We have 830,000 (and counting) reasons to say, “Thank you!” This year’s #ThePanhandleGives campaign was a smashing success. 108 organizations from 14 counties came together to ensure their communities are strengthened.
There was a large cross section of participating organizations ranging from large to small, regional to local, and across a variety of service types. The magic of #GivingTuesday is the community coming together. The movement has only been around since 2012, but it has become an international day of giving.
We were so excited about the results, especially that we surpassed our original goal. Initially, our goal was $500,000, which we determined by doubling last year’s totals and adding in the $200,000 of amplification funds raised by the Amarillo Area Foundation. We are still counting at this hour, but the total now is over $830,000. This is a testament to the generosity of the residents of the Texas Panhandle.
We are already planning for 2019 and we can’t wait to get there! If your favorite organization didn’t participate this year, please reach out to them and let them know registration will open at the beginning of January and will conclude by March. If they need more information, they can email me here: email@example.com.
It takes everyone to make our communities stronger, so we thank you! We consider everyone in the Texas Panhandle a neighbor and with #ThePanhandleGives, we are giving our neighbors a brighter future.
We would like to thank our sponsors for this event:
At the Amarillo Area Foundation, funds are used to help donors fulfill their philanthropic interests. A fund is like having an account at AAF. You put money in and then give us general directions on what charitable causes you want to support. Often donors choose to give in the areas that they are most passionate about and we ensure that organizations they wish to give to are sound. This provides the donor with a sense of security, while still making the impact with ease.
How to open a fund.
Opening a fund is done by initially sitting down with AAF’s development staff and talking about your philanthropic plans. Their goal is to make sure to match your intention to the type of fund you’ll need, but more on that later. Each fund requires a minimum $10,000 charitable contribution to get the fund started. You may request distributions from your fund to qualified nonprofit organizations. Distributions may not be used to satisfy a pledge or to receive a personal benefit (e.g., purchasing a table at a charitable event which you plan to attend).
Next, let’s take a look at the types of funds and their function.
Types of Fund:
An Endowed Agency Fund at Amarillo Area Foundation is a step towards sustainability. The initial money to open the fund must come directly from the nonprofit agency (a 501(c)3 organization); donors may contribute to the fund after it’s established to help you build your endowment with their charitable gifts. When establishing your endowed agency fund, you may choose to receive quarterly distributions of the interest while leaving the corpus intact. IRS tax laws also allow you to report your agency fund as an asset.
Community Funds at Amarillo Area Foundation are endowed Field of Interest Funds. As an endowed fund, distributions are allowed from the interest earned on the fund while the principal remains intact. As a community fund of the AAF, Community Fund holders may receive services including financial management, strategic development, and training. This partnership provides advantages such as safekeeping and management of the endowment fund.
Amarillo Area Foundation has established a Corporate Fund option to assist you in planning your corporate strategic community investment. The process of selecting and qualifying organizations that meet your company’s mission may be time-consuming and challenging. The Foundation can assist in that process by assuming the responsibility of accepting, qualifying, and recommending nonprofits and award amounts from your corporate fund. We can also serve you by receiving and qualifying requests and passing those along to your corporate leadership for the final decision concerning distributions from your fund.
A non-endowed Corporate Fund may be established with a charitable contribution of $10,000 and may be added to at any time. We would be pleased to visit with you about the options available to you concerning contributions, distributions, and your active role in managing your fund.
With a Donor Advised Fund at Amarillo Area Foundation, you have an on-going involvement in the use of your charitable contributions. You will identify ways to use your fund to address issues and needs you care about most. Our friendly staff will be here to help you along the way. Once your recommendations are submitted and approved by our local Board of Directors, funds will be distributed as grant dollars according to your wishes. Donor Advised Funds are the largest types of funds AAF holds.
A Donor Designated Fund at Amarillo Area Foundation, typically an endowed fund, is held for specific nonprofit philanthropic purpose and is an excellent sustainability investment. The corpus is preserved by reinvesting quarterly earnings, or the beneficiary may use the earnings by taking quarterly distributions. Funds that are not endowed allow the use of the fund principal in addition to income. The decision to reinvest or use quarterly earnings is established when the fund is created.
A Field of Interest Fund at Amarillo Area Foundation offers flexibility that other funds may not, such as using the funds to pay for expenses during a capital campaign, construction project, or events. A Field of Interest Fund may also be designated for support of certain types of programs without being specific to any agencies or organizations.
Scholarship Funds at Amarillo Area Foundation provide the opportunity for you to offer students in our area a post-secondary education. The application, selection, and award process is managed by the Foundation’s professional staff and the volunteer Scholarship Selection Committee. The criteria for the scholarship may be written to your specifications. A scholarship fund must be fully funded for 12 months before the first scholarship may be awarded.
A Scholarship Fund may be endowed for a minimum charitable contribution of $25,000.00 . As an endowed fund, scholarships may be awarded on the interest earned from the fund while the principal remains intact.
For more information about setting up a fund, please contact our development staff: Trent Hill: firstname.lastname@example.org, or Amy Lovell: email@example.com. or by calling 806.376.4521
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: firstname.lastname@example.org, 806.376.4521
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)
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 AreaFoundation, 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.
The Panhandle of Texas is a beautiful place full of open spaces and the best sunsets you’ve ever seen. The 26-county area is also known to have more head of cattle than people. The mostly rural landscape presents challenges when you begin to talk about student access to training for careers. School districts in our rural communities have limited resources available for students to pursue studies in the area of healthcare.
The costs of implementing programs in healthcare are often too much for a rural school district to facilitate. Lack of funding creates a problem for students to get clinical experience and familiarity in healthcare. These issues persist while shortages of healthcare workers exist nation-wide.
There has to be a better way! Thanks to the Coalition of Health Services, Amarillo ISD’s AACAL campus, and SimCentral there is a solution to these challenges. Using technology to give students access to the training needed for in-demand careers is exactly the type of project that the Amarillo Area Foundation funds.
It’s TIME! Time for what you ask? It’s time to register your organization for the 2018 Panhandle Gives campaign! You can help spread the word by making sure your favorite nonprofit is participating.
Two years ago, the Amarillo Area Foundation started a giving day that coincided with #GivingTuesday, an international day of philanthropy on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. This year we’re going bigger. We are excited to announce that the Amarillo Area Foundation has contributed $100,000 to enhance your organization’s fundraising efforts during this campaign. This means your favorite organization could qualify for a portion of this contribution by participating in The Panhandle Gives 2018.
What You Can Do
Encourage your favorite nonprofit to register to learn how their organization can benefit from the $100,000 contribution from the Amarillo Area Foundation.
Here’s where to register: bit.ly/panhandlegives. Complete the online registration and return the agreement via email: email@example.com or mail to Amarillo Area Foundation, 801 S. Fillmore, STE 700, Amarillo, TX 79101 by 3/30/18. The $75 registration fee is due by 4-25-18
Send this information to your favorite organizations and make sure they don’t miss out on the fun and funds!
We are embarking on our 61st year of improving quality of life for Texas Panhandle residents. As we begin this year, we felt like it might be time to do something new, fun and innovative. We’re always looking for new ways to engage the community around the idea of philanthropy and this spirit has crafted many of our programs over the years.
Sometimes the word “philanthropy” makes it seem like large gifts are the only ones that matter. If you talk to nonprofit organizations, they will tell you that all donations make the mission possible. All donations make our community stronger!
For the duration of 2018, we’ve formed an exciting partnership with our friends at Palace Coffee Company. Beginning in February, your morning coffee can impact your community like never before. While you’re getting your jolt for the day, you’ll be doing good for the community as well!
While we’re not spilling the beans just yet, we can say that you will not want to miss this! You’ll be hearing more about it as we get closer to launch.
On May 25, 2017, the Texas House of Representatives honored our 60th year. We are so grateful for this special recognition made possible by Representative Four Price. In our 60th year of helping our neighbors in the Texas Panhandle, it’s an honor for us to have received the State of Texas House of Representatives resolution inserted below.
Looking back and forward
As we finish our 60th year, we pause and think about how quality of life has improved for so many in the Panhandle through the philanthropic endeavors of our donors. In the same breath, we see so much more need that exists, and we promise to continue our legacy built on the shoulders of the giants who came before us. The legacy of our founders is steeped in rich traditions of making the Panhandle a better place. Onward we go!
No Limits No Excuses: How did WTAMU get involved with No Limits, No Excuses?
West Texas A&M University: My understanding is that James Hallmark – who was the Provost at the time – had been involved with Amarillo Area Foundation and Panhandle 2020 and he was the first to hook in to what is now No Limits, No Excuses. I think they called it PPS at the time. So, he was the Provost and I was the Associate Provost, and he knew that I had been involved in P16 initiatives for a while as a faculty member and so he asked me to start attending the meetings, and shortly after that, he left the university to go to College Station and I became the Provost.
But by that time, I think I knew enough about it that we had to be involved and it’s something I feel strongly and passionate about, so rather than delegate it to someone else, I tried to maintain my role there. We’ve had several other people who have been involved in it as well.
NLNE: What’s kept WT’s involvement during the five-plus years since No Limits, No Excuses has started?
WT: Well, I think you have to step back and look at the big picture. First of all, we’re an educational institution and so, educational attainment and providing people with high quality higher education, that’s the core mission of what we are. No Limits, No Excuses, even though it moves in lots of different directions, it looks at poverty, it looks at job training and all these other things, at its core it’s still about increasing the educational attainment of the region that we’re located in.
We can only thrive, we can only grow if the area that we’re located in is thriving and growing as well, and so in a sense, that’s maybe self-serving because a strong Panhandle means a strong WT. But more importantly, it’s what we’re put here to do. It’s our goal. It’s our mission. It’s to reach as many people in the area as we can and provide them with educational opportunities, and I think to partner with Amarillo College, to partner with AISD, to partner with business and to integrate ourselves into the community even more strongly than we already are.
NLNE: How has the partnership increased your relationship with other institutions?
WT: I guess I’ll answer that in two parts. Personally, I have gained such a broader understanding of how Amarillo College operates, the leadership there, their mission and certainly, the same is true of AISD. For a lot of people at the university, we don’t have to think very much or very hard about the independent school districts that are in the region.
I always joke about college professors who think that their students drop from the heavens on the first day of class, and don’t have any prior experience or knowledge. So, to learn about the issues facing them, to learn for instance, about the level of poverty, the number of children who are on free and reduced lunches, to learn about the breadth of programming that Amarillo College has.
All that is knowledge that I carry to meetings that I have on campus when we talk about, what’s our goal, what’s our vision, how do we connect with these people? It just provides me with the breadth of knowledge I didn’t have, and then connections, quite honestly, to important people like Russell Lowery-Hart and Dana West. I would probably not move in those circles otherwise if I didn’t have this connection.
As an institution, I think that the answer is also very similar. I try to share that information as I said, in meetings when I’m with the deans, when I’m with the President, when I’m with other people, to either clarify things or to point out chances for us to partner, or chances for us to work on a common initiative. Dr. Wendler is very open and very interested in those sorts of things, so I think that will pick up some steam now that he’s assumed his leadership role here on campus. Continue reading →