Harry Bettis, Laura Bettis Rydalch and Janelle Bettis Wise
These three remarkable individuals serve as the board of directors of The Laura Moore Cunningham Foundation. They have continued the legacy of philanthropy and giving started by the family of Boise native Laura Moore Cunningham in 1963. Dedicated to improving our communities, Laura served as a director of the Children’s Home Society for over thirty years, and was active in the Boise Red Cross and Boise Junior College. Laura’s family is rooted in Idaho history. Her father, C.W. Moore, was one of the founders of both the Children’s Home Society of Idaho and Idaho First National Bank, an institution that played a key role during the silver and gold rush in Idaho.
Laura Moore married the president of Idaho First National Bank, JW Cunningham. As they had no children of their own, Laura funded the Foundation in her will. Since her passing in 1963, the Foundation has been run in her honor by family members. Harry Bettis and his two daughters, Laura Bettis Rydalch and Janelle Bettis Wise comprise the Board of Directors. For more than 50 years, these three individuals have donated their time and effort to helping our local communities succeed.
Like Mrs. Cunningham, the Foundation’s board is committed to strengthening Idaho communities throughout the state. Through their scholarship and grant program, they support individuals and organizations dedicated to making Idaho great. The scholarship program provides over 450 scholarships worth $2 million each year. The scholarships are awarded to students at all of Idaho’s major colleges and universities, as well as technical schools.
Through the Foundation’s grant program, these three individuals award funding to Idaho organizations that address rural healthcare, educational programs for children and programs in underserved communities and for underserved populations. They tirelessly review applications from all around the state and determine how to best allocate the funds at their disposal. All of this is done without any compensation because of their deep love for Idaho communities. The Women’s and Children’s Alliance (WCA) has been a tremendously grateful recipient of their generosity for almost two decades. Grants awarded to the WCA have allowed the organization to provide and maintain shelter and crisis center facilities. Their donations were instrumental in building both of our secure shelters. Most recently, they provided the lead donation for our newest shelter named Laura’s Home in honor of Laura Moore Cunningham.
In addition to their work on the Foundation Board, each member of the Bettis family is an individual steward of their communities. Their philanthropic efforts include starting libraries in rural communities and promoting education. For their individual efforts and their work as directors of the Laura Moore Cunningham Foundation, the WCA is pleased to present Harry, Laura and Janelle with the Joyce Stein Award. They have made a significant difference in the lives of many throughout our State.