Our Endowments and Memorials

We gratefully acknowledge our Endowments and Benefactors. Their generous investments will continue to bring the Wild Gift to future generations. Each Endowment is unique - make your contribution today to help grow these funds.

The Anderson Family Wild Gift Fund

This fund will serve as a living legacy to internationally known cell biologist and long time Wild Gift supporter Richard “Dick” Anderson (1940-2011). 

Dick was born and raised in Philadelphia but adopted Oregon as his home and spent much of his career in Dallas, Texas. As a cell biologist, he was a successful researcher, Department Chair, and recipient of many awards in addition to being a member of the team that won the 1985 Nobel Prize in medicine. Dick’s exploration of nature was all encompassing, from the cellular level to the rugged backcountry, which he and his wife Barbara loved to share with all of their family members. For over 20 years, Wild Gift founder Bob Jonas was their guide and companion on adventures from Alaska to Yellowstone, and as Bob shaped his vision for Wild Gift, Dick and Barbara were there with ideas and support.  As Dick prepared to leave this earthly trail he created The Anderson Family Wild Gift Fund to ensure that Wild Gift will continue to support the preservation of wilderness and the next generations of leaders.

The Nelson Family Endowment

A memorial to Bill and Gayle Nelson left by their father Lloyd Nelson (1913-2011) to foster the dreams of Wild Gift leaders and the spirit of entrepreneurship and hard work that Lloyd believed in.

Born in North Dakota, Lloyd took a job at Cargill as a teenager shoveling grain. From there, he worked his way all the way up to regional sales management roles where he opened and ran Cargill offices, mostly in the West. He began visiting Sun Valley in the 1970s to see his daughter Gayle, an adventurer, wilderness advocate, and friend to Wild Gift.  Lloyd moved permanently to Sun Valley in 2002, where he cross-country skied and hiked daily, into his mid-90s.



In Memory and Gratitude

Winnie Tarakajian Chobor had three loves – teaching, her husband, and life.

Winnie’s career was dedicated to her “children”, a generation of high school mathematics students.  She guided them through probability theory and calculus with a “can-do” enthusiasm that made students listen.  “You can be anything and do anything” was her resounding mantra.

A vivacious mix of Armenian and Irish heritage, Winnie’s  “laughing energy” struck all who knew her.  A natural performer, she played the guitar and piano, sang, and even belly danced.  Outdoor adventure was another siren.  On a rafting trip down the Colorado River, she met Joe Chobor.  They became inseparable.  “Winjo” dreamed the same dreams and shared the same passions, hiking, kayaking and rafting together in locations as diverse as Alaska, Nova Scotia and the Adirondacks. 

It’s been seven years since Winnie died tragically of ovarian cancer, and Joe continues to honor her with gifts to the causes and institutions they loved most, including Wild Gift.


For more information on how to support Wild Gift, contact Deborah Knapp at [email protected] or call (208) 471-5091.