The Limelight Ketchum Community Fund, founded in 2016, continued to grow in scope, influence, and capacity in 2018. The Fund, which now operates under a four-person board, donated $36,000 to thirteen organizations in the Wood River Valley region. Supported programs focused primarily on early childhood education, youth development groups, senior food services, and mental health crisis response. Find the full list of funded projects below organization-spotlights.


The Crisis Hotline, an organization aimed at mitigating crises relating to mental health, abuse, and others, was awarded $2,650. Sher Foster, Executive Director, noted that “people facing any number of crises can call and receive advice, support, and referrals when necessary. We are the only organization in Idaho to offer free, anonymous, and nonjudgmental support to callers of all ages and socioeconomic backgrounds.” This support is provided confidentially, immediately, and is available 24 hours a day. Any individual in crisis, be it one relating to mental health, abuse, or loss, can call and receive counseling. The program also connects callers with emergency or legal services, long-term therapy solutions, and financial aid. Foster went on to emphasize the importance of funding from the Limelight Ketchum Community Fund. “Because volunteers are crucial to our work, we strive to make our training as accessible as possible. With increased funding, we could grow the program and train more members of our community in crisis intervention.”

Crisis Hotline - LL Ketchum Community Fund


The Lee Pesky Learning Center is aimed at helping children with learning disabilities succeed. The Center works with students, families, and schools to help them collectively understand difficulties facing children with learning disabilities, and provide them with tools to overcome those difficulties. The Center received funding for its School-Based Self-Regulation Curriculum, a program designed to help at-risk children achieve positive academic outcomes. Many children have difficulties monitoring and adjusting their own emotions and behavior, especially if they are stressed or overwhelmed in a school environment. The preventative Lee Pesky program, which received $3,000 from the Ketchum Community Fund, is designed to work with students and teachers in schools to provide at-risk children with tools to better self-regulate and productively address obstacles. In providing these tools, the Lee Pesky center helps decrease the rate of adult anxiety, depression, and substance abuse often prevalent in individuals that never learned to self-regulate as children.

Lee Pasky


The Environmental Resource Center’s “Growing Great Minds” program is designed to fill the gap created by budget cuts in Wood River Valley school districts, as many schools were forced cut down science curriculum. The program provides free, in-class science courses that are hands-on, engaging, and connected with those subjects students are covering in school. Additionally, the Environmental Resource Center is prepared to work with students between pre-school and 12th grade. The program builds students’ confidence with the sciences and provides one-on-one skills building and tutoring around these subjects. Many schools no longer have the capacity to provide this individualized support due to growing class size.


2018 funded projects represent a broad range of issues facing the Wood River Valley community:



The Senior Connection: Food Security – No Senior Goes Hungry $3,800.00
Mountain Rides: Bus Pass Scholarship Program $1,850.00
Crisis Hotline: Annual Community Volunteer Training $2,650.00
NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Illness Wood River Valley: Bluebirds Youth Support Group and Club $4,000.00
Environmental Resource Center: Growing Great Minds $3,000.00
Blaine County Education Foundation: A101 Special Needs – Boys Social Skills Class /Girls Social Skills Class $3,040.00
Salvation Army of the Wood River Valley: Program Support $1,000.00
Flourish Foundation: Young Achievers Family Wellness $4,000.00
Lee Pesky Learning Center: School-Based Self-Regulation Curriculum – Improving Outcomes for Children At-Risk $3,000.00
Hospice and Palliative Care of the Wood River Valley: Bereavement Support and Drug Disposal $2,000.00
St Lukes Wood River Foundation: Center for Community Health Counseling Scholarship Fund $2,000.00
Interlink Volunteer Caregivers: “Access to Healthcare” Transportation Program for Blaine County Citizens $3,600.00
Idaho Association for the Education of Young Children: READY! for Kindergarten $3,000.00
Total $36,940

About Kelsey Anderson

Kelsey is a Midwest native who currently resides in Colorado. She spends her weekends hiking, biking, and checking out local eateries. Her favorite things to do in Aspen are hiking around Maroon Bells, jamming at Belly Up, and exploring the latest restaurants.