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September 2022
Picture: Steve Burns - Caption: From the President & CEO
President's Letter

Over the last eight months, I have travelled around a good portion of Idaho and have developed an appreciation for how big and geographically challenging it is. 

I recently did a Google Maps search to find out how long it would take to go from a meeting I had in in Paris, Idaho to my next meeting in Bonners Ferry. It gave me two results, both of which had me leaving the state to get there. If I drove through Montana, it would take me 10 hours and 7 minutes. Through Oregon and Washington would take me 12 hours and 31 minutes.

But since I work for the IDAHO Community Foundation, I wanted to see how long it would take me to get there by staying in Idaho the entire way.  The answer: 13 hours and 12 minutes for a total distance of 786 miles. For comparison, that is the distance from New York City to Charleston, South Carolina.

I bring up the size of the state to remind myself and everyone who is part of the ICF family, just how much territory we cover. Currently, there are six ICF staff who regularly travel for business.  There are 18 Board Directors, who live throughout the state. I have come to realize that no matter how much I want to be everywhere in Idaho all at once, I simply can’t be. 

In the last 34 years, nearly 700 people, families and organizations have partnered with ICF to help meet their philanthropic goals. We need our extended family to share their ICF experience with their friends, neighbors and others who:

  • Want to direct their assets for philanthropic use to support the community they care about.
  • Have recently moved to Idaho and want to do their part for their new community.
  • Are facing a taxable event and want to minimize their tax burden and maximize their charitable impact.

With your help, we can be in a lot more places all at once. We can be involved in exponentially more conversations about taking care of your community.  And we can partner with a lot more people to help ensure that Idaho communities thrive. 

If you know someone who might be interested in working with the Idaho Community Foundation, please let us know or – even better – make an introduction. Feel free to contact me if we can be of any help.
Background: Melba FFA Patch - Caption: Melba FFA Memorial Fund
A new fund remembers those we've lost

A new fund at the Idaho Community Foundation will forever memorialize three members of the Melba Future Farmers of America program who were tragically killed nearly 35 years ago in the crash of Continental Airlines flight 1713.

The Melba FFA Memorial Fund in ICF honors the memories of Tami Daniel, 26, Janine Legerwood, 17, and Sherry Nelson, 18. In all, 10 members of the Melba FFA were returning home on November 15, 1987, after competing at the National FFA Convention in Kansas City. The devastating crash occurred on the final leg of their travel when their plane attempted to take off in a Denver snowstorm. In all, 25 people died, and dozens more were injured.

Melba FFA created their own nonprofit following the devastating loss, using donations of more than $35,000 that were sent to them from generous people throughout the United States. A picnic area was constructed at Melba High, and the rest of the donations were invested. Over the years, the Melba FFA nonprofit has provided more than $84,000 to 127 Melba High School students, either as college scholarships or to offset travel expenses to FFA events.

“The survivors of the crash felt that establishing a fund to enable future generations of students to experience FFA opportunities and continue their educations would be the best way to honor Tami, Sherry, and Janine. All three were highly motivated, involved and dedicated to the program,” said Dave Daniel, who was married to Tami at the time of the crash. He is now a board member of the Melba FFA Memorial nonprofit.

The Melba FFA nonprofit board decided to create an organizational fund at the Idaho Community Foundation because they wanted to rely on ICF’s expertise to grow their investment and achieve even more success.

“Through ICF, we have more diverse investment of our assets, which should lead to better returns and allow us to help even more students,” Dave said. “To me, ICF exemplifies the idea that many people working together and pooling their resources can achieve more for the greater good than we can working individually.”

All five members of the Melba FFA nonprofit have a personal connection to the plane crash, including two survivors, two people who were Melba FFA students at the time of the crash, and one person who is a relative of Sherry Nelson.

“Our goal is to make sure the fund will perpetually honor the memories of Tami, Sherry, and Janine. We want Melba students to have financial support to achieve their dreams and goals just as they were striving to,” Dave said.
Background: Kids in school using crayons and colored pencils while learning numbers - Caption: None
Partnerships provide early childhood scholarships in American Falls

It’s back-to-school season, and the United Way of Southeastern Idaho is helping to ensure that every preschooler in American Falls has access to high-quality early learning programs that meet their family’s needs.

With help from a $20,000 grant from the Idaho Future Fund in the Idaho Community Foundation, the United Way is providing preschool scholarships to one-third of the families in need in American Falls.

“We are extremely grateful to receive this funding from the Idaho Community Foundation,” said Felice Otero, director of ImPACT East Idaho at United Way of Southeastern Idaho. “This grant provides students and families with access to high-quality programs that will have lifelong benefits.”

Data shows that families and children living in rural areas and the low-income families and households where English is not the primary language face additional barriers to Idaho’s challenges in accessing quality early learning programs.

“At ICF, we understand that the first few years of a child’s life are the most formative, and access to quality preschool programing is an essential building block for their future success,” said Lisa Bearg, senior philanthropic advisor for the Idaho Community Foundation.

The American Falls early learning collaborative was established in 2019 with funding from the Idaho Association for the Education of Young Children and has led to dramatic increases in the number of high-quality preschool seats.

In 2020, the collaborative hoped to increase the number of quality preschool seats in American Falls by 30, and that goal was more than doubled to 74. Currently, the number of high-quality preschool seats is at 140 total.

“Investments like this will create a stronger Idaho, and we are proud of this partnership with the United Way of Southeastern Idaho,” said Bearg.
Background: three groups of images. One image with Butterflies mixed in with flowers, image two has a group of people pictured by a clothing rack, third image has two people in nature on mountain bikes. Caption: Forever Idaho East Grantees
$220K+ in Forever Idaho grants throughout eastern Idaho

The Idaho Community Foundation will support nearly 60 schools, senior centers and other community organizations with more than $220,000 in grants through our Forever Idaho East program.

Grantees stretch from Lemhi County to Bear Lake County. One of the unique aspects of Forever Idaho grants is that they are flexible and can be used for the recipients’ greatest needs.

“Time passes between when someone applies for a Forever Idaho grant and when they receive it. Their needs may change during that time,” said Lisa Bearg, ICF’s Senior Philanthropic Advisor. “We want our grants to be as responsive as we can make them.”

This year’s Forever Idaho East grantees are:

Bannock County
Aid for Friends, Inc. – $7,000
Girl Scouts of Silver Sage Council – $2,500
Idaho Regional Robotics, Inc. – $5,000
Idaho Trails Association – $2,000
Lee Pesky Learning Center – $2,000
Marsh Valley Cemetery District – $2,000
New Day Products and Resources – $5,000
Salvation Army Pocatello Corps – $5,000
Society of St. Vincent de Paul Holy Spirit Conference – $5,000
Valley Mission – $7,000

Bear Lake County
AJ Winters Elementary – $1,500
Bear Lake Senior Citizens Inc. – $7,000
Montpelier Community Foundation, Inc. – $2,000
Sixth Judicial District CASA Program, Inc. – $5,000

Bingham County
Bingham Arts Council – $1,500
Bingham Crisis Center for Women, Inc– $7,000
Idaho Foster and Adoptive Parent Association, Inc. – $3,000

Bonneville County
Bonneville High School – $1,500
Champ’s Heart, Inc. – $1,500
CLUB, Inc. – $5,000
College of Eastern Idaho Foundation – $5,000
Idaho Diaper Bank, Inc. – $6,100
Idaho Falls Arts Council, Inc. – $3,000
Idaho Falls Family YMCA– $10,000
Idaho Falls Soup Kitchen – $5,000
Idaho Foodbank Warehouse – $14,000
Museum of Idaho – $2,500
Seventh Judicial District CASA Program – $5,000
Shepherd’s Inn Corporation – $5,000
Swan Valley School District #92 – $3,000
Unbridled Hope, Inc. – $1,500

Butte County
Butte County Fair Board – $2,500
Butte County Joint School District – $5,000

Caribou County
Grace High School – $1,500
North Gem Education Foundation – $1,500

Custer County
Challis Arts Council, Inc. – $3,000
Sawtooth Interpretive and Historical Association – $2,000

Franklin County
City of Preston – $2,000
Franklin County Reading Association – $1,500
Larsen-Sant Public Library – $2,000
West Side School District #202 Education Foundation Inc – $2,000

Jefferson County
Giving Cupboard – $5,000

Lemhi County
Salmon Arts Council – $1,500
Steele Memorial Benefit Auxiliary – $3,000

Madison County
Madison Middle School – $1,500
Rexburg Free Clinic – $2,000

Oneida County
Oneida County Library – $2,000
Oneida Crisis Center, Inc. – $6,200
Oneida School District #351 – $5,000
Samaria Community Foundation – $2,000

Power County
American Falls School District #381 – $10,038
Arbon School District #383 – $3,000
Idaho Public Television, Inc – $3,000

Teton County
ABC - Above and Beyond the Classroom Teton Valley – $4,000
Mountain Roots Education – $1,000
Teton County Senior Citizens, Inc. – $5,000
Teton Valley Mental Health Coalition, Inc. – $5,000
Teton Valley Trails and Pathways, Inc. – $2,000

Forever Idaho Southwest and Forever Idaho South Central grantees will be announced in November. See Forever Idaho North grantees.

Background: Group of people in the park looking towards a stage - Caption: Project Neighborly Idaho: East Background: Multi-colored peace sign - Caption: Project Neighborly Idaho: North Background: BBQ/Pot Luck type gathering around a table with food options - Caption: Project Neighborly Idaho: Southwest

This year’s expanded Project Neighborly program has been a great success at fostering inclusion and encouraging neighborliness in local communities throughout the state. The Idaho Community Foundation and our partners provided $135,000 in seed funding for 40 ideas that are exploring ways to create welcoming communities.

From a few of our east Idaho grantees:

“I want to thank you for awarding us this grant! It was an amazing opportunity to get the community out and raise awareness about the disabled community and bring us all together as one! That was my goal and I think it was accomplished.” – Monica Christensen, Life, A Center for Independent Living in Pocatello.

“Our annual River Concerts are a wonderful way for families from diverse backgrounds and cultures to have a shared experience together. While making connections and enjoying a range of different music, our community is able to mingle on a summer evening. We are grateful to Project Neighborly for supporting the River Concert Series.” – Chantel Bristol, Idaho Falls Arts Council

Project Neighborly is led by the Idaho Community Foundation with help from community partners. Huge thanks to Battelle Energy Alliance, manager and operator of Idaho National Laboratory; Blue Cross of Idaho Foundation for Health, Idaho Central Credit Union and Innovia Foundation for their support.

From a few of our north Idaho grantees:

“I am very happy to report that the Free Little Art Gallery is officially installed! We are so grateful for the Project Neighborly Grant and that we get to bring this fun project to the community.” – Abby Light, Coeur d’Alene Arts & Culture Alliance

“Thank you again for helping us make Free Lunch in the Park available for our neighbors in Spirit Lake this summer.” – Linda Gehring, Cup of Grace

“Thank you so much for the funding opportunity to bring these activities to life! At the Activity Center, children and teens drew words and pictures of kindness, love, and inclusion with chalk. And the Say Pride! Photo Booth was busy all day long!” – Jessica Mahuron, North Idaho Pride Alliance


From a few of our southwest Idaho grantees:

“Our latest event had over 75 participants! The night included pizza, families working together to make tie dye t-shirts and we provided healthy parenting and family resources.” – Tricia Lofton, Advocates Against Family Violence in Caldwell

“We held our first Community Dinner to bring people together from various backgrounds. This was a family gathering and the event was so much fun and a success despite the hot weather! Each table had meaningful conversations over food and new friendships formed. We are grateful to the Idaho Community Foundation that made this coming together possible through the grant! Thank you.” – Reshma Kamal, Islamic Center of Boise

“This project is bringing people together. Many volunteers have shared that they felt inspired to participate because they have a loved one who lived with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. One volunteer told me they wished their loved one had access to a fidget quilt before they passed. Other volunteers and community members have said they have loved ones currently in care and have already started making their own quilts to give to them after learning how to make one with our supplies. This opportunity gave them the tools to learn and benefit others in the community beyond our initial targets.” Pamela Johnston, Meridian Library District, which is making fidget quilts for residents of memory care facilities.

“This past spring, 150 One Stone students, staff, and volunteers participated in one of our favorite One Stone traditions, Do Good Day(s), where we worked for three days in the Grow More Good Garden pulling and suppressing weeds, tilling the soil and building garden beds, while also constructing a food stand and laying concrete stepping stones for a path.” Julia Grief, One Stone in Boise

Background: None - Caption: Upcoming Deadlines Honors & Memorials

Bistline Fund deadline is November 1
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:

  1. Supporting arts activities that will provide entertainment or art-related education to the general public; or
  2. Supporting the education, skills training, performance or display opportunities for local artists.

The Bistline Foundation was founded by Beverly Bistline of Pocatello to pay special tribute to her parents and their commitment to the arts, as well as to further her own support within the field. She passed away in October 2010 and her foundation became an ICF fund in 2011.

Deadline to apply is November 1.

Additional information, including eligibility and application. Other questions? Please send us an email.


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 Larry Gebert

In Memory of W. Marcus Nye
Ray and Linda Stark

In Memory of Debbie Ortman
Robert and Carol Hamlin

In Memory of James Parsons
Community Assistance League of Sandpoint

In Memory of Richard Symms II
Alice Hennessey

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Idaho Community Foundation
210 West State Street  •  Boise, ID 83702
Phone: 208.342.3535  |  Email: info@idahocf.org