In conjunction with its 130th birthday, a major philanthropic contribution announced by Avista in March is already strengthening our local communities. An additional $7 million will be invested over the next three years. The funding is specifically focused on making an impact in three key areas: Homelessness, Small Town Pride and Youth Success.
One of the first investments in Small Town Pride was in Rosalia, Washington. The historic Rosalia Texaco Service Station, a small stucco building built in 1923, received much-needed restoration and paint, just in time for the annual Rosalia Battle Days parade on June 1st. The Town of Rosalia paid one-fourth of the cost of the project, with Avista providing the $19,000 balance. A team of Avista employees volunteered to paint the station’s interior, while professionals restored the remaining portions of the building.
Kevin Hennessey, Avista Products and Services manager, organized eight of his colleagues into a team of would-be painters, ready to freshen up the historic space which is also home to one of Avista’s electric vehicle DC fast charging stations.
“The project is special to me because my grandparents and Mom lived in Rosalia,” Kevin smiled. “I remember coming to this Texaco service station as a little guy to get ice cream with my grandpa. Long ago, the station served stage coaches and operated as a livery stable. There’s a lot of Rosalia history in this building.”
The Texaco Service Center building now serves as the town’s Visitor Center and contains many photographs and artifacts chronicling the town’s history and small town pride. Read more about the history of the Rosalia Texaco Station here.
“Our region and our company are human powered,” said Scott Morris, chairman and CEO of Avista, when he announced the additional $7 million investment. “We are proud to celebrate 130 years of working together to build strong, healthy and vibrant communities.”
Working with our communities, Avista is focusing on three initiatives:
“The issues surrounding homelessness, our rural communities and our youth are each big and very challenging,” noted Kristine Meyer, Avista Foundation director. “We know it will take time to collaboratively work toward solutions. We look to make investments in the announced $7 million over the course of the next several years through Avista’s existing philanthropic grants programs.”
The Avista Foundation website is the single point of entry for all philanthropic program applications, including requests for projects that address the three initiatives. Avista is seeking to strengthen connections and engage with community partners to unearth the opportunities and solutions to these complex issues.
To date, Avista has identified a handful of early opportunities from among our grant applications to make investments with a portion of the $7 million:
Small Town Pride
The funding for this $7 million investment does not come from utility rates, but instead comes from shareholders through the various philanthropy programs of Avista.
Through its corporate and foundation giving, Avista infuses more than $2.5 million annually into communities across its five-state service area. Since 2008, Avista has contributed $21.8 million to the communities it serves.