Julie and Peter Neyhart, shown third and fourth from left with members of their family, have been honored as Philanthropists of the Year by the Juneau Community Foundation.

Julie and Peter Neyhart, shown third and fourth from left with members of their family, have been honored as Philanthropists of the Year by the Juneau Community Foundation.

Juneau Community Foundation honors Philanthropists of the Year

The Juneau Community Foundation recently celebrated its Philanthropists of the Year for 2015 with three awards.

Juneau couple Julie and Peter Neyhart were named Philanthropists of the Year for their “generous giving of their time, talent, and money with people and organizations throughout our community,” according to the JCF.

The couple, who have lived in Juneau since 1966, give to the foundation through its Social Service Fund, designed to help people in need. In honor of their award, money raised through the JCF event was donated to this fund, and a $10,000 matching fund was established by community philanthropists and friends.

The couple also regularly supports local organizations including Aware, the National Alliance on Mental Health, and the Glory Hole.

In remarks made after accepting the award, Julie Neyhart recognized that philanthropy is something that all of us can do to assist our community and the people who live here.

“In my mind a philanthropist was always a person with a lot of money who donated it by the millions to various worthy causes,” Julie said. “Well, if Peter and I are philanthropists, a change in definition is required. So ignoring the dictionary, I decided a philanthropist is one who shares what he can to benefit others. With that definition, we can be called philanthropists.

“One result of that distinction was being asked why we give. Peter’s short response was, ‘Because we can.’ That is true and it is true because of God’s blessings … From our faith background or our cultural background we both believe we have a responsibility to help those in need … Juneau is a wonderful community filled with many and varied opportunities to enrich lives. The more all of us share the better our community. Some share talent — we hear beautiful music. Some support our theaters — we read their names on the programs. Some support youth through scouting, 4-H, helping in classrooms or with school related activities. Some always take time to chat with children wherever they meet them. Some donate to the Glory Hole, others work to end homelessness. We are all philanthropists. Together we make Juneau better.”

The Foundation also presented Alaska Airlines with the Philanthropic Business award, citing the numerous contributions they have made to small and large nonprofit organizations throughout Juneau and Alaska. Marilyn Romano represented Alaska Airlines and was introduced by Lt. Governor Byron Mallott, a former member of the Alaska Airlines board of directors.

The Foundation’s Youth Philanthropist Award went to Molly, Toby and Elias Minick of 10th Street Trees, a Christmas tree business they took over from their parents. At the event, the three Minick siblings described how they decided to continue their parents’ tradition of giving part of the earnings from every Christmas tree sold to a local charity. In 2014 they donated more than $1,000 to the Housing First Project and expanded on the giving theme by providing several trees for free to meet a request of a young customer – that everyone should have a tree at Christmas.

Other stories shared at the event from donors and grantees introduced attendees to the Foundation’s work. Mike Stanley spoke about working with Michael Kirk to honor his parents by establishing the Simon and Anna Kirk Memorial Scholarship Fund at the Foundation though a bequest in his will. Jeff Brady, a longtime Skagway resident, expressed his gratitude to the Foundation for assisting him in establishing a fund in honor of his mother, Margaret Frans Brady, and her love of art and education. Brady also spread the word of how a $5,000 grant from this fund to the Goldbelt Heritage Foundation was instrumental in obtaining a $1.5 million federal grant for the Healing Project, including a totem commemorating the Douglas Indian Village by Sandy Beach and honoring those who lived and died there. Scott Ciambor rounded out the speakers with comments about Housing First, a project that will provide housing for chronically homeless people in Juneau.

For more information about the Foundation call 523-5450 or email amy@juneaucf.org.

Molly, Toby and Elias Minick of 10th Street Trees, a Christmas tree business, were honored with the Juneau Community Foundation's Youth Philanthropist Award on Oct. 21.

Molly, Toby and Elias Minick of 10th Street Trees, a Christmas tree business, were honored with the Juneau Community Foundation’s Youth Philanthropist Award on Oct. 21.

More in Neighbors

Beth McEwen, municipal clerk for the City and Borough of Juneau in her office on July 19. Members of the Alaska Association of Municipal Clerks elected McEwen to serve as the education director for the organization. (Dana Zigmund / Juneau Empire File)
CBJ clerk to lead education efforts for clerks across Alaska

“We are thrilled to bring her on to the executive board.”

Joab Cano (Courtesy Photo)
Living & Growing: Stronger families, stronger communities

By Joab Cano Are you enjoying your family gatherings this holiday season?

A cuddle-puddle of kittens nestles at Juneau Animal Rescue, which recently received a large legacy gift from a Juneau resident. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire)
Juneau resident leaves one last gift for local nonprofits

The gift will help support organizations who made possible what she loved doing in life.

Dana Zigmund / Juneau Empire 
Owen Rumsey and Pacific Ricke, both Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé freshmen, move a Christmas tree during the swimming and diving team’s annual tree and wreath sale. The JDHS and Thunder Mountain High School swim and dive teams are selling Christmas trees and wreaths. Trees start at $50 and wreaths are $40, delivery is offered for $25. The sale will be open every evening but with different hours on weekends. Weekdays, the sale will be open from 5-7 p.m. and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on weekends. Online ordering is available at jdswimdive.org.
PHOTOS: Diving into holiday decorating

Swimmers and divers sell trees and wreaths

Living & Growing: Thankful for a community that exceeds expectations

I’m so grateful that I live in Juneau and that you are my neighbors.

Living & Growing: Give thanks to the lord

By Dan Wiese Thanksgiving is right around the corner. Plans are being… Continue reading

Thank you letters for the week of Nov. 14, 2021

Thank you, merci, danke, gracias, gunalchéesh.

Living & Growing: Thanksgiving — atruly American holiday

By the Rev. Tim Harrison Thanksgiving is almost upon us. It is… Continue reading

Haines-based author and Alaska’s current writer laureate will be at Hearthside Books Nugget Mall location on Sunday, Nov. 7, to read from her latest book “Of Bears and Ballots: An Alaskan Adventure in Small-Town Politics.”
Heather Lende, Haines writer, to read from latest book in Juneau

Alaska’s writer laureate reflects on ‘difficult’ writing.

(Courtesy Photo / Ralph “Ravi” Kayden, Unsplash)
Gimme a Smile: Trick or treat, anyone?

Gotta love a Halloween party.

Living & Growing: The power of symbols

In an era when emojis can form a complete sentence, symbols are more powerful than ever.