Amarillo Area Contact: Broc Carter |

Texas, Panhandle – The Amarillo Area Foundation, Texas Cattle Feeders Association, and the Working Ranch Cowboys Foundation are teaming up to help ranchers impacted by the wildfires across the Panhandle region.  Monetary relief can be given to those affected by donating to the Amarillo Area Foundation’s Disaster Relief Fund.

“The ranching community has been hit hard”, said Gary Morton, WRCA Foundation president. “The effects of the fires for most of the families will be felt for years to come, and without a turn in the weather conditions the threat of further wildfires grows with each passing day.  We are grateful to the Amarillo Area Foundation and Texas Cattle Feeders Association for their collaboration with the WRCA Foundation on this relief effort.”

The fires across the Panhandle and High Plains have devastated hundreds of thousands of acres of ranch land, thousands of miles of fence and killed and maimed livestock and worst of all four lives were lost.  Yet after the fires are contained the devastation continues in lost or damaged livelihoods.

Most ranch hands and some owners do not have the insurance to cover loss in equipment and working resources.  The WRCF is helping to meet that need through its Wildfire Relief Fund.  All funds will be distributed through WRCF’s relief distribution procedures and will be extended to ranchers to help them withstand the long-term effects of this disaster.

“The people of this area are no stranger to the devastation Mother Nature can bring, and it is truly encouraging to see our communities come together to take care of their friends and neighbors in this time of great need,” said Jim Lovell, TCFA Chairman.  “Many of our TCFA members have already contributed to this effort, but for any who may not yet have had the opportunity to give, I would like to encourage them to make a contribution to this important fund through the WRCA.”

Donations can be made HERE!

About the WRCA Foundation

The Working Ranch Cowboys Association is headquartered in Amarillo, TX.  The mission of WRCA is to promote ranching and to preserve the lifestyle of the working rancher and the working ranch cowboy.  In 2001, WRCA formed a foundation with the mission of providing financial assistance to ranchers, working ranch cowboys and their families through scholarship funding and crisis assistance.

About the Amarillo Area Foundation

The Amarillo Area Foundation is a community foundation that serves the northernmost 26 counties of the Texas Panhandle.  The mission of the Foundation is to improve the quality of life for Texas Panhandle residents.  Since its inception in 1957, the Foundation has provided grants and a variety of other services to strengthen nonprofit organizations and the services they deliver.

She Gives: Myrna Raffkind

In the fourth edition of She Gives we felt like we must address one of the “She Gives” pioneers in our community!  Myrna Raffkind’s legacy of community service will remain in our community forever.

The passion that Myrna Raffkind held for helping others was illustrated in many ways during her lifetime.  As an advocate for organizations such as Coalition for the Homeless, Martha’s Home, Los Barrios de Amarillo, Teen Pregnancy Prevention Coalition, and Family Support Services, Myrna educated the public about those in need and what could be done to alleviate those needs.  She wrote numerous letters to the newspaper editor as a call to action for others to step up and make a difference.

At first glance, Myrna might not look the part of a super crusader.  Small in stature, she was feisty and fun, beloved by scores of family and friends.  Myrna enlisted the help of anyone who would listen as she worked tirelessly to help individuals and families who found themselves homeless due to addiction, mental illness, and domestic violence.  She was humble and compassionate, treating everyone as her equal.

In recent years, as head of the Amarillo Community Relations Committee, Myrna brought together leaders from across the community to discuss issues facing Amarillo.  Her goal was a community that worked together for the benefit of all residents.

Myrna was connected with many funds held at the Amarillo Area Foundation including the Benjamin Gimp Raffkind Memorial Scholarship Fund, established for her son who passed away in 1998.  Myrna was a firm believer in the value of education, seeing it as key for success in life.

Celebrated as the Amarillo Globe-News Woman of the Year in 2010, Myrna also received the Dr. R. W. Jones Freedom Fund Achievement Award in 2011 from the Amarillo NAACP.  Other honors include the Amarillo Women’s Network Lifetime Achievement Award and the National Association of Social Workers’ Public Citizen of the Year.

While Myrna was known for her ability to bring people together for a worthy cause, it is perhaps her ability to connect with others one-on-one that will be most remembered.  She would often send a personal note or make a call to let someone know she was thinking of them.  It is these personal connections to others that truly made Myrna special.

Myrna’s passing on January 30, 2017 caused many to pause and remember the many acts of kindness that she carried out daily.  Myrna exemplified the Mahatma Gandhi quote “be the change you wish to see in the world” and leaves behind a challenge for others to do the same.

Celebrating 60 years

We’ve hit quite a milestone this year – we turned 60!  We have been at work for six decades to improve quality of life in the Texas Panhandle.  This work is not accomplished without the incredible donors who provide the seeds, the board of directors who steward those seeds, the staff who nurture those seeds, and the hundreds of nonprofits who cultivate those seeds in our communities.

In the beginning, we were established to form strategies to address the healthcare needs of our area.  This work continues with the reacquisition of the Harrington Regional Medical Campus.  The development of the medical center greatly transformed healthcare in our area.  That was the intended goal and the advancements continue as the landscape of healthcare changes.

During the past 60 years, the early healthcare focus blossomed into what we are today and the philanthropic impact we make each year.  Through impactful grants, convening the community, and creating strategic partners, we are working to improve the breadth of the philanthropic investments and climate in the Panhandle.

Follow along this year as we celebrate the various milestones of those 60 years through our social media channels, blog posts, and quarterly newsletter.  Share your stories with Broc Carter via email (

Most importantly, find a charitable organization that you think is doing great work, and make a donation to them.  This seemingly small act has a huge impact!   You can even donate right here:


Amarillo Welcomes the Harrington Fellows Symposium

The scholars funded by The Donald D. Harrington Fellows Program, the most prestigious fellowship program at The University of Texas at Austin, will present their research at the 15th annual research symposium in Amarillo on April 4.

The symposium will be hosted at the Amarillo Club (31st floor of the Chase Tower, 600 S. Tyler) at 5 p.m. with a reception to follow.

Co-hosts for the event include the Amarillo Area Foundation, the Don and Sybil Harrington Foundation, Amarillo College, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center and West Texas A&M University.

“The Harrington Fellows are world-class scholars, and we are honored to have them at UT,” said Gregory L. Fenves, president of UT Austin. “Sybil Harrington had an amazing vision for how she would further her husband’s remarkable legacy, and we see her vision realized today in these UT scholars and their research. The university is grateful for the Harrington Program and proud that the work of the Fellows improves our understanding of society and changes lives.”

The Donald D. Harrington Fellows Program is one of the best endowed visiting scholar and graduate fellow programs in the nation. Sybil B. Harrington established the program as a tribute to her husband, Don, to support young faculty members and graduate students who have academic records of success and ingenuity.

This year’s featured speakers and their research presentations include:

  • Charlie Laderman, faculty fellow in the LBJ School of Public Affairs and the Clements Center, “Elihu Root, Conservative Internationalism and the Origins of the American Foreign Policy Establishment”
  • Kelly Rader, faculty fellow in the Department of Government, “The (In)consistency of Law in the U.S. Courts of Appeals”
  • Kathryn Bonnen, graduate fellow in the Institute for Neuroscience, “Novel techniques for studying visual development”
  • Mark Hand, graduate fellow in the LBJ School of Public Affairs, “What can we learn about the Texas Legislature by studying it like we study companies?”

President Fenves will be joined at the symposium by Maurie McInnis, executive vice president and provost, Marvin Hackert, and interim dean of graduate studies, and Del Watson, Harrington program coordinator and director of faculty affairs at UT Austin.

People interested in attending the event may contact the Amarillo Area Foundation at 806-376-4521.


Meet Trent

Trent Hill recently joined the Amarillo Area Foundation as Vice President of Development.  Born and raised in Amarillo, Trent graduated from Amarillo High School and attended West Texas State University where he earned a B.B.A. in 1982 and Master of Science in 1986.  He joined First National Bank of Canyon as Director of Marketing and Personnel in 1982.  In 1985 he became the Director of Economic Development for the Amarillo Chamber of Commerce, until opening the Amarillo and Lubbock markets for Southwestern Bell Mobile Systems (now AT&T cellular) in 1987.  In 1989 Trent moved to Denton, Texas to attend the University of North Texas to pursue a Ph.D.  which he earned in 1993.

Trent then joined Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas as Director of Development. He moved to Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi in 1997 where he served as Vice President of Institutional Advancement until his retirement in January 2017.

“Having the opportunity to return to the Texas Panhandle is a true blessing.  I love Texas, I loved North Texas, I loved East Texas and I loved South Texas, but nothing, absolutely nothing, compares to my love for the Texas Panhandle and its people.  To be able to join the dynamic team at the Amarillo Area Foundation in working to improve the quality of life for the Texas Panhandle residents is a dream come true.” said Hill.

As Vice President of Development for the Foundation, Trent engages in the creation and expansion of funds to support quality of life for residents of the Texas Panhandle.  It is his hope to engage the 26 counties of the Texas Panhandle in the drive to support community needs.  From expansion of the membership to increasing the number and size of funds at the Foundation, Trent’s efforts will help promote the Foundation’s mission.

Trent and his wife Carole have three children;  Naudia Vasquez, Nikalous Roark, John Wayne Hill and his wife Megan Hill; as well as two grandsons, Ryan Hill (4) and Jace Hill (3).

Women’s Philanthropy Fund RFP

Women’s Philanthropy Fund – Competitive Grant Program

To transform the lives of women and children in the Texas Panhandle through fundraising, grantmaking, and advocacy. 

CLICK HERE for the 2017 Request for Proposals (RFP) for the Women’s Philanthropy Fund.

In 2008, the Amarillo Area Foundation and a group of highly motivated women established the Women’s Philanthropy Fund (WPF) to address the needs of women and children in the Texas Panhandle.  The donors are philanthropically motivated women who recognized that pooling contributions could help them unite to address the issues facing the women and children in our region in all areas of life. The WPF will focus on programs or projects assessed to have the highest possibility of a direct impact on the well-being of women and children in the Texas Panhandle.  The purpose of the fund is to:

  • Unite, serve, and empower women to become leaders in philanthropy
  • Enable contributors to have more direction and involvement in where their dollars are spent
  • Achieve greater impact by drawing on the collective wisdom of donors
  • Demonstrate the effect of how pooled donations can yield large scale, targeted grants
  • Enable innovative and compelling programs and projects that might otherwise not be possible
  • Research areas of need and strategically allocate funds to achieve the greatest impact
  • Address education, awareness, and participation in philanthropy

One of the main purposes of the Amarillo Area Foundation Women’s Philanthropy Fund is to connect, empower, and enrich women’s lives across the Panhandle. The fund awards annual grants through a competitive process to charitable organizations throughout the Texas Panhandle who serve women and/or children.



Application Deadline for Amarillo Area Foundation’s Scholarship Program is Feb. 10th at Noon








For Immediate Release
Contact:  Broc Carter, 806.350.4508;

Each year the Amarillo Area Foundation provides scholarships for post-secondary education to students across the 26 counties of the Texas Panhandle.  This year’s deadline to submit a scholarship application is February 10th at noon. Graduating high school seniors and current college students are welcome to apply for scholarships to attend accredited institutions of higher education for the 2017-18 school year.


Visit the Foundation’s website: org

Click on the “Scholarship Map” tab on the right-hand side of the homepage and then click on the “Apply Now”

Create a username and password to begin the application process.

In 2016, the Amarillo Area Foundation awarded nearly $500,000 in scholarships to area students. Eligibility for scholarship funds is based on a student’s county of residence, college or university, and/or anticipated field of study. While many of the scholarship funds available are for graduating high school seniors, currently enrolled college students are eligible to apply for a select number of scholarships.

To learn more about scholarship criteria for a specific county, visit the Foundation’s website and click on the “Scholarship Map” tab on the right side of the page.



The Amarillo Area Foundation’s Scholarship Program was established in 1980. Since then, scholarships totaling nearly $5 million have been awarded to students from the Texas Panhandle.


Founded in 1957, the Amarillo Area Foundation and its supporting organization, The Don and Sybil Harrington Foundation, distributed more than $8.7 million in 2016 to benefit residents of the Texas Panhandle.

The Amarillo Area Foundation and The Don and Sybil Harrington Foundation 2017 Request for Proposals

The Amarillo Area Foundation is now accepting applications for the Discretionary Grant (DG) and Catalyst Grant (CG) program. The application process is competitive and nonprofit organizations located within the top twenty-six counties of the Texas Panhandle are encouraged to apply.  Visit and click on “Foundation Grant Programs” for full information regarding both programs.

The DG program accepts grant requests of over $20,000 and the CG Program accepts grant requests between $2,500 to $20,000.  In addition to other eligibility criteria, an organization may only submit a grant application to the Amarillo Area Foundation once per twelve-month period and must choose to submit either a CG or a DG application.  

In 2017, the Discretionary/Catalyst grant cycles will be as follows: 

Applications Due

Board Review

March 1


June 30


November 1*


*There will be a third Catalyst Grant cycle (November/December);

however, the third Discretionary Grant cycle will only be held if funds are available. 

Applications are available at and must be submitted through the online portal.  Please visit to access more information about the Spectrum Portal and the application process.

Applicants are encouraged to contact Foundation staff to arrange an appointment to discuss the potential request or with questions. For more information about AAF or applying for grants call (806) 376-4521 or e-mail


Amarillo Area Foundation Hires New Vice President after Retirement of Charlotte Rhodes

Charlotte Rhodes, Vice President of Resource Development and Sustainability at the Amarillo Area Foundation, has announced her retirement effective December 31, 2016.  Her tenure marked a period of unprecedented growth for the Foundation.  Trent Hill, Vice President at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, has been hired as the Foundation’s new VP of Development.

Charlotte Rhodes, MS, ACFRE joined the Amarillo Area Foundation as Vice President of Regional Services in 2005. In her 11-year tenure at the Foundation, Charlotte cultivated an annual average of $10 million per year, and over $100 million total. She established countless programs and committees, the most notable of which being the Foundation’s External Relations Committee, which focuses on the engagement of the Foundation with local and area leaders; the Women’s Philanthropy Program, a donor-driven fund designed to meet the needs of children and women in the Texas Panhandle; a Professional Advisor Council, a group of lawyers, accountants and other professionals who provide recommendations and review the Foundation’s fundraising and legal strategies; and the Texas Convening Conferences for Postsecondary Education which gathers key educators and legislators from across the state to discuss issues faced by high school and collegiate students.

“The Amarillo Area Foundation and its many community leaders, donors and staff provided a unique opportunity for me,” said Rhodes. “The Foundation serves as a catalyst for many types of charitable gifts that will continue to sustain and build a strong future for the Texas Panhandle.”


Her professional career also includes positions as Vice President of the Don and Sybil Harrington Cancer Center, Senior Director of Development for Baylor College of Medicine and Senior Consultant with the Dini Partners. She frequently provides training and teaches classes in development and fundraising management. She is one of 110 individuals to achieve the designation of Advanced Certified Fundraising Executive and she served on the International Board of the Association of Fundraising Executives for 12 years. In addition, she was recognized as Outstanding Fundraising Professional by the Texas Cities of Houston and Amarillo. Her professional and volunteer work includes service on over 30 nonprofit local, state and national boards and consulting services to over 65 organizations with dollars raised exceeding $1 billion for charitable causes.

Dr. S. Trent Hill was born and raised in Amarillo.  His father was the principal at Puckett elementary for 30 years and his mother was a dean and senior administrator at WTAMU for many years.  He received a BBA in Marketing and an MS in Finance, Marketing, and Communication from WTAMU.  He served in a variety of jobs in the Panhandle after graduation including Director of Operations for Southwestern Bell Mobile Systems, Director of Economic Development for Amarillo Chamber of Commerce, and Director of Marketing and Personnel at First National Bank of Canyon.  He later moved to Denton where he received his PhD from North Texas in Higher Education Administration.

Dr. Hill is retiring from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, where he served for more than 20 years as Vice President for Institutional Advancement.

“As a man of faith, this position with the Amarillo Area Foundation will allow me to fulfill a long-time desire to assist non-profits who are on the front lines of meeting human needs, including education,” Hill said.

In his capacity as head of Institutional Advancement, Hill led the activities of the Marketing Department, the Communications and Public Affairs Department, the Development Office, Alumni Relations, Foundations and Scholarships, Advancement Services and Athletics. He also served as adjunct professor in the College of Business. During his tenure, from January 1997 to the present, Hill and his team raised more than $142.6 million for the University.

We wish Charlotte well in her future endeavors and look forward to Dr. Hill joining the Amarillo Area Foundation.


Foundations Invest Over $8.7 Million in the Health of Panhandle Communities


Honoring its mission to improve quality of life for Texas Panhandle residents, the Amarillo Area Foundation announces annual distributions totaling $8.7 million for 2016. With more than 450 grants, the Foundation is helping to continue the important work of nonprofit organizations in the 26 counties of the Texas Panhandle. The Harrington Regional Medical Campus had its first-ever grant cycle after joining the Amarillo Area Foundation in 2015.  Because of the collaborative and meaningful work of various community stakeholders, the Foundation and its public supporting organization – the Don and Sybil Harrington Foundation – will invest:

$4.6 million into area communities through community fund, agency fund, and donor advised distributions;

$2 million in discretionary grants;

$1.2 million in scholarship distributions from the ACE and General Scholarship programs;

$676,000 in competitive grant programs including, CNS Pantex, Pattern Panhandle Wind, the Women’s Philanthropy Fund, the AAF Catalyst grant program, and the Kathy Ryan Memorial Fund;

$83,000 in grants from the Harrington Regional Medical Campus.

“The Amarillo Area Foundation and its supporting organizations are proud of what was accomplished by our staff and partners in 2016,” Clay Stribling, AAF CEO said. “We look forward to building on these accomplishments moving forward.”

In 2017, the Amarillo Area Foundation begins its 60th year and will continue supporting efforts that improve quality of life for Texas Panhandle residents. The strength and health of area communities continues to be the benchmark of success, and together with community support, this mission will be realized annually.