Record Amounts of Grants Awarded

Posted: Wednesday, November 7, 2012 9:46 am

By MATT BALDWIN Whitefish Pilot

The Whitefish Community Foundation awarded more than $345,000 to local nonprofits at last week’s annual grant awards presentation at the O’Shaughnessy.
Photo Credit: Matt Baldwin / Whitefish Pilot

The Whitefish Community Foundation set a new record high in giving to local nonprofits at last week’s annual grant awards presentation at the O’Shaughnessy.

One after another, local groups ranging from ski clubs to health clinics were acknowledged for their contributions to the community and presented with a sizable grant.

All totaled, more than $345,000 was awarded to 88 different organizations with grants ranging from $500 to $6,000.

“What an amazing night,” said Foundation President Carol Atkinson. “I am honored to be the president of an incredible organization that works very hard to support our nonprofit community.”

Foundation board member Lin Akey noted not only the amount of money awarded, but the number of nonprofits in the area that contribute to the community.

“It’s one of my favorite nights of the year,” Akey said.

Councilor Richard Hildner was in attendance and later commented on the special evening.

“It’s amazing to watch what happens when $300,000 is given away in one evening. The grants benefit not only organizations in the city but the whole county. It’s mind boggling and a wonderful thing.”

Sixty grants totaling about $151,000 were distributed from the Community Grants Fund, a 50 percent increase over last year’s funding. An additional $195,000 was awarded from eight of the Foundation’s Donor-Advised Funds.

The Iron Horse Foundation fund distributed $12,000 in three grants, including one to Whitefish CARE in support of the holiday food bag program for children. This program assists families in need with food for children while they are out of school for the Christmas holiday.

The Whitefish Mountain Resort fund awarded $22,000 in 34 grants. In an emotional speech, resort chief executive Dan Graves highlighted the Intermountain Children’s Home as one the many organizations it annually supports. The resort also gave a special grant of $6,000 to North Valley Food Bank to help with their holiday meals program.

Some organizations were awarded several grants from both the Community Grants Program and the donor-advised funds. North Valley Food Bank received seven grants totaling over $42,500 some of which was directed toward the Food Banks building campaign.

Programs that benefit the Whitefish School district received more than $26,000 in grants to help fund projects in music, science, wellness and mental health counseling.

The Great Fish Award was presented to the Whitefish Rotary organization for their work over the past 35 years on the Magic of Christmas. The award comes with $1,000 grant. Previous recipients were Whitefish Community Library, Shepherd’s Hand Free Clinic, DREAM Adaptive, North Valley Food Bank and Whitefish Theatre Company.

The Doris Schumm Community Spirit Award, which comes with a $1,000 grant, was awarded to the Whitefish Legacy Partners. The award is selected each year by the Grants Committee with guidance from Surrey Schumm, Doris Schumm’s daughter. Previous recipients include Whitefish Lake Institute and the Glacier Nordic Club.