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Investing $7 million to strengthen communities

In conjunction with its 130th birthday, a major philanthropic contribution announced by Avista in March is already strengthening our local communities. An additional $7 million will be invested over the next three years. The funding is specifically focused on making an impact in three key areas: Homelessness, Small Town Pride and Youth Success.

One of the first investments in Small Town Pride was in Rosalia, Washington. The historic Rosalia Texaco Service Station, a small stucco building built in 1923, received much-needed restoration and paint, just in time for the annual Rosalia Battle Days parade on June 1st. The Town of Rosalia paid one-fourth of the cost of the project, with Avista providing the $19,000 balance. A team of Avista employees volunteered to paint the station’s interior, while professionals restored the remaining portions of the building.

Kevin Hennessey, Avista Products and Services manager, organized eight of his colleagues into a team of would-be painters, ready to freshen up the historic space which is also home to one of Avista’s electric vehicle DC fast charging stations.

“The project is special to me because my grandparents and Mom lived in Rosalia,” Kevin smiled. “I remember coming to this Texaco service station as a little guy to get ice cream with my grandpa. Long ago, the station served stage coaches and operated as a livery stable. There’s a lot of Rosalia history in this building.”

The Texaco Service Center building now serves as the town’s Visitor Center and contains many photographs and artifacts chronicling the town’s history and small town pride. Read more about the history of the Rosalia Texaco Station here.

“Our region and our company are human powered,” said Scott Morris, chairman and CEO of Avista, when he announced the additional $7 million investment. “We are proud to celebrate 130 years of working together to build strong, healthy and vibrant communities.”

Working with our communities, Avista is focusing on three initiatives:

  • Homelessness – working to help find solutions to this very complex issue facing communities both large and small
  • Small Town Pride – strengthening communities by solving tough problems, building resilience and continuing to care for neighbors
  • Youth Success – recognizing the many challenges faced by youth today, investing in initiatives to ensure youth can be safe and successful in the classroom and excited for their future

“The issues surrounding homelessness, our rural communities and our youth are each big and very challenging,” noted Kristine Meyer, Avista Foundation director. “We know it will take time to collaboratively work toward solutions. We look to make investments in the announced $7 million over the course of the next several years through Avista’s existing philanthropic grants programs.”

The Avista Foundation website is the single point of entry for all philanthropic program applications, including requests for projects that address the three initiatives. Avista is seeking to strengthen connections and engage with community partners to unearth the opportunities and solutions to these complex issues.

To date, Avista has identified a handful of early opportunities from among our grant applications to make investments with a portion of the $7 million:



Homelessness

  • Women and Children’s Free Restaurant (Spokane) - $3,000 to provide meals for homeless and low income clientele distributed through 28 non-profit organization sites
  • Volunteers of America (Spokane) - $10,000 to purchase furnishings for the new Hope House shelter

Small Town Pride

  • Town of Rosalia (WA) - $19,000 for the restoration of historic Texaco Station building
  • Northwest Harvest (WA) - $5,000 for year-round nutrition distributed in 19 communities including rural Ferry, Adams and Stevens counties

Youth Success

  • Girl Scouts of Eastern WA & North Idaho - $7,500 for mobile STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) lab to bring STEM education to K-12 students
  • Spokane Eastside Reunion Association (Spokane) - $5,000 to support the youth center with tutoring and job training

The funding for this $7 million investment does not come from utility rates, but instead comes from shareholders through the various philanthropy programs of Avista.

Through its corporate and foundation giving, Avista infuses more than $2.5 million annually into communities across its five-state service area. Since 2008, Avista has contributed $21.8 million to the communities it serves.

Learn more about the Avista Foundation and the grant application process.

Avista Foundation

Tags: Community, Giving Back

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