The Idyllwild Community Fund Advisory Committee, continuing work begun when a local couple established the fund in the 1990s, awarded nearly $16,000 in 2017 grants to seven Idyllwild-area nonprofits.

Each year the committee awards grants from interest earned from the fund’s principal. The advisory committee, composed of local volunteers, has two primary duties: to grow the fund by raising community awareness about ICF’s mission through fundraisers and through donation appeal letters; and to review grant applications from local nonprofits and recommend grant award amounts. The Community Foundation of Riverside and San Bernardino Counties manages the fund, as stipulated by the original donors, and issues grant checks based upon the local advisory committee’s recommendations.

Grant recipients this year include: the Idyllwild HELP Center ($5,000 to help fund its utility assistance program); the Forest Folk ($3,000 for vehicle maintenance for its local shuttle service); $3,000 for the Idyllwild School Booster Club’s outdoor education program that helps send sixth- to eighth-grade IS students to three-day science trips at Joshua Tree, Catalina Island Marine Institute and AstroCamp in Idyllwild;

$1,500 for Soroptimists of Idyllwild to provide hygiene products to local low-income women; $1,500 for the Idyllwild Scholarship Fund to provide scholarships for college-bound Idyllwild students; $1,428 for Spirit Mountain Retreat Center to fund full scholarships for recovery-themed workshops; and $500 to the Idyllwild Master Chorale to help defray costs of providing free tickets to low-income patrons to attend IMC concerts.

Shannon Ng, midway through her first year as ICF president, highlighted the importance of the work the committee has done for more than 20 years. “The Idyllwild Community Fund has a unique opportunity to serve Idyllwild,” she observed. “The fund is charged with distributing donations back to the community where they can have the most significant impact. Those on the ICF Advisory Committee take their responsibility for selecting annual grant recipients very seriously, and this year was no exception. Reading grant applications, interviewing representatives from nine grant applicants and evaluating their expressed needs in order to choose how the grants are to be awarded takes hours of commitment. I’m proud to be able to work with the dedicated people on both sides of these grants.”

Ng also noted that this year’s ICF Wine in the Pines fundraiser, normally held in July, will be held at 5 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 19. The event raises money to grow the fund, and to pay production and grant funding costs of the Idyllwild Youth Grantmakers, a training program for Idyllwild Middle School student volunteers to learn about and practice philanthropy. At the end of an eight-week afterschool training session, IYG students review grant applications and award $4,000 in grants to local nonprofits whose grant requests involve or affect teens. Said Ng, “Donated art and other ‘treasured’ items are gratefully accepted for the silent auction, raffle and live auction. Join us for wine [and beer] tasting and entertainment while supporting local nonprofits and the important work they do.”