Katherine E. Brady Fund Enhances Texas Panhandle Quality of Life.

Katherine E. “Kitty” Brady loved the Panhandle of Texas. Born in Dumas, Mrs. Brady lived in Amarillo for 86 years. During her lifetime, she supported numerous nonprofit organizations. Mrs. Brady nursed her husband Harold through numerous hospital stays over the years. These experiences led Mrs. Brady to establish the St. Anthony’s Hospital Auxiliary to provide assistance for patients and their families. She later served as president of the Texas Association of Hospital Auxiliaries.

Mrs. Brady desired to leave a legacy that would benefit the area that she called home. She named the Amarillo Area Foundation as the sole beneficiary of her estate to benefit Texas Panhandle residents. The Katherine E. “Kitty” Brady Fund was established at the Amarillo Area Foundation in 2001. Since that time, more than $3 million in grants have been awarded from the Brady Fund to 72 nonprofits across the Texas Panhandle.

Her legacy includes providing eyeglasses and exams for low-income children, senior meals and activities for a three-county area, community center renovations in North Amarillo, and summer camp experiences for children battling cancer. Mrs. Brady is a wonderful example of the philanthropic spirit that enhances quality of life in the Texas Panhandle.

The power of endowment

The Alvin A. and Hattie Mae Bush Scholarship Fund, created by Mr. and Mrs. Bush in 1970 with an initial gift of $100,000, honors the career of accounting the couple enjoyed together for many years.  Significant in my ways, most notably as the first fund of the Amarillo Area Foundation, this fund seamlessly created a legacy for future accountants in the Texas Panhandle.  In the original press release, Mr. Bush said, “It has long been our desire to give financial assistance to area students that exhibit potential expertise in accounting.” Since this first scholarship was established, the Amarillo Area Foundation has grown their scholarship program exponentially, awarding over $1,000,000 in scholarships annually.    

The Bush scholarship has awarded $514,000 in scholarships since its inception.  By endowing the fund, the Bush’s guaranteed that the scholarship will be awarded in perpetuity and students that “exhibit potential expertise in accounting” will be ensured opportunities for secondary education.  

Though Mr. and Mrs. Bush both passed away in 1982, the scholarship continues their legacy for future generations of accounting professionals. That’s the power of endowment.   

 If you’re interested in setting up your legacy, contact our development team:  amy@aaf-hf.org, 806.376.4521  

 

2018 Harrington Regional Medical Campus Grant Cycle

The mission of the AAF Community Health Foundation, otherwise known as the Harrington Regional Medical Campus (HRMC), is to promote quality of life in the Texas Panhandle through exceptional healthcare, education, and research. Applications are now being accepted for the 2018 HRMC Resident Grant Program and the HRMC Community Health Grant Program.  The goal of the grant programs is to improve the quality and accessibility of healthcare ultimately leading to an improved quality of life for residents of the top 26 counties of the Texas Panhandle.

Both grant programs are competitive and proposals will be accepted from eligible organizations.  Eligible organizations are those that hold a current tax-exempt status under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and include a nonprofit organization, recognized government entity: state, county, or city agency, that are requesting funds exclusively for public purposes; a K-12 public school, community/junior college, state college or university; or a faith-based organization with a proposed project that benefits the community at large.

HRMC Resident Grant Program: The HRMC Board will accept grant applications from Medical Center campus resident organizations for projects and capital improvements.  Preference will be given to Ronald McDonald House, Turn Center, Amarillo Botanical Gardens, Don Harrington Discovery Center, and Coffee Memorial Blood Center.   $21,000 is available and proposals for up to $20,000 will be accepted. High priority will be given to specific project-related proposals.  Operational support is a low priority.

HRMC Community Health Grant Program: The HRMC Board will accept grant proposals for healthcare related projects from eligible organizations located throughout the 26-county region.  $42,000 is available and proposals for up to $20,000 will be accepted.  High priority will be given to specific project-related proposals as well as challenge and/or matching grants.  Proposals will be accepted for capital projects, capacity building, innovative projects, and research projects.  Operational support is a low priority.

Organizations may only submit one grant application per year; however, Medical Center campus residents may submit a grant application to both the HRMC Resident Grant Program and the HRMC Community Health Grant Program in the same year.

Go to www.amarilloareafoundation.org/hrmc-grant-programs to learn more about HRMC.

2018 Proposal Submission Deadlines

The Amarillo Area Foundation will accept applications for both the HRMC Resident Grant program and the HRMC Community Health Grant Program until noon on Friday, August 31, 2018.  Applications for both grant programs must be submitted through the Foundation’s online portal which can be accessed on the Internet at aaf.spectrumportal.net. Applications or parts of applications submitted in any other manner (paper, e-mail, etc.) will not be accepted.  For more information regarding the online application please see www.amarilloareafoundation.org/application-2016

Selection Process

Both grant programs are competitive.  Applications will be reviewed by AAF staff for eligibility and completeness.  The HRMC Board of Directors will review the applications in October and make funding decisions.  Organizations will be notified of funding decisions in late October.

Contact information

Contact grants@aaf-hf.org or call 806.376.4521 with any questions.

Amarillo Area Foundation Welcomes New Vice President of Community Investment

The Amarillo Area Foundation is proud to welcome Emily Wood as Vice President of Community Investment. Wood will be responsible for the Foundation’s grants and scholarship programs, the Nonprofit Service Center, No Limits No Excuses, ACE, as well as new community investment program

She joins AAF from the Amarillo Children’s Home where she served as the Director of Development. During her tenure, she facilitated capital campaign planning, created and managed an annual development plan, and assisted in the recent rebranding of the organization (previously Presbyterian Home for Children).

Woods comes to the Foundation with over 16 years of experience in the nonprofit sector. For many years she worked as a consultant with organizations to help them achieve their goals through strategic planning, database management training, grant writing, executive search, and fund-raising assistance. She has served on the staff of Opportunity School, The Amarillo Symphony, and The Bowery Mission (NYC).

Woods holds a BA in English with a minor in Journalism from Baylor University. She is a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals and has volunteered with many local organizations such as Coronado Elementary School, the Junior League of Amarillo, and Heal the City.

“I love the people of the Texas Panhandle because we are strong, resourceful, and we care for our neighbors.  I’m honored to join the Amarillo Area Foundation team at a time when the needs of our community are great, but our resources are even greater,” said Emily Wood.  “Our nonprofits are vibrant and growing faster than any other period in our history, which means we have the greatest opportunity to impact the future of our community right now.  I look forward to diving in and helping in this great work of improving the quality of life for each of us here in the Texas Panhandle.”

“We are thrilled to have Emily join the Amarillo Area Foundation family,” said Clay Stribling, President and CEO of the Foundation.   “Her extensive nonprofit experience will allow the Foundation to aggressively pursue its mission to improve quality of life for Panhandle residents.”

 

ACE Scholarship Program to Wind Down 

The current Achievement through Commitment to Education (ACE) scholarship program will wind down over the coming years as the Amarillo Area Foundation begins work with community partners to create a sustainable new program to help students gain an education beyond high school.  The Amarillo Area Foundation has operated the ACE program for more than 24 years. 

“The success of the ACE program will be felt in the Panhandle region for decades,” said Clay Stribling, President and CEO of the Amarillo Area Foundation. “We are proud of the success of the program and the scholars who were inspired to greater achievement through ACE.” 

The ACE program will continue supporting students who have signed an ACE pledge, including students who were classified as freshmen through seniors in high school during the last academic year and those pursuing higher education now. However, no new high school students will be enrolled in the program. 

“ACE will pay scholarships as long as funding remains, and the Amarillo Area Foundation is dedicated to the task of finding community partners to meet the commitment to existing scholars in the program,” Stribling said. 

ACE began in 1994 at Palo Duro High School and later expanded to Caprock High School and to qualifying students at Tascosa High School.  The program provided participants with college tuition, books, and fees if they met certain criteria. Since its inception, ACE scholars have earned 2,319 certificates and degrees, including 14 doctoral degrees. Approximately $8.3 million in ACE scholarships have benefited students over the life of the program.  

“Funding for higher education is a need for many families in our region, and we recognize it is critical to our future,” Stribling said. “As we continue our work with community partners on a scholarship program to address the needs of all AISD students, I encourage parents and others with questions, concerns, or ideas to contact the foundation.” 

Charitable Gift Annuities – Plan Today for a Future You Can Count On

You may be tired of living at the mercy of the fluctuating stock and real estate markets. A charitable gift annuity is a gift made to our organization that can provide you with a secure source of fixed payments for life.

Benefits of a charitable gift annuity

  • Receive fixed payments to you or another annuitant you designate for life
  • Receive a charitable income tax deduction for the charitable gift portion of the annuity
  • Benefit from payments that may be partially tax-free
  • Further the charitable work of Amarillo Area Foundation with your gift

How a charitable gift annuity works

A charitable gift annuity is a way to make a gift to support Amarillo Area Foundation.

  1. You transfer cash or property to Amarillo Area Foundation.
  2. In exchange, we promise to pay fixed payments to you for life. The payment can be quite high depending on your age, and a portion of each payment may even be tax-free.
  3. You will receive a charitable income tax deduction for the gift portion of the annuity.
  4. You also receive satisfaction, knowing that you will be helping further our mission.

If you decide to fund your gift annuity with cash, a significant portion of the annuity payment will be tax-free. You may also make a gift of appreciated securities to fund a gift annuity and avoid a portion of the capital gains tax. Please contact us to inquire about other assets that you might be able to use to fund a charitable gift annuity. To calculate what your benefits might be, please visit our website.

Contact us

If you have any questions about charitable gift annuities, please contact Trent at trent@aaf-hf.org or call 242-031. Or, contact Amy at amy@aaf-hf.org or 242-0305. We would be happy to assist you and answer your questions.

 

Heroes in the air

In the early morning of April 28, 2017, a plane crashed just south of the Rick Husband International Airport.  Aboard the Rico aviation air ambulance was Melissa Riola’s best friend, her husband, Scott, who was a flight nurse.

Scott and Melissa Riola

Scott and Melissa were high school sweethearts who had been together for 14 years, but Scott was not initially in nursing.  It was Melissa who encouraged him to move into that career.   It was his second career, but one he thrived in as a flight nurse. Melissa got a job offer to come to Amarillo right after graduating from nurse anesthetist school.  Scott received his nursing degree from Amarillo College earlier, so the two had a connection and knew the medical community well.    Working for RICO was Scott’s dream job.

Scott in his flight suit.

Melissa looked for a way to honor Scott’s heroic legacy and approached the Amarillo Area Foundation to set up a scholarship fund for students who were studying to be a flight nurse in the Panhandle of Texas.  There are 4 flight crews in the Panhandle, so there is quite a bit of opportunity in the area.

Melissa wearing the medal that honored Scott and holding the flag presented to her during the memorial ceremony.

In October of 2017, Melissa received a phone call from the National EMS memorial service that happens every year in Washington DC.  They explained that a component of the event was a 500-mile bike ride to honor those who had fallen in the line of duty in the prior year.  The gentleman on the phone was calling to make her aware that he would be riding to honor Scott and would be wearing Scott’s dog tags.  Melissa, an athlete, said, “Thank you for the honor, but I am going to ride for my husband, that’s how I will honor him.”  The challenge was Melissa had never been a road biker. She again drew on the medical community seeking out those who could help her prepare for this enormous undertaking.

“I am a spiritual person, and I know I am supposed to do this because I feel close to Scott,” Melissa said. “The ride is going through my hometown of Yonkers, New York and it’s a healing journey for me.”

Melissa got a bike and began her training and on May 11th, she flew to the beginning of the pilgrimage.

 

If you would like to donate to the Scott Riola Memorial Scholarship Fund, please CLICK HERE (select the Scott Riola fund in the drop-down menu)

May Grant Cycle Recap

 

Contact: Broc Carter | broc@aaf-hf.org | 806.376.4521  

Amarillo Area Foundation Latest Grant Cycle Provides Majority of Funds to Rural Grants 

Amarillo- TX – The service area for the Foundation is the top 26 counties of the Texas Panhandle. The Amarillo Area Foundation’s (AAF) latest grant cycle provides $574,000 in grants to rural communities.  This is aligned with a concerted effort by AAF to enhance communities outside of Potter and Randall counties.   

“It is the mission of the Amarillo Area Foundation to improve quality of life for residents in the top 26 counties of the Texas Panhandle. For 2018, one of our goals is to focus on improving our connection with the rural communities in the Panhandle,” said Jackie Pearson, AAF Board Chair, and Spearman resident. 

59% of grants were allocated to the rural communities of: Childress, Clarendon, Cactus, Dalhart, Hereford, and Vega.  These grants represented 54% of all dollars granted in the May grant cycle.  

“While our discretionary grant cycle is only one way AAF serves the Texas Panhandle, it is perhaps the most familiar.  We recently approved 11 discretionary grants and 6 of those grants were awarded to nonprofits in rural communities,” said Pearson. 

Below is the complete list of grants awarded: 

 

The next discretionary grant deadline is June 29th at noon.  Organizations interested in applying can check eligibility here: CLICK HERE 

Farewell Katharyn

In the fall of 2006, I received a call from Charlotte Rhodes asking if I might be interested in a position at the Amarillo Area Foundation.  I did not know much about the Foundation, but the opportunity to work with and learn from Charlotte was appealing.  Eleven years later, I am preparing to leave this amazing organization which has changed my life forever.

How often does one have an opportunity to engage in work that can improve the lives of others?  While my title and duties at the Foundation have changed many times, the fulfillment of knowing I was helping in a small way to make a difference has been constant.  This job has allowed me to interact with nonprofit staff and volunteers from across the Panhandle, seeing first-hand the change that can be created by a compassionate and determined group of people.

The people with whom I have worked at the Foundation are a second family.  We have shared joys and sorrows, achievements and a few embarrassing moments.  From Phil the spider and Christmas decorating to road trips and “Minute to Win It” competitions, I will take hundreds of special memories with me.

What a blessing it has been to work with such caring and dedicated Foundation board members.  I have learned so much from your examples of leadership, empathy, and respect.  Thanks for all that you do to improve quality of life for residents of the Texas Panhandle.

I am excited to begin a new chapter of my career as President and CEO for the Mary E. Bivins Foundation.  To all of those mentioned above, thanks for making the last eleven years such a memorable experience.

The Heroic Legacy of Kathy Ryan


In the 2006 wildfires a hero, Kathy Ryan, lost her life.  As a tribute to their mother, Kathy’s children set up a fund at the Amarillo Area Foundation.  The goal of the fund is to provide grants to rural fire and rescue entities to increase fire education, allow for important equipment to be purchased or to expand work that is already taking place.  The Fund, established by the family of Kathy Ryan and the law firm of Lovell, Lovell, Isern, & Farabough and managed by the Amarillo Area Foundation, has given more than $50,000 in grants to deserving first responder organizations in the Texas Panhandle – excluding Potter and Randall counties.

Pamela Ayers and Tonya Griffin award a $10,000 grant to Chief Curtis Brown from the Dalhart Volunteer Fire Department.

2018 Grant Recipient

Today at the Amarillo Area Foundation offices, Kathy’s children were able to give a $10,000 grant to the Dalhart Volunteer Fire Department to help build a training facility for fire and rescue operations in Dallam, Hartley, and Sherman Counties.

How You Can Help!

If you would like to donate to the Kathy Ryan Fund, please CLICK HERE
(Choose Kathy Ryan Fund from the drop-down menu)         

More About Kathy Ryan

Here’s a look at the live video from this morning’s announcement and grant recipient.