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In the News

Friday, November 28, 2003

Local organizations receive $100,000 in charitable gifts from the
Oregon Community Foundation

By Leanne Josephson
The Daily Astorian,

It’s not just a stomach full of turkey that’s making some local nonprofit board members thankful.

Eight organizations in Clatsop County recently learned that they were the recipients of more than $100,000 in charitable gifts from the Oregon Community Foundation.

“We’re thrilled!” said Cathy Peterson, Astoria Children’s Museum board member.

The museum received $7,500 to expand the Tot Time program, a daily program of crafts, singing, reading and projects that promotes early learning in children under six.

Peterson said the award will enable the museum to continue to provide activities for young children in the community.

OCF is like a large philanthropic umbrella. It administers 950 charitable funds – worth an estimated $400 million – and distributes the money based on grant applications and donor suggestions.

“OCF helps people in the community address key issues,” said Jeff Anderson, program officer.

Key issues can include mentoring programs, support for historical societies, support for community journalism and student learning.

OCF’s emphasis on the latter is one of the reasons the Astoria School District will be getting a $15,000 check to buy equipment for a new applied science center at the high school.

Anderson said the project “seems to be a great collaboration between the school and local scientists and will give students a way to apply their education in a way that’s valuable to the community.”

North Coast Community in Schools was also a recipient. The program, led by one part-time executive director, recruits adults from the community to come into the school once a week and play games, listen and develop a friendships with students. It received $10,000 for a mentoring program for at-risk elementary school children.

“It will ensure that our program continues for at least another two years,” said director Karna Cupples. “It’s really a feather in our cap.”

The biggest OCF grant to a Clatsop County Group, $50,000, went to the Liberty Theater restoration project.

“We’re right in the midst of fund-raising for a number of projects with new signage, the canopy, restoring the interior lobby and completing the renovation of the theater,” said Cheri Folk, a board member with Liberty Restoration Inc. “That money will be put to good use. It’s very heart-warming.”

Other recipients:

Cannon Beach Historical Society: $10,000 for expansion of historical exhibits, part of a plan to build a permanent endowment;

Clatsop Community Action: $7,500 for roof repairs on the building that houses CCA’s anti-poverty program;

Seaside Museum and Historical Society: $3,590 for “The Lewis & Clark Saltmakers Return” interpretive program on the beach;

Tillicum Foundation: $7,500 for the continued support of the Community Journalism Initiative to provide coverage of local and regional news and issues.

Content © 2003 The Daily Astorian