Grants Committee Members Honored


Four special volunteers were recently honored by the Whitefish Community Foundation’s Board of Directors for their years of service as members of the Foundation’s Grants Committee. Sarah Fitzgerald, Duane Bauch, Dick Solberg and Stephanie Walls have collectively dedicated 33 years to the Grants Committee. Sarah served 11 years, Duane served 9 years, Dick served 6 years and Stephanie served for 7 years, the last two as co-chair.

Retiring Grants Committee Members Honored
Duane Bauch, Stephanie Walls, Dick Solberg and Sarah Fitzgerald are honored for their service as members of the Grants Committee
The Whitefish Community Foundation grants program has grown exponentially during the last 12 years. In the first year, grants of $250 each and totaling $7,000 were distributed to nonprofits throughout the community. In 2012, the Community Grants Fund made over $150,000 in grants to 60 nonprofits.

As the grant fund grows each year, the work required of the Grants Committee also grows. On June 1st last year, the nine member Grants Committee  were given grant requests for 68 organizations (in a stack of paper equivalent to three books) to review during the summer. Their job was to read and evaluate each grant request, make site visits to many of the nonprofits and prioritize each request.

While honoring these retiring members of the committee, Board Chair Carol Atkinson, commented on the variety of interests and skills brought to the committee by each member and that it is this diversity that serves our organization and our community well. Dick Solberg said, “I have been on many committees in my lifetime and this is the BEST committee I have ever been a part of.”

As these four members retire, the grant cycle continues. Local nonprofits with current  501(c)3 status are completing their 2013 grant requests which are due May 31 in the Foundation office. The guidelines and form can be found on our website. After a summer of work, the Foundation will host the annual Grant Awards Presentation on November 7th. Mark your calendars!