With a caring heart, steely determination and a strong dose of optimism, Mary Granger elevated our community’s philanthropic tradition in a grand and gracious way.
She was one of the key founders of the Community Foundation in 1984. We were in the midst of a recession, and few thought such bold dreams could be realized. Through the hard work and dedication of many, and with Mary’s leadership, the Community Foundation hit the $1 million mark in just three years. The success of the Community Foundation today is testament to Mary’s determination and drive.
Children’s well being was especially close to Mary’s heart. Under her leadership, the Community Foundation established innovative, effective programs that have become a part of the fabric of our community. They include:
Ralph and Susan Gilbert and Mary Granger celebrating the Dreamers' graduation.
I Have a Dream empowers children from low-income families to achieve higher education by providing them with guaranteed tuition support and equipping them with the skills, knowledge, and habits they need to gain entry to higher education and succeed in college and beyond. In the past 10 years alone, more than $2.3 million has been granted in support of its operations.
The Children’s Trust Fund has awarded nearly $1 million in support of the unmet needs of children in Clark, Cowlitz and Skamania counties. Led by a volunteer granting committee, the Children’s Trust directs dollars toward innovative solutions to children’s most pressing needs. In 2010, the Trust awarded $35,000 in support of early education, basic needs such as hunger relief and clothing resources, character building and education for teenagers, healthy recreation and exercise, and support for children who are victims of trauma.
The concept is simple but the impact is substantial. A pair of eyeglasses, a warm coat, or a full belly could make all the difference in a child’s success. This program empowers the teachers, principals and administrators who identify the root cause of a child’s struggles to immediately fulfill these needs. In the last 10 years alone, more than $500,000 has been awarded to nearly 100 schools in Clark, Cowlitz and Skamania counties.
This is just a small slice of what Mary accomplished. She will forever hold an honored place in our community. We acknowledge her life’s work with our profound gratitude.
Click here to read a timeline detailing Mary's accomplishments and leadership.
Dick and Mary Granger
Click here to read a tribute to Mary in The Columbian.