Community Fund awards $670,913 in grants

By Danielle Frost

Spirit Mountain Community Fund, the philanthropic arm of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, surpassed the $78.6 million mark in giving when it awarded $670,913 in grants on Wednesday, Sept. 12.

Twenty-six large grants and eight small grants were given out during the fund’s third-quarter check presentation held in the Governance Center Atrium.

Since its inception in 1997, the Community Fund has awarded 2,666 grants to 1,150 nonprofits.

Tribal Council Secretary Jon A. George opened the check presentation with a prayer and drum song.

Spirit Mountain Community Fund Board of Trustees Chairman Sho Dozono, second from left, presents Amy Higgs, executive director of the Eco-School Network, with a check during the Community Fund’s Third Quarter Check Presentation held in the Governance Center on Wednesday, Sept. 12. Ron Reibach, left, Spirit Mountain Community Fund Board of Trustee member, and Mychal Cherry, rear, director of the Community Fund, look on. (Photo by Timothy J. Gonzalez)

Spirit Mountain Community Fund Director Mychal Cherry introduced current Tribal Council members in attendance: George, Denise Harvey and Jack Giffen Jr. Past Tribal Council chairwoman and key Restoration figure Kathryn Harrison also attended. Harvey and Giffen also serve on the Community Fund Board of Trustees.

Attendees watched a 12-minute video that surveyed the Tribe’s history and featured organizations that have been helped by Community Fund grants. Board of Trustees Chairman Sho Dozono then quizzed grant recipients with 10 questions that were answered correctly.

“If you don’t get at least five of these right, then you don’t get your checks,” he joked before the quiz.

“It is a pleasure for me to serve,” Dozono said. “I don’t have to raise the money, just give it away.”

The Community Fund features a different organization at every quarterly grant presentation. Olalla Center for Children and Families Development Director Diana Teem said the assistance it receives from the Community Fund is crucial to its mission of helping those in crisis.

“It is often when working through the carnage left by the worst of humankind that we find the best as well,” she said. “I really see the best of humanity here. Our mission is to heal children and families, and we could not do our work without the help of the Spirit Mountain Community Fund.”

Community Fund Program Coordinator Angie Sears read off this quarter’s grant recipients while Cherry and Dozono distributed checks. Board of Trustees member Ron Reibach, Harvey and Giffen shook grant recipients’ hands.

Giffen said that Harrison is an example of the true meaning of giving back to the community.

“She is one of our treasures and showed great leadership in the years she was chairwoman of our Tribe,” he said.

Afterward, two necklaces and a Tribal Pendleton wool blanket were raffled off.

Large grants recipients were:

  • Airway Science for Kids of Hillsboro, $20,000, for the Barry Drone Program;

  • Boys and Girls Club of Corvallis, $15,000, for its Healthy Lifestyles – Healthy Foods program;

  • CASA of Polk County, Inc., $25,000, for volunteers for foster youth in Polk County;

  • Children First for Oregon of Portland, $20,000, for the Oregon Foster Youth Advocacy Education project;

  • Columbia Riverkeeper of Hood River, $15,000, for Protect Our Columbia: Empowering People to Engage on Toxic Cleanups project;

  • Eco-School Network of Portland, $15,000, for its Eco-School Leadership Transition project;

  • Friends of Saturday Academy of Portland, $15,000, for the STEAM Academy program;

  • Henderson House of McMinnville, $8,313, for a fire sprinkler system;

  • HIV Alliance of Eugene, $12,500, for its reducing stigma effort;

  • KairosPDX of Portland, $25,000, for its family engagement expansion project;

  • Lincoln County Child and Family Day Treatment Center of Newport, $100,000, for the Olalla Center building improvement project;

  • Looking Glass Youth and Family Services Inc. of Eugene, $15,000, for GED wrap-around services;

  • My New Red Shoes of Portland, $15,000, for its Clothing for Confidence program;

  • National Indian Child Welfare Association of Portland, $30,000, for its crisis support and family support program;

  • Physicians for Social Responsibility Portland Chapter, $15,000, for the Healthy Climate project;

  • Polk County, $20,000, for a Kindergarten Jumpstart Camp;

  • Portland State University Foundation, $18,000, for the Marion County STEM Success program;

  • REAP Inc. of Portland, $25,000, for the Beaverton School District expansion project;

  • Salem Schools Foundation, $20,000, for the Educate to Innovate program;

  • The Shadow Project of Portland, $35,000, for advancing equity for children with learning challenges;

  • Social Venture Partners of Portland, $15,000, for equitable access to preschool investment expansion;

  • The Freshwater Trust of Portland, $30,000, for the Salmon River Aquatic Habitat Restoration project;

  • Urban Gleaners of Portland, $27,000, for the 2018-19 Healthy Food to Hungry Kids expansion project;

  • Virginia Garcia Memorial Foundation of Beaverton, $30,000, for a mobile medical-dental van;

  • Willamette Valley Law Project of Woodburn, $30,000, for its Farmworker Health Promoters program;

  • YMCA of the Columbia-Willamette, $25,000, for expanded camping for at-risk youth at Duncan’s Woods.

Small grants recipients were:

  • Dougy Center Inc. of Portland, $5,000, for expanding support for grieving children and families in the community;

  • Ecology in the Classrooms and Outdoors Northwest of Portland, $7,500, for program development;

  • Friends of Yaquina Lighthouses, $5,000, for the Yaquina Room video project;

  • Hand2Mouth Theatre of Portland, $7,500, for its Education and Outreach: Voices From the Edge program;

  • Love In the Name of Christ of Benton County, $6,800, for its Every Child Launch program;

  • McMinnville Area Habitat for Humanity, $7,500, for the 2018 Women Build program;

  • Ocean Blue Project Inc. of Bend, $7,000, for the Periwinkle Creek-Willamette River Wildlife Enhancement project;

  • Rahab’s Sisters of Portland, $3,800, for its Friday Circle project.