Louise Bowers Slentz
benefitting the Texas Panhandle
The Louise Bowers Slentz Advise and Consult Fund is a component fund of the Amarillo Area Foundation (AAF). In addition to annual support of Pampa Animal Welfare Society (PAWS), the Advisory Committee for the Slentz Fund will consider letters of inquiry (LOI) from nonprofit and charitable institutions throughout the twenty-six northernmost counties in the Texas Panhandle. This fund will provide grants to support programs and capital projects that have a significant impact in the areas of need based direct health care, post-secondary education, and animal welfare, as well as emergency requests. Priority areas for funding will be given to nonprofit organizations located in the counties of Gray, Wheeler, Roberts, Donley, Carson, and Hemphill. Since the inception of this fund at AAF in 2011, over two million dollars in grants have been distributed for the benefit of the Texas Panhandle.
Grant Program History
Louise Bowers Slentz passed away on March 15, 2010. Mrs. Slentz was born June 8, 1912 in McLean, Texas. She had been a lifelong resident of the Pampa area. Louise married Aurbra L. Bowers on March 7, 1934 in Pampa. He preceded her in death on January 27, 1967. She later married George G. Slentz on January 10, 1970 in Pampa. He preceded her in death on May 11, 1975. She was a homemaker, manager and investor in the oil and gas industry and was generous in giving to social service organizations in Pampa that addressed critical needs. Mrs. Slentz was also supportive of area educational institutions and leadership scholarship programs to benefit students of the Texas Panhandle.
In 1996, Mrs. Slentz filed the Articles of Incorporation of the Louise Bowers Slentz Foundation, Inc., which outlined the nonprofit status and operations of the Corporation. The Corporation was organized and operated exclusively for charitable, scientific, educational, religious, literacy, and humanitarian purposes, including, for such purposes, the making of distributions to organizations or entities that qualify as exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Mrs. Slentz stated these purposes in the establishment of the Foundation with the foresight that there will be substantial needs for the charitable purposes of the fund for years to come.
After her death in 2010, plans were made to transfer the assets of the Louise Bowers Slentz Foundation, Inc. as an estate gift to the Amarillo Area Foundation (AAF) for continued management of those funds in order to benefit nonprofit organizations in Amarillo and the surrounding area. In 2016, the Louise Bowers Slentz Foundation finalized the transfer of $8.4 million to the Amarillo Area Foundation for the Louise Bowers Slentz Foundation Advise and Consult Fund. This was the largest gift from a single entity since the Don and Sybil Harrington Foundation established a supporting organization of AAF in 1988.
When the Louise Bowers Slentz Foundation Advise and Consult Fund was established, the initial intentions were to disburse funds annually for student scholarships and grants to nonprofit organizations in the focus areas of education, animal welfare, and reducing poverty to meet the basic needs of residents in the Texas Panhandle. Mrs. Slentz had named the counties of Gray, Wheeler, Roberts, Donley, Carson, and Hemphill as priority areas for funding. Honoring Mrs. Slentz’ support of higher education, the appointed fund advisors also established in 2011 the Louise Bowers Slentz Foundation Endowed Scholarship Fund at AAF, as well, to benefit recent high school graduates and older returning students to attend college at regional community and other higher education institutions. Students from the six priority counties are eligible to apply for these scholarships.
Since 2011, the Slentz fund advisors have worked with AAF staff to identify needs in the community for annual donor advised grant distributions from the Slentz Advise and Consult Fund. To date, over two million dollars have been distributed from this fund to nonprofit organizations that promote health, education, animal welfare purposes throughout the Texas Panhandle. Starting in 2019, the AAF will open online applications for the Louise Bowers Slentz Grant Program which will continue to focus on need based direct health care, post-secondary education, and animal welfare programs and capital projects.