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Routing # 324173383

Community Pioneer Winners!

Thank you for supporting Community Pioneer 2017!

We are excited to announce our five winners who will be donating a combined total of $15,000 to the charity or non-profit organizations of their choice!

Harry Kreeft with Bikers Against Child Abuse - Parma

Harry was born in the Netherlands and moved to our great state when he accepted a position at the University of Idaho. He has lived in Parma since 1996 and loves the atmosphere because it reminds him of his native home.

Harry loves his life with Bikers Against Child Abuse (BACA) because it allows him to look after children in our community who really need it. BACA exists with the intent to create a safer environment for abused children. Their goal as a body of Bikers is to empower children to not feel afraid of the world in which they live. As kids are referred, they are assigned to two BACA members who act as their primary contacts to call whenever they need anything. BACA members are there if the children need someone to talk with, if they feel unsafe and need reassurance of protection, or if they would like someone to drive by frequently for added protection of their home. They also support children in court or if they are alone and frightened and would like someone to stay with them.

After witnessing child abuse, Harry wanted to do something to stop abuse and help where he could. He has witnessed in his own life how much of an impact abuse can have on a child and how alone those children can feel. It is his goal in life to change this for as many people as he can. Harry is a primary contact for six kids within the BACA organization.

Merlynn & Stan Legg with Idaho Special Olympics, Boise Community Stars - Boise

Merlynn and Stan have lived in the Treasure Valley since 1970. Stan graduated from BSU in 1975 and worked for the Fire Center before retiring after 40 years. Merlynn was a stay-at-home mom before becoming a para-professional for children with special needs. They love living in the Treasure Valley because it is a great place to raise a family.

Stan was a coach for the Special Olympics in Boise for 5 years before the two of them took over the program 4 years ago. They have two grandchildren with special needs and want to be as involved as possible with the wonderful organization that provides so many opportunities for special needs children. The couple helps coordinate coaches and athletes, chaperones, events, and parties for the athletes outside the sports season. They currently have a committee of 7 people.

The Special Olympics partners with local high schools such as Meridian High, Nampa High, Columbia, Eagle and Mountain View to provide mentors for the athletes. In order to make the events free for all athletes, they must raise a minimum of $20,000 each year. The only advertising they get is word-of-mouth in the community.

Erica Willenberg with Little Joys Remembrance Foundation - Boise

In 2014, Erica was pregnant with triplets; however, she delivered at 20 weeks and lost all three. Her goal since then has been to share her story and support others out there who have gone through the same heartache.

In November 2016, Erica started the Little Joys Remembrance Foundation in honor of losing her triplets. Her goal is to make it more comfortable and easier for families after the death of an infant. The mission behind Little Joys Remembrance Foundation is to provide hospitals with CuddleCots - a device that cools the baby and slows the decay process, allowing families to spend more time with their infant. Although we cannot change the situation and unfortunate circumstance, the foundation hopes to at least provide the option of time.

Since beginning the foundation less than a year ago, Erica and Little Joys Remembrance Foundation has been able to provide 5 CuddleCots to Idaho hospitals and have encouraged the placement of 3 others within the state.

Chris DeVore with Mountain Home Arts Council - Mountain Home

Christopher was born in Montana and moved around for college before settling in Mountain Home. He worked as a journalist before moving to the Mountain Home Arts Council (MHAC). He has lived in Mountain Home for just under 10 years and has been a part of the MHAC for 9 years. He started as a volunteer and worked his way up to be the director.

The Mountain Home Arts Council is in its 40th year. They bring performing arts, visual arts and literary elements to the community. They strive to bring culture that may not be around otherwise. The MHAC has positively affected many lives, including Christopher's son who keeps programs of events he's attended. The council also provides opportunities for local artists to showcase their work and meet others with similar interests.

The MHAC hopes to expand all areas - visual, performing, and literary arts. They would like to provide even more programs and events in the community and build the entire program. Being chosen as a Community Pioneer winner, MHAC is going to look for a great new program to provide for the community in the summer of 2018 and expand opportunities for local artists.

Wyatt Schroeder with CATCH, Inc. - Boise

Wyatt, a native of Philadelphia, PA, has been in Boise for the past three years, helping better our community and serving our most vulnerable. While serving in AmeriCorps and Rebuilding Together, Wyatt found the passion of his life: ending homelessness.

As Executive Director for CATCH, Inc. (Charitable Assistance to Community's Homeless), Wyatt works by re-housing and serving homeless families with children in Ada, Canyon, and Twin Falls counties. CATCH, Inc. programs support families for up to six months with rental assistance and intensive case management. The CATCH program model represents an unprecedented public/private partnership between regional government, area congregations of faith, local businesses, and strategic charitable organizations.

As a Community Pioneer, CATCH, Inc. is going to use the donated funds to help families in Ada, Canyon and Twin Falls counties find homes.

 

Congratulations to our winners! Thanks for all you do to move our community forward!