May 2022 Newsletter: Scholarship Month

At the Homer Foundation, May is “scholarship” month.  This year we are privileged to award $43,000 in 15 unique scholarships to deserving local young people. This is the most we have ever distributed in a year. Scholarships vary from $500 up to $8,000 depending on the size of the fund established or grown by the donor.

It is probably more accurate to say May is the culmination of many months of work that started last fall. Coordinating with our amazing donors, posting scholarships on the internet, arranging a committee for each scholarship, and reviewing many hopeful scholarship applicants. Many thanks to the schoolteachers and counselors, the volunteer committee members, the donors who had a vision for each scholarship, and our Executive Assistant, Lauren Seaton, who coordinates this process. It takes a community. 

Congratulations and good luck to each of our awardees: 

Scholarship                                                        Recipient Name

Alain and Daniel Rieser                                        Mariah McGuire

Beluga Tail 1 Non-Fiction Writing                          Liam James

Beluga Tail 2 Non-Fiction Writing                          Olivia Glasman

Mary Joyce Robinette Memorial                            Blake Lemons

Diane Wambach Shoot for the Stars                     Tyson Walker

Drew Scalzi Memorial Martime                              Liam Houlihan

Drew Scalzi Memorial Martime                              Kapitolina Reutov

Drew Scalzi Memorial Martime                              Blake Lemons

Fish & Wildlife                                                        Blake Lemons

Health Care Providers                                           Kapitolina Reutov

Health Care Providers                                           Isabel Kulhanek

Heather Pancratz Memorial Scholarship               Justin Trail

Kachemak Medical Group                                     Olivia Glasman

Nikki Geragotelis (Fry) Memorial                           Kapitolina Reutov

Nursing Studies                                                     Jessica Sonnen

Ptarmigan Arts Visual Arts                                     Mariah McGuire

Sutton James Miller Memorial                               Alex Franklin


This 0.8 FTE flexible position will work in all aspects of development and marketing for the Foundation. The position reports to the executive director and works collaboratively with other foundation staff and the Development Committee. The position supports day-to-day operations of Homer Foundation while focusing on brand awareness, relationship-building, fund-raising, and leading effective communication.

If you know someone who might be the right fit for this position, feel free to send them the information. 

Our community stepped up and helped support those in need during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Homer Foundation COVID-19 Response Fund supported nonprofits that provided critical services throughout the Southern Kenai Peninsula whose missions were impacted by the pandemic.

Except for a generous $10,000 gift from the Rasmuson Foundation, the COVID Response fund was entirely funded by community donations. The community saw the need and opened their hearts and generously responded. We are so grateful to all the donors who made this fund possible. Thank you. Because you cared for the community, we could play our role by providing a responsive, local option to fill needs and support partner agencies in fulfilling their missions.

Just over 2 years from inception, at our last meeting the Board of Trustees closed out the fund. This fund helped organizations maintain operations and effectively respond to increased demand from clients. In line with fund guidelines, any remaining donations were distributed to local anti-hunger and anti-poverty fighting organizations. 

Below is a list of all disbursements:

  • Alaska Coalition for Veterans and Military Families, $500
  • American Cancer Society, $2,500
  • Anchor Point Food Pantry $13,952
  • Anchor Point Senior Center, $4,200
  • Bunnell Street Arts Center, $2,500
  • Cook Inlet Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse, $2,500
  • Haven House, $2,500
  • Homer Community Chest, $4,452
  • Homer Community Food Pantry, $7,301
  • Homer Council on the Arts, $2,500
  • Homer Farmers Market, $5,000
  • Homer High School, $2,500
  • Homer Senior Center, $4,750
  • Hospice of Homer, $799
  • Kachemak Bay Family Planning Clinic $2,500
  • Ninilchik Community Library, $2,500
  • Ninilchik Saturday Lunch Program, $4,452
  • Ninilchik Senior Center, $1,500
  • Voznesenka Community Council, $2,500
  • Wellspring Group of Seldovia, $2,500

Again, on behalf of the Foundations and all of those who were helped, thank you. 

Welcome New Fund!

We are excited to announce a new Agency Stewardship Non-Endowed Fund, the Friends of Kachemak Bay State Park Fund. We look forward to working with the FKBSP in this new capacity. 

Recent Grants

You have helped make a difference in your community! See how your support has impacted the world around you:

Homer Emblem Club

Close Up to DC

The Homer Emblem Club works with Close Up to provide HMS students access to their DC-based program. In DC, students will be divided into small groups alongside young people from across the country. Close Up’s trained Program Instructors lead these small groups through the week’s comprehensive, academically driven schedule. Students visit the iconic monuments and memorials in Washington, DC, where Close Up instructors use the capital as a living classroom. Throughout the week, Program Instructors lead discussions with students, connecting the history they learn in the classroom with how it has shaped our current government and political process. 18 local students will be benefiting from this program this year. 

This $500 grant was funded through the Homer Foundation’s Opportunity Fund. 

Pier One Theatre

Summer Youth Theatre Program

Pier One Youth Theatre will offer six summer camps this year for children ages five to seventeen. Camps will be in Homer and Seldovia this year. Pier One prides itself on the ability to teach theatre skills while providing a unique, unforgettable experience. The camps offer kids a chance to be immersed in the world of theatre: a world of focus, experimentation, and creative play. How impactful is this program? Approximately 685 total community members engaged, with 5 Instructors, 100 camp attendees, and up to 580 Audience members. We hope to catch a show this summer and encourage you all to as well to support this program!

This $5,000 grant was funded through the Willow Fund, a donor-advised fund of the Homer Foundation. 

Philanthropy Fact of the Month

The nonprofit world employs 10% of America’s workforce.