Cowlitz Tribe Donates $2.5 Million in Grants to Nine Washington Non-Profits

Cowlitz General Council Chair, Patty Kinswa-Gaiser (left center) presents the Boys & Girls Club of Southwest Washington with a $1 million donation at ilani’s Annual Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony.

RIDGEFIELD, WA – The Cowlitz Indian Tribe has announced this quarter’s recipients of Cowlitz Tribal Foundation grants. The fund, an extension of the tribe, released its largest donations to date. Nine of the 31 grants awarded, which totaled just over $2.5 million, were announced at ilani’s Annual Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony.

Members of the Cowlitz Indian Tribe and the community gathered to celebrate the season and honor the grant recipients, reflecting on the impactful contributions made by the organizations and their charitable efforts.

“Each year the Cowlitz Indian Tribe is honored to support non-profit organizations dedicated to lifting up and strengthening our communities,” said Cowlitz General Council Chair, Patty Kinswa-Gaiser. “Today, we are proud to partner with these nine recipients who demonstrate the true meaning of giving.”

This year’s Annual Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony at ilani featured an introduction and blessing by Kinswa-Gaiser followed by comments from Cowlitz Tribal Foundation board members and funding presentations to each of the nine spotlighted organizations. The celebration continued at ilani’s Stadium Sports Bar & Grill with a holiday movie and refreshments.

“The Cowlitz Tribal Foundation grants show the giving spirit that this season reflects, and ilani is proud to host this annual event to celebrate the special joy of the holidays with these organizations that do so much for our community,” said Kara Fox-LaRose, President and General Manager of ilani.

Grants were distributed as follows:

Clark County:

  • Clark-Cowlitz Fire Rescue received $700,000 for the purchase of two new ambulances, drastically decreasing the response time for emergency services in the growing community.
  • The Boys and Girls Club of Southwest Washington received $1,000,000 to support an expansion of operations for 700 underserved youth daily with accessible, high-quality youth development programs.
  • The Vancouver Housing Authority received $500,000 to purchase a 30-unit permanent housing structure named The Námʼu qas, meaning “to wish or hope” in the Cowlitz language. The structure will house youths aging from foster care or experiencing homelessness.
  • LaCenter School District received $100,000 to support the educational needs of students. It’s the second of two grants made in the last 12 months to LaCenter School District, totaling nearly $200,000.
  • The Lions Club of Ridgefield received $20,000 for general operating support, funds which will be used to continue the organization’s extensive community outreach and support efforts.
  • Woodland Food Bank received $15,000 to meet increased food insecurity needs seen by the organization in 2022.
  • Santa’s Posse, a partnership between the Clark County Sheriff’s Office and the local business community, received $30,000 to provide food and gifts for families in need during the holiday season.


  • Chai Rivers Recovery Cafè, located in Kalama, WA, received $80,803 to support community-based recovery treatment, support and resources for individuals escaping addiction.
  • Bonney Lake Food Bank was awarded $75,000 to help provide equitable access to nutritious food, with dignity, to those in the community facing food insecurity.

“The Cowlitz Indian Tribe believes these grants, which we are so honored to be able to donate through the Cowlitz Tribal Foundation, help foster both families and communities,” said Timi Marie Russin, Cowlitz Tribal Foundation Manager.