The Idyllwild Community Fund Advisory Committee completed a successful year, continuing an almost 20-year tradition of providing grants to local nonprofits.
In 1996 a local couple, wishing to remain anonymous, provided the initial testamentary gift that would become the Idyllwild Community Fund. Their intention was that interest from the fund would be used to provide, in perpetuity, local charitable gifts within Riverside County or scholarship recommendations within the state of California.
The fund would be managed by the Community Foundation of Riverside and San Bernardino counties with a local advisory committee in Idyllwild that would make recommendations to the Community Foundation regarding gift distribution.
This year, the ICF Advisory Committee reviewed grant applications from local nonprofits, conducted site visits and recommended grants totaling $12,120 to 11 organizations. Grant applicants sought funding to help them achieve a stated objective that without an ICF grant, might have gone unfulfilled.
This year’s recipients included the Casa Center Against Sexual Assault of Southwest Riverside County, Chapel in the Pines Christian Fellowship, the Idyllwild Scholarship Fund, Mountain Communities Fire Safe Council, the Idyllwild School PTA smARTS program, the San Jacinto (Idyllwild) Community Center, the Idyllwild HELP Center, the Idyllwild School Booster Club, the Natural Learning Research Institute; the Art Alliance of Idyllwild, and the Idyllwild Master Chorale.
In addition, the Advisory Committee helps fund and mentor the Idyllwild Youth Grantmakers Program, a program at Idyllwild School organized by the Community Foundation, to teach philanthropy to Idyllwild School sixth through eighth graders. Launched in Riverside high schools by the Community Foundation, the Idyllwild program was the first to be implemented in middle schools. Now in its third year, the program attracts the best, the brightest and the most committed of Idyllwild Middle School students. They spend two hours in weekly afterschool sessions in an eight-week training program. They then review grant applications, conduct site visits and make grant recommendations, just as the Community Fund Advisory Committee does. They award, on average, $4,000 annually to local nonprofits whose mission includes providing programs, information or assistance to local preteens and teens.
The ICF Advisory Committee’s primary objectives are to acquaint the community with its mission and accomplishments and to give community members a reason to contribute to the fund — in essence to encourage charitable giving to the Idyllwild Community Fund, that giving comes back to the very community organizations that use those grants to improve the lives of local residents. Whether it’s a grant to help Chapel in the Pines maintain its truck to transport food from an off-Hill distribution center to its Mountain Center campus for its weekly food distribution program; a grant for the HELP Center to provide winter heating and utility funding for clients who cannot afford winter utility bills; or a grant for the Idyllwild Booster Club to continue to provide outdoor science education for Idyllwild Middle School students, donations to ICF are gifts that come back home.
This year, in addition to a year-end gala that honored grant recipients, the Advisory Committee conducted a July “Wine in the Pines Auction with a Twist” event outdoors at Rainbow Inn that grossed more than $6,000 to augment the fund and make more local grants possible. The idea was Summer Brown’s. The event, with food, wine and entertainment, gave locals a chance to bring their personal auction item treasures for sale at the event. Donors could give either 25 percent or all of their sale to ICF.
This year’s committee included Gigi Kramer, Ron Krull, Jeri Sue Haney, Summer Brown, Mary Collier, Jayne Davis, Kathy Harmon Luber, Jim Nutter, Bill Sperling, Steve Taylor, Trish Tuley, Adele Voell and Marshall Smith.
Ron, Summer, Trish, Adele and Gigi are termed out (members can serve two successive two-year terms). Joining the committee as new members are Holly Guntermann, Holly Owens, Mary Morse, Bill Whitman, Suzanne Avalon and Larrynn Carver. They begin their terms at the first meeting of the year on Friday, Jan. 9, 2015.
Part of the next year’s mission is a new branding campaign designed to better familiarize the community with the ICF and its mission and to distinguish it from other local organizations with similar names.