has been a resident of the Wood River Valley since 1999. With her Masters in Social Work, background in health and human services, and strong interest in youth and youth issues, Angenie understands the challenges facing Blaine County families. Of particular interest to Angenie are the issues of public transportation and mobility, air service, affordable housing, integration of Blaine County’s growing Latino population, mental health and substance abuse services, and public safety.

Brad Henson has been an elementary school principal in Blaine County for 15 years. His experience as an educator includes diverse roles working with deaf children, students with other disabilities and special needs, and students in both elementary and high school. Alturas Elementary, which he leads, is 70% Hispanic; many students are from low-income families who have been hit hard by the pandemic, even as they cope with daunting economic, cultural, and language challenges in their daily lives. Principal Brad is a trusted, respected educational leader in the school community and has unique insight into the present and future role of education in addressing our community’s most pressing needs.

Ruby Garcia, in her role as Bilingual Outreach Coordinator at St. Luke’s Community Health, has been given the St. Luke’s President’s Award for her exceptional work with typically underserved people. She has helped hundreds of individuals access health insurance and health services. She is known for her ability to develop trust, a climate of inclusion, and safe access to vital health care. She has helped many Spanish speakers by removing barriers, designing culturally relevant programs and services that the community actually attends, and facilitating communication between St. Luke’s and other interest groups in the valley.