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March 2020
From the President
President's Letter

As I regularly report, one of the best things about the Idaho Community Foundation is its network of generous people who care about enriching the quality of life throughout the state through philanthropy. 

I am very pleased to announce that in 2020 we will celebrate Idaho women and philanthropy as part of the Idaho Women 100 Campaign. This campaign celebrates 100 years of women’s right to vote and recognizes the influence of women in Idaho over the past 100 years and their contributions to the political, cultural, economic, academic, social and civic fields.  We plan to recognize women who, through their generosity, have positively impacted communities across the state. You will see highlights in these newsletters, our Annual Report and at our annual events throughout the year.

Click to learn more about the Idaho Women 100 Celebration and the100th anniversary of the passing of the Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

I’d also like to take a moment to note the passing of one of Idaho’s great women – Mary McGown of Boise. As you will see from her obituary, which we have included in this newsletter, Mary’s contributions to her career field, her community and her family are worthy of praise and recognition. Our hearts go out to her husband John and daughters Erin and Brenna.

CEO Influence
Karen Bilowith named as 2020 CEO of Influence honoree

ICF President and CEO Karen Bilowith has been named a 2020 CEO of Influence honoree by the Idaho Business Review. ICF Board Director Heidi Rogers of Coeur d’Alene, who is CEO of the Northwest Council for Computer Education, is also an honoree.

Each year, the Idaho Business Review recognizes some of the state’s top leaders in industry, government and the nonprofit sector who are leading the charge toward growth and prosperity.

The CEO of Influence program is now in its 10th year. Applicants are by past honorees, who consider each candidate’s track record of leadership, vision, innovation, competitiveness, financial performance and community leadership.

“I am so pleased to be among this distinguished list of honorees,” Bilowith said. “It is a great recognition of the charitable impact the Idaho Community Foundation has on our state.”

Mary McGown Kade Ehle
In Memoriam: Longtime ICF supporter Mary McGown passes Making an Impact: ICF Scholarships

We are saddened to share the obituary for Mary McGown, a great friend of the Idaho Community Foundation and wife of John McGown, our long-time legal counsel.

Mary Grunewald McGown, Ph.D., died peacefully, after a short illness, on February 29, 2020. She was a wonderful well-rounded person. Mary brought joy, intelligence, dedication, and love to her many roles as wife, mother, sibling, civic volunteer, and friend.

Mary was born June 19, 1949 in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. She was the eldest of six children, all of whom survive. Mary graduated from the University of Northern Colorado in 1978 with a B.S. in Biology. That same year she married John McGown. She was able to convince one of her professors that a short honeymoon to Steamboat Springs was a good enough reason to take a test late. Shortly after their marriage, Mary and John embarked on a fifteen-month tour of the U.S. and Canada in a fifth wheel travel trailer and a Ford F-250.  One of the stops was Idaho where they took advantage of the incredible white water two years in a row. In 1979 they rafted the Middle and Main Forks of the Salmon River back to back. John turned 30 on the Middle Fork and Mary turned 30 four days later on the Main.  Since John was the paddle raft captain, it was one of the few times Mary took orders without question.

Mary and John moved to Denver after their big adventure, where Mary received her Masters in Landscape Architecture from the University of Colorado at Denver and John received his LL.M. in Taxation from the University of Denver. They decided that Denver would be too big in 20 years and began a search for a new home. While Boise did not make any national top ten lists in 1982, it made their list as number one. After taking time to settle in, Mary decided to pursue her Ph.D. in Forest, Wildlife, and Range Management at the University of Idaho. She also took the time to have her firstborn, Erin. Erin spent much of her first year in Moscow and John found “tax deductible” reasons to visit from Boise.  Shortly after her second daughter Brenna’s birth, Mary finished her Ph.D. In 1994, she successfully defended her dissertation and graduated with her family to cheer her on.

Mary used her diverse skill set and education in a variety of jobs.  She worked for the landscape architecture firm Beck & Baird, the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation, the City of Boise, Idaho Rivers United, and the Idaho Department of Water Resources, where she retired as the State Floodplain Coordinator in 2013. Not satisfied with a small package of donuts at the afternoon break on her last day, she threw a retirement party complete with live Rock ‘n’ Roll music, catering, dancing, and tequila to celebrate her retirement in style.  Few will forget the lady in the pink-feathered boa downing shots of tequila, or the Chancellors’ rendition of “Mustang Mary” (aka Mustang Sally).

Mary’s civic engagement was extensive. She was a member of the League of Women Voters, serving as Co-President of LWV Idaho and as President of the Boise LWV chapter; Idaho representative to the Northwest Energy Coalition; Chair of the Boise Parks and Recreation Commission; Chair of the Idaho Rivers United Board of Directors (John did not realize she was Chair until he asked why they were seated at the head table at an IRU Annual Meeting). Her community activity and advocacy extended to the Audubon Society, Great Old Broads, Idaho Conservation League, Girl Scouts, Sierra Club, Idaho Master Naturalist Program, Idaho Native Plant Society, Sunday school teacher, and more.

Mary was an avid hiker and traveler. In addition to exploring the mountains of the West, she completed ten walks in Great Britain with the Newport Outdoor Group, a trekking group based in Wales. She is one of a few to walk the whole length of Wales. John and Mary also hiked New Zealand, Bulgaria, the Republic of Georgia, and Ireland. Their most recent trip was a family “trip of a lifetime” to South Africa, Botswana and Zimbabwe. John let Erin and Brenna choose the location as long as he and Mary could tag along.

Family was key to Mary’s life. She and her five siblings had a family reunion last August in Oshkosh. She took great pride in Erin and Brenna and their many accomplishments, especially their pursuit of education (both have earned Masters Degrees). A significant part of Mary’s personal life revolved around the family cabin at Grandjean, Idaho where she was able to pursue her passion of bird watching. The beautiful setting of the cabin easily outweighs the lack of electricity and cell phone service.

Memorial services will be held on Wednesday, March 4th at 2 p.m. at the Boise Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, located at 6200 N. Garrett Street in Boise. The family also plans to have a celebration of Mary’s life this summer.  In lieu of flowers, we ask that donations be made to the McGown Family Fund at the Idaho Community Foundation to further support the causes to which Mary dedicated so much of her life.


Every year the Idaho Community Foundation helps students get closer to their career dreams by providing scholarships to about 200 students. Kade Ehle of Eagle is one of those students.

Kade is a senior at Northern Arizona University majoring in hotel and restaurant management. He’ll graduate in May and his ultimate goal is to become general manager at a destination resort or boutique hotel.

“I always loved going on vacations growing up and I want to make people feel at home and relaxed so they can really enjoy their time,” he said.

Kade said the Larry J. May Hospitality Scholarship, which he received all four years of college, helped him focus on school and not worry about the financial burden.

Larry J. May was an Idaho native who started his career in the laundry department of the Hotel Boise at age 13. He worked all over the country for Westin Hotels and owned the Owyhee Plaza Hotel in Boise.

May passed away in 2005 and his family and friends established the scholarship at ICF to honor his memory. Nearly $45,000 has been distributed.

ICF has more than 70 scholarships, each with their own story. The deadline to apply for most of them is March 15. Click here to see a list of scholarships.

Welcome Members
New & Renewing Members Newly Established Funds

Benefactor ($1,000 and above)
Donald and Marcia Liebich, Hailey

Patron ($500-$999)
Park and Sharon Price, Idaho Falls     

Sustainer ($100-$249)                       
Donald and Dolores Chapman, McCall
Allen and Raina Frei, Ferdinand
Sharon Harris, Kendrick
Richard and Lucinda Jardine, Twin Falls
James and Sandra Lancaster, Emmett
Grace and Clark Lusk, Hayden

Friend ($25-$49)                    
Katherine Kirk, Boise  
Amy Little, Boise
Tyler Perkins, Idaho Falls
Lisa Zeiter, Meridian


Opera Idaho Endowment Fund (Agency) – Created to support its mission to fund and produce opera of the highest possible professional standard in Boise and throughout the state of Idaho.

Honors & Memorials Upcoming Deadlines
Memorials & Honors Upcoming Deadlines

The following gifts were received February 1, 2020 through February 29, 2020:

In Memory of Jill Brandon
David and Diane Myklegard

In Memory of Beth Carpenter
David and Diane Myklegard

In Memory of C.B. Coates
Freda Cenarrusa

In Memory of Bill Deasy
Idaho Youth Education Recycling Partnership

In Memory of Julia Ford
David and Diane Myklegard

In Memory of Leilani Hasbrouck
David and Diane Myklegard

In Memory of Donna Hunter
David and Diane Myklegard

In Memory of Marjorie Hunter
David and Diane Myklegard

In Memory of Lotty Ledanski
David and Diane Myklegard

In Memory of Colleen Moore
David and Diane Myklegard

In Memory of Phyllis Mundt
David and Diane Myklegard

In Memory of Daniel Nelson
Alice Hennessey

In Memory of Bob Perrin
David and Diane Myklegard

In Memory of Marlys Saltzer
David and Diane Myklegard

In Memory of Joanne Smith
David and Diane Myklegard

In Memory of Stephen Snyder
Idaho Society of CPAs

In Memory of Calvary Timmerman
David and Diane Myklegard

In Memory of Daniel Wallis
Virginia and Edwin Pittman

In Memory of Mary Jane Webb
Junior League of Boise

In Memory of Jay and Mary Jane Webb
Robert Bilow and Jeannine Mehrhoff

In Memory of Joe Yraguen
David and Diane Myklegard

ICF Scholarship Opportunities
We have more than 70 scholarship opportunities for students seeking assistance with the cost of higher education.

In 2019, ICF awarded scholarships to over 200 students throughout Idaho totaling more than $500,000.

The application and information about ICF scholarships can be found here. For more information, email Sarah Wissenbach or call (208) 342-3535 ext. 19. Application deadlines vary, but most are due by March 15.

Ifft Foundation Fund
The Ifft Foundation Fund in ICF is seeking grant requests for projects that will provide landscaping, beautification and public recreation in southeast Idaho. Grant requests will only be considered from the following counties: Bannock, Bear Lake, Bingham, Caribou, Franklin, Oneida and Power.

For information about eligibility, or to apply, click here. Deadline for submission is March 15.

Bonner County Endowment for Human Rights
The Bonner County Human Rights Task Force Fund in ICF is seeking grant requests from organizations whose activities reflect commitment to the ideal that everyone is equal under state and federal laws and the Constitution, regardless of race, color, gender, religion, sexual orientation or disability.

Grant requests up to $8,000 will be considered. Grant requests will only be considered from Bonner County. For more information or to apply, click here. Deadline to apply is April 30.

Bonner County Fund for Arts Enhancement
The Bonner County Fund for Arts Enhancement in ICF is seeking grant requests for projects that demonstrate how the arts encourage creative and critical thinking, stimulate economic vitality and enhance the quality of life in a community.

Grant requests up to $10,000 will be considered. Grant requests will only be considered from Bonner County. For more information, including eligibility and application, click here. Deadline to apply is April 30.

F.M., Anne G., and Beverly B. Bistline Foundation Fund
The F.M., Anne G., and Beverly B. Bistline Foundation Fund in ICF is accepting applications for projects related to the arts in the southeast Idaho counties of Bannock, Bingham, Bear Lake, Caribou, Franklin, Oneida and Power. Grants may fall under two categories:

  • Supporting arts activities that will provide entertainment or art-related education to the general public.


  • Supporting the education, skills training, performance, or display opportunities for local artists.

For more information, including eligibility, click here. To apply, click here. Deadline for submission is May 1.

The Cancer Connection Idaho Fund
The Cancer Connection Idaho (TCCI) Fund in ICF is offering grants up to $5,000 to nonprofits, public educational institutions, governmental entities and others that provide programs for those affected by cancer.

Grant applications should support TCCI’s mission to “empower people touched by cancer to find support, resources, education and a sense of community.” Past grants have supported a writing contest for teens that had cancer or a loved one with cancer, wellness programs such as gentle yoga and movement classes, mind-body skills and more.

For more information or to download an application, click here and look for Cancer Connection Idaho Fund under Statewide grant programs. The submission deadline is May 1.
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Idaho Community Foundation
210 West State Street  •  Boise, ID 83702
Phone: 208.342.3535  |  Fax: 208.342.3577  |  Email: info@idahocf.org