‘Tis the season for giving to CGCC Foundation Fund

Columbia Gorge Community College welcomes generous holiday “giving” to ensure its grant match challenge goal.

Around the holidays, it’s no secret that nonprofit organizations worldwide rally for end-of-year donations. But critical needs must also be met in the Columbia Gorge region, including scholarships for student education. That’s why Columbia Gorge Community College hasn’t stopped its own plea for contributions to the CGCC Foundation endowment match challenge.

Thanks to a U.S. Department of Education Title III grant awarded to the college several years ago, CGCC Foundation has been spotlighting the benefits of investing in this perpetual “lifeline” for future student scholarships. With the grant challenge, contributions to the foundation endowment fund receive a dollar-for-dollar match up to $200,000 until the grant expires, Sept. 30, 2015.

Thanks to this unique aspect to the grant, any gifts to the endowment fund will essentially be doubled, making this an incredibly effective, sustainable financial avenue for rewarding and reinforcing positive student achievement in the future.

“The spirit of giving is undoubtedly alive in our region, considering we’ve already received over $120,000 in contributions and a recent, generous gift for an additional $12,000,” said Carina Schmidt, the foundation board’s chair and a member of the local community.

“But while we’re a little over halfway there in terms of meeting our goal, the pace and levels of giving must pick up if we’re to maximize this special grant’s potential. So with the holidays and year’s end upon us, we’re asking community members to contribute to this foundation, specifically this time-sensitive grant.”

While the CGCC Foundation has been encouraging community members to contribute to this grant match challenge, it’s also been noting a boost in scholarship need. Scholarship applications have increased over the past few years. Between 2012 and 2013, the college’s foundation awarded $132,000 in scholarship support to 104 students. Students benefit from financial relief for tuition and, in some cases, books and/or fees.

However, the perk for endowment contributors is supporting students in many ways, knowing this tax-deductible gift builds the fund’s principal, which remains untouched while the interest earned will be used to support scholarships over the long term.

“In a sense, this is an evergreen gift, or one that lasts forever,” said Dr. Frank Toda, who is both CGCC’s president and a member of the CGCC foundation board. “Once given, the money will go on to serve students today and in the years to come. Clearly, the more principal we have in this fund, the more interest we can earn and the more support we can provide to those students who so deserve it.”

Multiple, flexible options are available for giving to the endowment. To learn more or for specifics on the federal grant match challenge, visit gorgefoundation.org.

About Columbia Gorge Community College Foundation

The CGCC Foundation mission is to build dreams and transform lives by cultivating respectful relationships that promote lifelong learning.

The foundation was established in 1979 to advance and promote the interests and the development of Columbia Gorge Community College, its students and the community. It is an Oregon nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, and donations to the foundation are tax-deductible as allowed by law.

To achieve the foundation’s mission, the foundation board and its staff solicit and administer charitable donations from individuals, organizations, and businesses.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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