SLF Announces 2019 Grants

Sitka Legacy Foundation, an Affiliate of The Alaska Community Foundation, announces $16,045 in grants to thirteen organizations for projects in Sitka. The awards include:

  • Alaska Arts Southeast, $1,000 for financial aid for Sitka students to attend Sitka Fine Arts Camp
  • Betty Eliason Child Care Center, $1,000 for toddler classroom furniture
  • Brave Heart Volunteers, $1,000 to support the companionship program
  • Catholic Community Service, $2,000 to support meals program at Swan Lake Senior Center
  • Friends of Sitka Circus Arts, $500 to support youth scholarships
  • Hames Center/Alaska Arts Southeast, $1,500 to support teen nights
  • Mt. Edgecumbe Preschool, $1,000 to support an intergenerational music program in partnership with the Pioneer Home
  • Raven Radio Foundation, $1,575 to replace live coverage equipment
  • Sitka Homeless Coalition, $1,470 to support purchase of tent cots and blankets for a new men’s winter shelter
  • Sitkans Against Family Violence, $2,000 to support home goods and household supplies for the renovated shelter
  • Southeast Alaska Independent Living (SAIL), $1,000 to support the independent living program for Sitka elders and residents with disabilities
  • The Salvation Army, $1,500 to support the Sitka food pantry
  • The Uncommon Music Festival, $500 to support Conversations with Whales: Facing Ecological Change as a Community

SLF received 18 grant applications in 2019, which is a record since the fund was established in 2013. Requests totaled $33,344, exceeding funds available for grantmaking by more than 100 percent. “The need for local philanthropy keeps growing,” says Mike Venneberg, Chair of the Sitka Legacy Foundation Advisory Board. “Every single one of the applications that we received this year were for fantastic projects to benefit our community,” he continued. “We wish that we could have funded all of them.”

Betty Eliason Child Care Center currently serves 10 children between the ages of 15 months and 36 months. In their grant application, Acting Director Erika Apathy wrote, “Young children need a variety of toys and activities to keep them busy throughout the day.” She explains, “Children this age need to be able to access toys on their own to build creativity and self-help skills, but with ten toddlers in a small space, we need to balance their autonomy with maintaining a safe and orderly environment for play. The SLF grant will pay for additional shelves, a new floor mat, a soft couch and a chair in our classroom, allowing toddlers to safely explore all the materials available to them.”

With the grants announced today, SLF has awarded $53,824 in funding for projects that benefit residents of Sitka since 2013. The majority of grants have benefitted Sitka’s children. SLF is grateful to all of its generous donors, whose contributions make these grants possible. More than half of the grants awarded in 2019 will be paid for by income generated from SLF’s permanent endowment. The SLF board thanks First Bank for a special gift of $5,000 to support grants for projects that benefit residents of our community with low and moderate incomes. Rasmuson Foundation also provided $2,500 in funding for grantmaking in Sitka in 2019.

SLF currently has more than $500,000 in permanent assets, and is in year three of a four-year fundraising campaign to increase its endowments. During the campaign, the Alaska Community Foundation and Rasmuson Foundation will match all contributions to the SLF permanent endowment up to $125,000, and up to $60,000 in gifts to an endowment that generates income for SLF’s operating expenses. To date, SLF has raised $173,181 towards the combined $185,000 four-year goal. Supporters may make donations on the secure SLF website, or by sending a check made out to ACF-SLF to Sitka Legacy Foundation, P.O. Box 2354, Sitka, AK 99835.