Community Fund tops $79 million in giving, honors Dozono

12.13.2018 Danielle Frost Spirit Mountain Community Fund
Outgoing Spirit Mountain Community Fund Board of Trustees Chairman Sho Dozono presents a check to A Family for Every Child Permanency Director Antonia Ambrusko during the quarterly Spirit Mountain Community Fund check presentation held in the Governance Center Atrium on Wednesday, Dec. 12. (Photo by Timothy J. Gonzalez/Smoke Signals)

Spirit Mountain Community Fund, the philanthropic arm of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, exceeded the $79 million mark in giving when it awarded $670,000 in grants on Wednesday, Dec. 12.

Eighteen large grants and nine small grants were given out during the fourth-quarter check presentation held in the Governance Center Atrium.

Since its inception in 1997, the Community Fund has awarded 2,695 grants to 1,115 nonprofit organizations for a total of $79.28 million in giving.

Tribal Council Secretary Jon A. George opened the check presentation with a prayer and then accompanied Tribal Lands Department ManagerJan Looking Wolf Reibach in a drum song.

Reibach and George also performed an honor song for Board of Trustees Chairman Sho Dozono, who is retiring after 21 years of service to the Community Fund.

Spirit Mountain Community Fund Executive Director Mychal Cherry introduced Tribal Council members in attendance: Denise Harvey, Kathleen George, Jon A. George, Steve Bobb Sr., Michael Langley and Jack Giffen Jr. Additionally, Giffen, Harvey and Kathleen George serve on the Community Fund Board of Trustees.

Attendees then watched a video that surveyed the Tribe’s history and featured organizations that have been helped by Community Fund grants. Dozono, festively attired in a Santa hat, quizzed grant recipients with questions about the Tribe that were answered correctly.

Dozono joked that giving away other peoples’ money is “the best job I’ve ever had.”

“It’s been a privilege to serve as a trustee all of this time,” he said. “But now it’s time to retire and move on.”

The Community Fund features a different organization at every quarterly grant presentation. The winter quarter featured nonprofit was A Family for Every Child Florence Host Program, which works with community volunteers who provide a place to stay for students experiencing homelessness. Currently, the program serves students in Springfield and Eugene, and plans to use the Community Fund grant money to expand the program into Florence, which is lacking such services.

“We identify and certify volunteers working to open up this space in their homes,” Permanancy Director Antonia Ambrusko said. “We also connect kids to different services in the community.”

Afterward, beaded necklaces and a Pendleton blanket were raffled off.

Community Fund Program Coordinator Angie Sears read off this quarter’s grant recipients while Cherry and Dozono distributed the checks. Board of Trustees members Harvey, Giffen, George, Ron Reibach and Chip Lazenby shook recipients’ hands.

Large grants recipients were:

  • A Family for Every Child, $50,000, for its Florence Host Home Program;

  • Boys & Girls Club of Albany, $20,000, for “Training Teens for Tomorrow”;

  • Boys & Girls Club of Salem, Marion and Polk Counties, $42,000, “Training Teens for Tomorrow: Entrepreneurship Experience”;

  • Call to Safety of Portland, $20,000, for its sexual assault response program;

  • Center for Community Counseling of Eugene, $12,500, for its Child Abuse Prevention Project;

  • Child Advocates Inc. of Oregon City, $41,500, for “A CASA For Every Child”;

  • Children’s Cancer Association of Portland, $30,000, for its Critical Support Link project;

  • Children’s Center of Oregon City, $25,000, to support healthy outcomes for abused children suffering from toxic stress;

  • Dallas Fire Department, $25,000, for ventilator purchase and implementation;

  • Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization of Portland, $75,000, for its Africa House capital campaign;

  • Kinship House of Portland, $35,000, for Beaverton expansion;  

  • Make-A-Wish Foundation of Oregon Inc., $35,000, for the Rush Wish Program;

  • Native American Youth Association of Portland, $50,000, for the Cultural and Academic Wraparound Support program;

  • Oregon 4-H Foundation of Corvallis, $42,000, for its STEM Beyond School program;

  • Portland Taiko, $25,000, for its 25th anniversary season;

  • Schoolhouse Supplies Inc., $20,000, for increasing services to low-income students in East Multnomah County;

  • Tillamook County Women’s Resource Center, $30,000, for its domestic and sexual violence counseling program;

  • YWCA of Greater Portland, $42,000, for its Family Resource Center.

Small grants that were distributed included:

  • Alsea Valley Gleaners, $6,500. for distribution facility refurbishing;

  • Boom Arts Inc. of Portland, $7,400, for a multigenerational theater series;

  • Junction City Local Aid, $6,000, for Basic Needs Direct Client Services;

  • Little Hands Can of Eugene, $4,000, for its After-school Grow and Care program;

  • Oregon Bravo Youth Orchestra of Portland, $5,000, for Bravo after-school program expansion;

  • Paradise of Samoa of Salem, $4,600, for the Paradise of Samoa Diversity Awareness Project;

  • Parent Partnership of Cottage Grove, $5,000, for the First Steps Child Care Center;

  • Portland Backpack, $5,000, for communities working together to solve food insecurity;

  • And Science Factory Inc. of Eugene, $6,500, for upgrading the Eugene Science Center Planetarium.