Students Grant $10,000 to their Teachers in Manson

Dane Johnson, Middle School Options teacher, received $1,100 to take his students on a 3-day sailing excursion on the Salish Sea to help students better understand the scientific method and learn skills of sailing and navigating.

The Community Foundation of NCW has granted $10,000 through the Manson Giving Great Grants (MG3) fund to support teacher projects in the Manson School District.

Longtime Manson residents Jack and Gale Courtney established the MG3 Donor Advised Fund to give students the experience of the grantmaking process from the funder’s point of view.

Applications are submitted by school teachers and staff in the Manson School District and the student of the Associated Student Body review and determine final awards under the mentorship of foundation staff.

“It’s really fun to watch these students have meaningful discussions about which projects will have the most impact on the school” said Denise Sorom, the foundation’s director of community philanthropy.

“This year they had to make some tough choices with over $17,000 in requests and only $10,000 to award. Participating in this process really sets them up for future experiences when hard decisions need to be made within a group” said Sorom. “The Courtneys have given these students a profound opportunity.”

Grants Awarded

  • Mia Cauley, Middle School Language Arts – $600 to support an 8th grade backpacking club. Students take short day hikes to prepare them for an annual week-long backpacking trip guided by Stehekin Outfitters. The camp will include studies of native plants, food, and ceremonies of Salish tribes as well as understanding ecology and geology.
  • Ann Marie Flores, Elementary Options – $1,500 to support an overnight camp experience at Holden Village for 80 students in the Manson Options program. The un-plugged adventure blends academic learning with outdoor activities that will provide teambuilding and survival skills and build awareness of environmental stewardship.
  • Phillip Fournier, High School Language Arts – $900 for a high school field trip to Seattle Art Museum and Museum of Pop Culture to help develop a deeper understanding of post-modern art culture and artists’ influence.
  • Kayla Helleson, Elementary Counselor – $1,800 to support a weekly, half-day summer camp for students with transportation and/or cost barriers.
  • Dane Johnson, Middle School Options – $1,100 to support an Options Middle School field trip to the Salish Sea to help students better understand the scientific method and learn skills of sailing and navigating. Before the excursion, students will develop a hypothesis, then gather data on a 3-day sailing trip using marine tools for a “hands on” science experience.
  • Kami Kronbauer and Jennifer Koth, High School Directed Studies – $2,000 to for supplies and materials for directed studies program, where students choose courses to study such as robotics, aviation, remote controlled airplanes, building go-karts, jet skis, and more.
  • Karoline Martin, Librarian – $500 to purchase a vetted list of new hard copy and e-books requested by students for the Secondary Library.
  • Jared Mumley, Secondary Science – $1,000 toward Wireless Smart Carts that provide precise, real-time data collection to better connect students to highly mathematical, abstract concepts in physics and computer technology to prepare them for the 21st century workforce.
  • Keitlyn Watson, Elementary Principal – $600 to provide a game or puzzle for each family to take home as incentive for attending STEAM night and encourage practicing math skills at home.

For more information on grants and Donor Advised Funds, visit

CFNCW Shatters Grantmaking Record Through Public Donations

Give NCW Donations Exceed Grant

The Community Foundation of NCW has awarded $459,202 to twenty-five nonprofit organizations in North Central Washington. The awards come from the foundation’s Regional Impact Grant program and donations through Give NCW, a crowdfunding program hosted by the foundation.

The Regional Impact Grant program (RIG) is a competitive, annual grant program open to nonprofit organizations in Chelan, Douglas and Okanogan counties. This year, twenty-five nonprofits received $225,000 from the RIG to support specific programs or general operations.

The RIG funded a portion of their grant request, and Give NCW provided an opportunity for the public to learn about their programs and donate to help them reach their full grant request.

Give NCW received $234,202 in gifts from the public, including $5,000 in “Funday Monday” bonuses, exceeding the RIG award amount from the foundation. In its second year, Give NCW received 55% more in donations than in 2015.

Of the participating nonprofits, eleven programs were fully funded thanks to public donations through Give NCW.

“We are completely overwhelmed by the public’s generosity to the Give NCW program” said Beth Stipe, executive director.

“When the opportunity came to do crowdfunding through some new technology, we knew we had to take advantage of it. We hoped it would give our friends and neighbors the opportunity to become philanthropists, at all levels, and really get to know and understand their nonprofit community. These results tell us that people are invested in this region, and we couldn’t be more proud to support that effort.”

Award Recipients and Outcomes

Community Foundation Awards $225,000 in Grants and Announces Give NCW

Give NCW

Support your local nonprofits Thanksgiving Day to December 31st at!

The Community Foundation of NCW has awarded $225,000 in Regional Impact Grants to 25 nonprofits across the region.

The Regional Impact Grant (RIG) is open to any 501c3 charitable nonprofit or public agency in Chelan, Douglas, and Okanogan counties to support specific projects or general operations for programs that make a positive impact in the community.

Applications opened in July and were due in September. Each applicant is visited by a team of Community Foundation staff and board to learn more about their organization and grant request to determine grant awards. Fifty applications were submitted, making this annual grant very competitive.

“There are always so many great organizations and projects that we want to support, but we only have so many resources” said Denise Sorom, director of community philanthropy. “That’s where Give NCW comes in, as we reach out to the community and ask people to help these vetted nonprofits reach their ultimate goal.”

Give NCW is a crowdfunding campaign that invites the general public to learn more about nonprofit projects in their community and donate online to support them.

Each RIG recipient is participating in Give NCW, requesting a certain amount of funds to help them complete their original grant request.

Give NCW starts on Thanksgiving Day and ends on December 31st. Information about the nonprofits’ requests are online at where donations can be made. Minimum donation is $10 and the Community Foundation is absorbing all credit cards fees so 100% of the donation supports the nonprofit.

The following organizations have received a Regional Impact Grant and will be participating in Give NCW:

  • Alatheia Riding Center – $12,500 Financial Aid Fund to ensure that anyone can receive therapeutic support regardless of ability to pay
  • Chelan County Sheriff / Douglas County Sheriff – $16,000 AEDs (automated external defibrillators) for Chelan and Douglas County Sheriff Departments in effort to equip all police vehicles with this life saving device
  • Chelan Douglas County Volunteer Attorney Services – $9,000 Support of a Legal Case Manager to help individuals/families with limited resources for legal assistance
  • Chumstick Wildfire Stewardship Coalition – $7,500 General operating support for wildfire education and prevention
  • Columbia Valley Housing Association – $7,500 Down payment assistance for low income individuals and families in need of housing
  • FIRST Washington – $5,000 Support for High School robotics competitions in various NCW schools
  • Green Okanogan – $7,500 General operating support for recycling center in Okanogan County
  • Habitat for Humanity, Greater Wenatchee – $5,000 New home construction for family in Rock Island
  • Hand in Hand Immigration Services – $12,500 General operating support for guiding legal immigrants through naturalization and other services
  • Heritage Heights at Lake Chelan – $10,000 Support of design phase for new construction of assisted living community
  • Icicle Creek Center for the Arts – $7,500 Support for equipment used at youth film camp
  • Lake Chelan Community Hospital Foundation – $8,000 Outreach program to Latino community
  • Lighthouse Christian Ministry – $12,500 Support for a medical/dental clinic and expansion of soup kitchen
  • Mountain Meadows Senior Living Campus – $9,000 Furniture for Memory Care Unit at assisted living community
  • North Valley Community Health Association – $9,000 Support for wheelchair lift for van that transports assisted living residents to outings and activities
  • Okanogan County Long Term Recovery Group – $14,000 General operating support to continue providing aid and housing for wildfire survivors
  • Oroville CARES – $7,000 Support of billboards used for anti-drug campaign
  • Pybus Market Charitable Foundation – $6,500 Support to subsidize facility rental costs for nonprofit organizations
  • Upper Valley Connection – $7,500 Support for summer theater camp
  • Upper Valley MEND – $9,000 Gleaning program to provide fresh produce for food bank
  • Wenatchee Jazz Workshop – $3,500 General operating support to bring professional jazz musicians to the Wenatchee Valley to teach, inspire, and perform with high school jazz students
  • Wenatchee Valley College Foundation – $7,500 Support of Knights Fund, en emergency fund to help students in need of resources to continue attending Wenatchee Valley College
  • Wenatchee Valley Museum and Cultural Center – $9,000 Ice Age Field Experience for all 2nd, 4th, and 5th Grade students in the Wenatchee and East Wenatchee School Districts
  • Wenatchee Valley Senior Activity Center – $10,000 Support for installing new roof
  • Women’s Resource Center of NCW – $12,500 General operating support to increase case management and help homeless individuals and families

Learn more about Give NCW and support your local nonprofits!

Feel Good Friday: Thank You for Supporting Our Local Firefighters!


Thanks to your donations to the Sleepy Hollow Fire Relief Fund, volunteer recruits Kelsey Schuttie, Mariam Ridgwell, and Stephanie Preheim received new gear as they prepare for careers in firefighting.

By Jennifer Dolge, Director of Donor Services and Communications

One of the best parts of my job is going on the road with my camera, driving to places near and far, to capture the impact of a grant funded by the Community Foundation of NCW. Today was no exception.

With the windows rolled down and the fall breeze clearing out the summer of my Subaru, I headed to the Malaga Fire Station to get a look at the new “bunker gear” purchased by the Chelan County Fire District 1.

Earlier this summer, I received a call from Glen Widener, CCFD1 Deputy Chief, asking if we knew of any way they could get some help in purchasing new gear. With all of the wildfires over the last few years, especially Sleep Hollow, the CCFD1 received an influx of interest in volunteer firefighting.

These new volunteers were women and men who would need new gear of all sizes. The Fire District had reached out to other agencies and were able to purchase a fair amount of gear at a reasonable cost, but were unable to get any gear that came in smaller sizes.

That’s when they turned to the Community Foundation. Through the Sleepy Hollow Fire Relief Fund, the foundation helped the CCFD1 purchase four new sets of bunker gear in the sizes they needed.

When I arrived at the fire station, three strong female recruits came out to greet me, then started putting on their gear – and suddenly I wished I had my 11 year old daughter with me.

I’d tell her that she could be whatever she wanted when she grew up. That people in this community cared so much about each other, they gave money to help friends and even strangers. That it takes working together and helping each other to keep our town and our neighborhoods safe.

I could have made the recruits pose on a ladder, or asked them to do an action shot– “pretend you’re putting out a fire!” – to really get the “impact”. But the real impact isn’t pretend. The real impact is demonstrating the dedication and service of our firefighters, and knowing that our communities are safer as they selflessly protect our valley, our land, our people.

To our firefighters, volunteers, and first responders: we thank you for your dedication and service. To the generous people who supported the Sleepy Hollow Fire Relief Fund, we thank you for paying it forward and helping to protect your community!

Community Foundation Awards $50,370 in Grants to Local Schools

strongerschoolsThe Community Foundation of NCW has awarded $50,370 in Stronger Schools grants across North Central Washington.

Stronger Schools supports public schools serving Pre-K through 12th grade in Chelan, Douglas, and Okanogan Counties. Up to $5,000 is available per school applicant to support programs that enrich schools experiences for students, support teacher development, and provide opportunities for schools to better achieve their goals.

“Stronger Schools grants are meant to help schools go beyond their ability to fund basic education needs and offer expanded, inspiring student experiences” said Denise Sorom, director of community philanthropy. “We’re excited about the range of innovative programs we’re able to support this year that will aim to make learning fun.”

The following grant awards will support programs for the 2016-2017 academic year:

Leavenworth Area

  • Beaver Valley Elementary – $2,700 Art curriculum at Grunewald Guild for students at Beaver Valley Elementary
  • Icicle River Middle School – $5,000 Implement an AVID (Advancement via Individual Determination) program for 8th grade

Okanogan County

  • Pateros School District – $5,000 Creation of Makerspace for school library
  • Virginia Grainger Elementary – $5,000 Music and Movement project for elementary students
  • Tonasket School District – $2,200 Tonasket Choice High School PBIS (Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports) end of the year field trip

Wenatchee/East Wenatchee Area

  • Columbia Elementary – $3,120 Wenatchee River Institute Youth Field Day Trip
  • Lewis and Clark PTSA – $2,350 5th Grade Field Trip to Pacific Science Center
  • Orchard Middle School – $5,000 Robotics set and library audiobooks
  • Pioneer Middle School – $5,000 Creation of Makerspace for school library
  • Rock Island Elementary – $5,000 Extended day program offering additional time and support for non-bilingual students that qualify for the Learning Assistance Program (LAP)
  • Washington Elementary – $5,000 Mysteriously Coding Robots
  • Wenatchee Valley Technical Skills Center – $5,000 Car Hood project; Build a Drone; Close-up Photography; Community Outreach event

The Stronger Schools grant is offered annually. The next application opens January 15, 2017 and is due March 15, 2017.





Book Up Summer Program Encourages Little Readers

GettingbooksIt was the last day of school at Brewster Elementary. The wind was blowing in every direction as kids laughed and played on the playground. Inside the school, the halls were empty. I was headed to the library to take some photos of the Page Ahead Children’s Literacy Program “Book Up Summer”, which received a $5,000 grant from the Community Foundation of NCW to provide free books for Okanogan County elementary students over the summer.

First graders lined up to receive their books, holding a strip of stickers that each read “This Book Belongs To” and their names. A young boy stood mouth agape, flipping through each book with excitement,  haphazardly slapping his stickers on the inside cover.

He ran his hands along the glossy cover of his brand-new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles book, in awe or disbelief. He exclaimed “YAY!” when he discovered the Lego Star Wars book, and he looked at me with a puzzled face when he came upon a book with monsters he’d never seen before.

My heart grew a little bit each time he came across a new book – one that was all his, one he got to put his name inside, one he got to put on his own bedroom shelf, one he could read whenever he wanted.

PlacingStickersThis is exactly why Page Ahead came to the Community Foundation of NCW to help fund their program in our region. An excerpt from their grant application shows evidence of why access to books over the summer matters:

One study found that economically disadvantaged children fell about 2.5 months behind more than advantaged students during the summer months between kindergarten and first grade. When this trend is multiplied throughout 12 years of school, students from low-income families graduate from high school several years behind – if they graduate at all.” 

While it crossed my mind that he may or may not have someone at home who was able to read it to him, it was encouraging to know that no matter what, he had something to read. And that’s where it all begins – get the book in their hands, and they’ve made the first step to literacy.

The boy came running over to me and said “Miss!” and showed me his drawing. With a little mist in my eyes, I remembered what I came to do and snapped a shot.

ThankYouI can’t help but imagine he’s home right now, looking at his Lego Star Wars book, dreaming of being a Jedi. Maybe he’s sounding out the words he can’t yet read, or maybe he’s flipping through the pages and just looking at the pictures in books that are all his own.

Either way, he’s beginning a journey of lifelong reading that will take him anywhere he wants to go.

To ensure programs like these continue, consider a donation to the For Good, For Ever fund that supports grants for schools and nonprofits throughout North Central Washington.



Three Finalists Chosen for $50,000 Endowment Grant

We are excited to announce the three finalists for the $50,000 Endowment Grant: Children’s Home Society of Washington (Wenatchee), Mobile Meals of Wenatchee, and the Wenatchee Valley Humane Society!

There will be one final awardee who will have a permanent endowment at the foundation that will provide an annual stream of income, forever. As the endowment grows through added donations and investments, so does the income disbursed to the agency. This is a great opportunity for these nonprofits to add to their sustainability and continue to serving their community for generations to come.

The three finalists have completed the application process and selected to advance to the second round of evaluation where they will have an opportunity to present how their organization will best benefit from the grant.

The final Endowment Grant awardee will be announced on July 20th.

These are three AMAZING organizations that are all very deserving of this award. Please join us in congratulating them on making it this far in the process and recognizing the great work they do in our communities!

Children's Home Society

Children’s Home Society, from left to right: Kari DeMarco, Mary Hyde, Alejandra Gonzalez, Chris Collier, Sharon Osborne, and Doug Head

Mobile Meals of Wenatchee

Mobile Meals of Wenatchee, from left to right: Sally Atkin, Sandy Briggs, Nita Paine, and John Kamperschroer


Wenatchee Valley Humane Society, from left to right: Joni Pepperl, Pam Arena, Dawn Davies, Jennifer Sands, Tamra Hively


Helping Hands Grants Award $42,544 to Support Needs Across NCW

The Community Foundation of NCW has awarded a cumulative $42,544 in Helping Hands grants across the region from November 2015 to May 2016.

The Helping Hands grant program provides up to $2,500 in grant funding to support unexpected needs or special funding opportunities where a small investment could make a big difference.

The application for Helping Hands is open year-round and grants are awarded every other month. The following organizations were awarded funding to support projects are making a positive impact in their community:

Having fun at Camp Invention!

Having fun at Camp Invention! Invent Now received a $2,500 Helping Hands grant to support scholarships for Camp Invention students.

  • Apple Hill Art Camp – $2,500 To replace art supplies that were lost in the Okanogan Complex fire for a youth summer art program that exposes K-12 students to various types of art making and fosters a joy for expression and creativity
  • Artis – $2,000 To purchase new software and office equipment for a community art space in Leavenworth that connects, educates, and celebrate the arts
  • Catholic Charities – $2,500 Support to purchase an outdoor play structure for the new Catholic Family and Child Service facility in Wenatchee that provides early learning care and education
  • Chelan-Douglas CASA – $1,200 To help purchase a database system to track goals and outcomes for ATEEM (Adolescents in Transition to Education and Employment), a mentorship program that empowers at-risk youth to build successful futures
  • Children’s Home Society of Washington – $2,500 Support for healthy snacks, school supplies, and sports fees for children participating in the “Readiness to Learn” program in Wenatchee, which focuses on removing social/emotional barriers to academic success for children in need
  • Colville Confederated Tribes – $2,500 Support for expenses related to an exhibit opening at the Fort Okanogan Interpretive Center this spring, including printing of text and visual panels, photographs, and speaker honorariums focusing on the native perspective of wildfire
  • Invent Now – $2,500 Scholarships for children grades 1-6 to attend Camp Invention, a week-long summer program in Wenatchee that fosters creative problem solving and STEM concepts through a fun, imaginative curriculum
  • Keep it in the Valley Foundation – $2,500 Popcorn maker and outdoor lights for funnel cake concession stand at the Apple Blossom Festival that raisesscholarship funds each year for 15 students attending Wenatchee Valley College.
  • Lake Chelan Bach Fest – $1,850 To help support artist fees for a week-long musical event that includes a jazz evening, young musicians concerts, string quartet presentations, and classical music in an outdoor setting at Lake Chelan
  • Leavenworth Community United Methodist Church – $2,500 Support for Backpack Mission Program that provides non-perishable food items for school children in need of weekend meals
  • NCW Forest Health Collaborative – $2,500 To support wildfire education throughout the region through a collaborative of conservation groups, timber industry, and local/state/federal/tribal governments developed to increase the pace and scale of restoration of United States Forest Service lands in Chelan and Okanogan counties
  • Wenatchee Row and Paddle Club – $2,500 Purchase of a new voyager canoe for Kids on the Columbia program where students get an opportunity to canoe the Columbia River and learn its history and importance to the region
  • Wenatchee Valley College – $2,500 Support for Summer Teaching Institute for Native American History and Culture
  • Wenatchee Valley Farmers Market – $2,500 Fees for representatives from five NCW farmers markets to attend the Washington State Farmers Market Association Conference

“The Helping Hands Grant helped open the doors for further collaboration of the Wenatchee Valley Farmers Market, Leavenworth Farmers Market, Chelan Farmers Market, Omak and Okanogan Farmers Market with more local food access, better administrative support, and community oriented event planning.” – Britany Fink Meiklen, Market Manager / Wenatchee Valley Farmers Market

  1. Wenatchee Valley Humane Society – $2,500 Expenses related for caring for increase of medical and sheltering needs of animals abandoned and rescued from the 2015 wildfires
  2. Wenatchee Valley Museum and Cultural Center – $2,500 Support for STEAM-based learning experience for students in the Wenatchee School District’s 21st Century After School program twice a week using the Maker’s Space at the museum
  3. Wildfires & Us – $2,500 Support for “Wildfires and Us” an education summit open to the public to educate about preparedness and prevention methods of wildfires, presented at the Numerica Performing Arts Center
  4. Women’s Resource Center – $2,500 Support for fees associated to bring Lloyd Pendelton to Wenatchee to speak on Utah’s successful “Housing First” model that works to end homelessness by providing housing first, then supportive treatment services that address mental and physical health, substance abuse, education, and employment

Feel Good Friday: Let ‘em Ride! Fostering Child Development through Horsemanship

IMG_0627 (2)contributed by Jasmine Minbashian, Associate Director MVRU

“Who is a little nervous?”

Several small hands raised from a circle of children who were preparing to learn about horses and horsemanship at the Methow Valley Riding Unlimited (MVRU). By the end of the day, the nerves were gone and they were shouting “horses are awesome!”

MVRU and the Methow Valley School District have teamed up to create “Let ‘em Ride”, a program for elementary school children that fosters social and emotional development in an outdoor learning environment interacting with horses.

Let ‘em Ride is a 10-week session that revolves around a theme – such as building relationships, cooperation, and problem solving – that are demonstrated through games and team-building activities. This spring the current theme is “Choices and Decision Making”.

IMG_0644 (2)Each day examines how choices are made through activities such as grooming, learning to halter and lead, and riding the horses. Students reflect on their daily experiences by writing in a journal.

MVRU sends updates to families each week with topics covered and ways to help reinforce some of the lessons from their experiences and implement them in their daily lives.

The special interaction between the horses and students, along with focused curriculum, has helped make a significant impact in many students’ lives. One teacher commented on his student:

0504161249a_HDR“I wanted to let you know that [my student] had a great time yesterday. I can’t begin to tell you how profound the experience was for him. He is a different kid today. He came back to class yesterday and spoke with me more than he has all year. He was enthusiastic and upbeat, which has not been his norm.

As student, he seems empowered today. He has been a bit of a reluctant learner, but today he has approached each task with a new sense of confidence. He seems to trust in his abilities, and to be willing to keep going even when the going gets tough. Thanks for doing what you do, and for giving him this opportunity.”

This program was made possible by unrestricted gifts to the Methow Valley Fund and other grant funding sources.

To help ensure these types of programs continue, consider a gift to the Methow Valley Fund or learn how you can leave a legacy that will support the Methow Valley forever.

Feel Good Friday: A Dream Come True in Okanogan Valley

The Okanogan Valley Orchestra and Chorus had a dream: offer a free concert to the Okanogan community.

In February, their dream came true. 

The OVOC’s Family Concert was open to anyone in the community of all ages to experience the colossal sound of an orchestra and chorus.

The orchestra played upbeat, toe-tapping pieces including Aaron Copeland’s Rodeo and Old McDonald by Leroy Anderson with exciting sound effects.

The chorus performed medleys from Jersey Boys, Phantom of the Opera, Manhattan Melodies, and more.

During the last piece, Pirates of the Caribbean, children were invited onstage to sit or stand next to their favorite instrument or musician.

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This provided a unique, up-close opportunity to see the rosin flying off the bow, fingers plucking strings and prancing keys, feel the boom of the drum, and witness the passion and intensity that musicians put into a performance.

“We weren’t sure how many people would come,” said Karen Schrimpf, OVOC’s executive director. “But we ended up nearly packing the house filling over 500 seats!”

“The Okanogan County Community came in force. It is so gratifying for performers to have a large audience – that was the community’s gift to OVOC.”


The OVOC received a Regional Impact Grant from the Community Foundation of NCW that fully funded this community event. 

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