BEND, OR -- Five local nonprofits competed for a $10,000 prize at the Central Oregon Impact Summit. Tuesday night's event was held at the Riverhouse Convention Center, organized by the latest Leadership Bend class.
Jacob Fain, with Leadership Bend, says the project serves a community need. "Our real vision is, we want to be able to elevate the nonprofit community here, in Central Oregon. And, some of the hard skills that a lot of the organizations got had to do with managing effective boards, being able to get out and tell their story and really promote what their mission is. I think, at the end of the day, a lot of nonprofits really struggle with that part, and that's really tied to the dollars; and the dollars are what help move their mission forward."
The class selected five organizations to compete for the grant: The Deschutes Children's Foundation, Healthy Beginnings, High Desert Food and Farm, La Pine Community Kitchen and Treehouse Therapies. "We then started looking at their mission, their impact," Fain tells KBND News. "We were looking for some really tangible results, but also looking where are these nonprofits at currently, and what do they need to take it to the next level. And, the organizations that best were able to describe what they needed to take their mission to the next level were the ones that made it to the top five for the opportunity to compete for $10,000."
In the end, La Pine Community Kitchen
was awarded the top prize. "Our utility bills are $10,000 a year, so it will provide the electricity, the gas and the water that we need to operate, in order to help the 3,000 people we serve every single year," Executive Director Kim Hafermalz said in a statement. "I am excited and thrilled. Now I can pay these critical expenses." Hafermalz adds, "To win this prize means that Bend and the bigger world, as we see it, say, 'yes, this is good and we support you.' It's life changing."