Three Rivers Foundation awards statewide grants to 46 nonprofits

Feb. 29, 2020 — The Three Rivers Foundation held its annual Grant Awards Luncheon on Feb. 27 at Three Rivers Casino Resort in Florence.

The Three Rivers Foundation was established in 2011 to serve as the charitable arm of the Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua, and Siuslaw Indians in order to provide funding to a wide array of charitable organizations determined to play important roles in the future wellbeing of Oregon.

Some of the areas the foundation provides funding for include education, health, public safety, arts, the environment, historic preservation, and various cultural activities.

There are some eligibility requirements that interested organizations should be aware of when applying for a grant, which include being registered as a 501(c)3 and requesting funds for project within the state.

The luncheon began at noon with a warm welcome given by Three Rivers Trustee Mark Petrie. Petrie is involved with a number of organizations in addition to his work with the foundation, including Oregon Coast Council for the Arts, The Pregnancy and Planning Center, Friends of Trees and the Oregon Coast Youth Symphony.

Petrie is noticeably younger than many of the individuals involved in the luncheon and his enthusiasm was evident in the short but serious introduction he gave to attendees. He also recapped the numbers involved in this year’s awards.

“A total of 46 organizations received funding this year, and more than 700,000 volunteer hours were donated by members of these organizations,” Petrie said. “More than 400,000 people were helped by those organizations.” 

At this point, Petrie introduced members of the Tribal Council and the Trustees of the Three River Foundation, which included Lane County Commissioner Pat Farr.

Next, Chief Warren Brainard gave the invocation, calling for those in attendance to work towards a vision of unity and respect for the planet and all of its inhabitants, under the guidance of the Great Spirit.

A number of local groups received funding from this year’s awards, including the Boys and Girls Club of Western Lane County and Memory Care Respite Center of Florence.

Chuck Trent is the executive director of the Boys and Girls club and his organization counts on this type of financial support to achieve its main mission.

“We work every day to create a safe, fun environment so kids can have every opportunity to be successful in life,” he said. “Together with the Three Rivers Foundation, we improve, enrich and enhance the health and welfare of the kids in our community because we know that the future of our country rests with its children. Today’s kids will become tomorrow’s parents, workforce and leaders. The Three Rivers Foundation and The Boys & Girls Club believe that the promise of tomorrow begins today and together we make that promise a reality.” 

There were also a small number of students from Siuslaw School District on hand to receive a grant for Memory Care Respite Center of Florence, which is located at the Florence Senior Center, 1570 Kingwood Drive.

 The Memory Care Respite Center offers local care givers an opportunity to leave their loved ones in a safe, structured environment but has faced funding and staff challenges that threaten its ongoing existence. That threat will be significantly diminished as a result of this award.

“The grants help Memory Respite Care offer support to caregivers and family members that are primary caregivers, and to give them a break from the stress of providing care to a loved one,” said Memory Care Respite Center Board Treasurer Ron Preisler. “The basic purpose of this grant is to provide funding for scholarships for Memory Respite Care. This year’s funding will also provide Siuslaw School District with additional internships opportunities for students interested in working in this field in the future.”

For information regarding applying for grant awards from the Three River Foundation go to


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