Boyd C. Allen

Pilot Staff Writer

A three member team from the Ford Family Foundation met with local leaders in Brookings Jan. 31 to explain their philosophy for supporting and funding local initiatives.

Documents presented by the team explained Ford Institute principles and practices, community building resources and community economic development.

Associate Program Officer Rozalyn Mock described community development funding including strategic, capital and technical assistance grants. The grants offered money for communities to hire trainers and consultants, to build community spaces such as theaters or community centers and to train or educate workers or business owners.

Associate Director Max Gimbel described how the foundation helps community leaders and groups make connections and work with each other to increase their capacity to achieve community goals.

Director Roque Barros used a wheel-like chart to illustrate how the Ford Institute recommends a team-approach for residents to communicate and lead through processes such as planning, listening and learning and engaging and mobilizing.

Community leaders and attendees began the meeting by explaining what they saw as positive things happening in the area and noting how their groups were involved.

Curry County Commissioner Chris Paasch offered his ranch — as part of his Dreams Hope and Faith Foundation — for local groups to use more extensively. He noted the ranch had a woodshop and a welding shop as well as space for outdoor and artistic activities.

Paasch also said he wanted collaborate with community leaders and residents to create a strategic plan for the county.

Brookings-Harbor schools information officer Nancy Raskauskas-Coons said the school was establishing a summer food program complete with a modified school bus for food delivery and asked local groups to support the program so it can be maintained and expanded.

Brookings Harbor Friends of Music representatives Sonia Gray and Maureen Ter Beek talked to Coons about working with the schools to establish a new or improved event space for public performances and other activities.

Some of the groups attending were the staffs at the city of Brookings, the Brookings Harbor Friends of Music, Chetco Pelican Players, Brookings-Harbor schools, Nature's Coastal Holiday, the Brookings-Harbor Chamber of Commerce and Wild Rivers Connect.

To contact the Ford Foundation for more information, call (541) 957-5574.

Reach Boyd C. Allen at ballen@currypilot.com

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