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Limelight Ketchum Gifts $26,000 to Social Organizations
Swiftsure Ranch takes participants along a sensory trail as part of its therapeutic outreach.
Sunday, December 20, 2020


The Limelight Ketchum Community Fund has donated nearly $26,000 to five Wood River Valley non-profits.

“In these unprecedented times, it feels particularly rewarding to give back to our community. There are so many wonderful organizations throughout the Wood River Valley doing amazing work and providing an essential resource to many. We are glad that Limelight Ketchum could help be a part of this positive impact and change in our community,” said Tim Johnson, Director of Sales and Community Fund Board member.

 The recipients:

BLAINE COUNTY SENIOR CONNECTION--$7,658, which will support the Meals on Wheels program for a month

This year as the coronavirus pandemic hit the community, Blaine County Senior Connection had to adapt rapidly to meet the changing needs of the seniors. The organization strives to enrich the lives of seniors, physically, mentally, socially and emotionally through nine core programs of nutrition, health & welfare, transportation, home & safety, leisure & education, intergenerational, senior volunteer/job corps and information and resources. The Meals on Wheels program in Blaine Country serves 26,000 meals through the year and with coronavirus it grew to over 400%. Much of this growth was due to new people faced with an unprecedented situation and it is also the only senior nutrition organization in the community.

“I Have a Dream” Foundation – Idaho, provides academic, social and emotional support to low-income youth, from early elementary school through high-school, with guaranteed tuition support for college or vocational training upon high school graduation. The work is founded on the belief that given equal access to resources, all children can realize their innate potential and achieve their dreams. The grant money will help to support and provide different programs for all of their students ranging from homework assistance, credit recovery support, life skills classes and leadership programs. It will also assist in to expand access to at-risk students (Dream Guests) who have been referred by the school.

Blaine County Education Foundation (BCEF) provides support to all eight public schools in Blaine County School District. The mission is to focus community resources and raise funds to support students of BCSD by promoting academic excellence, an equitable education and a healthy, sustainable student environment.

Due to reduced class schedule and teacher time because of Covid-19, fall screening has shown a decrease in reading and math scores. Bellevue Elementary, Hemingway Steam, and Wood River Middle schools already have an afternoon program in place for kids to get extra help and tutoring from paraprofessionals in their schools. With the help of the Limelight Ketchum Community Fund, the BCEF will work to add this program to Hailey Elementary and Alturas Elementary as well. The after-school group will help allow students to receive low student to teacher ratio assistance with paraprofessionals to help prepare for online and classroom learning.

Flourish Foundation is a values-driven organization fueled by the passion to ignite personal transformation, inspire social change and nurture inclusive communities. Through this passion the staff and board are dedicated to inspiring systemic change through the cultivation of the heart mind promoting personal well-being, benevolent social action, and environmental stewardship. Flourish Foundation has promoted mental health and ecological consciousness through environmental stewardship retreats in the Sawtooth, White Cloud and Frank Wilderness Areas. The Limelight Ketchum Community Fund Grant will help this program continue. Students engage in backpacking, trail restoration, meditation and group reflection. The combo of these activities has proven to be a reliable antidote to prolonged mental stress, depression, anxiety, and apathy toward caring for the natural world.

Over 300 participants of all ages and abilities pass through the gates of Swiftsure each year. Participants find strength, freedom and connection thanks to the dedicated staff and volunteers. They provide riding therapy for people with physical, mental and emotional disabilities as well as mental health issues. During the school day groups from Blaine county schools go to the ranch and build connections that provide strength, self-confidence and freedom and improve their social skills.And NAMI’s Bluebirds program is a peer-to-peer support program that emphasizes social-emotional learning through engaging activities, such as those at Swiftsure.

 The Fund is financed by contributions from the Limelight Hotel Ketchum’s operations, from employees through an optional paycheck deduction and from guests through an opt-in $1-per-night donation. The Limelight Ketchum contributed $15,000 to programs dealing with COVID needs last spring.

Applications for the next grant cycle will open in Fall 2021. Email Hannah Berman at for more information.


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