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Avista Foundation awards latest round of gifts topping $500,000

UPDATED: Fri., July 10, 2020

By Thomas Clouse The Spokesman-Review

The Avista Foundation has announced its latest round of grants this week to 37 organizations that total more than $500,000.

In total, the new grants exceed $1.5 million since the start of the year, Avista president and CEO Dennis Vermillion said in a news release.

“We’re committed to investing in our communities,” Vermillion said, “and supporting organizations that provide services to youth and families is part of this commitment.”

One of the recipients was If You Could Save Just One, a Hillyard-based nonprofit that offers art, dance and music classes. It received a grant from the Avista Foundation of $15,000.

CEO and founder of the organization, Natalie Gutierrez, said the grant helped her secure much needed instructors that allowed her to expand programming.

“It is this kind of support that helps ensure these kids are able to thrive and reach their full potential,” Gutierrez said in the release. “We are so grateful.”

The largest cash award of the cycle, $100,000, went to All In Washington, which is a coordinated statewide relief effort powered by a coalition of public officials, companies, community foundations and others, according to the organization’s website.

Among the 35 other recipients was the Historic Flight Foundation at Spokane’s Felts Field, which received a grant of $25,000. It strives to inspire and educate students of all ages, according to the news release.

“The Avista Foundation has made possible the introduction of aviation-based STEM experiences throughout the Inland Northwest,” said John Sessions, chairman of the Historic Flight Foundation. “We are grateful to have such a generous and capable partner.”

The Avista Foundation focuses its giving in the areas of vulnerable and limited income populations, education, and economic and cultural vitality. More than $8 million has been provided to community organizations since its establishment in 2002. It is a separate, nonprofit organization established by Avista Corp, and does not receive funding from Avista Utilities customers through rates.

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