Category Archives: AAF

Partner with the Amarillo Area Foundation.

Who Are our Partners? 

At the Amarillo Area Foundation (AAF), we are grateful to the many supporters that generously give an annual gift to help us achieve our mission of improving quality of life for Texas Panhandle residents.  Until recently, you have been our “Members,” however, we at the Foundation feel that you are so much more – you are our Partners as we strive to serve the 26 counties of the Panhandle.   

Beginning in 2019, the campaign “Panhandle Partners in Philanthropy” will highlight the projects that your contributions have made possible throughout the Texas Panhandle.  While fundamentally the “membership” process has not changed, the Foundation believes that the name “Partners” better reflects what your gift means in serving our surrounding communities.   

What to Expect?  

On the anniversary of your partnership, you will still receive correspondence with an opportunity to renew your support with the Foundation.  Your gifts help sponsor AAF programs such as The Panhandle Gives which raised over $865,120 for organizations throughout the Panhandle on Giving Tuesday as well as ongoing initiatives that provide scholarships for area students.  Your support allows these programs to continue to grow and reach even more of our organizations and neighbors.   

In addition to our new campaign, we are also excited to welcome Trevor and Sarah Caviness as our 2019 Panhandle Partners in Philanthropy Chairs.  They encourage others to partner with AAF because they believe it is important for people to: 

  • Make a positive difference for residents of the Panhandle. 
  • Serve a purpose greater than self. 
  • Learn new things about this great place we call home. 
  • Be part of a team where people trust, help, and support one another. 

Their dedication to the Texas Panhandle is evident, and we are grateful for their advocacy on behalf of AAF. 

Why Should You Join? 

The Texas Panhandle is a wonderful place to live, work, and raise a family.  We are also blessed to have countless organizations that serve a vast array of needs throughout our communities.  As a Panhandle Partner in Philanthropy, you can further assist these organizations and their missions of helping shape the Panhandle by simply giving your annual donation.   

Please join us!  There are several ways to either renew your partnership or to get the process started – by giving individually, corporately, or by becoming a fund holder.   

Please feel free to reach out to Jayla Lackey, Director of Annual Giving, at jayla@aaf-hf.org or 806-350-4519 with any questions.  Thank you for helping us improve quality of life for residents of the Texas Panhandle through your partnership.

There’s still time if you hurry!

Are you a graduating high school senior or a current college student interested in applying for scholarship funds to attend college?  If so, we have good news!  We are 12 days from our deadline to submit an application for the 100+ scholarship funds available at the Amarillo Area Foundation.  These scholarships are available for different colleges/universities and fields of study.  Each scholarship has its own set of criteria.  Eligibility for scholarships could be based on:

Wondering if you might be eligible?

  Go to www.AmarilloAreaFoundation.org/scholarship to see all of your options.  Questions?  Contact the Amarillo Area Foundation scholarship department at 806.376.4521 or scholarships@aaf-hf.org.  Don’t leave money sitting on the table.  Apply today!

The Panhandle Gave!

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: broc@aaf-hf.org.  

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: 

Premier Sponsors

The Don and Sybil Harrington Foundation 

Louise Bowers Slentz Foundation 

Presenting Sponsors 

Amarillo National Bank 

Happy State Bank 

High Plains Christian Ministries Foundation 

United Supermarkets 

Key Sponsors 

Cactus Feeders 

FirstBank Southwest 

First United Bank 

Underwood Law 

Platinum Sponsors 

Auto Inc. 

Amarillo Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics 

Brown Graham and Company 

Favor Food Delivery Service 

Mary E. Bivins Foundation 

Media Sponsors 

KAMR 

KCIT 

KFDA 

KVII 

Lamar Outdoor 

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  

 

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)

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.