2016 Fall Grant Recipients
Back Row (L-R): Northern Rockies Conservation Cooperative (Drew Reed & Ruth Shea), Teton Valley Health Care, Inc (Ann Loyola), Teton Valley Ski Education Foundation (Corey McGrath), Greater Yellowstone Coalition (Janna Coulter & Kathy Rinaldi) Front Row (L-R): Teton County School District 401 (Allison McGranaghan), Teton Valley Community Recycling (Emily Selleck), Community Resource Center of Teton Valley (Megan O’Brien) Not Pictured: American Avalanche Association
The Community Foundation of Teton Valley has announced that, as part of their 2016 Fall Competitive Grant Cycle, $11,650 has been awarded to 8 organizations working to improve lives in Teton Valley. From education to recreation, human services to conservation – these grant funds are supporting the projects that are addressing many critical community needs.
Awarded $3,000 as part of the fall grant cycle, the Northern Rockies Conservation Cooperative (NRCC) and their local partners, are already underway with their project, which will result in a safer habitat for swans returning to winter in Teton Valley while aiding in the ongoing efforts to restore nesting Trumpeter Swans in our community. “This project is about burying a powerline that is unusually deadly to the local swan population by nature of its being located over the only pond in Teton Valley with open water all winter. We have been working closely in partnership with several organizations including Idaho Fish and Game, Teton Regional Land Trust, Fall River Rural Electric Cooperative, Snake River Audubon, Friends of Camas NWR, and Fall River Helping Hands. The grant from the Community Foundation helped to get us across the finish line,” said Ruth Shea, a research associate with the NRCC.
For Jeannette Boner, executive director of Teton Valley Community Recycling, the $1,000 in grant funds awarded will provide her organization with the opportunity to look at the bigger picture, while laying the foundational framework for the future through strategic planning. “It’s easy to get caught up in the big ideas while grinding away at your mission as a valley nonprofit, where all your energy and resources are placed into programming and fundraising. That’s why taking the time to plan, train and execute can be the cornerstone to successfully fulfilling your mission. We have some big ideas and bigger goals on the horizon, and the Community Foundation grant award has given us the needed advantage to reach the milestones,” Boner says.
And for the Community Resource Center of Teton Valley, the $3,000 in funding means that they are able to expand their Quality of Life fund by $250 per month for one year. These funds are used to assist clients in crisis with payments for rent, mortgage, utilities, transportation, and groceries after an initial financial review to assess sustainability and opportunities for budgeting changes. According to Megan O’Brien, executive director, “One of the challenges of living in poverty is that life tends to become a daily struggle. The idea of planning for expenses that exist a month from now is challenging if you’re worried about how to get to work tomorrow. The Quality of Life Funds serve to assist people in financial crisis while our case management work guides clients towards becoming more sustainable. The fall grant award will allow us to continue the effort to move people away from crisis and towards a healthier, more stable life.”
These nonprofits, along with the American Avalanche Association, Greater Yellowstone Coalition, Teton School District #401, Teton Valley Health Care, Inc. and the Teton Valley Ski Education Foundation are implementing, expanding, or strengthening the programs and projects that serve their mission through the funds awarded as part of the Foundation’s fall grant cycle. “We are a rural community with scarce resources. Our local governments have limited resources and funding from state agencies sometimes has trouble making its way to our remote location. Instead, our local nonprofits often bring the solutions to the issues that we face as a community. Their work directly affects the health and vitality of Teton Valley and the Community Foundation is proud to support those efforts,” said Carrie Mowrey, Community Foundation of Teton Valley Executive Director.
Since 2008, the Competitive Grants Program has been a key piece of the Foundation’s work to improve lives through the power of generosity, awarding over $295,000 to local nonprofits and programs that benefit the citizens of Teton Valley. And Mowrey is quick to point out that it couldn’t be done without the generosity of the Challengers and private donors, “The Competitive Grants program is made possible because of the generosity of Challengers and other private donors who are committed to the Teton Valley community and believe in the power of their generosity to improve the lives of others. We are incredibly grateful to them for the huge positive impact their generosity is having in our community.”
As the Community Foundation puts to bed another successful grant cycle and looks to the new year ahead, one thing is certain –Teton Valley would be a vastly different place without the tireless efforts of these local organizations and the community members who so generously give of their time, talent and treasure in pursuit of improving life in Teton Valley for all.