Foundation News


Winter 2014

Letter from the President

Welcome new AAF

Citadelle Partnership

American Advertising

Regional Community
Meetings Scheuled

Annual Meeting
Wrap Up

ACE Updates

Bank On Amarillo

Community Fund Update

Charitable Giving

Panhandle Prosperity

Panhandle Twenty/20

Harrington Fellows


By any measure, the winter of
2013-2014 has been a harsh one.
Low temperatures and wind have led
many to ask the annual question,
“When will spring arrive?” Certainly the
Texas Panhandle is ready for spring
in 2014.

Unlike our harsh winter, we all hope that spring brings a period of growth and renewal.  From our roots in agriculture, we know that spring rains can lead to prosperous seasons to come.  
The Amarillo Area Foundation is no different. We work to make the most of our resources to promote growth both internally and throughout our region.  
This year has already been characterized by significant growth at the Foundation. As you can see elsewhere in this newsletter, we are adding new staff to help meet the needs of the citizens in our region. By adding additional capacity, we are able to provide a higher level of service not only to our donors, but to area nonprofits, grant recipients, and residents as well. As we integrate these new employees into our organization we are hopeful that the growth of our staff helps foster growth in the Panhandle.
We are also expanding our offices to accommodate our new employees. As many of you know, renovation and expansion can be stressful. However, we are hopeful that this growth will likewise allow us the resources to expand our programs and to respond to community needs more efficiently.
Finally, our investment pool helped grow philanthropic resources for our donors in 2014 as well. Obtaining a 14.9% investment return in a strong market allows the Foundation to invest more resources in our community and provide greater impact with our programs and services. We remain mindful, however, that such returns are not commonplace.
Since we never know when we might face another cold winter, we continually strive to enjoy and appreciate our growth!

Welcome New AAF Employees!

The Citadelle Art Foundation Announces Supporting Organization Relationship With the Amarillo Area Foundation

The Citadelle Art Foundation, owner and operator of the Abraham mansion, grounds, furnishings, and decorative arts in Canadian, Texas, is pleased to announce that is has become a Supporting Organization of the Amarillo Area Foundation.

“On February 13, 2014, the Board of the Citadelle Art Foundation voted to approve the change in the Bylaws and Articles of Incorporation and to ask the Amarillo Area Foundation to consider approving this designation,” stated Clay Stribling, Amarillo Area Foundation President and CEO.  The Board of Directors of the Amarillo Area Foundation approved the proposal at their regular meeting on February 25, 2014.  The Citadelle will join the Don and Sybil Harrington Foundation and Harrington House as the third Supporting Organization of the Amarillo Area Foundation.

A Citadelle Art Foundation Endowment Fund was established in 2012 at the Amarillo Area Foundation by Dr. Malouf and Therese Abraham to provide permanent funding to the Citadelle Art Foundation to maintain and operate the mansion, buildings and grounds.  The purpose of this gift is to preserve the Canadian, Texas historic home, contents, buildings, and grounds as a museum for the benefit of the public for generations to come.  The Citadelle Art Foundation, under the oversight and supervision of its Board of Directors, remains responsible for preserving, maintaining, managing and operating the mansion, its grounds, buildings, furnishings, decorative arts and fine arts.

Wendie Cook, Citadelle Art Foundation director, remarked, “This is incredibly exciting for the solidarity of the arts in Canadian.  From the very beginning, the Abraham’s have promised The Citadelle as a gift to our community.  Today, true to their word, that gift has come to fruition as we have spread our wings into the Texas Panhandle and beyond.  Museum building is a rare and treasured opportunity.  I am honored to be part of this project and I’m thrilled about our future.”  According to Mr. Stribling, “The major change in this new structure will be the expansion of the Citadelle Board of Directors to include nine additional members appointed by the Amarillo Area Foundation.  These members will come from Amarillo Area Foundation’s current board, staff, and members of the Foundation.”

Although the Citadelle Art Foundation will now be a Supporting Organization of the Amarillo Area Foundation, it will continue to operate under supervision of its new Board of Directors.  The Executive Director will continue to oversee the day-to-day operations of the museum.

The Abrahams’ art collection began when they acquired Norman Rockwell’s painting, ‘The First Day of School.’  The collection now includes original works by internationally known artists such as J. C. Leyendecker, William Bouguereau, and Jessie Smith Wilcox.  They purchased sought-after paintings, sculpture, and artifacts and began their dream of sharing their world-class collection and ultimately donating it to a public charity.  That dream became reality on May 31, 2004 as their historic home and gardens were gifted to the Citadelle Art Foundation.  Today, the museum’s permanent collection stands solidly in perpetuity.  As Dr. Abraham explained, “Therese and I are confident that our decision will benefit the people of Canadian and beyond.  With the new partnership with Amarillo Area Foundation, everybody is a winner.  It is a giant step forward in the development of this region.”  He went on to state, “The Citadelle is so much more than just a bunch of really good paintings hanging around the walls.  Fifteen or twenty years ago, The Dallas Morning News described ‘rooms furnished with art and antiques that rival the White House.’  Therese and I knew that we needed to make some major Directives.  If it was all to stay as we had placed it in our pretty little town of Canadian, we would also have to provide the proper endowment for it.”  He continued, “We have established the Directives and we have created the Endowment.  This partnership with Amarillo Area Foundation guarantees that the institution and its endowment will continue to enrich people long after we are gone.”

Charlotte Rhodes, Vice President of the Amarillo Art Foundation and Citadelle Art Foundation Project Consultant since 2005, commented, “It has been a privilege to see this project evolve into a world-class art museum.  The Abrahams have viewed this exciting journey as their art legacy for future generations to ‘Discover Art, Discover Canadian’.”

Over 12,000 visitors have toured the home and gallery.  Shows have included works by Linda Leyendecker Gutierrez, which became a PBS feature film; the Smithsonian’s National Geographic’s Greatest Portraits; Marc Chagall; Mary Cassatt; J. C. Leyendecker; and Clyde Butcher, which was nominated for the 2013 National Medal of Arts Award.  The most recent show, ‘Where Children Sleep’, was seen by more than 1600 students from over twelve school districts across the Texas Panhandle.  Many travelled more than 250 miles to experience the art.  One teacher from an elementary school in Amarillo stated, “It was inspiring to see so many children realize that they can indeed rise above their own personal strife and continue to work hard to better themselves.”

Julie Mitchell, Chairman of the 2014 Amarillo Area Foundation Board of Directors, expressed her excitement about the partnership with Citadelle Art Foundation, “The Amarillo Area Foundation is honored to welcome the Citadelle Art Foundation as a supporting organization.  This collection of art is truly a gift of the heart from the founders, Malouf and Therese Abraham, to the residents of the Panhandle of Texas.  Future generations will benefit from their generosity.  Our Foundation will work diligently with the Citadelle’s Board and Staff to preserve and maintain the museum and the cultural and artistic heritage of Canadian, Texas and the Panhandle.”

AAF Receives Five
American Advertising

Audio/Visual: Gold — McCormick Co.
No Limits No Excuses,
Students Setting Goals Video

Invitation: Silver — Nobox Creative
Amarillo Area Foundation
2013 Annual Meeting Invitation

Services: Silver — Nobox Creative
Amarillo Area Foundation Website

Campaign: Silver — Nobox Creative
Amarillo Area Foundation Branding Campaign

Logo: Silver — Nobox Creative
Amarillo Area Foundation Logo

Our special thanks go to Kim May with Nobox Creative, and Mary Coyne with McCormick Company for their support for AAF in marketing, public relations and program development.

Amarillo Area Foundation Hosts
Jeff Simmons, President of Elanco
at Annual Meeting

Over 200 members and guests attended the AAF Annual Meeting
on January 23 at the Amarillo Country Club. Jeff Simmons, President
of Elanco, and Senior Vice President and Executive Officer of Eli Lilly
and Company presented “Enough – the Fight for a Food Secure Tomorrow.”  The presentation addressed the world-wide hunger issue and the importance of the Texas Panhandle in the production of milk, beef, and agricultural products – with a concentration on breaking the cycle of hunger and empowering individuals and corporations to make the greatest impact.  He encouraged our community to give back where our time and talents do the most good. 

Mike Engler, 2013 Board Chairman, conducted the annual business meeting.
The following were elected as 2014 Officers and Directors:

2014 Amarillo Area Foundation Board Members
Roy Bara
Jeri Bezner
Vanessa Buzzard
Terry Caviness
Paul Clark
Kathy Cornett
LeRayne Donelson
Larry Johnson
Ken Kelley
Sharon Miner
Alice O’Brien
Rod Schroder
Eddie Scott
Nancy Seliger
Roy Urrutia

2014 AAF Executive Committee

Julie Mitchell
Mike Engler
Cliff Bickerstaff
Puff Niegos
Jason Herrick
Linda Rasor
Steve Hoard
Jackie Pearson
Dyke Rogers
Caroline Smith
Clay Stribling
Stephania Jones
Immediate Past Chair
First Vice Chair
Second Vice Chair
Member at Large
Member at Large
Member at Large
Member at Large
President and CEO
Assistant Secretary

ACE Scholarship Update

Palo  Duro, Caprock and Tascosa High School

High School Eligible:



College Eligible:





There are currently 547 ACE high school graduates attending Amarillo College and 220 ACE high school graduates attending West Texas A&M University. 

College Expenses:

ACE Costs

Outside Aid


Coming Soon!  ACE Endowment Updates | 1994-2014


Bank On Amarillo Launches
First Program in Area

After months of planning and strategic planning for the launch of Bank On Amarillo, the first class took place in January, with other classes scheduled for later in the month. Project Coordinator, Lilia Escajeda, has been busy making contacts with community agencies, schools, and nonprofit agencies. As a result of these contacts, the word is spreading about the opportunity for the underserved and unbanked members of our community to consider making wiser choices when it comes to their money. Contacts have been  made with Region 16 Head Start programs, Amarillo Caseworkers Group, Amarillo College, Panhandle Community Services and Amarillo Independent School District. The first classes were held at the Head Start campus on N. Nelson Street.

The curriculum being taught is the FDIC’s Money Smart program, which has been proven for many years.  So far, thanks to Lizzie Mason’s leadership, our partner financial institutions have responded with 32 volunteers to teach the curriculum. Instruction will be available in English and Spanish. Thanks to the institutions, which  are: Amarillo National Bank, Citizens Bank, FirstBank Southwest, First Capital Bank of Texas, First United Bank, Happy State Bank, and The People’s Federal Credit Union. We welcome other financial institutions who wish to participate.  Also, the City of Amarillo Library is providing screening for the Benefit Bank, which is a one stop process to review assistance programs for those who qualify and provide documentation required.

As with any new program, we live and learn and will adjust accordingly to make the program a success. Thanks to all the funders, participating agencies/schools, supporters, volunteers and the Amarillo Area Foundation for their commitment to address asset building in our community.

Please contact Lilia Escajeda at or 282-4833 for more information.

Community Fund Update

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Amarillo Area Foundation in 2007, a Community Fund program was launched to benefit area communities.  Panhandle communities were invited to establish donor designated funds to build a legacy for their communities through grant making and long-term growth.  The Don and Sybil Harrington Foundation provided $50,000 in matching funds during 2007 and 2008 to communities that initiated funds.  A total of 37 Panhandle communities have established community funds.
The Amarillo Area Foundation recently announced an enhanced version of its Community Fund program.  The Community Fund 2.0 program utilizes Foundation staff members as community coaches to help enhance operations of existing community funds.  Five community funds were selected to participate in the Community Fund 2.0 pilot program.  They include the Canyon Community Fund, Gray Pampa Community Fund, Oldham County Community Fund, Spearman Community Fund and Tulia Community Fund.
The overall goals for 2.0 Community Funds include:
• Create a sizeable community endowment – a permanent fund whose earnings the  
   community can use forever to fund community projects and programs.
• Develop ongoing annual plans to build permanent endowment funds steadily over time
   and to raise other funds to use for community improvement today.
• Increase the number of people who give to the Community Fund.
• Make grants and build partnerships that help the community increase wealth and
   improve prospects for the local economy, its organizations and its people.
• Cultivate community leaders, and strengthen the range and impact of leadership for
   the Fund and the community over time.
• Partner with the Amarillo Area Foundation on regional wealth-building initiatives.

To implement the 2.0 Community Fund program, Amarillo Area Foundation staff members Katharyn Wiegand and Christina Williams and consultant Scott Caldwell are working hand-in-hand with members of the Community Fund Advisory Committees and the communities at-large through a series of meetings, trainings and local projects.  Action plans will be created to increase Community Fund resources and ultimately increase impact throughout the communities.  Community members will be asked to provide input and help plan for each Community Fund’s future.

Community meeting hosted on February 21st by the Spearman Community Fund Advisory Committee.

Mark your Calendars:

Amarillo Area Foundation Charitable Giving Seminar

April 30 - May 1, 2014
Connecting Donors, Advisors and Nonprofits

Invitation Coming Soon!

Panhandle Prosperity

One mark of a developed country or a prosperous society
is the presence of a strong middle class.  However, across the country and in our region recent economic trends
point to rising poverty rates and decreased skilled workforce. Even for the middle class, it may take only a health emergency or a layoff to quickly spiral into poverty. Increasing poverty stifles the economy and contributes to long-term negative social consequences such as increased crime, disinvested neighborhoods and communities, and decreased local tax revenues to name a few. Between 2000 and 2010, the median household incomes have decreased for the Texas Panhandle as shown below.

Data like these lead to a number of questions.  What can be done to build pathways that transition people out of poverty? How can we strengthen the Texas Panhandle so that vulnerable households can better weather economic challenges?  Various Amarillo Area Foundation programs strive to address these vexing questions and the Panhandle Prosperity Initiative was established as an umbrella under which multiple approaches will prepare individuals, families and communities for the inevitable “rainy day.”

The overall mission of the Panhandle Prosperity Initiative is:
To increase the financial stability and success of the Texas Panhandle Region by: 
 • Cultivating asset building tools and strategies for individuals/families, and 
 • Facilitating increased capability and sustainable success for our communities 1. 

1 (The definition of “communities” is contextual. It can refer to a neighborhood, a city or the entire Panhandle Region and the organizations and people in them.

Income alone may sustain a lifestyle but to generate individual wealth and regional vitality, individuals need assets that are gained through saving and investing in education and marketable job skills, purchase of a primary residence, or establishment of a business.  Through the Prosperity Initiative, the Foundation is working with a range of entities to foster new approaches to address these growing challenges.  Although still in early stages, a few of the Initiative’s projects are:

 • Development of new banking products for those who do not have an established banking
   relationship and consequently become vulnerable to predatory lending practices.
 • Working with communities to realize the power of “place-based” endowment building that
   benefits a specific community or region.
 • Exploring alternative business development and financing models in order to encourage new
   entrepreneurs and enterprise.
 • Sharing pertinent data and timely information with community leaders throughout the region in
   order to facilitate collective dialog that leads to large-scale, coordinated problem solving.
 • Seeking the input of young people who are the future of the region to learn their hopes and
   dreams for the community they live in.

If you are interested in participating or learning more about this Initiative, contact Angela Lust, Senior Vice President, or Shree Veeramachaneni, Program Director, at 806-376-4521.

Panhandle Twenty/20 celebrated its 10th anniversary this past September, bringing back the original speaker from ten years ago, demographer Dr. Steven Murdock of Rice University. Presenting to an auditorium full of community leaders, Dr. Murdock laid out the projections of our area for the future. Following his presentation, Panhandle Twenty/20 sought feedback and guidance on future efforts from the participants. Combining this input with strategic planning previously done by the advisory board, Panhandle Twenty/20 developed its Framework for Action for the next several years, which includes creating aframework for engaging Panhandle communities around data and developing action plans to address critical issues in their area. Continuing its Collective Impact work with a strong advisory board and new board president, David Hudson, President and CEO of Xcel Energy, Panhandle Twenty/20 looks forward to working with regional individuals and organizations to build stronger communities for all residents.

The Don and Sybil Harrington Foundation
and the Amarillo Area Foundation Announce the

University of Texas Harrington
Fellows Symposium


The annual University of Texas Donald D. Harrington Fellows Symposium is scheduled for:
April 2, 2014   |   5:00 – 7:00 pm
Mack Dick Group Pavilion – Palo Duro Canyon State Park

The UT Harrington Fellowship Program was established by Sybil B. Harrington in honor of her late husband, Donald D. Harrington. The program was created to support young and ambitious scholars across all disciplines. The first Donald D. Harrington Fellowships were awarded in 2001.

Reservations required. Call 806.376.4521 or email

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Panhandle Twenty/20