Methow Valley Fund Awards $60,800 to Local Nonprofits

Classroom in Bloom received $3,000 to support the development and implementation of a new after school program and summer day camps to continue their mission of deepening relationships between people and the land through school and community gardening.

Classroom in Bloom received $3,000 to support the development and implementation of a new after school program and summer day camps to continue their mission of deepening relationships between people and the land through school and community gardening.

The Methow Valley Fund, managed by the Community Foundation of North Central Washington, has recently awarded $60,800 in grants to 25 Methow Valley nonprofits.

Established in 2006, the Methow Valley Fund (MVF) provides funding through an annual competitive grant to support charitable organizations that are meeting needs and developing strong, sustainable programs that enhance the Methow Valley.

“We typically have twice as much in grant requests for awesome work than we have the funds to distribute” said Betsy Cushman, who serves as an advisor for the MVF and is a Community Foundation board trustee. “Our goal is encourage planned giving to the Methow Valley Fund so this kind of thing can go on bigger, better, and forever.”

The MVF is advised by a diverse group of volunteers that live and work in the Valley that are passionate about charitable work and have first-hand knowledge of the local needs and opportunities that make successful impacts in the community. Awards are recommended by the advisors and approved by the Community Foundation’s Board of Trustees.

The following is a list of award recipients, amounts, and programs funded:

  • Cascadia, The Methow Music Association – $ 2,000 Support for the purchase of risers for choral and other musical performances
  • Classroom in Bloom – $3,000 Support for the development and implementation of a new after school program and summer day camps.
  • Confluence Gallery and Art Center – $500 General operating support for art gallery that showcases local and regional artists and hosts cultural activities such as film screenings, lectures, concerts, and classes
  • Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance, Methow Chapter – $2,200 Design, purchase, install and maintain multi-use trail signage on USFS trails in the Methow Valley Ranger District
  • Friends of the Pool – $2,500 Support for the repair and resurfacing of Wagner Memorial Pool for summer of 2016
  • Little Star Montessori School – $3,500 General operating support for Montessori school that provides early childhood education for toddlers, preschoolers, and kindergarteners including daycare, after-school, and summer programs
  • Methow Arts Alliance – $4,000 Support for Arts Education Residencies for the Arts Education Program that provides free art curriculum to students in the Methow Valley School District which has experienced severe cuts in art programming
  • Methow at Home – $2,000 Support for financial assistance program to provide services to seniors who have limited means and would like to become a Methow At Home members
  • Methow Conservancy – $1,500 Support for the Gen Next Project, which aims to inspire the next generation of leaders, landowners, and conservationists in the Methow Valley
  • Methow Field Institute – $2,000 Support for the construction of a covered entry and front porch to improve wintertime accessibility and support outdoor programs in native garden area
  • Methow Recycles – $3,500 Support for the hire of an Outreach Coordinator who will increase marketing efforts and improve the look and function of the Twisp recycling center
  • Methow Trails – $3,500 Support for the introduction of an Adaptive Ski Program with the purchase of specialized ski equipment that allows people with physical mobility limitations to ski on Nordic and alpine trails
  • Methow Valley Chamber Music Festival – $2,000 Support for programming that engages local audiences and improves access to festival for residents of the Methow Valley
  • Methow Valley Citizens Council – $2,000 Upgrade and replacement of selected office furniture and equipment to support staff efficiency and enhance effectiveness at meetings, events and presentations
  • Methow Valley Community Center – $2,000 Replacement of worn and broken tables used for a multitude of events hosted at the Community Center
  • Methow Valley Community School – $1,000 Support for teachers’ salaries
  • Methow Valley Family Home Center Association – $500 General operating support for best and highest need
  • Methow Valley Riding Unlimited – $3,000 General operating support to increase access to therapeutic horsemanship program
  • Room One – $3,500 Support for the employment of a part-time administrator for the Lookout Coalition, a program that services the aging and chronically ill
  • The Cove – $2,600 Purchase of new donor management software
  • The Merc Playhouse – $3,000 Support for the admission-by-donation (or “pay what you can”) nights which further the Merc’s mission to keep live theater experiences accessible to everyone in The Methow Valley, regardless of income or financial situation
  • The Methow Valley Clean Air Project – $2,000 General operating support for Methow Valley Clean Air Project to continue to support communication and education strategies to improve air quality during the wood-burning winter months
  • TwispWorks Foundation – $2,500 Support for exterior improvements to campus buildings and partnership with the Careers in Construction Program that gives hands-on experience to students at Liberty Bell High School
  • Valley Teen Center – $4,000 General operating support for Valley Teen Center, which provides a safe, supportive environment for teens to engage in positive adult and peer interactions while also providing opportunities to participate in enriching activities and opportunities
  • Winthrop Ice and Sport Rink – $2,500 Support for the purchase of a scoreboard for hockey tournaments, youth hockey program and special events

For more information on the Methow Valley Fund and how to become involved, call Betsy Cushman at (509) 996-2696 or visit

Manson Teachers Receive $9,917 in Grants Awarded by Students


The ASB students surprised Philip Fournier in his classroom with his award certificate announcing his grant for $586 to purchase a Knowledge Bowl timing box and response bars.

The Community Foundation of NCW has awarded $9,917 in teacher grants to benefit the Manson School District through the Manson Giving Great Grants (MG3) fund.

Established in 2008 by Manson residents Jack and Gale Courtney, the MG3 is an annual grant program provides a unique opportunity for student leaders at Manson High School to become philanthropists.

Applications were submitted by teachers and staff to request support for several areas of the district. The Associated Student Body reviews each application, with oversight by Community Foundation staff, and select final award recipients.

“This is always such a special process to be a part of with the students” said Denise Sorom, Director of Community Philanthropy at the foundation. “They have really intentional discourse around school needs to determine which of the requests will best impact the school. It’s a great way to prime our youth in understanding the many important steps involved in philanthropy.”

The following is a list of the teachers and their projects awarded:

  • Madonna Carlton – $1,800 Coffee business program run by students with learning disabilities
  • Juliana Cameron – $1,400 Arts Attack 3rd/4th grade curriculum
  • Marcella Lindert – $1,300 Reading Lounge for elementary school students
  • Kamie Kronbauer – $1,000 Directed Studies: Math/Science Projects
  • Jennifer Koth – $1,000 Directed Studies: Arts/Literature Materials
  • Karoline Martin – $700 Books for the Library
  • Michelle Rogge – $600 Health Sciences Tool Box
  • Philip Fournier – $586 Knowledge Bowl timing box and response bars
  • Kayla Helleson – $581 Personal Safety Curriculum
  • Todd Smith – $500 5th Avenue Theater traveling fee
  • Alicia Alexander – $350 Listening Center in the elementary classroom

The MG3 is one of many Donor Advised Funds managed by the foundation. This type of fund allows donors to give to a charity anytime, often in response to a need in the community or to generally support causes close to the heart. While the fund as a grant program is unique, it demonstrates the flexibility of how Donor Advised Funds can fulfill charitable interests and goals.

Woods Family Music & Arts Grant Awards $58,800 to Local Programs

WoodsFamilyTaglineThe Woods Family Music and Arts Grant has awarded $58,800 in grants across North Central Washington. Established in 2011, this annual grant awards up to $5,000 to foster music and arts education, performance, accessibility to under-served students and communities in Chelan, Douglas and Okanogan counties.

The following is a list of organizations and programs awarded:

  • Apple Hill Art Camp –  $2,500 to support Summer Camps in Omak and Tonasket for children 5 and up who will learn many art disciplines including drawing, painting, pottery, drama, culinary, sculputre, fiber, creative writing, and music
  • Artis – $4,000 to provides Art Academy Scholarships for under-privileged students in a variety of visual arts classes taught by local, professional teaching artists
  • Beaver Valley School – $3,800 to support music instruction one day a week for grades K-5
  • Columbia Chorale – $2,500 towards the purchase of safety rails for choral risers
  • Eastmont High School Choral Department – $2,500 toward a new piano
  • Eastmont School Disttrict – $5,000 to support art instruction for grades K-7
  • Julian Patrick Vocal Camp – $3,000 for a one-week intensive camp for dedicated high school vocal students to develop their art, perform in the community, and prepare for study at the college and professional level
  • Lake Chelan Back Fest – $1,000 to support the annual week-long music festival events comprised of jazz, young musician concerts, string quartet, and classical music
  • Numerica Performing Arts Center – $5,000 to support education outreach projects including “Every Student. One Show” (every student in Chelan and Douglas counties attend at least show at the PAC in 2016) and connecting elementary students to acclaimed Latino musicians
  • Upper Valley Connection – $3,000 to support the annual Theater Camp that brings together people with and without developmental disabilities to experience the satisfaction and joy of putting on a play for their community
  • Wenatchee After School Programs – $5,000 to bring art into the After School Program in the Wenatchee School District that will either be displayed at each school or a community-based project such as a city mural
  • Wenatchee Arts Education Consortium – $5,000 to support K-Art, bringing intentional art instruction to all Wenatchee School District kindergartens while connecting the artist community with public education
  • Wenatchee High School Band Boosters – $2,500 to purchase new and replace band instruments that are currently borrowed from other schools
  • Wenatchee Jazz Workshop – $4,000 to bring professional jazz musicians to Wenatchee to teach local students in week-long workshop of intense instruction, culminating with two public performances
  • Wenatchee Valley College – $5,000 to increase access to the Sorom Studios in the MAC building, dedicated to education and edification of students and musicians in the community and expand the visibility of the MAC gallery
  • Wenatchee Valley Symphony – $5,000 to support the annual Angela Schuster Svendsen Memorial Young Musician Competition and stipends to support season soloists and a music librarian.

The next Woods Family Music and Arts Grant opens August 1, 2016.

The Woods Family Music and Arts Fund also provided $5,000 to support over 20 Teacher Grants through the North Central Washington Education Service District (NCESD) Foundation in areas of Music/Fine Arts and STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, math).




Give NCW Raises $147,166 in Donations for Nonprofits

givencwCrowdfunding Effort Helps to Build Awareness of Local Nonprofits

“We had no idea what to expect, but the results were amazing.” said Beth Stipe, the foundation’s Executive Director. “It’s just another reminder of how generous people are in this region and how much they care about their community.”

Give NCW is a crowdfunding campaign that the Community Foundation of NCW launched on Thanksgiving Day and concluded December 31st to raise funds for 25 nonprofits across North Central Washington. The nonprofits chosen to participate were recipients of the foundation’s Regional Impact Grant – its largest competitive grant program. Applicants sought funding for a specific project and awarded grants from $5,000 to $15,000 – the remainder of the funds each organization needed was published on, an online giving catalog.

“It was really easy to give” said one donor, “I even did it from my phone!” This was the first time the foundation entered the realm of crowdfunding.

“So many people are giving through crowdfunding now – it’s easy, it’s fast, and you get to be a part of something cool happening in your community, or helping people in a rough situation” said Stipe. “Give NCW was full of programs that people could relate to and spoke to the hearts.”

The idea to use crowdfunding came from Orcas Island Community Foundation and Smalldog Net Solutions. Smalldog is the foundation’s database that includes an “online shopping” feature of crowdfunding, which OICF has been using for a few years. The program was piloted at CFNCW in September 2015 for the Give Methow campaign which generated over $180,000 in donations in one month.

But Give NCW was established for more than just fundraising. “We thought this would be a great way for the people to learn about projects happening in their community” said Stipe. “Give NCW provides the opportunity to really learn about what it takes to help our local foster kids, or build a home for a family, or maintain an art culture in our communities and become part of making it happen.”

Give NCW will be a permanent addition to the Regional Impact Grant program, and the foundation is already looking at ways to make it better next year. “We really didn’t have too many hiccups with this being our first crowdfunding experience, but there are a few little things that we know will make it more exciting, rewarding, and fun for everyone next year.”

The next Regional Impact Grant cycle opens July 1, 2016 and Give NCW is set to start again on Thanksgiving 2016.

Leavenworth Resident Builds Little Free Library for Fire Victims


Larsen’s daughter Annie (at left with Beth Stipe) is Director of the Chumstick Wildfire Coalition and a fire prevention advocate. Annie has been working with several groups in the community to help families understand the steps to take after experiencing a fire – and those to take in the future to prevent and prepare for them.

Sleepy Hollow Fire Victims Receive Community Support

Mr. Elmer Larsen built the library to let the Broadview community know that their friends in Leavenworth care about them. He carved and painted the book-shaped structure that has two shelves to hold dozens of books.

Little Free Libraries are popping up across the nation, with a “take a book, give a book” sharing model, encouraging communities to include more reading into their lives.

The Little Free Library will be placed on a post and reside at the community pool where the neighborhood families come to swim and play during the summer.

The Community Foundation of NCW is using some of the Sleepy Hollow Fire Relief Funds to add a resource tent, umbrellas, and other items to make the area a safe and welcoming place for displaced families. The Little Free Library is a welcomed addition.

“We want the families in Broadview to be able to come back to their neighborhood and stay connected in the community while they recover and rebuild” said Beth Stipe, the foundation’s Executive Director. “This place is still their home, and we felt it was important to do something that helped them maintain that sense of home.”

Friends of the Library, the nonprofit support group for the Wenatchee Public Library, will be donating books to fill the Little Free Library.

Feel Good Friday: Alatheia Improves Lives Through Equine Therapy

The Alatheia Riding Center is doing amazing things to improve the lives of people with special needs in the greater Wenatchee Valley. Through equine therapy, Alatheia works to transform, empower, and bring joy to those who face physical challenges.

“Because the horse is such a motivating factor, Alex is working very hard to communicate with the horse to initiate the movement she loves. When sitting upright and in the arms of her instructor, Alex is learning to coordinate hip flexor contraction to lift her leg which in turn initiates movement.”
-Nancy Grette, founder of Alatheia Riding Center

“Alex was the most physically challenged child we ever met or considered serving” shared Nancy Grette, Alatheia’s founder. Nancy shared Alex’s story with us through a grant report.

“Born with a rare congenital condition that left her unable to move, speak, or eat on her own, Alex spent most of her time reclining in a wheelchair or on a bed.”

Alex spent a season riding horses at the Alatheia Riding Center and the results were amazing. She showed improvements in muscle tone, flexibility, digestion, and sleep.

“Alex is so happy when she is with her horse,” shared Nancy. “Her parents say when their van crosses the railroad tracks on the way to Alatheia, Alex knows immediately where is is headed and begins giggling with excitement.”

The riding center serves over 40 clients, all with unique stories and transformations. With the support of the Community Foundation of NCW, partnerships with local businesses, and incredible generosity of their donors and volunteers, Alatheia has developed a strong business plan with sustainability. A wonderful accomplishment for an organization making such an important impact in the community.

Thank you Alatheia and its supporters for bringing hope and joy to the families of those who benefit from the incredible healing power of horses. Special thanks to Alex and her family for letting us share her inspiring story.

 View Josh’s Success Story

(you might need a tissue)

Feel Good Friday – Paschal Sherman Indian School Students Take a Tour of Seattle

The Paschal Sherman Indian School, located just outside of Omak on the Colville Indian Reservation, serves 150 students from Kindergarten to 9th grade.

While the school is rich in Native American culture, there are little opportunities for students to travel outside the area and experience metropolitan art and urban culture. Many of the students live in dorms on the school’s campus.

Last fall, the Methow Arts Alliance received a Regional Impact Grant to support “Access to Arts”, an arts education program developed specifically for schools in Okanogan County who have limited to no funding for art curriculum.

“Access to Arts” hosts a range of art education programming, including art-focused field trips to Seattle like this one.

Paschal students in 8th and 9th grade experienced a live theater performance, learned about Seattle’s history through the Underground Tour, took an unexpected boat ride, and saw some of the unique outdoor art in the surrounding area. 

Ashley Lodato, Art Education Director, joined the students as a chaperon. “It’s really neat to see them soaking in sights they’ve only heard of” she shared. Most of the students haven’t traveled out of their home town, much less seen a live performance of “big city” caliber.

“Community Foundation grants have a huge impact on these schools”, said Lodato, “especially when we can leverage the funding with other interested donors.”

Several funding sources helped to finance the trip. A private donor has invested in funding it over the next few years for other Paschal students to explore a world they may otherwise never get to see.

Read Ashley Lodato’s full story on the Seattle trip here.

Dynamic Review Games Help to Motivate Middle School Students

Last year Kyle Hurst, a science teacher at Foothills Middle School in Weantchee, WA, received a $1,000 grant for “Dynamic Review Games”. His goal was to blend physical activity with learning by creating games around classroom material. The grant allowed him to purchase equipment to use for the games.

dynamicreviewgamesWe visited the school when they first started Dynamic Review Games. On a nice, sunny, perfect Wenatchee day, Kyle’s students were playing a game of frisbee golf – with a twist. Cones were placed around the field as a marker where the frisbee should land. Once the 3 or 4 person team landed all their frisbees, they would answer a series of questions related to material they were learning in class.

The students were excited about being outdoors and engaged in the material. They told us how much more fun it was to be able to include “play” into learning, and many thought they absorbed the information better.

Kyle asked some of his students to provide some feedback on how they felt about the Review Games, which we recently received. Their responses showed that the games were a motivator, improved their learning, helped with attendance, and got them to be more active.

Here are some of the things students had to say:

“Thanks for this, its made me want to go to science more often and my learning improved!”

“I think being active helps in class a lot because it improves your happiness and makes you feel awake.”

“I think that the games are a fun educational way to learn. To be honest its the highlight of my day.”

“The kick ball game helps me remember the answers more, like last year the only reason why I remembered the answers on the test was because of the game.”  

“They help me to remember things that we haven’t gone over in a while, and I may have forgotten. When I don’t get to play because I get a question wrong, it encourages me to study harder.” 

Thank you, Kyle, for taking your students “outside the box” and going the extra mile to make learning meaningful to them!

And thank you to all of our donors who help the Community Foundation support school initiatives that engage students and encourage them to stay in school. We couldn’t do it without you!


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