Members of the Cowlitz Indian Tribe and the community gathered to honor recipients of the Cowlitz Tribal Foundation grants at the ilani annual holiday tree lighting ceremony on Wednesday.
This quarter, the Cowlitz Tribal Foundation released its largest donation to date, totaling just over $2.5 million, according to a press release. Of the 31 grants awarded, nine were announced at the ceremony.
"Each year, the Cowlitz Indian Tribe is honored to support not-for-profit organizations dedicated to lifting up and strengthening our communities," said Cowlitz General Council Chair Patty Kinswa-Gaiser in a press release. "Today we are proud to partner with these nine recipients who demonstrate the true meaning of giving."
Of the nine grants given at the tree lighting, seven were awarded to nonprofits in Clark County, which will go toward the following, according to a press release:
— The Boys & Girls Clubs of Southwest Washington received the largest grant, totaling $1 million to support an expansion of operations, focused on supporting underserved youth.
"Our experience with the Cowlitz Tribal Foundation has been amazing. True to our core focus, we established a strong relationship with them and through the process have felt listened to, valued, trusted and supported," said Francisco Bueno, executive director of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Southwest Washington. "The investment the foundation has made will directly benefit thousands of youth in our community as it will help cover the increased cost to operate after a significant leveling up of compensation for our team."
— Clark-Cowlitz Fire Rescue received $700,000 to purchase two new ambulances.
— The Vancouver Housing Authority received $500,000 which will be used to purchase a 30-unit permanent housing structure to house youths aging out of the foster care system or experiencing houselessness. The housing structure will be named The Nám'u qas, meaning "to wish or hope" in the Cowlitz language.
— LaCenter School District received $100,000, which will help support the educational needs of students. It marks the second of two grants from the Cowlitz Tribal Fund for the school district in the last year, totaling nearly $200,000.
— The Lions Club of Ridgefield received $20,000, which will be used for operational functions to continue the organization's community outreach and support.
— Woodland Food Bank received $15,000 to help meet increased food security needs seen in 2022.
— Santa's Posse, a partnership between the Clark County Sheriff's Office and the local business community, received $30,000 to provide food and gifts for families in need during the holiday season
"The Cowlitz Indian Tribe believes these grants, which we are so honored to be able to donate through the Cowlitz Tribal Foundation, help foster both families and communities," said Cowlitz Tribal Foundation Manager, Timi Marie Russin, in the release.