Idaho Statesman: Honoring local-food advocates

By Anna Webb —, Posted: 12:00am on May 15, 2012

Dave Krick, Jami Adams, Kevin Kelpe, Red Feather Lounge, Bittercreek Alehouse, Fund For Idaho, Nelle Tobias Award for Philanthropy

From left, Dave Krick, Jami Adams, Kevin Kelpe and the staff of Krick’s Downtown restaurants will be recognized at the Fund for Idaho gala. “Being a conservationist is really smart for business,” Kelpe says. “Capitalism and environmentalism can collaborate, can work together. It’s expensive to begin programs and train staff, but in the long run it’s good for the Earth and the business.” PHOTO BY DIANE RONAYNE, PROVIDED BY THE FUND FOR IDAHO

The Fund for Idaho is a nonprofit organization devoted to giving financial support to groups that work for human rights, especially those in marginalized communities, including the disabled, the mentally ill, those in rural communities far from social services, the LGBT community and many others.

The group is inviting the public to its 10th Anniversary Gala, 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., Wednesday, May 23, at the Bishop Tuttle House of St. Michael’s Episcopal Cathedral, 518 N. 8th St. in Boise. The suggested donation is $60, $15 for those “living lightly,” but all are welcome. RSVP by May 18: 343-1744 or online (link at

“We are pleased to be able to look back on 10 years of giving and being able to see our accomplishments — that even a well-placed grant of $2,500 can make a lasting impact,” said Gail Heylmun, the fund’s executive director.

The evening will include the presentation of the 2012 Nelle Tobias Award for Philanthropy. The award, named for beloved longtime Idahoan Tobias, will be presented to restaurateurs and local-food advocates — some say crusaders — Dave Krick, Jami Adams, Kevin Kelpe and the entire crew of Boise’s Red Feather Lounge and Bittercreek Alehouse.

The gala program notes that through eight long years of trial and error, the award recipients have fine-tuned a for-profit business model that supports providers of local food, while providing diners with healthy, organic alternatives. In 2011, Kelpe, Krick and Adams bought 65 percent of the food they served directly from local producers.

Guests will also remember Doug Christensen, a past recipient of the Nelle Tobias Award who died this year. Christensen was a developer and an environmentalist who gave time and money to environmental causes in Idaho for many years, said Heylmun.

“Doug and Ann (Christensen’s wife) were so consistent in supporting what was important to them,” said Helymun. “They didn’t just write checks. They got their hands dirty.”

He received numerous environmental awards, including the Idaho Rivers United’s Legacy Award.

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