City of Bethel donates $1 Million to BCSF

From left: Bank Manager Jason Brown, BCSF Executive Director Michelle DeWitt, Mayor Perry Barr, City Manager Vinny Corazza.

The City of Bethel has donated $1 million to Bethel Community Services Foundation to support its ongoing mission of providing COVID-19 relief, response and recovery efforts to Bethel-based nonprofits.

In a ceremony held at the First National Bank of Alaska Bethel Branch, City of Bethel Mayor Perry Barr “signed” and presented a check in the amount of $1,000,000 to Bethel Community Services Foundation Executive Director, Michelle DeWitt.

“Nonprofits impacted by COVID-19 need our assistance now, “said DeWitt. “This allocation from the City of Bethel’s CARES funds is essential.”

“BCSF is already assisting tribes, nonprofits and community groups across the region through its YK Delta COVID-19 Response Fund,” continued DeWitt. “Adding a million to our resources will help us with our efforts to offer financial assistance to Bethel nonprofits that are on the front lines assisting individuals with health and safety concerns during this pandemic.”

BCSF plans to design three grantmaking programs that will be delivered in August: a program for grants to individuals/households, a noncompetitive grantmaking program nonprofit relief and recovery, and a competitive response grant program.

On June 29, 2020, the City of Bethel received its first disbursement of the $8.4 million from the State of Alaska for the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Securities (CARES) Act. Recently on July 14, 2020, City Manager Vinny Corazza obtained Bethel City Council approval of the CARES Act Budget and Spending Plan.

“The $1 Million was in the CARES Act budget as a donation to BCSF,” indicated Corazza. “Our goal is to push this money out to the community as soon as possible, as Congress intended.”

“The City has to spend the money by December 30, 2020,” said Corazza. “BCSF is the perfect partner for this endeavor because they have a fantastic reputation for helping nonprofits, administering funds properly, and keeping accurate detailed records for a future audit.”