New Sohler scholarship fund & other GCF news

The new Sohler Scholarship Fund, created by the family of the late George “Larry” Sohler, a beloved community leader who passed away in March, 2021, provides scholarships for seniors at Hood River Valley High School to pursue skilled vocational training. Larry Sohler had a long career in the Gorge as a heavy equipment owner/operator working with local orchardists. As his widow, Lucille (Luci) Sohler said, “Our family is pleased to offer this opportunity in Larry’s memory to Hood River Valley High School students. Larry believed that vocational training provides young people with a wide variety of career opportunities.” Larry’s own career included stints as an electrician, farmer, trucker and heavy equipment operator. He had a gift for restoring tractors and farm machinery and wanted to share these skills with young people just entering the work force.

Vocational education is available at many institutions in Washington and Oregon including Perry Trade School
(Yakima), Portland Community College, Lane County Community College, Mt. Hood Community College, Clark
College, Oregon Institute of Technology (Klamath Falls), and of course Columbia Gorge Community College.

Scholarships will be available for students starting with the class of 2022. GCF is proud to welcome the Sohler
Scholarship Fund.

Update on Scholarships and Grants:

The Gorge Community Foundation is delighted to announce the recipients of its 2021 scholarships and Community Grants.

Scholarship Awards:

Hood River Valley High School
• Laura Douglas Schaefer Memorial Music Scholarship: Maxwell Spears
• Gorham Babson Family Scholarships: Giselle Carabantes, Omar Escobedo, Ben Garofalo, Cristina
• Leos Scholarships: Monserrat Juarez Beltron, Gisell Carabantes, Benjamin Garofalo, Erica
• Jernstedt Scholarship: Monserrat Juarez Beltron
• Corwin Hardham Memorial Scholarship: Grace Guertin

Goldendale High School
• Theo Caldwell Memorial Scholarship: Emily Harris

Community Grants
This year, the Community Grants program combined the Joan Burchell Fund and the Riddell and
Athalie Lage Fund into a single program to increase the amount of funding available. We are
pleased to announce the 2021 Community Grant recipients:

• Backpacks 4 Kids: Weekend and holiday meals for Klickitat County children
• FISH Food Bank: Personal care items for FISH clients
• Columbia Gorge Cat Rescue: Spay and neuter program
• Mid Columbia Health Foundation: Gas cards for key patient groups
• First Book, Wasco County: Books for low-income youth in North Wasco school district
• First Book, Hood River County: Books for low-income youth in the Hood River school district
• Mt. View Grange: A new refrigerator to serve Grange clientele
• Columbia Center for the Arts: Support for efforts to expand inclusion and diversity
• Mt. Adams Institute: Support for the Hear in the Gorge podcast
• Cascade Locks Historical Museum: Funding to relocate items in the collection to a new

Ten organizations representing Wasco, Klickitat and Hood River Counties and serving adults, youth,
animals, and those experiencing food insecurity received grants, representing a diverse group of
applicants and projects.

Updates on GCF grantmaking and asset growth:

At three-quarters of the way through fiscal year 2021, the Gorge Community Foundation has made
over $350,000 in grants, an increase of more than $100,000 over 2020, representing grants to over
80 Gorge organizations. Since 2003, the Foundation has given over $2 million in local grants in our
six-county service area in WA and OR and $300K in scholarships.

GCF’s assets currently stand at over $8 million as of the end of May, fueled by generous support
from our fundholders and investments managed by Ferguson Wellman in Portland, OR. This growth
creates more grantmaking opportunities for our donors and fundholders. We also welcomed new
scholarship and donor advised funds in 2021.

About the Gorge Community Foundation:

Founded in 2001, the Gorge Community Foundation’s assets total over $8 million and the
Foundation manages nearly 50 designated funds and 30 donor advised funds. The Foundation made
grants and scholarships totaling over $340K in 2020. The Foundation is managed by a 10-member
Board of Directors led by board president Gil Sharp that includes representation from Gorge
communities on both sides of the river. More information is available at