HUD Archives: News Releases

Lee Jones
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For Release
September 10, 2012

Oregon Community Foundation is one of 10 grassroots foundations to win first-ever Secretary's Award for Community Foundations

PORTLAND - Today, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), in partnership with the Council on Foundations, named the Oregon Community Foundation as one of 10 community foundations across the country to win a new award that recognizes community foundations for the excellent work they do along with their public partners in the areas of housing and community development.

The new HUD Secretary's Award for Community Foundations honors the Ready to Smile Partnership formed in early 2010 between the Oregon Community Foundation and Coos County Public Health. Ready to Smile provides education and outreach on dental hygiene to 1st, 2nd, 6th and 7th graders in public schools in Coos and Curry counties. The Ready to Smile partnership was formed as a result of a yearlong community-based research study that identified oral disease as a the leading cause of school absenteeism among elementary students in Oregon and the foremost problem presented in emergency rooms. In its first full year Ready to Smile screened 744 children in 12 schools. Volunteers applied 3,545 sealant treatments (an average of 4.76 per student), provided fluoride varnish to 627 children and distributed 2,721 dental kits.

The Secretary's Award for Community Foundations honors community foundations that work closely with the public sector on projects involving housing and neighborhood improvements, education, health and recreation, transportation, community participation, arts and culture, public safety, sustainability, and economic development.

"With some $49 billion in assets, the nation's community foundations play a crucial role in supporting essential services and fostering innovative ideas that might otherwise fall through the cracks," said HUD Northwest Regional Administrator Mary McBride. "A perfect example is this collaboration between the Oregon Community Foundation and Coos County which employs a simple idea that should keep kids in school, improve their educational performance and, as a result, enhance their opportunities for a productive, prosperous future."

"The 10 awardees, and all our community foundation members, represent lives improved, neighborhoods saved, jobs created, people trained, kids educated, and homes built," said Vikki N. Spruill, president and CEO of the Council on Foundations. "Philanthropy is hard at work investing in America's communities, addressing challenges head on, and innovating for a better future."

The Oregon Community Foundation provided the initial $500,000 seed money for Ready to Smile. Other funding partners include, among others, the Ford Family Foundation, the Mudd Foundation, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Oregon and Southwest Washington, the Coquille Tribal Community Foundation, Curry Health Foundation, the Three Rivers Foundation and several local Rotary and Soroptimists and have, collectively, committed over $400,000 in support.

A jury selected one community foundation from each of HUD's 10 regions. Awards were given to community foundations for completed or ongoing initiatives that are executed in partnership with a local, regional, or federal government agency. In addition to the Oregon Community Foundation, the other Secretary's Award winners were the Boston Foundation, Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo, the Hampton Roads Community Foundation of Norfolk, the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee of Nashville, the Cleveland Foundation, Greater New Orleans Foundation, Lincoln Community Foundation, the Telluride Foundation and the San Diego Foundation.

For more about the Secretary's Award for Community Foundations, please visit


HUD's mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD is working to strengthen the housing market to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the need for quality affordable rental homes: utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination; and transform the way HUD does business. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet at and You can also follow HUD on Twitter at @HUDnews or on Facebook at, or sign up for news alerts on HUD's News Listserv.

The Council on Foundations (, formed in 1949, is a nonprofit membership association of grantmaking foundations and corporations. Council members include more than 1,700 independent, operating, community, public and company-sponsored foundations, and corporate giving programs in the United States and abroad. The Council's mission is to provide the opportunity, leadership, and tools philanthropic organizations need to expand, enhance, and sustain their ability to advance the common good.


Content Archived: May 19, 2014