One of our community’s favorite events is ready to launch – the Picnic in the Park (PIP) concert series.  For 14 years this program, produced by the Crook County Foundation, has brought a variety of bands and individual musicians to downtown Prineville.

Started in 2005 to bring performing arts to residents, there have been over 50 bands to grace the stage at Pioneer Park, ranging in genres and uniqueness.  This popular annual event series could not be possible without the generous support of our local community.  Over the years, nearly 50 businesses, totaling over $215,000 of financial support, have contributed to allow these free concerts to happen.  The top sponsor has been Mid Oregon Credit Union and they are joined again this year as a Rock Star Sponsor by Oregonians Credit Union and as a Platinum Sponsor the Prineville-Crook County Chamber of Commerce.  There are also several businesses who provide important in-kind support that help host the performers and promote the shows.  The series has also had grant support from Facebook and the Crook County Cultural Coalition.  Please visit our website and peruse a PIP program to learn about all the incredible 2018 sponsors.

The line-up for this summer is sure to raise the bar for local entertainment!  PIP kicks off on Wednesday, July 18 with Nashville recording artists Farewell Angelina.  Named after a haunting Bob Dylan song, Farewell Angelina is an all-female country group with four powerhouse vocalists, dynamic songwriters and multi-instrumentalists.  Their stellar blend of heart-stopping harmonies over blazing double violins and guitars has earned soaring praise across the board.

Next on July 25 will be Pressure Point, one of Portland/Seattle area’s most asked for cover band over the past ten years.  They will be performing music from the 40’s to now!  Then we welcome the Hook Me Up band on August 1.  Their talented, professionally trained musicians will wow you with a variety of vocal and instrumental musical entertainment. They have something for everyone whether you like dipping and dancing, dining and fine wining, or getting lost in a memory from a nostalgic melody.

PIP is excited to continue our great partnership with the Crook County Fair, where on August 8 Papa Doo Run Run will hit the stage in the big tent at the fairgrounds.  They have been performing continuously since 1965 and all their members have performed and recorded with The Beach Boys for 3 decades.  On their own they’ve released 10 albums and a dozen singles, along with earning 2 gold records and a Grammy nomination.  PDRR never fails to get the entire audience on their feet, singing along at the top of their lungs.

We head back to Pioneer Park on August 15 with the return of the High Street Band.  This phenomenal show band of 8 talented musicians play top hits from every decade from the 40’s to the 90’s.  Lastly, we wrap up this year’s concerts with Heartache Tonight on August 22, performing all the great music of The Eagles.

So, dig out those dancing shoes, fill a cooler with a picnic dinner, and grab your favorite lawn chair!  We will see you on gorgeous Wednesday nights July 18-August 25 from 6-8 pm, catching up with friends, enjoying amazing entertainment, and appreciating our great community.


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Wishing the Future of our Community an Inspiring Journey

As the incoming Executive Director of the Crook County Foundation, I was excited to participate in our scholarship determination process my first week on the job.  I have been involved with scholarship granting before, but it is always interesting to see how each organization conducts the review.

It was inspiring to see the dedication to education, sports, extra-curricular activities, and the community by tomorrow’s leaders.  There were applications from students staying at home and attending community college, many attending Oregon’s prestigious universities, and some who were traveling alone to other states to venture out on a career path that they have dreamed of for years.  Regardless to the type of institution, location of the schooling, or job that will likely come at the end, all our youth today deserve to be supported when they embark on an opportunity to give back to society and earn a solid wage.

Not every student is destined for a Bachelor or Master degree, and we need to let our kids know that any educational option is perfectly acceptable.  The world needs welders, bakers, construction workers, nurses, mechanics, woodworkers, hairstylists, and many more trades people.  There are scholarships and opportunities available for all these careers.  It was disappointing to see not one application for a trade specific scholarship this year, but I have hopes that if we begin to better recognize that all types of workers are important to our society, we will see more students looking to achieve a variety of higher education.

To those students looking at their senior year coming up, I encourage to start preparing for the career that you will be passionate about and energized to go to for years.  Start working on the pieces that make up your scholarship applications if you have not already.  Look at your community service, if you need to boost it a bit, look for ways to give back and volunteer in our community.  There are many amazing civic clubs and businesses who would gladly take on a student to help with their projects and programs.  Think about your essay, this is your chance to shine and give the reviewers a glimpse into your life.  What shaped you into the person you are today?  What are your goals, dreams, and desires?  Where do you see yourself in 10 years?  And look for mentors who can not only provide you recommendation letters but open the door for you to learn in ways that cannot be taught in a classroom.

There are many paths you can take in life, luckily, we live in an amazing community that supports our youth with over 100 scholarship opportunities going into a trade, to a community college, or a 4 year university.  As my career begins with the Crook County Foundation, I can already see that this will one of my favorite times of the year as we get to be inspired by the youth of today and assist with creating the leaders of tomorrow as our seniors close one door and open another.

If you are interested in learning more about the Crook County Foundation, or any of our scholarships and programs, contact Brandi Ebner, Crook County Foundation Executive Director at 541-362-1210 or  Also, please visit our website

Posted in Uncategorized

Get your move on…


What do clovers, pots of gold, costumes, parades, fun, walking, running, teeth and taxi’s all have in common? 

Well, the Prineville Paddy Pint Run of course!

The Prineville Paddy Pint Run is an annual walk/run event hosted on St. Patrick’s Day. You may remember a parade of green racers touring the town as they make their way to the finish. The race is back for its 5th year and will kick off at 4:00pm on Saturday, March 17th.  Start line is at Good Bike Co. racers finish at Foundry Four.

The Prineville Paddy Pint is open too all!  There is a 5K route for the runners who wish to be timed or run for fun and there is a one-mile walking route. Families are encouraged to participate too and there will be a kids carnival at the finish line block party following the race.

Excitement and participation continues to grow race organizers are expecting a crowd of 500 racers this year. Participants are encouraged to wear costumes as they parade the streets of Prineville.

Dr. Tony Ramos, race founder and planning committee chair said “The Prineville Paddy Pint is such a fun community event generating comradery and enthusiasm for getting active all while supporting a great cause.”

The race generates support for the Tooth Taxi and other community vitality initiatives. The Tooth Taxi is a 38′ state-of-the-art dental office on wheels with two dental chairs and a full-time dentist and staff. It visits Prineville schools multiple times a year providing free dental care and oral health education to uninsured and underserved children.  The race has provided a $5,000 annual contribution to this cause.  Proceeds above that amount are used for other community vitality projects in Crook County.

Dr. Ramos said, “While efforts continue for improvements in children’s oral health, there is a serious need for programs like the Tooth Taxi that provide immediate relief of dental pain and infection for children who lack access to basic dental care.  Our kids suffer more dental pain and infection than children in almost any other state.  This isn’t just a cosmetic issue. Poor oral health affects the overall health of our kids.”

Date: Friday, March 17th
Time: 4:00pm
Start Location: Good Bike Co.
Finish:  Foundry Four (NW 4th St. )

Posted in Uncategorized

The economy of giving…

How can we measure the Crook County Foundations impact on our community in terms of economy?  

First lets define economy.  According to the Webster dictionary economy is defined as: the wealth and resources of a country or region, especially in terms of the production and consumption of goods and services and the careful management of available resources.

To begin to understand the economic value it’s important to have some historical background of why The Crook County Foundation was formed. 20 years ago, in 1998 the founding partners (City of Prineville, Crook County, Crook County School District, Crook County Parks and Recreation District and Prineville-Crook County Chamber of Commerce) realized the need for a “hub” that could: serve as a vehicle for community investment, build efficiencies to accomplish community initiatives, act as the convener to see community goals reached, and bring outside dollars into our community. In an effort to fulfill the mission of bringing people, resources and inspiration together for the enrichment of the community.

The foundation’s purpose through the lens of “economy” is defined through its services. The foundation provides a variety of services to the community through scholarship administration, community event coordination, and administration of community projects.

Did you know that your community foundation is hosting the weekly What’s Brewing? forum where questions that matter to you are discussed?  Free to the public, you are welcome to join us each Wednesday October to May.  Signup for our eblasts to get reminders and topic information.

Picnic in the Park is just around the corner mark your calendars July 18th is the kick off.  We will be announcing this years  line-up soon.

Do you know someone who has received a college scholarship?  The Crook County Foundation awarded $66,540 in scholarships to 43 students last year!

Each service provided requires resources to be exchanged.  Community events bring monies into our community from tourists who may take in a concert at Picnic in the Park buy gas and food and accommodations. That same concert may bring locals out to purchase items from vendors and enjoy the sights, sounds and tastes of Prineville.  Businesses provide sponsorships, performers are hired to entertain, other services are rendered to make these community events possible – all stimulating our local economy.

Did you take part in the Prineville Paddy Pint? Over 400 runners participated. School children ran 211 miles earning money for school activity programs. Benefiting the tooth-taxi, enabling our children to have access to essential preventative and corrective dental care.  Have you heard of the great work that community organizations are doing with Facebook Community grants?  What about grants from Crook County Cultural Coalition that propel cultural arts forward such as the Prineville Music Theater Camp and Beaver-State Gunmakers.  All these projects are examples of how the Crook County Foundation efficiently manages your resources by providing administration support – enabling these community treasures to continue with minimal overhead.

Our board of directors recognizes every dollar and hour given is an investment. In an effort to efficiently manage your investment we want to ensure more goes directly into our community to propel our community forward and less goes into administrative overhead.

The Crook County Foundation is your community foundation bringing economic value to Crook County!


Posted in Uncategorized

It takes a village…

You may have heard it said, “it takes a village to…” that is certainly true for many things including: seeing dreams realized, citizens engaged, lives enriched, and our community strengthened. These are the pillars of focus for the Crook County Foundation and like other charitable organizations we depend on our village of dedicated volunteers, donors, friends and advocates to accomplish the mission set before us.

As 2017 comes to and end let us reflect on some of the accomplishments, that you, our dedicated Crook County village has made possible this year.

“My husband and I are new to the area and we just love What’s Brewing? thank you for these awesome presentations.  We feel connected and informed and look forward to them each week.” Anonymous attendee.

“I am returning to college to complete my degree that I began 30 years ago. Thanks to your generosity and support.” Carla Nyman, 2017 non-traditional scholarship recipient.

“My grandkids looked forward to Picnic in the Park every week last summer.  They loved the music and dancing.  Dancing is such a past-time we just don’t get much opportunity to do these days and it sure was fun watching the kids jive to the music.” Darlene, Picnic in the Park concert goer.

“I chose the nursing program because I have a passion for helping others.  As a nurse, I plan to travel the country and world helping whoever I can and learning new things everywhere I go. I can’t wait for my future to begin. Thank you for making it possible for me to follow my passions so that I can help others in the biggest ways possible.” Nayana Bickford, 2017 scholarship recipient.

“I am so thankful for the commitment of our community and the support of the Crook County Foundation that is keeping my dream for the Prineville Paddy Pint Run alive and flourishing.  Thank you for having fun with us and getting active as we race for the benefit of children’s dental care. ” Dr. Tony Ramos, DMD, Prineville Paddy Pint Run, Founder and Coordinator.

Reading these testimonies from those impacted by the Crook County Foundation it becomes clear you are making a difference. You are laying the foundation for the future success of students who receive scholarships.  You are bringing the community together for conversation and collaboration at What’s Brewing?. You are generating community togetherness in the shared experience of enjoying music and summer nights at Picnic in the Park. You are enabling partnerships with community members and groups who aspire to invest in community improvement.   Thank you for joining us as we endeavor to make Crook County a more viable and vibrant community.

Posted in Uncategorized

Giving Tuesday, November 28th


Kicking off the season of giving…

As you are making your holiday gift lists, mapping out your Black Friday shopping route and bookmarking the best Cyber Monday deals will you consider your favorite charity and add them to your list of giving this year?

Nestled amid the widely recognized shopping events of Black Friday and Cyber Monday is Giving Tuesday.  A day to kick off the holiday giving season, to inspire collaboration in improving our community and to give back in impactful ways, by supporting charities who are doing meaningful and impactful work right here in our back yards.

There are many wonderful charities having vast impact in our Crook County community and among our friends and neighbors.  As you are deciding who you should give to on Giving Tuesday consider the impacts those who gave to the Crook County Foundation this year provided:

$66,540 in scholarships to 43 college-bound Crook County students.

Opportunities for citizen engagement at What’s Brewing? An average of 40 people attend the free weekly forum learning, networking and joining in for the benefit of our community.  

Live music from talented performers at Picnic in the Park. Crowds gathered to enjoy summer evenings relaxing, kicking up their heels, and enjoying time with friends and neighbors as they took in the sounds. 

New opportunities for community enrichment. Crook County On the Move is a newly established program dedicated to the formation of a comprehensive community wellness program.

Every dollar you give is an investment in your community and makes a difference. Will #GivingTuesday make your holiday event calendar this year?

Posted in Uncategorized

Paddy Pint Run registration open

This is the fourth annual St. Patrick’s Day Fun Run/Walk with distances of 5K and 1mile through Prineville.  Costumes are encouraged and awards are given at the post event party located in downtown area.  Proceeds benefit the Tooth Taxi and Crook County Foundation.

Registration is open and conveniently online.  Click here to get your green on!

Posted in Uncategorized