The Seward Phoenix Log - News of the Eastern Kenai Peninsula since 1966

By Wolfgang Kurtz
LOG Editor 

Community Foundation shares wealth


Wolfgang Kurtz | The Seward Phoenix LOG

Cindy Pack (right) accepts a $1,000 grant from Seward Community Foundation board members Janet Durnell and Beth Johnson on behalf of the He Will Provide food pantry.

Seward and Moose Pass have their own version of a permanent fund which supports local non-profit groups. Under the management of the Seward Community Foundation and its local board, the endowment will pay out up to $85,175 in dividends to this year's applicants. That's up almost $30,000 over last year's distribution, thanks to increases in income from the fund's swelling principal and other contributions from the Rasmusson Foundation leveraged by local donations.

At a Friday showcase event, the local SCF directors made some preliminary grants in advance of the close of the current application window on March 1. Board member Paul Rupple announced a continuing annual grant of $5,000 for the Seward Boys and Girls Club Da Vinci Art and Science Summer Camp. Janet Durnell handed a $1,000 check to Cindy Pack of the He Will Provide Food Pantry to help fund that organization's rapidly expanding service to the community.

The fund's principal of over $2.5 million is banked by the parent organization, the Alaska Community Foundation. After the 2008 founding of the local endowment, a $1.9 million bequest by longtime Alaskan and Seward resident Tony Rollo in 2010 dwarfed the starting balance contributed by the Rasmusson Foundation, the City of Seward and other local donors. Over the last couple of years the SCF has actively promoted the fund's growth through the Pick. Click. Give. selection on Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend applications.

Last year grants helped the Seward Senior Citizens Center buy a new van for their Meals on Wheels program for shut-ins. Seward youth benefitted greatly from SCF support with the RBCA's Schoolyard Habitat program and the Alaska SeaLife Center's youth focussed Ocean Science Club each receiving sizeable grants. Obihiro Exchange students Meret Beutler and Karoline Ernst got a boost in their fundraising for an expensive trip to Japan. In all 12 organizations received $44,000 in grants.

This year, to assist local nonprofits in putting together successful applications for funding programs, SCF board member Madelyn Walker will conduct a free grant writing workshop Feb. 5 at the Seward Community Library Museum. There's no registration required for the abridged course which is not specific to just SCF applications.

Grants up to $5,000 are accepted by the standard SCF application process. However, the board may be approached for projects or needs that exceed that amount. In addition to grants based on applications received before the March 1 date, the organization also hands out smaller $500 mini-grants which can be applied for at any time throughout the year. Information, applications and all reporting is now available exclusively through the SCF Website at SCF is also on Facebook.


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