May 2024 Newsletter

Greater Measurements

With deep gratitude, we are excited to share that our second annual Spring Eggs Benefit breakfast was attended by over 90 guests, raising over $60,000 for Opportunity Fund grants and Homer Foundation operations. This included a very generous $25,000 matching gift challenge from Dave and Beth Schroer.

Speakers at the event included Denise Pitzman, board president,Paula Martin, board vice president, Mike Miller, executive director and Cameale Johnson, fund donor. Miller told the gathering that thanks to the generosity of area donors, “the success of the Homer Foundation is the community’s success.” Miller invited the audience to think about the many ways in which we can measure success.

“What if we measured success by the success of local nonprofits who we help empower to do more for the causes they so passionately fight for? Or how many kids had a moment of inspiration they’ve never had before, or how many people went to bed unafraid of where their next meal was coming from? All great measurements,” said Miller. “What if we measured by how much “community” and the passion for community was in the foundation? Those are all part of what we do. That’s the Homer Foundation.”

“You are here today because you care about your community. It’s not about moving the needle on the dial, it’s not even about a bigger pile,” said Miller. “It’s about making a difference in someone’s life. It’s about together, making a difference in our communities.”

The Homer Foundation is grateful to our guests, our Table Captains and our event sponsors Land’s End and Wagon Wheel. And, deeply grateful to Dave and Beth Schroer for their generous matching gift challenge that inspired and motivated us all.

If you would like to learn more about you can partner with the Homer Foundation to help make a difference in our communities today and for the future, contact Mike Miller, executive director, If your business is interested in sponsoring Homer Foundation events, contact Jennifer Gibbins,





The ILC TRAILS program has “helped our clients,who struggle with mental health and/or substance abuse disorders get involved in their community, build natural supports and improve their overall wellbeing on their paths to recovery.” – Jon McGhee, South Peninsula Behavioral Health Services. Inc.

“When PGKP staff show up …. our families know that not only will they have a fun evening learning and connecting, but will not have to worry about providing food for their children,”– Penny Bearden-Brown, Principal, Nanwalek School.

“It really does take a village.” – Cindy Burns, executive director, Anchor Point Senior Center

Homer’s Independent Living Center has been awarded a $3,462 Homer Foundation Quick Response grant in support of equipment for their TRAILS One Hit Wonders program. TRAILS was created to provide peer support for people and families living with disabilities, including preventing isolation by fostering lasting friendships and connections across communities. Within TRAILS, One Hit Wonders brings participants together in fun and exciting outdoor settings for activities such as dip-netting for salmon and berry picking, visits to the Homer Farmer’s Market, Seldovia,and area horse farms. Homer Foundation grant funds will help support the purchase of camping equipment for seasonal activities. “We see success in many different ways,” says Michael Gavillot, TRAILS program director.

A $5,000 Homer Foundation Quick Response grant will help support Kenai Peninsula Alaska Native Education Program Family Nights hosted by Project GRAD. According to Project GRAD, one in nine Alaskans struggle with hunger, a number that rises in rural and Alaska Native communities. Enriching Family Nights are offered quarterly during the dinner hour with activities and meals that families can enjoy together. The grant will help support 16 events in four communities thru June 2025: Port Graham, Nanwalek, Tyonek and Seldovia. Each community has a population of approximately 200-250 people. Project GRAD Family Nights gatherings reach about 20% of the overall population per event. “Bringing community together for a meal and engagement improves mental health and wellbeing,” says Jane Beck, executive director.

Since 2016, the Anchor Point Senior Center Incorporated (APSCI) has seen a steady increase in area seniors seeking help, support,activities and meals, with the number doubling in the past year alone. A $5,000 Homer Foundation Quick Response Grant will help complete the final stage of a three-year building restoration project including staining, patching, exterior lighting and signage to the Center’s log-home structure. “Presenting an agency building that shows it is cared for will do wonders to exhibit the pride we have for our community,” says APSC.APSCI has a core membership of 240 with many from Homer and Ninilchik taking part in activities, and an additional 500+ people a month engaged through outreach programs.


“Studies by Dominican University show that students who participate in summer reading programs score higher on reading achievement tests at the beginning of the next year than those who don’t.”


“This project will enhance unity and civic pride in our community” – Anchor Point Chamber of Commerce.

Summertime fun at the Homer Public Library includes programs that help established and emerging readers stay motivated to read while also providing important social opportunities. A $5,000 Homer Foundation Quick Response grant will support Read, Renew, Repeat,an eight-week reading and literacy program this coming June and July that includes exciting programming with themes of conservation, environmental education and wellness led by local area experts in gardening, beekeeping, art,yoga, sign language and more.This Quick Response grant will also support large-format printing of stories for the Library’s outdoor Story Walk stations

The Anchor Point Chamber of Commerce (APCC) is undertaking a project to replace the two “Welcome to Anchor Point” signs on the Sterling Highway. “We firmly believe that investing in the revitalization of our welcome signs will yield significant returns by boosting tourism,enhancing community pride, and fostering economic growth. Furthermore, it will underscore Anchor Point’s commitment to creating a welcoming and vibrant environment for all who visit and reside here,” says Susie Myhill, APCC executive director. Community input is being sought on design and a fundraising committee has been established to secure additional project funds.


Our Executive Director, Mike Miller, is retiring this summer and the Homer Foundation is now seeking applicants for the ED position. Founded in 1991, The Homer Foundation was the first community foundation in Alaska. Our mission is to connect generosity to community need. We serve the communities of the Southern Kenai Peninsula, from Ninilchik to Nanwalek and everywhere in between. Under the general direction of the Board of Trustees, the Executive Director serves as the chief executive officer responsible for promoting the mission of the Homer Foundation and overseeing the administration of its planning and operations within the policies and goals of the Board of Trustees. The position is open until filled.Review of applications will begin this month. A job description and details onhow to apply can be found at


Investing in Learning

Please join us in congratulating our Spring 2024 scholarship award recipients! Through the incredible generosity of our donors and community partners, the Homer Foundation is pleased to award 18 scholarships this spring,totaling $46,000 for area students.

Fifteen scholarship committees, comprised of 64 local community volunteers met in April to review applications with awards ranging from $1,000 to $7,000. The Foundation’s scholarship program offers support for a broad array of educational interests. This year’s awardee interests were heavily weighted in the sciences including marine biology, engineering, maritime industries and nursing. We want to extend a sincere thank you to our many scholarship donors and volunteer scholarship committee members for their investment in our student’s bright futures this year and for many years to come! We would also like to thank every applicant – whether you received an award or not – for your interest, time and effort in applying. We wish you every success.

A friendly reminder to all area students and potential scholarship committee members, the Homer Foundation Scholarship program opens again in the fall of 2024 and in the meantime, you can start to prepare by visiting

To apply to be a committee volunteer, visit

To help support area students by donating to an existing scholarship fund, or to create a scholarship fund, contact Mike Miller, executive director,

Frida Renner: Nursing Studies Scholarship.

Noah Spencer: Fish and Wildlife Scholarship, Homer Community Science Scholarship, Sutton James Miller Memorial Scholarship, (Mary) Joyce Robinette Memorial Scholarship, Diane Wambach Shoot for the Stars Scholarship.

Hazel Pearson: Homer Community Science Scholarship, Beluga Tail Non-Fiction Writing Scholarship.

Makary Reutov: Drew Scalzi Memorial Maritime Scholarship.

Sydney Shelby: Nikki (Fry) Geragotelis Memorial Scholarship.

Mindadora Reutov: Drew Scalzi Memorial Maritime Scholarship,Southern Kenai Peninsula Community Scholarship, Marilyn Wythe Memorial Scholarship, Drew Brown Memorial Scholarship.

Carrie Beach: Healthcare Providers Scholarship.

Livia Polushkin: Healthcare Providers Scholarship.

Deborah Weisser: Healthcare Providers Scholarship.

Briar Boyd: Healthcare Providers Scholarship.


Being prepared is really this simple…

Scholarships are done, can summer be far off? We’ve had a busy spring already. As these seasons are changing, spring, it seems, is known for beginnings. It is a time of graduations and weddings. New things growing figuratively and literally. All around people are preparing – fisherman, contractors, excursion operations, gardeners. The short, intense season has everyone preparing.

If you are in a season of preparing and updating your estate plan, then you might want to consider making the commitment of a legacy gift to one of our amazing non-profits. We have funds that serve seventeen different local agencies with agency specific funds:

-Aquila Fund for the Homer Foundation

-KBBI Public Radio Endowment Fund

-Kachemak Heritage Land Trust Fund

-Hospice of Homer Fund

-Pratt Museum Fund

-Homer Council on the Arts Fund

-Center for Alaska Coastal Studies Fund

-Alaska Marine Conservation Council

-Kachemak Bay Family Planning Clinic Fund

-Homer Animal Friends Fund

-Friends of the Homer Public Library Fund

-Bunnell Street Arts Center Fund

-Homer Mariner Fastpitch Softball Fund

-Peter Larson Compassion in Action Fund benefiting Hospice of Homer

-Pier One Theater Gary Thomas Live Large Agency Endowment Fund

-Library Endowment Fund benefitting Homer Public Library

-Storyknife Writers Retreat Fund

If you love one (or more) of these agencies, and want supporting them to be part of your legacy, consider including a gift to these funds in your estate plan. Donating into one of these funds provides annual support to the agency in perpetuity. Include this directive in your estate documents or make the fund a pay-on-death beneficiary with the following simple language:

For a will or trust: I bequeath _____________(describe dollar amount, property to be given, or portion of residuary estate)to the Homer Foundation (EIN #92-0139183), a tax exempt organization under IRS Section 501 (c)(3), to be added to the __(fund name)________ Fund, a component fund of the Homer Foundation, and I direct that this bequest become part of this Fund.

Pay on death Beneficiary for bank accounts, insurance policies, etc.: Make the beneficiary: “Homer Foundation (EIN #92-0139183),  _______(name of fund)______.

It really is just this simple. Let me know if you have questions or would like to have a conversation about legacy giving with the Homer Foundation.

Let’s be prepared!


A complete list of our Family of Funds with options to give today online can be found by clicking here.