Foundation aims to benefit Sisters


Last updated 6/29/2023 at 7:37am

Local community members Judy Trego, Martin Cannon, Kathy Gillan, Turi Shergold, Jeanette Pilak, and Nick Beasley have been working since 2021 to set up a Sisters Community Foundation (SCF). This week, they are officially announcing the launching of the organization to the public.

SCF’s mission is to “directly and positively impact the lives and future of the greater Sisters community and to be a manifestation of the kindness and compassion exemplified by the generous spirit of Sisters.”

The founding board members have decades of experience in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. The board members have lived or worked in Sisters for a combined 132 years.

Cofounder and board member, Martin Cannon said, “What makes SCF unique is that we can get dollars out the door quickly, cutting out the bureaucratic process. Applications, criteria, and selection of grantees are decided locally, by local community members, and we ensure the highest need and best use of community and donor dollars.”

In its short existence the Foundation has already supported local youth, seniors, veterans, adolescent substance abuse prevention, a youth bereavement program, and childcare assistance, as well as providing rental and utility assistance to people in need.

The Foundation will also focus on partnering in youth development programs and projects. SCF was a major contributor to a recent adolescent substance abuse prevention event held at Sisters High School. The program reached 600 youth and 100 community members.

The SCF Board is also passionate about partnering with Sisters’ strong arts and culture community, and SCF has a vision to collaborate with those partners, seeking to unify and expand the arts and culture sector engaging in community efforts to support this sector that is so vital to the Sisters area.

The Sisters Community Foundation has gone through an extensive board training, applied and been approved as a designated 501(c)(3) organization by the federal and state governments, and established the funding structure for receiving and managing grant donations and contributions.

The catalyst for starting SCF was pandemic-related.

Cofounder Judy Trego said, “There was no entity in town to receive grants and distribute funds to those most in need during the pandemic, and I thought, We can’t wait one more day to start a foundation in order to help the community when we needed it most. We have impacted 797 individuals in Sisters Country. We are well on our way to building a lasting sustainable foundation for community benefit.”

The childcare center in Sisters was a recent recipient of SCF funding.

“One small pebble can create a lifetime of positive ripples,” said Mary Ryan, Wellspring Preschool director. “One grant, six scholarships, 29 lives, infinite amount of possibilities. Thank you for investing into the futures of our Wellspring students. It was truly a blessing that will be paid forward time and time again!”

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