We concluded our fourth and final Annual Luncheon of 2015 last month with a great event in Fort Hall in eastern Idaho. We started hosting luncheons in the eastern, central and northern parts of the state five years ago. I was a little wistful because I truly enjoy these events and will miss them when I’m retired next year.
Justin Osmond was our keynote speaker and he is a true inspiration. He is the second son of Merrill and Mary Osmond and was born with a 90 percent hearing loss that was not diagnosed until he was two years old. He completed 12 years of intense speech and listening therapy, and said there were many obstacles and challenges that sometimes caused him to feel despair and lose hope. But through his perseverance he has become an accomplished musician, athlete and philanthropist. Justin did a wonderful job and was a memorable speaker.
Following the luncheon, I made a quick trip to north Idaho where our regional officer Charlie Miller and I participated in the University of Idaho Nonprofit Retreat in Sandpoint. More than 200 nonprofits attended the event, which was organized by Bob Over who oversees the UI nonprofit certificate program for the Panhandle. It was a terrific event and a most enjoyable couple of hours being around these wonderful nonprofit leaders.
Retirement is approaching quickly so I am visiting various communities across Idaho to say thanks to funders, board directors and old friends. Last month that included a trip to Salmon and Lemhi County. I love this area for its natural beauty and the warmth of its people. One of those people is ICF Board Director Bill Allen. He is a local accountant and he and his wife Diz Allen are great hosts. Bill has been instrumental in introducing ICF to nonprofits and donors in the area and he helped establish the Lemhi Valley Community Foundation, which is an ICF affiliate. I am very appreciative of his work on our behalf.
After spending an evening with Bill and Diz, I was off to Idaho Falls where I had lunch with Doug and Billie Nelson, two of my favorite Idahoans. Doug was chair of the ICF Board when I was hired in 2009 and has provided valuable advice about how to increase ICF’s visibility in eastern Idaho. Doug and Billie also served on our Upper Snake River Leadership Council, have an ICF fund and Billie is a member of the Eastern Region Competitive Grants Panel.
I had dinner that evening with Park and Sharon Price, Tim and Anne Hopkins and Virginia Willard. Virginia and Anne were longtime members of the Eastern Region Competitive Grants Panel. Park is a past ICF board chair is currently a member of our Investment Committee. Tim recently retired from the board. They are a wonderful group committed to enriching the quality of life throughout Idaho, especially eastern Idaho.
The next day I had breakfast with another of my favorite people, Alan Van Orden of Pocatello, and lunch with a dear friend from Soda Springs, Trent Clark. Alan served as ICF treasurer for many years and is still on the board. He was instrumental in introducing ICF to one of its largest funds in southeastern Idaho, the F.M., Anne G., and Beverly B. Bistline Foundation Fund. Trent has been an ICF board director for six years and was instrumental in working with the Idaho Legislature a few years ago to include ICF funds in the legislation that provides income tax credits for gifts to schools, museum, libraries and other educational entities. He has also been influential in ICF agency funds established in eastern Idaho.
I feel so lucky to have been associated with all of these wonderful people throughout my time at ICF and I am looking forward to the rest of October, November and December!