This month, Timothy Lehr, associated attorney at Stiles Law, Inc, became the newest member of our board. Timothy grew up in Mount Vernon and attended Mount Vernon High School. He joined Stiles Law, Inc. in August 2016 and is a member of the Northwest Washington Estate Planning Council, Secretary/Treasurer of Skagit County Bar Association and a member of Sedro Woolley Rotary Club.
Timothy attended Seattle University School of Law where he graduated Cum Laude. While at Seattle U Law, he received the CALI Award for Excellence in Legal Writing II. He sat on the Judicial Board for the Student Bar Association and was the Vice President of the Federalist Society, Seattle U Law Chapter. Prior to joining Stiles Law Inc., Timothy clerked for all four judges at the Skagit County Superior Court.
Timothy joined the Skagit Community Foundation because he wants to be a part of an organization that gives back to the community and connects philathropists with the actual and immediate needs of the area.
This past month, Maiben House, a community building located in Maiben Park, received a $65,000 remodel after sitting vacant for decades. We are encouraged to see the positive change this will have in our community not only for the 70 children with Boys & Girls Club of Skagit County who will be able to utilize it, but also for the many community members who will find the space useful for their own events.
The remodel was headed by Leadership Skagit’s Team World Hues. This was made possible by partnerships with Burlington Rotary, Boys & Girls Clubs of Skagit County, the City of Burlington, and local business support throughout the community.
As a partner of Boys & Girls Club of Skagit County, we are proud to witness this community effort and we heartily support their presence in our neighborhoods.
The Museum of Northwest Art (MONA) connects people with the arts, diverse cultures, and environments of the Northwest through exhibitions and educational activities meant to foster essential conversations and creativity.
Recently, we were able to provide them with a $5,000 grant for educational programs for the youth of our community. As a part of this grant, students will be able to participate in Family Art Days, Early Enrichment, and other art activities hosted by MONA. We view this as an essential skill in preparing them for career and college readiness in line with the Common Core State Standards. With comprehensive sequential arts education as a requirement for students in Washington State, most school districts are unable to meet this requirement with the exception of music. MONA is able to stand in the gap and partner with these schools to meet the great need.
Many students and adults experience the museum for the first time as a result of our educational programming. We continue to strive to connect more people to the art, diverse cultures and environments of the Northwest.
With close to 8,000 students being served through their programs, MONA is giving our youth a head start as they prepare for their futures. Please visit their website here to learn more about their programs and consider getting involved today.
The grant process is never an easy one. We receive more requests than we are able to provide finances towards. So how do we decide who gets a grant?
First, an organization must meet our basic criteria of being a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization, in good legal standing with the IRS and serving primarily Skagit County. Then we consider the likelihood of success given an organization's leadership and resources. We consider the program itself and weigh whether its worthy of funding this one over another one. Lastly, we look at the donor constraints we work within and try to match donor's intent with the requests. If we don't know an organization well, we will make a site visit to learn more about them. In the end, the Board of Directors reads every application and discusses them together over the course of two meetings. The grant decisions reflect much hard work by the volunteers who serve on our board.
We hope this gives you a general idea of the process and we look forward to partnering with your organization.
Did you know that with an endowment fund, the prinicipal of your gift is invested over time while the earnings are used to make gifts to the causes you care about most?
Florence Vaux graduated from Mount Vernon High School in 1929. After attending Business College she worked at Seattle First Bank. Always civic minded, she chose to leave a legacy in her will for children. She directed that a portion of the Florence B. Vaux Trust establish an endowment at the Skagit Community Foundation for youth programs.
After she died on June 18, 2003, Skagit Community Foundation received a gift of $900,000. Since then, Skagit Community Foundation has awarded over $300,000 to organizations serving youth in Skagit County. Today, the principal is worth over $1,011,000 and the endowment fund continues to generate earnings for the next generation of children.
Her initial gift of $900,000 is like a young tree sapling while the $300,000 in grants are the fruit of the tree over time. The principal of $1,011,000 is the mature tree that continues to bear fruit.
For more information, contact us at 360.419.3181 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Calista Scott and her husband, Dean, recently setup a fund to address the need for disposable diapers in Skagit County among lower income families. Below is a quick interview with them to better understand the impact this fund will have in our community.
Beyond the physical needs of the child, what is the impact on the families?
Calista: Both diaper need and poverty are correlated to toxic stress in families. The children most often served by diaper banks, children under three-years-old, are the poorest age group and the group poverty hurts most, as the first few years of life are crucial for healthy brain development. Children who grow up in an atmosphere of persistent stress may fail to build or maintain important brain connections. These changes have real-life implications and costs: toxic stress is related to poor long term health, social and educational outcomes.
Why did you choose the Skagit Community Foundation?
Calista: Skagit Community provides us an opportunity to help our neighbors. It has a good reputation and keeps the money local. We hope to be able to see the good that the donation will make to our local community.
To learn more about the Diaper Bank of Skagit County or to get involved, click here.
With a pledge of $50,000, Skagit Community Foundation has joined the effort to build a new YMCA building in Mount Vernon. Located adjacent to Salem Lutheran Church, the five acre plot of land will house a full-size gym with a 4,500 square foot running track, a learning kitchen for classes on healthy eating, a community room and more programming for youths.
With a history of collaborating with community partners, our donors believe the YMCA not only makes fitness possible for all ages, but a county-wide shared facility like this strengthens our community ties and uses limited resources to the maximum advantage.
To learn more about the new facility or make a donation, click here.
Why did you use stock to establish the fund?
Herb: The stock was at its peak and the donation afforded me maximum tax benefits.
What do you hope to accomplish with your Donor Advised Fund?
What would you like to tell other people about your experience so far?
Herb: Give yourself more time to get educated on the philanthropy industry. Sort through the options and don't wait until the end of the year. Have the inward conversation with yourself about how you would like to see your money disbursed. You can't take it with you. If you don't plan, your money will go to the government by default. A Donor Advised Fund at the Skagit Community Foundation is a wonderful concept because they can help me support the values I care about in my lifetime and they will continue funding in these areas when I'm gone.