DECEMBER 15, 2017 S moke S ignals 13 Community Fund surpasses $76 million in giving By Dean Rhodes Smoke Signals editor Spirit Mountain Com- munity Fund, the phil- anthropic arm of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, sur- passed the $76 mil- lion mark in giving on Wednesday, Dec. 13, when it awarded 31 large grants and nine small grants totaling $770,422 during its fourth-quarter check presentation held in the Governance Center Atrium. For the year, the Community Fund awarded 170 large and small grants that Photo by Michelle Alaimo totaled $4,128,158. Those grants included Salem Dream Center Executive Director Craig Oviatt speaks about his nonprofit during 101 large grants worth Spirit Mountain Community Fund’s Winter Grant Presentation held in the Governance more than $3 million, Center Atrium on Wednesday, Dec. 13. Next to him is his wife, Renee, associate director at 50 small grants totaling the organization. more than $250,000, • Business Education Compact of poor educational outcomes in the seven grants to Oregon Tribes total- Beaverton, $25,000, for STEM community. ing $770,000 and 12 20th anniver- (Science, Technology, Engineer- “We decided to move into a neigh- sary celebration grants that were ing and Math) Connect Program borhood that was predominantly worth $5,000 each or $60,000 total. expansion; run by gangs,” he said. “It was a very Since its inception in 1997, the • CAPACES Leadership Institute violent, dark, hungry, scary place.” Community Fund has awarded of Woodburn, $10,000, for the However, after 14 years of work- 2,570 grants to 1,115 nonprofit Re-Turno Youth program; ing in the community, Salem organizations in 11 northwestern • CASA of Marion County Inc. of Dream Center has improved the Oregon counties that total approx- Keizer, $25,000, for increasing neighborhood through establish- imately $76.5 million. advocacy for foster youth in Mar- ing relationships, even with gang The annual Oregon Tribal grants, ion County; members. which are designed to aid Tribes • CAUSA Oregon of Salem, $15,000, The Dream Center established a that are traditionally underserved for the Latino Leadership Devel- medical clinic, helped youth with by charitable organizations, were opment and Education project; their homework and ran a mentor- worth $110,000 each and award- • Community Action Resources En- ship program, as well as opened the ed to the Confederated Tribes of terprises of Tillamook, $50,000, local middle school on the weekend Grand Ronde, Confederated Tribes to help find a home for the orga- to give youth something to do. of Coos, Lower Umpqua & Siuslaw nization; “We learned right away that the Indians, Burns Paiute Tribe, Co- • Familias in Accion of Portland, only way to mend a broken heart quille Indian Tribe, Confederated $15,000, to fund food equity for or a devastated life is through a Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Res- healthy Latino families; relationship,” he said. ervation, Confederated Tribes of • Financial Beginnings of Portland, Today, Craig said, the juvenile Siletz Indians and Confederated $15,000, to fund financial educa- crime rate in Edgewater is 29 per- Tribes of Warm Springs. tion for low-income youth, young cent lower than communities with The Grand Ronde grant will adults and adults; similar demographics in the nation help fund child and adolescent • Friends of the Children of Port- and the local middle school has psychiatric services at the Health land, $25,000, to promote youth the lowest vandalism rate in the & Wellness Center. leadership for college and career Salem-Keizer School District. In Tribal Council Secretary Jon A. readiness; addition, the neighborhood gangs George opened the check presen- • Gate Youth Association of Inde- are gone and people are not afraid tation with a prayer song before pendence, $75,000, to improve to walk in the community. Spirit Mountain Community Fund youth outcomes in the Monmouth “We were there to tell these kids Board of Trustees Chairman Sho and Independence area through that they matter,” he said, before Dozono introduced Tribal Council a community youth center; introducing two youth who have members in attendance, which • Healthy Moves of Eugene, been helped by the Dream Center. included Jack Giffen Jr. and De- $10,000, for the Trainer in Res- “Making a difference in lives takes nise Harvey. Giffen and Harvey idence program; partnerships and we thank you so also serve on the fund’s Board of • Innovative Changes of Portland, much for partnering with us and Trustees. $20,000, for expanding the Youth helping us to make a difference.” Attendees watched a 12-minute Education Program; Community Fund Grants Coor- video that surveyed the Tribe’s • LGBTQ Community Center Fund dinator Julia Willis and Program history and featured organizations of Portland, $10,000, for increas- Coordinator Angela Sears then that have been helped by Commu- ing Q Center capacity to broaden read off this quarter’s grant recip- nity Fund grants. Dozono, who services; ients while Community Director was festively attired in a Santa • Life Counseling of McMinnville, Mychal Cherry handed out gift bags hat, then quizzed grant recipients $8,822, to fund the Youth Inter- and Dozono distributed the checks. with 10 questions that were mostly vention Program; Other large grants recipients on answered correctly. • Mid-Willamette Family YMCA Dec. 13 were: Craig and Renee Oviatt from of Albany, $30,000, to fund an • Active Children Portland, Salem Dream Center, which re- after-school program; $25,000, for increasing qualified ceived a $25,000 large grant to help • Neurotherapeutic Pediatricthera- coach/mentors for underserved break generational poverty through pies Inc. of Oregon City, $30,000, youth; building a learning center, gave a to expand the mental health pro- • American Diabetes Association of brief presentation on the work they gram; Portland, $25,000, for the “What do in the Edgewater neighborhood • Northwest Family Services of Can I Eat?” Program; in west Salem. Portland, $25,000, to enhance • Building Blocks to Success Corp. Craig Oviatt said the Dream Cen- peer court/gang prevention efforts; of Portland, $30,000, for the ter helped combat high crime rates, • Northwest Housing Alternatives LEGO Robotics programming; gang activity, food insufficiency and Inc. of Milwaukie, $25,000, to expand the Annie Ross House emergency homeless shelter; • Old Mill Center for Children and Families Inc. of Corvallis, $20,000, for creating trauma-in- formed after-school environ- ments; • Oregon Black Pioneers Corp. of Salem, $10,000, for the “Racing to Change: Oregon’s Civil Rights Years” project; • Oregon Health & Science Uni- versity Foundation of Portland, $10,000, to support the OnTrack- OSHU! Effort; • Oregon Partnership Inc. of Port- land, $25,000, to fund an inte- grated approach in addressing and preventing youth suicide; • Providence Child Center Founda- tion of Portland, $25,000, to help build a strong dental home for children with special needs; • Returning Veterans Project of Portland, $10,000, for the Mult- nomah County service project; • Southwestern Polk County Rural Fire Protection District of Dallas, $15,000, to improve the district’s communications system; • SPOON Foundation of Portland, $30,000, for the Nourishing Ore- gon’s Foster Children effort; • Todos Juntos Inc. of Canby, $30,000, to improve culturally competent equitable after-school programming for rural Clacka- mas County youth; • World Arts Foundation of Port- land, $25,000, for “Race Talks,” which works to break the chains of racism. Small grant recipients were: • Black United Fund of Oregon Inc. of Portland, $7,000, for the Mentor4Success program; • Campus Compact of Oregon of Portland, $6,600, for Equity Ac- tion Teams that promote racial equity in higher education; • City Club of Portland, $3,000, to fund civic scholars; • Elevate Oregon of Portland, $7,500, for the “Dreamreachers” program that helps young women navigate success; • Forward Stride of Beaverton, $7,500, for the Youth Tribal Horse project; • Friends of the Sweet Home Li- brary, $2,500, for the Keeping Kids Reach effort; • Girls on the Run International of Portland, $7,500, for program scholarships; • Northwest Noggin of Portland, $5,000, for “Synapses & Sto- ries: Coyote, Grizzly and Their Brains”; • And Yamhill County Treatment Courts Foundation of McMinn- ville, $5,000, to support recovery for Treatment Court participants. Spirit Mountain Community Fund receives 6 percent of Spir- it Mountain Casino proceeds to distribute to nonprofits in 11 northwestern Oregon counties in categories that include public safety, education, environmental protection, health, arts and culture and problem gaming. After the check presentation con- cluded, check recipients had their photos taken by Smoke Signals photographer Michelle Alaimo.