Sohler Trade Scholarship

Sohler Trade Scholarship

The new Sohler Scholarship Fund, created by the family of the late George “Larry” Sohler, a beloved community leader who passed away in March, 2021, provides scholarships for seniors at Hood River Valley High School to pursue skilled vocational training. Larry Sohler had a long career in the Gorge as a heavy equipment owner/operator working with local orchardists. As his widow, Lucille (Luci) Sohler said, “Our family is pleased to offer this opportunity in Larry’s memory to Hood River Valley High School students. Larry believed that vocational training provides young people with a wide variety of career opportunities.” Larry’s own career included stints as an electrician, farmer, trucker and heavy equipment operator. He had a gift for restoring tractors and farm machinery and wanted to share these skills with young people just entering the work force.

Vocational education is available at many institutions in Washington and Oregon including Perry Trade School (Yakima), Portland Community College, Lane County Community College, Mt. Hood Community College, Clark College, Oregon Institute of Technology (Klamath Falls), and of course Columbia Gorge Community College. Scholarships will be available for students starting with the class of 2022. GCF is proud to welcome the Sohler Scholarship Fund.

2021 Community Grants

2021 Community Grants

This year, the Community Grants program combined the Joan Burchell Fund and the Riddell and Athalie Lage Fund into a single program to increase the amount of funding available. Information about the visionary donors whose legacies comprise these funds can be found here on the website. We are pleased to announce the 2021 Community Grant recipients:

Backpacks 4 Kids: Weekend and holiday meals for Klickitat County children
FISH Food Bank: Personal care items for FISH clients
Columbia Gorge Cat Rescue: Spay and neuter program
Mid Columbia Health Foundation: Gas cards for key patient groups
First Book, Wasco County: Books for low-income youth in North Wasco school district
First Book, Hood River County: Books for low-income youth in the Hood River school district
Mt. View Grange: A new refrigerator to serve Grange clientele
Columbia Center for the Arts: Support for efforts to expand inclusion and diversity
Mt. Adams Institute: Support for the Hear in the Gorge podcast
Cascade Locks Historical Museum: Funding to relocate items in the collection to a new
facility

Ten organizations representing Wasco, Klickitat and Hood River Counties and serving adults,
youth, animals, and those experiencing food insecurity received grants, representing a
diverse group of applicants and projects. As always, those applications not funded through
the Community Grants program were made available to our donor advisors and several
received funding as a result.

 

 

Congratulations, Grads!

Congratulations, Grads!

The Gorge Community Foundation is delighted to announce the recipients of its 2021 scholarships. Thank you to all who applied, and congratulations to this group of outstanding students. We wish you every success in the years ahead.

Scholarship Awards:

Hood River Valley High School
Laura Douglass Schaefer Memorial Music Scholarship:
Maxwell Spears
Gorham Babson Family Scholarships: Giselle Carabantes,
Omar Escobedo, Ben Garofalo, Cristina Lopez
Leos Scholarships: Monserrat Juarez Beltron, Gisell
Carabantes, Benjamin Garofalo, Erica Matthisen
Jernstedt Scholarship: Monserrat Juarez Beltron
Corwin Hardham Memorial Scholarship: Grace Guertin
Goldendale High School
Theo Caldwell Memorial Scholarship: Emily Harris

Bartholomew Fund supports Columbia HS students seeking education in the trades

Bartholomew Fund supports Columbia HS students seeking education in the trades

The new Bartholomew Family Scholarship Fund was created to provide scholarships for seniors at Columbia High School in White Salmon to pursue highly skilled vocational training after high school.  Says donor advisor Basil Bartholomew, “These jobs are key to our future but there are too few scholarships available for students to pursue vocational education and training.  Our family is pleased to offer this opportunity to Columbia High School students.”  Vocational education is available at a wide variety of institutions in Washington and Oregon including Perry Trade School (Yakima), Portland Community College, Lane Co. CC, Mt. Hood CC, Clark College, OIT (Klamath Falls), and of course Columbia Gorge CC.

This is GCF’s first scholarship for Columbia High School students.  Scholarships will be available for students starting with the class of 2022.

National Scenic Area fund supports environmental programs and education

National Scenic Area fund supports environmental programs and education

The Columbia River Gorge Commission is one of GCF’s newest designated fundholders.  The Commission’s mission is to establish policies and programs that protect and enhance the scenic, natural, recreational and cultural resources of the Columbia River Gorge, and to support economic vitality programs consistent with resource protections.  Says Executive Director Krystyna U. Wolniakowski, “As our new National Scenic Area Fund at GCF grows with donations, it will support our work with Gorge partners to create a new climate change action program,  engage historically underrepresented and marginalized communities, and monitor the health of the National Scenic Area to ensure protection of all Gorge resources for future generations.” 
Literacy and Library Programs Enhance Life in Gorge Communities

Literacy and Library Programs Enhance Life in Gorge Communities

As COVID-19 kept schoolchildren home and reduced their access to books and local libraries, a number of literacy programs throughout the Gorge have jumped in to help, supported in part by generous grants from Gorge Community Foundation donor advisors.  Through collaborations with the Hood River County School District and FISH Food Bank, the Hood River County Library supported by the Library Foundation has been donating books and providing funds for teachers to purchase books for their students.  First Book of Wasco and Hood River Counties has also purchased and distributed books for young readers.

The Hood River County Library has risen to the challenge of serving rural communities by committing to the purchase of a new bookmobile, with over 75% of the funds raised for the purchase of the bookmobile.  In addition to bringing materials patrons have requested, it will offer free mobile technology services for those needing to use a computer. The bookmobile will be stocked with Spanish and English reading material for youth and adults, an onboard internet connection and computers and printers.  It will offer free mobile technology services for those needing to use a computer, conduct a job search, print forms and documents, and conduct other business.  The bookmobile will visit senior centers and central community locations throughout the county and the bookmobile librarians will be bilingual and ready to recommend a book to a young reader or senior.  Hood River Library Foundation president Jen Bayer says, “The bookmobile will enable us to reach all of our communities and ensure that everyone has access to the library.”

If any of our donor advisors wish to support the bookmobile campaign, please let Jill Burnette know by the March board meeting on 3/29.  Grants of $2,500 or more will be recognized on the side of the bookmobile as sponsors.