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Routing # 324173383

Community Pioneer Winners

Dahn, a man holding a check for 5000 dollars

Dahn Lyttle - Women's and Children's Alliance

Originally from Toronto, Canada, Dahn moved to Boise 13 years ago for work and doesn’t want to leave! He is a father to a wonderful 6-year-old girl, a graphic designer by day, and loves to cook!

Years ago, there was a tweet-up at Moon’s Café for a soup fundraiser benefiting the Women’s and Children’s Alliance (WCA). As a cook and a supporter of the community, Dahn attended the event. While there, he spoke with a representative from the WCA and inquired about how he could get involved with their mission. Kids play an important role in his life, and he wanted to do what he could to ensure they felt safe and important. He really wanted to work with the children but was willing to donate his time to any need within the WCA. Dahn has now been a volunteer for 10 years!

For more than 30 years, the Women’s and Children’s Alliance has been at the forefront of providing services to women, men, and children healing from domestic abuse and sexual assault. Since its founding, the WCA’s crisis program has evolved into one of the most vital, unduplicated, comprehensive programs in our region. The vision of WCA is to foster a community where individuals thrive in healthy relationships. The WCA focuses on safety, healing and freedom from abuse.

Since he began volunteering with the WCA, it has been Dahn’s goal to ensure the children he interacts with look to him as a male role model and feel safe with him. He displays through actions and communication that there are caring men. He hopes he can provide a safe space and make them feel comfortable.

For more information on this organization, visit their website at http://www.wcaboise.org/

Amy, woman holding a check for 4000 dollars

Amy Mitchell- Fuzzy Pawz Rescue

Since moving to Boise 15 years ago, Amy Mitchell has gotten attached to the city of trees! She loves that Boise is a city that it offers everything but still has a small-town feel. The people are friendly and caring. Amy says Boise is one of the most community-minded places she’s ever lived and she loves life here.

Ten years ago, Amy lost a dear friend and struggled with coping. To heal, she found a rescue animal group to help deal with the emotions of her loss. Eventually that group dissolved and there were no other options in the area. That is when the idea for Fuzzy Pawz Rescue began. This group of animal lovers banded together to rescue unwanted dogs and cats that are in shelters and pounds located throughout Idaho. The non-profit places each animal into a foster home program while they search for their forever homes. Fuzzy Paws Rescue supplies all vet care, food, toys, bedding – anything they need while in their care. They focus on animals that are considered “hard to adopt” for various reasons like kennel stress, having a black coat, or being over 8 years old. Often a foster home rather than a shelter environment gives many of these animals a second chance at the life they deserve!

Since 2009, Fuzzy Pawz Rescue has helped about 3,000 animals get a second chance. They currently have about 25 foster homes but would love to see that expand by adding 10 more and finding more individuals who are willing to foster cats.

For more information on this organization, visit their website at http://fuzzypawzrescue.com/.

Man holding a check for 3000 dollars for the Backpack Bridge

Tami Mouser - Backpack Bridge

Born and raised in Mountain Home, Idaho, Tami loves her community! Her father owned a business in Mountain Home for 40 years, and now she is a business owner herself. Being part of a small town and getting to know everyone through business ownership makes Tami feel connected to the community and gives her a sense of pride for what she does. She is also a local artist and donates her time to restore the beauty of Mountain Home by painting art in the alleys. If that weren’t enough to keep her busy, Tami also raises her 7-year-old son and enjoys adventuring with him!

Seven years ago, Tami struggled to make ends meet. She got divorced, moved in to a friend’s rental, and didn’t have her own running car. It was challenging to provide for herself. At that time, she was given her 5-month-old son with no supplies or means to raise a child. The community rallied to help her until she could handle things on her own. If it weren’t for the support of her daycare, her father, and other community members graciously donating baby items, she doesn’t know how she would have made it through.

Tami has been a business owner for 15 years and is not raising her boy all by herself. While at her salon one day, she realized she wanted to do something to help struggling families and provide the basic necessities to school-aged children so they could focus on their studies and not worry about whether they had a pencil to do their work, shoes to run around on the playground, or even food in their belly to make it through the day. This is how The Backpack Bridge began. She knew there were families who were struggling but too proud or embarrassed to say anything to get the help they needed. Tami wanted The Backpack Bridge to be just that, a bridge between schools and the community to get the proper supplies for the classroom and make sure children are not distracted by the lack of simple necessities in life, like shoes and food.

For more information on this organization, visit their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/groups/1758027464480520/.

Mandy, holding a check for 2000 dollars for the QRU fundraiser

Mandy Archer - QRU Fundraiser

Mandy Archer was born and raised in Idaho. She grew up in Buhl, went to college in Southern Idaho, and currently resides in Kimberly with her family. She loves Idaho for its four seasons and variety of activities to enjoy. Growing up, Mandy watched her parents and siblings volunteer their time to the community. Her dad is an officer and a volunteer fire-fighter along with her brother. She was raised in a community-minded environment, and her relatives modeled the behavior of selfless giving. It’s in her DNA to give back where she sees a need.

Years ago, while working for her current employer, her boss asked her to reach out to the quick response units to help organize an event. During this time, Mandy saw how little support the quick response units are given and noticed the lack of funding for these groups of volunteers. She knew they needed support financially, but she also thought the community deserved to be educated on what quick response units are. Twelve years ago, Mandy started the Annual QRU Fundraiser to fill the void.

QRU stands for Quick Response Unit. The Annual QRU Fundraiser is an event in Twin Falls that educates the community on quick response units and raises funds for these initiatives. They also strive to unite the Magic Valley to support their rural emergency response teams. Most of the men and women who are part of the QRUs work on a volunteer basis and purchase their much-needed supplies and training on their own. They typically use their own vehicles and leave “day jobs” to respond to emergencies as they arise. They are the first responders to many outdoor enthusiast activity areas and are not often recognized for their efforts. Injuries or accidents suffered by outdoor enthusiasts and travelers on rural highways and roads can occur in areas far from a local hospital and emergency services. Without these units being available in rural areas, response from an emergency team could take over an hour or more. The Annual QRU Fundraiser helps QRUs to be available with the equipment and training needed to save lives.

For more information on this organization, visit their website at http://www.qrufundraiser.org/

Steve, holding a check for 1000 dollars for Ride for 22

Steve Exceen - Ride for 22

An Oregon-raised ex-Marine, Steve has lived in Nampa for the past 13 years. He served a total of 6 years active in the United States Marine Corps and was stationed in Okinawa, Japan; Camp Pendleton, California; and Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii. He was awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Medal of Heroism. After a tragedy in his family, he got out of the Marine Corps to return home and help.

Of all the places Steve has lived, the Treasure Valley is the best. The people are genuine and it is a great community. When Steve is not enjoying a ride on his motorcycle or helping raise awareness for veteran suicide, he is enjoying time with his 10-year-old daughter and working on his Communication degree at BSU.

Every day in the United States, 22 veterans succumb to suicide – losing their personal battle to the invisible wounds of war. Four years ago, Steve lost one of his childhood friends to suicide. He knew he had to do something to raise awareness, so he started Ride For 22. Ride For 22 is a non-profit organization that cares deeply about serving our nation’s military members and their families. Their mission is to spread awareness of Post-Traumatic Stress (PTS) and educate the public, serve as a living memorial, and provide support and comfort to the loved ones left behind. Ride For 22 hopes that, by raising awareness and educating the public, they can help eliminate some of the stigma that surrounds military PTS and allow veterans to seek and receive the help and social support they so desperately need and reduce the number from 22 to 0. They want to be life-line for veterans and survivors who suffer from the effects of PTS so they don’t have to go through it alone.

For more information on this organization, visit their website at https://www.ridefor22.org/.