PGE Foundation grants $100K to OHSU Knight Cancer Challenge, completing more than $1 million in foundation giving for 2014

Oct. 6, 2014

PORTLAND, Ore. — PGE Foundation, the corporate foundation of Portland General Electric, announced a $100,000 grant in support of Oregon Health & Science University’s Knight Cancer Challenge, a fundraising campaign inspired by a pledge from Phil and Penny Knight to provide $500 million to fund pioneering cancer research if OHSU can raise an equal amount in two years.

“Cancer has affected the lives of so many — myself included,” said Gwyneth Gamble Booth, PGE Foundation chair. “This gift in support of ending cancer as we know it is a great way to carry out our mission of helping change the lives of so many in our community. We’re proud to stand in unity with the other businesses, unions and individuals lending their support.”

The gift to OHSU’s Knight Cancer Challenge caps off more than $1 million in PGE Foundation giving this year. With the PGE Foundation’s focus on creating positive and sustained outcomes for our community, it awarded 102 grants to an inspiring group of nonprofits whose programs align with the foundation’s philanthropic focus on preparing students to succeed in college and career, engaging youth in arts education experiences, and providing resources to help improve the safety and health of children and families in need.

“There’s a critical need in education for more applied learning and hands-on experiences that turn students on to technical and STEM-related careers and higher educational opportunities,” said Kregg Arntson, executive director of PGE Foundation. “With our funding of STEM curriculum and STEM teacher training programs up 65 percent during the last year, we’re investing in a future workforce that has the technical and creative problem-solving skills needed to succeed in a complex and changing world.”

In addition to contributing to the Knight Cancer Challenge, PGE awarded grants of $25,000 or more to the following organizations:

  • Oregon Community Foundation, $75,000: To benefit a statewide student leadership program that leverages philanthropy and volunteerism to teach hands-on lessons in civic engagement; this program was created by the PGE Foundation in 1997 and OCF took over administration in 2008.
  • Boys & Girls Club, $50,000: To be distributed over the course of two years, the grant will help fund the construction cost of a new Boys & Girls Club in Portland’s east county community of Rockwood. It is anticipated the club will serve more than 2,500 additional youth members each year.
  • Oregon Alliance of Independent Colleges & Universities, $35,000: To provide 10 scholarships and student aid for students attending Alliance member institutions during the 2014-15 academic year.
  • Friends of the Children, $25,000: To help fund construction costs of a new program facility in the eastern part of east Multnomah County; the facility will serve more than 100 children a day.
  • Human Solutions, $25,000: In support of the Homeless Families Program, which provides families in outer East Portland and east Multnomah County with evidence-based, integrated services to help them permanently overcome homelessness and achieve self-sufficiency.
  • Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization (IRCO), $25,000: To support Ninth Grade Counts for English Language Learners for 60 rising 9th grade English Language Learner students enrolled in Parkrose, Portland, and Reynolds school districts. The program focuses on students who face notable barriers to completing high school in summer learning opportunities, family engagement, and academic support.
  • Impact NW Urban Opportunities, $25,000: To support its ongoing after-school enrichment job-readiness training program for young people in all Portland high schools.
  • Oregon State University College of Engineering Scholarships, $25,000: Scholarship award winners will be matched with PGE mentors to increase the connection between PGE and the students and offered the opportunity to apply for summer jobs at PGE.
  • Portland Community College, $25,000: To support the Future Connect program, which provides high school youth in Multnomah and Washington counties with scholarship support and wraparound services that help overcome barriers to earning an associate’s degree, transferring to a four-year college and getting a good job.
  • Regional Arts and Culture Council, $25,000: To support expansion of the Right Brain Initiative’s STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) to STEAM (adding Arts to STEM) Initiative into 15 new schools throughout the tri-county region. The Right Brain Initiative is an innovative and equitable approach to arts learning, engaging underserved students in the tri-county area by integrating the arts into the core curriculum.

# # #

About the PGE Foundation
The PGE Foundation, the corporate foundation of Portland General Electric, was established in 1997 as a 501(C)(3) nonprofit organization with a permanent endowment. The Foundation’s giving is separate from the corporate giving of PGE. Since its inception, the Foundation has distributed more than $18 million to help improve the quality of life for Oregonians by supporting programs and services that encourage safe and healthy families, provide educational opportunities, and encourage arts and cultural diversity. Gwyneth Gamble Booth is chair, Dave Robertson is president and Kregg Arntson is executive director. To learn more about the PGE Foundation, visit

For more information contact: Melanie Erdrmann, PGE, 503-464-8790,