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Hewlett family donates $1 million

SHERRY MAYS

With the generous help of technology powerhouse and outdoor enthusiast William Hewlett, the Truckee Tahoe Community Foundation creation was announced Tuesday in Truckee.

With a $1 million donation, the foundation will establish a permanent charitable endowment for local needs. An additional $125,000 will be used for the start-up of the new foundation and for initial operating expenses.

“Our family has been involved in this community for four generations and we treasure it,” said family spokesman Walter Hewlett in a prepared statement. “Our family has strong ties to this area and this is a way for us to give something back and to challenge others to do the same.”

Jim Porter of the Porter Simon law firm is the foundation’s organizing committee chairperson. Other members include Linda Brown, director of partnerships and resource development for the Tahoe-Truckee School District; Tahoe City businessman Roger Kahn; Truckee’s first mayor Kathleen Eagan; former Truckee mayor Breeze Cross; Phil McKenney, executive director of the North Lake Tahoe Resort Association; and recent North Tahoe “Man of the Year” Dave Ferrari of Kings Beach.

“This generous gift is such an opportunity,” Porter said. “The Truckee Tahoe Community Foundation will give full-time and part-time residents of our region an opportunity to join with Mr. Hewlett in providing charitable support for local needs, and boy do we have needs.

“I am confident it will become a magnet for contributors who care about our area’s people, resources and quality of life.”

Porter said he has been meeting with the Hewlett family during the past few month discussing the foundation’s potential and he said the family is just as enthusiastic about the foundation as members of the community are.

The foundation’s boundaries are broad – Truckee, Donner Summit, Squaw Valley, West Shore and North Shore. It is also without restrictions, which means there are no parameters which dictate where funding will be given within the community.

“It’s up to whatever the community and board want to do,” Porter said. “Funding can go toward the arts, education, etc.”

Porter said because of the lack of restrictions, the foundation is aiming to attract a wide spectrum of donors.

“We are really excited about the opportunities available,” Porter said.

Hewlett, who has been a longtime area preservationist, is best known for his land donations to the state of California. He and his family gave the land surrounding Meeks Bay to the state and his son Howard sold the land in Cold Stream Canyon to the state in an attempt to help preserve the value of the Emigrant Trail that winds its way through it.

“The Hewlett family understands and appreciates the Sierra,” Porter said. “They said it is probably one

of the most overlooked areas in the country – especially with funding. They have been here for many years and want to help preserve the area’s beauty.”

Hewlett has been photographing wildflowers for many years, and Porter said it is one of his pleasures to photograph them in the Sierra. Owning a home in Sugar Bowl has given the family many years to enjoy the area.

There is a community foundation “kick-off” planned for March 10 at Northstar’s Basque Restaurant from 5 to 7 p.m. The public is invited, but seating is limited so reservations are required.

Guests will include Sterling Speirn, president of the Peninsula Community Foundation and chairman of the League of California Community Foundation, and Alan Pardini, staff member for the League. They will be available to answer questions about the new foundation and about community foundations in general.

Since its founding in 1994, the League has provided a statewide mechanism for partnerships and collaborations among the state’s community foundations. The 20 current members of the League manage a combined total of $2.4 billion in permanent charitable assets.

For information about the Truckee Tahoe Community Foundation or the reserve seating at the foundation’s kick-of, call Jim Porter at 587-2002.

Sierra Sun E-mail: sun@tahoe.com

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