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San Juan Island Community Foundation awards $57K in grants to 7 nonprofits, names new board member

It was a busy spring at the San Juan Island Community Foundation. In addition to awarding grants in support of nonprofit programming – including the Family Resource Center’s fire recovery efforts – SJICF also welcomed long-time islander Philip Johnson to its board of directors.

Grants boost critical community programs

In response to the devastating April 7 fire in downtown Friday Harbor, the Community Foundation and its donors awarded an emergency grant to the Joyce L. Sobel Family Resource Center. These funds provided temporary rental and mortgage assistance for business owners and employees in financial need. Additionally, they helped subsidize the FRC’s Community Wellness Program, which offered counseling sessions for families affected by the fire.

Community Foundation grants also supported the ongoing work of half a dozen other nonprofits, each of which offers a unique contribution to our quality of life here on San Juan Island.

Friday Harbor Athletic Association – FHAA’s grant will provide participation fee assistance for approximately 30 of the 120 children ages 6-14 taking part in this year’s football, basketball, and cheerleading programs. This support allows every child on the island to participate in these programs, regardless of their family’s ability to pay.

Alchemy Art Center – Alchemy’s grant will help the organization continue its Artists in Community program. This year, 11 visiting artists-in-residence from across the United States will take part in the program by leading Alchemy’s summer outreach efforts, teaching workshops and classes, hosting open studios, presenting artist talks, and showing their work at pop-up art shows.

San Juan Islands Museum of Art – SJIMA will use its grant to help continue its successful Family Art Days program, which connects more than 50 island children and parents to free art projects each week – either by completing projects on site at the museum, or by picking up take-home packets and working on the projects on their own.

San Juan Island Library – The Library’s grant will support two youth book groups during the upcoming school year. Each month, students in grades 3-5 will receive a new book to read on their own and will meet in person to discuss the book and take part in a related craft or activity. Students in grades 6-8 will also receive a new book each month and meet in person to discuss the book and watch its movie adaptation. More than 300 books will be given to island youth through these programs.

Kwiáht – Kwiáht’s grant will allow the organization to continue its research and monitoring of the distribution, vectors, and pathogens of ticks on San Juan Island. Because no public program for pathogen testing exists in Washington state, Kwiáht’s work is essential in assessing the risks ticks pose to humans, pets, and wildlife on the island.

San Juan Community Theatre – SJCT will use its grant to install needed outdoor lighting. The grant also supports the installation of emergency backup lighting in SJCT’s two theatres. The organization’s facilities collectively host more than 150 shows each year, in addition to summer camps and classes for children of all ages.

Philip Johnson joins board of directors

SJICF proudly added Philip Johnson to its Board of Directors this past May. Phil first discovered San Juan Island over 20 years ago and soon became a resident along with his spouse, Peg Gerlock. During his 40-year career as a market research professional, he was an owner and the CEO of Leo J. Shapiro & Assoc., a market research and consulting company. Professionally he has been a researcher, analyst, manager, mentor, and marketing consultant. Currently, he is president of JJG Group LLC, which provides survey research for intellectual property litigation. Phil has an undergraduate degree in psychology from Loyola University and an MBA from the University of Chicago.

Phil has served the Community Foundation as a member of its investment committee over the past eight years. For many years he was the chair of the annual San Juan Concours, and he is an active member in the San Juan Island Yacht Club.

“I have always wanted an opportunity to work more closely with this community,” Phil says. “I am honored to join the board of the San Juan Island Community Foundation, an organization which strives to empower and promote successful futures for individuals in our community and supports the non-profits who serve our community. I am looking forward to serving with this remarkable organization and its members.”

Established in 1994, SJICF grants funds to local nonprofits and provides scholarships to local students through the generosity of donors who wish to improve the quality of life on San Juan Island. SJICF’s mission is the help the San Juan Island community thrive through inspired and informed generosity and the Foundation’s trusted stewardship. To learn more, visit www.sjicf.org.


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