August 2023 Newsletter: Summer… finally

How your giving has helped make a difference in your community

Recent Grants
Burning Basket: $1,200 from Bryce Golden Memorial and Opportunity Funds

Burning Basket is celebrating 20 years and has received a $1,200 grant from the Homer Foundation to support project expenses.

This is a grassroots community interactive, impermanent art experience that builds community and empowers individuals through creativity and imagination. All ages are invited to participate in the building of a large outdoor intricately woven sculpture at Mariner Park Sept. 3-9, daily from 11am-8pm, to learn new skills and share ideas, and to decorate it in the theme of gratitude, remembrance of departed loved ones and personal unburdening. The basket, as temporary art, is ultimately ignited and burned as a performance of fire-art to symbolically disperse our collective positive intentions and is experienced by many as public art as a healing force. This year’s theme is CREATE – Basket of Remembrance & Unburdening.

Alaska World Arts: $5,000 from Opportunity Fund

Alaska World Arts aims to cultivate global connections through the arts. While they can’t take a whole community to see how other cultures live, Alaska World Arts is working to bring those cultures to

Homer and expose our community to a broader worldview.

AWA recently received a $5,000 Quick Response Grant from the Opportunity Fund for costs associated with the production of a night of two musical performances with AbbaFab, an Abba tribute band; a night of storytelling with an NPR Moth winner, a New Zealand storyteller, homesteader Atz

Kilcher, a black history storyteller, and a world-traveler; African dance and drumming workshops; and an international

dance performance.

Nanwalek IRA: $4,032 Grant from the Opportunity Fund

The Nanwalek IRA Council has run a summer youth worker program for over twenty years. With the first round of COVID relief funding, the council also decided to purchase a greenhouse, with the intention for the summer youth worker program to maintain the greenhouse each summer with food produced for the entire village of Nanwalek. In addition to planting, the youth are learning about seed gathering, fertilizing, and composting while waiting for the plants to grow. They received a grant of $4,032 from the Homer Foundation to implement this program. 

Annual Donor Thank You Picnic

The Foundation’s 2023 thank you picnic for donors was our best-attended ever. After welcoming 60 guests a year ago, this year’s picnic drew 80 donors!

A special tribute video was shown and a presentation was made to mark a significant lifetime giving milestone by Dave & Beth Schroer, who have heavily invested in our local community, particularly in the schools. The Schroer’s lifetime contributions to the Homer Foundation have now reached $1 Million!

In addition, our Executive Director, Mike Miller, and our Board President, Van Hawkins, both spoke and gave updates on the state of the Foundation. Giving in fiscal year 2023 was exceptional, and enabled the Foundation to do some robust grant making right here at home on the Southern Kenai Peninsula. We had an increase of 90 donors this year, up a whopping 25% over our last fiscal year. We had 313 donors a year ago, but this year went over 400 donors, our most ever! We have also reached $10 Million in total donations since our founding in 1991, as well as $5 Million granted out to the community. What a year of milestones!

Whether you were able to make it to the picnic or not, we are grateful for every one of our donors, and every dollar given. You are the ones who make it possible to improve the quality of life for residents of our communities – from Ninilchik to Nanwalek, and everywhere in between!

Update from the Executive Director
Summer… finally

Staff Transition

As many of you know, 7/31 was Director of Development and Marketing Jonathan Hamilton’s last day with the Homer Foundation. Jonathan did a great job making the Homer Foundation better known in our area. Through social media, mailings, and radio he spread information about the good work of the Homer Foundation. He is looking forward to spending time with his family and being a pastor of a church in Anchor Point. We will miss him.

The good news is that after recruiting all over Alaska and the Pacific Northwest, we have found our next Director of Development and Marketing right here in Homer. Jennifer Gibbins will start in the position on September 5th. Most recently Jennifer was the executive director of the Pratt Museum until March of this year. Before that, Jennifer held several communications and executive positions in nonprofits in Alaska. Jennifer brings great experience, nonprofit knowledge about marketing and fundraising, and a passion for this area. We look forward to having her on board.

Summer. Get out and enjoy it while it’s here!


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