AMARILLO AREA FOUNDATION
AMARILLO AREA FOUNDATION. The Amarillo Area Foundation, based in Amarillo, is a nonprofit charitable organization dedicated to improving life in the Panhandle. During the early 1990s the area served included twenty-six counties. In 1988 Mrs. Sybil Harrington changed the status of her family's private foundation, the Don and Sybil Harrington Foundation, to public and turned over its control to the Amarillo Area Foundation. This gave the latter, which had assets of about $25 million, control over a much larger supporting foundation, with assets of about $73 million. These combined assets make the foundation one of the largest community foundations in the country. During the early 1990s all grant proposals were reviewed by the Amarillo Area Foundation's twenty-five-member board of directors. Proposals not funded were then passed on with recommendations to be reviewed by the seven-member Harrington Foundation board; four of those seven board members were also members of the Amarillo Area Foundation board. The Harrington and Amarillo Area foundations share these four board members and also share the position of president and executive director; in all other regards the two foundations function separately. In 1994 the Amarillo Area Foundation emphases included public education, child care, youth development, and the elderly. In the 1990s the Foundation initiated Achievement through Commitment to Education, a community-supported scholarship program guaranteeing every qualified student from Palo Duro High School access to a college education. ACE included the formation of informal supportive coalitions of diverse ethnicities and social and civic institutions as a base for neighborhood self-help action. ACE was intended to benefit the student who had never considered a college education a possibility. In 1994 the Amarillo Area Foundation offices were at First National Place I in Amarillo, and the foundation's director was Jim Allison.
Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin (Don Harrington).