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$50,000 Endowment Grant Open to Support One NCW Nonprofit

Deadline May 1, 2016

The Community Foundation of NCW will award one $50,000 Endowment Grant to support sustainability of a nonprofit in Chelan, Douglas, or Okanogan county.

An endowment fund at CFNCW provides a nonprofit agency an annual income disbursement to support its operations while the principal of the fund grows in perpetuity.

The ideal grantee is a well-established, extraordinary organization making a significant impact on the community it serves. The organization must have experienced leadership at both the board and staff level who will use the $50,000 Endowment Grant to move the organization to the next level of expertise.

The application is now open and is due on May 1, 2016. The award will be announced and disbursed in September.

For more information on eligibility requirements, guidelines, and to apply, visit www.cfncw.org/endowmentgrant.

Wenatchee Valley College Foundation Board President Michelle Green and Executive Director Stacey Lockhart proudly accepted two $2,000 gifts for scholarships this week generated by RLS Productions’ Summer Concerts in the Gardens, a five-week long concert series held throughout July and early August at Ohme Gardens.

This is the second year that Robert and Catherine (Rio) Sandidge, founders and owners of the concert series, have presented the WVC Foundation with a contribution in support of WVC students. This year, the WVC Foundation was overjoyed by the additional matching support from Dennis and Beth Dobbs, owners of Horan Estates Winery in Cashmere, Wash.

“An education is an amazing gift,” the Dobbs said. “The WVC Foundation is an asset in our community. We want those opportunities to continue to be available. Our love of music, continued support of our community and the annual scholarships that arise from RLS Productions’ Summer Concerts in the Gardens series made this contribution a natural fit.”

Robert Sandidge said, “As graduates of Wenatchee Valley College, Rio and I both are especially connected to our community college and its programs. We see the need that students have first-hand and are pleased to be able to give back to support students of the educational institution that is so close to our hearts and in our backyard.” Sandidge serves on the WVC Foundation Board of Directors and is active with the WVC Alumni Association.

Bre Hinkle is one of the students to benefit from scholarship funding from the first season of the RLS Concerts in the Gardens, and had an opportunity to work on promotional materials for the concert season as a WVC Graphic Design student in 2014-15. “Receiving the 2014 scholarship made me want to give back and participate in making these scholarships continue to grow, to give more students the boost they need to continue their education and keep following their dreams,” Hinkle said.

Hinkle is now employed in the marketing department at the Town Toyota Center and continues her involvement in the summer concerts as a volunteer and WVC alumna.

Michelle Green, WVC Foundation President said, “The WVC Foundation can’t thank all of the supporters and sponsors of the RLS Productions’ Summer Concerts in the Gardens enough—words can’t express how much their support means to us and we thank everyone who is involved, as a sponsor, a concert ticket holder or a musician who has performed. We can’t wait for 2016!”  Green is an attorney and partner of the law firm Jeffers, Danielson, Sonn & Aylward in Wenatchee and a graduate of Cashmere High School.

National artists dominated the 2015 summer concerts lineup. Robert and Rio Sandidge, with the support of their sponsors and others, established RLS Productions’ Summer Concerts in the Gardens in 2013.


The WVC Foundation was incorporated in 1971. It exists to build relationships between the community and the college and raise financial support for Wenatchee Valley College students, programs, faculty and staff, as well as special projects such as building campaigns like the Music and Art Center. For information on how to make a gift to the foundation, establish a scholarship or include the WVC Foundation in your estate plans, contact Stacey Lockhart, executive director at 509.682.6410 or slockhart@wvc.edu. Visit the WVC Foundation website at www.wvc.edu/foundation.

 Three goals drive RLS Productions’ Summer Concerts in the Gardens. First, increase mid-week tourism outside a 50-mile radius of Wenatchee Valley and its bedroom communities. Second, lay the foundation for the ability to produce and build a world-class intimate venue at Ohme Gardens, resulting in increased tourism. Third, build a $35,000 scholarship endowment for the Wenatchee Valley College Foundation through an annual contribution of 25 percent of the net ticket sales, while at the same time generating immediate financial assistance for students in need.

The Community Foundation of NCW has received a $255,532 donation from Safeway/Albertsons that will support the Okanogan Complex and Chelan Valley Fire Relief Funds. Donations were made by customers in stores across the state to support recovery for fire victims.

 “The fires this year were catastrophic and many of the victims were uninsured or don’t have the means to get back on their feet” said Beth Stipe, the Community Foundation’s executive director. “Because of the generous people of the region and with Safeway/Albertson’s providing an easy giving vehicle, we can better help those in need.”

 The Community Foundation is working with several local service agencies to help hundreds of individuals and families through the recovery process, which can take several months to years. Disaster Case Managers in Twisp and Okanogan work directly with fire victims to determine their needs and match them with the resources available. Community Foundation fire relief funds are used to support the unmet needs, providing funding where no other resources are available.

 “We know that recovery can take time” said Stipe. “Thanks to these gifts, we will be here for the long haul.”

 For more information on fire relief, visit www.cfncw.org/fire.  

There is no doubt that the local agriculture industry is huge.  Not only does the Valley produce many varieties of tree fruit but other agriculture related businesses are thriving here as well.  The Community Leadership Wenatchee Valley (CLWV) class had the opportunity to see a small example of the processing of some of the products from our region.

The class began the day with Todd Fryhover, President of Washington State Apple Commission and Jon DeVaney, President of the Washington State Tree Fruit Association, an organization that tracks fruit in storage and shipments.  Their presentation highlighted the economic impact the tree fruit industry brings to the Wenatchee Valley.   The class enjoyed lunch and a tour of the beautiful Chateau Faire Le Pont winery and learned about the process of wine making and the growing local wine industry.  Of course they got to sample some of owner Doug Brazil’s award winning wines while they were there!

Towards the end the day, the class toured McDougall Fruit’s new warehouse with Bryon McDougall and viewed the packaging of apples.  Van Doren Sales also provided a tour and discussion about the engineering and manufacturing of packing equipment.  The session finished with a look at the ag/tourism industry and Lisa Bee’s.   Participant Stacey Lockhart had this to say about the session, “My eyes were opened to an entire segment of the community that I interact with on some levels, but have never truly understood how it all works.”

CLWV is a nine month commitment to personal growth, professional development, and community awareness.  Participants develop a broad knowledge of the Wenatchee Valley and key issues facing the region as they hear from community leaders and tour local facilities.  Participants become a strong network of informed and motivated citizen leaders who guide the future growth of the Wenatchee Valley.


Mills Bros. Inc.

Helping to dress the men of Wenatchee since 1906, Mills Bros. this year added the fourth generation of the Mills family to its heritage roster. Meredith Hilger, the daughter of third-generation owners Sam and Vickie Mills, returned to Wenatchee after working in corporate retail in Seattle.

“I’m glad to be back home in a small, independently owned business,” Hilger says. “We are proud to be a third and fourth generation working together toward the success of this company. We try to make sure that all employed at Mills Bros. have a voice, and we are careful not to exclude anyone from the decision-making process. Some employees have been with us over 20 years and truly do feel like members of the family.”

That family goes back to brothers Sam and Harvey Mills, who left their jobs at a railroad-owned department store in Roslyn to begin their own menswear business in Wenatchee in September of 1906, when Theodore Roosevelt was president.

Eighteen presidents and 109 years later, Mills Bros. continues to offer in-house tailoring and the sort of personal-touch customer service that Sam and Harvey Mills introduced. Mills Bros. uses careful buying, an eye for quality, and smart inventory control to stay current with men’s fashion trends and continue growing the company. The result: Mills Bros’ sales are up and its wedding business in particular is thriving. Merchandise ranges from formal wear to sportswear and shoes, both for dress and casual occasions.

Sam Mills, grandson of the cofounder, says the foundation laid by the preceding generations was a solid one. “They taught me a lot about business, to have good-quality merchandise and, most important, to strive to give people the best customer service,” Mills says, “because we depend on repeat business.”

Hilger adds that the company’s community ties run deep, including perennial sponsorship of local sports teams and support of charity fundraisers. “My father introduces me to just about everyone when we’re out and about,” she says. “We’re proud to be part of the community.” sam mills

Credit: Hayley Young

CLOTHES CALL. Mills Bros. owners Sam and Vickie Mills with their daughter, Meredith Hilger.

Rod Koski is the Operational Division Employee of the Quarter. Rod is an electrician in the Maintenance and Operations department. He was nominated by Greg Thompson, M&O Director.

Rod was honored today in a staff meeting. Along with Rod’s colleagues and district staff, guests included Shiloh Schauer, Exective Director of the Chamber of Commerce. Shiloh presented Rod with gifts from the Chamber, including Wenatchee Wild tickets and wine tasting vouchers. Scott Stanford, commercial energy efficiency advisor for Chelan PUD, also attended. Stanford worked with Rod in replacing outdated lighting at a cost savings.

The nomination by Greg Thompson read:

“Rod goes the extra step to resolve issues in the district. Rod will take the steps to save the district money and find ways to complete a project within his budget. Most recently Rod worked wit the PUD to receive thousands of dollars in lighting rebates. Rod makes a point to bounce ideas off management to find a solution to a problem, always with a positive attitude.”

A plaque with Rod’s photo will be on display in the District Office. Congratulations, Rod.Rod Group Photo

WENATCHEE, Wash.—Health Alliance Medicare members spoke up and told the federal government they’re happy with their healthcare coverage and customer service.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) last month gave Health Alliance Medicare plans in Chelan, Douglas, Grant and Okanogan counties 4.5 stars out 5—making Health Alliance Medicare the only plan in the area with more than 4 stars.

That’s important for seniors as they choose their coverage for 2016. The Annual Election Period, or AEP, ends December 7. The overall CMS Star Rating measures topics in five categories:

  • Staying healthy
  • Managing chronic (long-term) conditions
  • Member experience with the health plan
  • Member complaints and changes in the health plan’s performance
  • Health plan customer service

“Members are always our priority, and it means so much that they’re happy with their coverage and customer service,” said Jana Perry, vice president of sales and retention. “When we become part of a community, it means we’re right in town. You can come visit us. You can call us. We’ll be there.”

Health Alliance Medicare formed a partnership with Confluence Health to bring together local health care and local health care coverage for people on Medicare in North Central Washington.

“Thank you, members, for telling us that’s working for you,” Perry said.

The Star Rating for 2016 is the first for Health Alliance Medicare in Washington, where members were able to have coverage starting January 1, 2013. CMS rates plans only after they become established.

Medicare evaluates plans based on a 5-star rating system. Star Ratings are calculated each year and may change from one year to the next. Health Alliance Medicare is an HMO plan with a Medicare contract. Enrollment in Health Alliance Medicare depends on contract renewal. For more information about CMS Star Ratings, please visit Medicare.gov.

For more information about Health Alliance Medicare, to find a seminar nearby, request an information kit or to enroll over the phone, call 1-877-561-1463 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily until February 14. TTY/TDD 711.

This information is available for free in other languages. Please call our customer service number at 1-877-561-1463 (TTY: 711), 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily from October 1 to February 14 and weekdays the rest of the year.

Esta información está disponible sin cargo en otros idiomas. Para obtener información adicional, llamar a nuestro número de servicio al cliente al 1-877-561-1463 (TTY: 711). Nuestro horario es de 8 a.m. a 8 p.m., los 7 días de la semana, 1 de octubre a 14 de febrero, y lunes a viernes el resto del año.

The Numerica Performing Arts Center proudly announces the 2015 Stanley Lifetime Achievement Award winners: TERRY VALDEZ as the recipient in the professional division and ADELE WOLFORD as the recipient in the volunteer division. These winners will be recognized at the Numerica Festival of Trees Holiday Spice concert at the Numerica PAC on November 19 at 7:00pm. Holiday Spice is sponsored by Richard & Connie Hoffmann with support by Sunny FM.

The Stanley Lifetime Achievement Awards were designed in 2002 to honor the life-long arts and culture commitment of Mr. Bob Stanley. The winners will be publicly recognized with a Haglund’s Trophies custom plaque and medallion.

Terry Valdez – Professional Division

Terry is the owner of Terry Valdez Studios and is an award-winning artist and art instructor with over forty years of experience teaching both youth and adult students. He has been an Artist In Residence within the Wenatchee and Eastmont School Districts and the Wenatchee Museum and Cultural Center, and he is a member of the teaching staff for the Grunewald Guild in Plain. He also serves as Director of the Lake Wenatchee YMCA Creative Arts Camp and Art Consultant for the City of Wenatchee’s South Chelan Avenue Public Art sidewalk/lighting improvements project. Terry has exhibited his art work in Russia, Japan, and Mexico. In 2014 he had selected paintings touring in The Wholly Family Art Exhibit sponsored by the staff of the Grunewald Guild at Northwest gallery venues in Seattle, Portland, Tacoma, and Wenatchee.

Adele Wolford – Volunteer Division

Adele has tirelessly supported the arts in the Wenatchee Valley. She may be best known as a key founding member of Art on the Avenues, the all-volunteer group which has placed more than 85 sculptures in the Wenatchee and East Wenatchee area for public viewing and appreciation. Adele’s focus on youth has been inspirational. Not only has she established the Adele Wolford Foundation For Youth Fund through the NCW Community Foundation, she inspired the Beauty of Bronze program which enables fifth-graders to create a personal bronze sculpture and learn about performance and visual arts. She was a founding board member of the Stanley Civic Center, and has served as president of the Wenatchee Arts Commission and Downtown Business Association Design Committee.

wildfire wvmcc

Several opportunities are coming up this month regard to our region and wildfires not only economically but environmentally emotionally.  What can be done?  What does it look like in the future?  Here are three:

Wildfires and Us Exhibit

  • An exhibit illustrating the role of fire in eastern Cascades ecosystems, featuring photographs by John Marshall and others.  Wenatchee Valley Museum and Cultural Center runs through November 21, 2015.  More  Open: Tuesday-Saturday 10am-4pm  Admission $5 adults, $4 seniors, $2 kids 6-12, kids under 6 Free. – More

Wildfires and Us Summit

  • Wildfires are an inevitable part of life here in North Central Washington, but we can take meaningful action to improve the odds of catastrophic loss. This summit is dedicated to exploring what can be done by everyone involved: landowners, cities and counties, and state and federal agencies.We are committed to developing a comprehensive, cooperative and collaborative regional approach to reduce the risks of wildfire loss.  You are invited to join with other key leaders in the region to explore what steps need to be taken and how you can help.  More 
    • Monday, November 9th at the PUD Auditorium from 3pm-8pm FREE  (please register)

Wake Up Wenatchee: Community Economic Recovery from Wildfires

  • The effects of wildfires in our region has been devastating and yet FEMA has denied Individual Assistance to individuals, households, and businesses damaged in this year’s wildfires.  What is the true cost of the damaged public infrastructure and how will our communities go from ashes to recovery?  What is the Governments’ role and the community’s role? The discussion will include regional updates presented by Jon Wyss, Chair of the Long Term Recovery Group, Beth Stipe of the Community Foundation of NCW and Mike Steele from Lake Chelan Chamber of Commerce will join us to share information about the long term recovery efforts and strategies to rebuild.
    • Thursday, November 19th, doors open at 7am at the Town Toyota Center
    • to register:  info@wenatchee.org or 509.662.2116


Although the season is still young, it’s interesting to note the early attendance trends in the British Columbia Hockey League. As a reminder, this is year one for the Wenatchee Wild in this all-Canadian league following their first several years of existence in the North American Hockey League.

The BCHL consists of 17 teams divided into three regions of British Columbia, plus Wenatchee. Through their first five home matches, the Wild lead their new league in attendance, averaging 2,752 per contest. A distant second is Penticton, at 2,194. To give a measuring stick, the average attendance at all BCHL games this year is 1,180.

This type of performance is nothing new for the Wild franchise. In their last three years in the 24-team NAHL, they were third, second and second in average attendance. That’s consistency and an amazing accomplishment considering their division was comprised of teams from Texas and Kansas. That wasn’t built from ‘rooter busses’ making the trip from Corpus Christi. It was, and continues to be, from a solid and local fan base.

So what gives? How can that level of interest and support be attained year after year? It’s actually pretty basic. Not easy, but fundamental.

First, the Wild put out an entertaining and competitive product on the ice with consistency. The team also wins a lot. In fact, following last weekend’s play, they were in first place in the six-team Mainland Division.

Next, their coaching and structure is top level. The Wild office puts a lot of effort into marketing and making sure that the fan’s experience at the game is exciting and fun. Team members get incorporated into the community, so there is a nice connection with the locals.

And of course, it’s hard to beat the venue. The Town Toyota Center is a tremendous facility for hockey, helping to make game attendance enjoyable.

All of those components make for a successful combination. The Wild front office, coaching staff and players bring a unique and powerful passion to the ice, one that has obviously rubbed off on their fan base.

Matt Kearny is coordinator of sports tourism for the Wenatchee Valley Chamber of Commerce and can be reached at 509-662-2116 or matt@wenatchee.org.