2015 Scholarship Recipients Announced

May is a busy time at the Homer Foundation as we administer ten different scholarships to benefit Homer area students. “I have come to believe scholarships have value well beyond the monetary. It is the message we send to each recipient, ‘We believe in you,’ ” explains Homer Foundation Executive Director Joy Steward. Each scholarship is supported by a permanent endowment fund managed by the Foundation. This year area students received a total of $20,150 in scholarship awards. We appreciate the many individuals who served on our review committees, and the support of Homer High School Counselor Lin Hampson. Each of the review committee’s had an exceptionally difficult task due to the high caliber of the applicants this year.

Congratulations to the 2015 recipients:

Homer Community Science Scholarship: for post-secondary education in the life sciences. The fund was established by retired Homer High School Science teacher, Stan Eller, and is supported by community donations.
Cheyanne Smith, HHS: $750
Sabina Karwowski, HHS: $500

Alain and Daniel Rieser Scholarship: recognizes a graduating senior with a flair for foreign language and an interest in foreign cultures.
John Shank, HHS: $2500

Drew Scalzi Memorial Maritime Scholarship: established in memory of Drew Scalzi. The underlying philosophy of the scholarship is to nurture young adults pursuing their careers in the maritime field or who are from fishing or maritime families.
Jane Rohr, HHS: $1000
Clem Tillion, HHS: $1000
Larson Fellows, HHS: $500
Robert Hockema, HHS: $500

Health Care Providers Scholarship: supports local students committed to pursuing a career in a health care field.
Leah Bailey, 2008 HHS graduate, $2500 – Physical Therapy

Beluga Tail Non-Fiction and Beluga Tale Fiction Writing Scholarships: reward graduating seniors that demonstrate exemplary skills in fiction and non-fiction writing.
Robert Hockema, HHS: $2500 – Non-Fiction
Jonas Noomah HHS: $2500 – Fiction

Kachemak Bay Medical Clinic Scholarship: established by Dr. Paul Raymond to provide financial assistance to a public high school graduating senior in the greater Homer area who has best exemplified academic excellence, community and/or school service, and a strong work ethic.
Sabina Karwowski, HHS: $2000 ($500/year for 4 years)

Ptarmigan Arts Visual Arts Scholarship: Established by the member artists of Ptarmigan Arts Gallery to support aspiring young artists.
Lisa Wisner, HHS: $1000
Rebecca Seneff, HHS: $600
Akilina Afonin, Razdolna: $400

Nikki Geragotelis (Fry) Memorial Scholarship: This scholarship was established by the family and friends of Nikki in honor of the life she lived. The goal of the scholarship is to keep Nikki’s memory alive by helping students continue their education. Throughout her life Nikki had a “walk-on” spirit. A recipient is selected that exemplifies her sportsmanship, athleticism, integrity and hard-working nature, giving their best every time they step on the field whether at practice or for a game.
Filip Reutov, HHS: $1000

Constance M. Benston Music Scholarship: The fund is in memory of Constance M. Benston and is distributed through the Homer Council on the Arts Summer Youth Arts Scholarship program.
Jimmy Gao, HHS: $400 to attend Harbor School of Music Summer Piano Master Class, an 8 week intensive course that covers advanced piano technique, music theory and elements of presentation.
Alice Witte Memorial Volleyball Scholarship: Alice Witte was an outstanding girls’ volleyball coach at Homer High School and this award memorializes her inspirational spirit. Each year the coaching staff selects the young woman who possesses the attributes that Coach Witte would have been proud to coach. They will each attend an outside summer volleyball clinic.
Izabelle Hagge, HHS: $500
Valerie Rios, HHS: $500

Because of the donors who had the vision to establish these scholarships, and the community members that continue to support them, these funds will be here to support the education of our youth far into the future. Tax exempt donations to support these scholarships, or any of the 50 funds managed by the Foundation, are appreciated and put to work in our community.

Recent Grants Awarded as of 2/11/15

Recent grants approved by the Homer Foundation’s Distributions Committee include:

Support to the Homer Cycling Club for their “Homer Shares the Road Educational Campaign” and a new blender bike.

Presentation Equipment for the Friends of the Homer Public Library.  Support provided by the Cottonwood Fund.

Support for the Homer Youth String Orchestra Club’s Suzuki Mini Institute through A Music Education Fund in Memory of Renda Horn and the Willow Fund.

Purchase of a new Trail Mower for the Kachemak Nordic Ski Club supported by the Willow Fund.

Recent Grants Awarded

Recent grants awarded include:
A) Chapman School and Paul Banks Elementary School for iPad and iPod upgrades with support from the KLEPS Fund.
B) Homer Council on the Arts to support their Summer Youth Art Camp with support from the JEMCO Fund, Jessica Stevens Memorial Fund, and A Music Education Fund in Memory of Renda Horn.
C) People’s Choice Awards selected at the HF annual meeting included Homer Community Food Pantry for holiday turkeys and the Friends of the Homer Public Library to support teen activities during the 2015 Big Read of Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451.
D) Homer Head Start to help replace outdated seat belt restraints for their bus.

volunteers pack turkeys for holiday food boxes

volunteers pack turkeys for holiday food boxes

Pick.Click.Give.

Folks across Alaska will file for their 2015 Permanent Fund Dividend starting January 1st, and many of those will show their love of Alaska by choosing the charitable check off program Pick.Click.Give. as a secure, easy, and fun way to give back.

The Homer Foundation thanks the many donors that have chosen to support the lower Kenai Peninsula by directing their Pick.Click.Give. donation to the Foundation in the past. Together we can make a difference!

Don’t forget to Pick.Click.Give.Lovalaska logo sm

Celebration of Community Foundation – Annual Meeting

The Homer Foundation held their annual meeting Wednesday, November 12th, 2014 at the Bunnell Street Arts Center. The meeting started off with a musical hug from the Homer Ukulele Group (HUG). The group shared how they perform each summer for Fantasy Tours at the Heritage RV Park on the Homer Spit, and how hey direct their earning to the Homer Foundation because they know it will benefit the whole community.

Executive Director Joy Steward presented the 2014 Annual Report: A Community Pulling Together. Board chair Ken Castner announced that Flo Larson, Denise Pitzman and Polly Prindle-Hess have each been appointed to another 3-year term on the board, and Elaine Grantier for a 1-year term.

Asia Freeman, Executive Director the Bunnell Street Arts Center explained the timing and reasoning behind the Bunnell’s new Agency Endowment Fund at the Foundation, and hopes it will become a repository for legacy gifts to support the Arts Center in perpetuity.

The Homer Community Food Pantry and the Friends of the Homer Public Library were each awarded a $500 People’s Choice Award.

Homer Ukulele Group (HUG) leads a sing-a-long to start the annual meeting.

Homer Ukulele Group (HUG) leads a sing-a-long to start the annual meeting.

Board members Flo Larson and Polly Prindle-Hess put the finishing touches on the refreshments provided by Maura's Cafe.

Board members Flo Larson and Polly Prindle-Hess put the finishing touches on the refreshments provided by Maura’s Cafe.

Scholarships Awarded

May is scholarship season, and it was a busy time at the Homer Foundation. Homer area students benefit from a variety of permanently endowed scholarship funds administered by the Foundation. This year area students received $15,500.00 in scholarship awards. The Foundation appreciates the diligence the committees brought to the vetting process. Congratulations to all of the successful candidates!

Homer Community Science Scholarship: award supports post-secondary education in the life sciences. The fund was established by retired Homer High School Science teacher, Stan Eller, and is supported by community donations.

Cassidy Soitman, HHS: $750 to study Sports Medicine and Athletic Training at Fort Lewis College
Katherine Dolma, HHS: $750 to study Marine Biology at New College, Florida
Sierra Moskios, HHS: $500 to study Public Health and Psychology at the University of Montana

Alain and Daniel Rieser Scholarship: recognizes a Homer High School graduating senior with a flair for foreign language and an interest in foreign cultures. The award may be used for continued language study at college or a self-directed travel/cultural immersion project.

Irene Pellegrini, HHS: $3000 to assist her in expanding herself by experiencing other cultures in South America (need info)

Drew Scalzi Memorial Maritime Scholarship: established in 2006 by the North Pacific Fisheries Association, community donors, and the Scalzi Family, in memory of Drew Scalzi. The underlying philosophy of the scholarship is to nurture young adults pursuing their careers in the maritime field or who are from fishing or maritime families

Deonisky Konev, KPBSD: $1000 to study Information Technology at AVTEC, Seward

Beluga Tail Non-Fiction and Beluga Tale Fiction Writing
Scholarships: reward Homer High School graduating seniors that demonstrate exemplary skills in fiction and non-fiction writing.

Hannah Baird, HHS: $3000 to study Environmental Science at Colorado College
Megan Garoutte, HHS: $3000 to attend the University of Alaska

Diane Wambach “Shoot for the Stars” Scholarship: established to in memory of a mother that always encouraged her own children to shoot for the stars. It is awarded each year to an area student that is most able to articulate their dream to pursue vocational training or higher education.

Kachemak Bay Medical Clinic Scholarship: established by Dr. Paul Raymond and the Kachemak Bay Medical Clinic to provide financial assistance to a public high school graduating senior in the greater Homer area who has best exemplified academic excellence, community and/or school service, and a strong work ethic.

Sierra Moskios HHS: $2000 award ($500/yr for 4 yrs) assisting her post-secondary education at the University of Montana

Constance M. Bentston Music Education Scholarship: Through her estate, the Constance M. Benston Fund was established at the Homer Foundation to support causes that were important to her. The Constance M. Benston Music Scholarship was initiated in 2012 to support music education for young people. The annual selection process is provided through the Homer Council on the Arts Scholarship Program. This year’s recipient is…….–

Ptarmigan Arts Visual Arts Scholarship: transferred to the HF and is now supported by a permanent endowment fund.

Irene Pellegrini,HHS: $1000 (need more info) aid her as she attends art classes in (South America?)

Alice Witte Memorial Volleyball Scholarship: Alice Witte was an outstanding girls’ volleyball coach at Homer High School and this award memorializes her inspirational spirit. Each year the coaching staff selects the young woman who possesses the attributes that Coach Witte would have been proud to coach.

Kyla Pitzman, HHS: $500 (need more info?) to attend volleyball camp

Because of the donors who had the vision to establish these scholarships, and the community members that continue to donate to them, these funds will be here to support the education of our youth far into the future. Tax exempt donations to these scholarship funds, or any of the 50 funds managed by the Foundation, are graciously accepted.

We’ve got a brand new website!

Homer Foundation is proud to launch our new website and domain name! Find us now at www.homerfoundation.org

The old website and domain, www.homerfund.org will redirect to our new site so you can still find us there.

Emails have been updated as well:  jsteward@homerfoundation.org and info@homerfoundation.org