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Disability Action Center NW

Honoring those who help the helpers

Interlink Volunteers is known for helping seniors and disabled folks live independently in their own homes. But the local nonprofit recently singled out David Troy of Troy Insurance as one of its biggest helpers.

Troy was one of several honorees from north central Idaho to win one of the Idaho Nonprofit Center’s annual awards at a ceremony last week, which was held online because of the coronavirus pandemic. In his nomination, Interlink Executive Director Mark Havens wrote that regular donations from Troy and his company have made the difference between staying open or shutting down.

“Imagine you are a small, local nonprofit organization — financially challenged, but continuing to do good, valuable work for your community,” Havens wrote. “And imagine if a local businessperson offered to donate $1,000 per month, month after month, year after year.”

Havens said that Troy’s contributions make him Interlink’s largest and most-reliable donor. Troy said Interlink’s mission of serving seniors is something he and his company want to support.

“They tend to serve a community of folks that otherwise are kind of under the radar,” he said. “A lot of these folks are from a generation of people that don’t typically ask for help, and sometimes they go unnoticed by the community, and they’re suffering. And we just felt that what Interlink did was really special for that group of people and decided we want to support them.”

Troy Insurance also has a division that provides Medicare supplemental insurance that works with many elderly clients, so supporting Interlink is another way the company can give back to those people, Troy added.

He said the Outstanding Adult Philanthropist award came as a complete and humbling surprise, and described the online awards ceremony as a moving experience that illustrated just how many people and groups are making a difference around the state.

“That’s the best part of this, is to see what these organizations do to help others, and the folks that contribute much more than money, but contribute their talent, their time, their energy to give back,” he said.

Other north central Idaho honorees include:

Disability Action Center NW, of Moscow, Outstanding Nonprofit Award, also nominated by Havens: “DAC strives to educate local leaders and the general public about the rights and requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act,” Havens wrote. “As such, DAC is a tireless advocate for the rights and needs of these most vulnerable citizens.”

United Way of Moscow/Latah County, of Moscow, Outstanding Nonprofit Award, nominated by Idaho Food Bank Development coordinator Susan Jacobson: “The Moscow/Latah County United way deserves recognition because they take the extra steps to ensure the funds they grant, the donations they make, and the volunteer service they provide is what those they are serving really need,” Jacobson wrote. “They can be overshadowed by bigger nonprofits, but despite their size they make what they do truly count.”

Ryan Uhlenkott, of Grangeville, Outstanding Adult Philanthropist Award, nominated by Jim Rehder: “Ryan plans, organizes, develops, directs and evaluates his many businesses and projects to stimulate the local economy,” Rehder wrote. “In all of his businesses, he establishes philanthropic funding budget lines to donate where needed. He clearly empowers those he employs and those who work with him in community/church projects. He has cheerful exuberance as he walks with others to achieve many great projects.”

Tom and Joan Bender, of Potlatch, Outstanding Adult Volunteer — Brightest Star Award, nominated by Idaho Food Bank Development coordinator Susan Jacobson: “Together, they led the Potlatch Food Pantry Board and obtained funding, developed plans, obtained a 100-year lease for one dollar from the city and led the construction of a new ADA accessible facility,” Jacobson wrote. “The new facility increased their capacity, has refrigerators and freezers and room for volunteers. At the onset of COVID, despite the fact that they are both of an age considered high-risk, the need of the community kept them at their volunteer post ensuring the needs of their neighbors, whose numbers steadily rose, were served.”

Tribune Publishing Co. of Lewiston, Outstanding Philanthropic Media/Marketing Company Award, nominated by Havens: “Whether they are donating space, matching purchases of advertising, finding advertising ‘sponsors’ for nonprofit ads, or simply quoting the best possible rates — the Tribune company bends over backwards to help local and regional nonprofit organizations achieve their goals and mission,” Havens wrote. “There is, quite simply, not one single nonprofit organization in this region which has not interacted with the Lewiston Tribune in some capacity during its 127 (now 128) years of existence.”

Mills may be contacted at or (208) 848-2266.