Cow Creek Foundation Awards over $800K to Non-Profits

The Cow Creek Umpqua Indian Foundation (CCUIF) awarded grants to 83 charities in their fall round of giving on Tuesday, January 9, 2024. The combined total of $817,330 was awarded to non-profit organizations from Coos, Deschutes, Douglas, Jackson, Josephine, Klamath, and Lane Counties.

The CCUIF was founded in 1997, and began its philanthropic activity in 1998. Since its beginning, CCUIF has given over $24 million to non-profit charities in Oregon counties, focusing on offering assistance in education, strengthening youth and families, providing for positive youth development, and adding to the quality of life. In recent years, the Foundation has also put increasing emphasis on meeting basic needs and feeding the hungry.

Foundation Director Carma Mornarich said, “The Awards presentation is always an exciting time for everyone at the Foundation. A special feature for the Fall round of giving is that it coincides with the beginning of our calendar year. The beginning of the year holds promise, and we react to that by making resolutions, by reviewing the strengths and weaknesses of the previous year, and by assigning our energies to the positive in life. I think if ever there was a group of people who had positive determination, it is this group. The Cow Creek Umpqua Indian Foundation supports, admires, and is proud of the work that is being done in our communities.”

In addition to the donations—ranging from $5,000 to $15,000 on average—to charities with a variety of missions like feeding the hungry or providing disadvantaged children with artistic opportunities, two charities were selected for special awards that honor two Cow Creek Umpqua Tribal members that made significant impacts on helping the Tribe get where they are today: Martha Young and Buss Rondeau. These awards are given to charities that the CCUIF feels exemplify the philosophies of these individuals.

The Martha Young Award honors a former Executive Director of the CCUIF, who served from 1997 until her death in 2006. The recipient of the Martha Young award in this round of giving was Altrusa International Foundation of Roseburg, which focuses on providing several literacy-based projects each year. One such project is the annual Celebration of Literacy, which impacts 24,000 children and adults in Douglas County each year. Altrusa’s goals are to demonstrate to the public that reading is the basis of all learning, is critical for success, and can be fun. Altrusa consistently reaches 18,000 – 20,000 people with their message.

“Martha Young believed in supporting activities and learning that would benefit children. Her support of literacy was well known in her community,” said Mornarich. “Her support for Altrusa International Foundation with its emphasis on reading would be very strong.”

The Buss Rondeau Award honors one of the founding members of the CCUIF Board, who also served on the Tribal Board of Directors for the Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians (CCBUTI) and who passed away in the year 2000.  The recipient of the Buss Rondeau Award in this round of giving was Creswell Clubhouse, which serves children in grades K-6 with educational enrichment activities after school and during summer months. They provide homework help, individual tutoring, reading time, development of social skills and conflict resolution, fine and performing arts activities, and so much more. During the 2022/2023 school year and 2023 summer camp program, they served a total of 115 Creswell youth.

“Buster felt that providing opportunities for youth in a variety of ways was the key to personal success,” said Mornarich. “Buss Rondeau would support the activities of the Creswell Clubhouse.”

CCBUTI has a long tradition of giving back to communities where the Tribe lives and works. CCUIF awards are made separately from and in addition to regular philanthropic decisions made by the Cow Creek Tribal Board.