Printed on: December 06, 2012

Lemhi foundation to help groups that help Salmon

By Laura Zuckerman

SALMON -- Nonprofits in the Salmon area have banded together to establish a foundation they hope will fill a financial gap for underfunded local projects.

The newly created Lemhi Valley Community Foundation seeks donations of cash, personal property or life insurance policies. The goal is to establish an endowment that would disburse a small percentage each year to local organizations.

The foundation came to life amid brainstorming by such groups as the Salmon Valley Chamber of Commerce and Salmon Arts Council.

Tammy Stringham, executive director of the Lemhi County Economic Development Association and chairwoman of the new foundation, said participants identified the need for a multipurpose funding arm that could provide aid for everything from education to health projects.

"Many foundations are established to serve a single purpose. We needed something locally that had more flexibility," she said.

An example of a program that needs a financial boost is Lemhi's After School Promise, which provides a building, education aid and other activities for latchkey kids.

Foundation Vice Chairwoman Cindy Phelps said the student-centered organization is vital to the community.

"In several cases, groups don't need a lot of money, but they need a continuing source of some money," she said. "Individual players go out and seek funds for their own causes, but there is not a central fund that benefits the valley in perpetuity, a fund that will help people here for decades to come."

Foundation board members have donated seed money and hope to stage a fundraiser come spring.

Preliminary planning suggests an event that would require groups to stage brief but lively presentations about their purpose and goals and gain votes -- for $1 per vote -- from the community to establish which would receive an infusion of $1,000.

On the internet

For information about the foundation, contact Tammy Stringham or Cindy Phelps at 756-1567 or donate at: