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August 2022
Background: Mary, Ron, Rich and Stephen in a kitchen - Caption: ICF Board Directors Mary Vagner and Ron Gallegos, Philanthropic Advisor Rich Ballou, and Board Director Stephen Weeg help prepare dinner at Aid For Friends in Pocatello
President's Letter

Dear ICF Supporters:
A couple of weeks ago, I had the chance to travel to southeast Idaho to meet with fundholders, grantees and community leaders.  Over a span of four days, Rich Ballou (our Philanthropic Advisor in east Idaho) and I met with about 50 people in American Falls, Pocatello, Soda Springs, Malad and Preston.

Thank you to ICF Board Members — Mary Vagner, Ron Gallegos and Stephen Weeg — and ICF East Regional Council Member Hailey Lusk for all their help in setting up appointments. 

While there, we hosted open houses for ICF grantees in American Falls and Malad, who are, of course, very familiar with our work. We also met with a number of fundholders, who again, are very familiar with our work. But throughout the week we also met with elected officials and other community leaders who had very little knowledge of the Idaho Community Foundation, if any at all. 

Next year, the Idaho Community Foundation will turn 35 years old. During our history, the Foundation has made more than $153 million in grants in all 44 of Idaho’s counties. However, we are still one of Idaho’s best kept secrets. We are actively working to change that. 

It would be nice if everyone in Idaho knew about ICF and our important work of enriching communities across the state, but not everyone has to know about us to continue to grow and do even more for the place we call home.

We do need more community leaders to know about the grants the ICF is making in their towns. We need more people who want to take care of the community that took care of them know that ICF is an important vehicle to help them achieve their philanthropic goals.

We need more estate attorneys, accountants and financial advisors to know we can help their clients with their philanthropy when they advise them of their options. 

As part of our ICF family, we’re asking for your help with this. Please spread the word about the Idaho Community Foundation. Refer people to our website and our social media – we are @IdahoCF on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn. If you want someone from ICF to speak at a gathering of community leaders in your town, please let us know.
Idaho needs the Idaho Community Foundation to not only continue our work but increase the amount of impact we make. The first step in making that possible is making sure we aren’t Idaho’s best kept secret anymore. 

Thanks for your help. 

Best wishes,

Steve Burns
Background: Nep and Mary Ellen in front of an airplane - Caption: Nep and Mary Ellen Lynch in 2000
Supporting rural Idaho: Scholarships and community grantmaking for Lemhi County

We are excited to announce the creation of a $3.5 million charitable giving fund and an additional $500,000 scholarship, both established at the Idaho Community Foundation by Nep Lynch, a Montana native who lived in Salmon for decades.

The Nep and Mary Ellen Lynch Fund and the Nep and Mary Ellen Lynch CTE Scholarship will support generations of students through the Idaho Career & Technical Education Foundation for trade school scholarships; provide Forever Idaho grants to community organizations in Lemhi County and throughout Idaho; give scholarships to graduates of Salmon High School and those attending community colleges; provide maintenance at the newly opened Lynch Center athletic facility in Salmon and more. Both funds are endowed, so the support will last forever.

Nep Lynch – full name Neptune Alexander Lynch, IX – is 96 and grew up on a cattle ranch outside of Plains, Mont., about 74 miles northwest of Missoula near the Idaho border.

A hard worker his entire life, Nep got his first job at the age of 12 making $2 per day in the grain fields. “The next year my dad let me take the bundle wagon, I got $2 a day for the bundle wagon, and I got $2 a day for myself. That was the first real money I made,” he said.

Nep dedicated his career to the professional technical trades. Much of it was spent in lumber, where he worked every job possible at logging camps and lumber mills, eventually owning mills in Montana and Idaho.

“I’ve probably had 15 jobs in my lifetime and none of them were ever easy,” Nep said.

He married his high school sweetheart Mary Ellen Livingston the summer after he graduated from high school. While Nep was working his way up the ladder at logging camps and mills, Mary Ellen worked as a camp cook. It was a challenging life, and they were a strong team.

“It makes you wonder how many women would do that. I think most would probably hit the road if they had to move into a shack and not have any facilities,” Nep said.

The Lynches were avid bowlers and moved to Salmon in the mid-1950s to build and run a bowling alley with a friend. A few months after the bowling alley opened, Nep realized running the business didn’t suit him. “I decided that I really wasn’t a people person,” he said.

The family, which by now included sons Nep, Jr. and Jay, decided to stay in Salmon. Nep started working for North Fork Lumber, which he later owned. The Lynches retired in the mid-1970s and enjoyed many years of travel. Mary Ellen passed in December of 2018.

In recent years, Nep, who lives most of the year in Missoula, has worked with former Idaho Community Foundation Board Member Bill Allen, a CPA in Salmon, to donate to community organizations he cares about.

“At my age you can’t take it with you. Having lived in the Salmon and North Fork area for 50 years, I like the area. I wanted to help out,” Nep said.

In addition to his ICF charitable giving fund and scholarship, he created a fund at the Montana Community Foundation to assist community organizations there. Nep also provided primary financial backing for two state-of-the-art gymnasiums – the Lynch Center in Salmon and the Plains High School Gymnasium in his Montana hometown.
Background: Senior Connection Staff - Caption: The Senior Connection staff Barb Espedal, Katie Phillips and Executive Director Jovita Piña
Simplifying the process: Croy Canyon Ranch Fund to benefit The Senior Connection

At a retirement lunch last month to celebrate Teresa Beahan Lipman’s final day as executive director of The Senior Connection in Blaine County, she and her successor Jovita Piña learned that an ICF fund had been transferred to their organization and would provide nearly $5,000 every year in flexible funding.

“What a way to end her career and what a wonderful news for me as the new executive director,” said Piña. “This gift will help us to extend our reach and serve even more of our fast-growing senior population.”

The gift came from the advisory board of the Croy Canyon Ranch Fund, which was established at the Idaho Community Foundation to build a continuing care community in Blaine County. When that effort ended, the advisory board decided to use the endowment to support community organizations that work with seniors.    

After a few years of making small grants spread across several community organizations, the advisory board decided they wanted to make a larger impact and take themselves out as “middle women.”

“It was time to simplify the process,” said Kathleen Eder, an advisory board member. “The Senior Connection was the best and most obvious organization to receive this fund because they exclusively touch the lives of our seniors on a daily basis.”

ICF Senior Philanthropic Advisor Lisa Bearg said it’s not unusual for ICF funds to evolve over time as circumstances change.

“They are not alone in wanting to find streamlined options for their philanthropy,” Lisa said. “There are ways we can modify a charitable giving fund to still meet the donors’ intent – in this case helping seniors in Blaine County.” 

The Senior Connection provides congregate lunches every weekday, in addition to Meals on Wheels, home caregiving services, transportation, adult daycare and respite care, and a fitness center with classes.

Their Idaho Community Foundation fund can be used to support any of their programs, services or future growth, which Jovita said is especially important.

“Our funding needs can change from year to year, so having that flexibility allows our staff to focus on growing our programs and services,” she said.

Background: Picture of Sen. Mark Nye - Caption: None Background: None - Caption: Upcoming Deadlines
Former ICF Board Director Sen. Mark Nye passes away  

W. Marcus Nye, known by his friends and colleagues as Mark, died surrounded by family on July 16th. He was born in New York City on August 3rd, 1945.

Raised in Pocatello, Mark spent his whole life living in and serving the state he loved. His education, career and legislative service may have required him to temporarily leave Pocatello, but having concluded his business, he always came back to the city he called home.

After graduation from Pocatello High School and serving as student body president in 1963, he attended Harvard University on a scholarship, graduating in 1967. Soon after, Mark came home to Idaho and in 1974 earned a Juris Doctor from the University of Idaho, College of Law, where he was a member of the board of editors of the Law Review.

Home again in Pocatello, Mark joined the law firm of Racine, Huntley & Olson, which later became Racine, Olsen, Nye and Budge, and is now Racine Olsen. Mark enjoyed a long successful career, always willing to lend his energy and expertise where it was helpful.

Mark served on the ICF Board of Directors from 2013-2018. As he began to wind down his law practice of 40 years, it was not a surprise to those who knew and worked with him, that he finally answered the call to serve in the state legislature. He served for one term in the Idaho House of Representatives, and then in the Idaho State Senate for three terms. While in the legislature, Mark fought endlessly to make a difference for the people of Idaho. He supported and concentrated on education and growing the economy. His wife Eva has been appointed to finish his term in the Idaho Senate, which ends in January 2023.

He enjoyed the outdoors, skiing, golf and fishing. He flew his own plane and traveled with family and friends as much as time would allow. Mark will be remembered by those he loved, including his wife Eva, children Rob (Patty), Stephanie and Jennifer (Chad), and grandchildren Meredith, Grant, Everett and Alex.

Forever Idaho South Central
ICF’s Forever Idaho South Central Region Grant Program, which provides grants of up to $25,000, is now accepting applications from organizations that serve the following counties: Blaine, Camas, Cassia, Elmore, Gooding, Jerome, Lincoln, Minidoka and Twin Falls.
For more information, including eligibility and application, click here. For Forever Idaho Grant Program Guidelines, click here. Deadline for submission is August 15.

Forever Idaho Southwest
ICF’s Forever Idaho Southwest Region Grant Program, which provides grants of up to $25,000, is now accepting applications from organizations that serve the following counties: Ada, Adams, Boise, Canyon, Gem, Owyhee, Payette, Valley and Washington.

For more information, including eligibility and application, click here. For Forever Idaho Grant Program Guidelines, click here. Deadline for submission is August 15.

Ifft Foundation Fund in the Idaho Community Foundation
The Ifft Foundation Fund in ICF is seeking grant proposals for projects that will provide landscaping, beautification and public recreation in southeast Idaho. See list of spring 2022 grantees.

Grant requests will be considered from Bannock, Bear Lake, Bingham, Caribou, Franklin, Oneida and Power counties.

Deadline to apply is August 15. For more information and to apply, click here. Please direct any questions to grants@idahocf.org.

Chobani Community Impact Fund
The Chobani Community Impact Fund is seeking applications from organizations working to improve the lives of Magic Valley residents. This year, the fund is broadening eligibility criteria to include projects that address poverty, promote entrepreneurship, or expand economic or educational opportunities for individuals in the Magic Valley. Typical grants will range from $5,000-$20,000.

Deadline to apply is August 31. For more information and to apply, click here. Please direct any questions to lisa@idahocf.org.

Shelton Fund in the Idaho Community Foundation
The Perc H. Shelton and Gladys A. Pospisil Shelton Foundation Advised Fund in ICF is currently accepting grant applications for projects that benefit residents of Valley County.

Deadline to apply is September 1. For more information and to apply, click here. Please direct any questions to grants@idahocf.org.

Legacy Society Newly Established Funds Memorials and Honors

Welcome Randy and Carrie Kyrias of McCall to the Idaho Community Foundation Legacy Society! The Legacy Society is comprised of generous donors who will shape Idaho’s communities through an estate gift to the Idaho Community Foundation. These gifts guarantee support for the organizations and causes that are meaningful to them.


Daniel Family Charitable Fund (Donor Advised) – Created by David and Angie Daniel and family of Nampa to support a variety of charities and causes.

Jesse Tree of Idaho Vahey Endowment Fund (Organizational) – Created by Jesse Tree of Idaho to recognize the commitment and support given by JoAnn Vahey to the organization.

Nep and Mary Ellen Lynch CTE Scholarship Fund (Designated) – Created by Nep Lynch of Salmon and Missoula, Mont., to provide scholarship support to students in Idaho that are enrolled in a career and technical education field.


The Idaho Community Foundation recognizes gifts made as memorials to those who have passed or as a tribute to honor someone. Memorial and honor donations can be made on our website, by check or by transfer from a bank, brokerage account, IRA, etc. When possible, gifts received from IRAs, donor advised funds, etc. will recognize the name of the person who requested the donation.

The following gifts were received since our last newsletter:

In Memory of Baxter Black

Diane and David Myklegard

In Memory of Dallas Blake
Fernando and Brenda Veloz

In Memory of Carl Christensen
RC Sisson

In Memory of Alice Dunn
Kevin and Virginia Dunn
Diane and David Myklegard

In Memory of Ada Johnson Ellis
Diane and David Myklegard

In Memory of Debbie Farnsworth
Freda Cenarrusa

In Memory of Larry Gebert
Melanie Martin
Mightycause Charitable Foundation

In Memory of Lee and Carole Gill
Patsy Lodge

In Memory of Jim Grossman
Ray and Linda Stark

In Memory of Avonne Higgens
Diane and David Myklegard

In Memory of Sonia Huyck
Diane and David Myklegard

In Memory of Lillian Kaschmitter
Jim and Mary Schmidt

In Honor of Anoop Mehta
Idaho Society of CPAs

In Memory of Barbara Nagel
Diane and David Myklegard

In Memory of Mark Nye
Alice Hennessey
Holly and Mark Motes

In Memory of Marilyn Padour
Don and Trudy Anderson

In Memory of Elizabeth Quinn
Junior League of Boise

In Memory of Bill Schmidt
Diane and David Myklegard

In Memory of Marion Shinn
Raymond James

In Memory of Daniel Stern
Ray and Linda Stark

In Memory of Beverly Thometz
Junior League of Boise

In Memory of Charlotte Thompson
Alice Hennessey

In Honor of Molly Tripp
Gwynne Lethcoe

In Memory of John Ward
Diane and David Myklegard

In Memory of Kelly Wood
Ray and Linda Stark

In Memory of David Yraguen
Diane and David Myklegard

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Phone: 208.342.3535  |  Email: info@idahocf.org