Locals Shari and Hugh Grant have been chosen as this year’s philanthropists of the year by the Juneau Community Foundation.
Alaska Electric Light &Power/Avista Utilities and Alaska Marine Lines were honored as 2017’s Philanthropic Businesses of the year. The awards were given at a Juneau Community Foundation banquet on Sept. 21.
The Grants are longtime Juneau residents who have given to Hospice &Home Care of Juneau, Southeast Alaska Food Bank, Haven House, the Glory Hole, Boy Scouts and special projects like the Seward Statue and the Juneau Whale.
Amy Skilbred, Juneau Community Foundation president, said the Grants have always been generous but keep a low profile.
“One story we have heard is of Christmas times when the food bank would receive 100 certificates for gas from an anonymous donor … but the certificates were from Gas and Go, a Grant-owned business,” Skilbred wrote in an email to the Empire.
“Gifts like this happened over several years, but their secret got out! They have graciously helped hundreds of people in Juneau, from donations of their time and money.”
Hugh Grant is a local businessman who made money in real estate, waste management and entrepreneurship. He was raised in Ireland but has been a Juneau resident for 50 years.
He was the former owner of Arrow Refuse Inc., a local waste management company Grant sold to USA Waste Services Inc. in 1998.
Shari Grant was raised in Ketchikan and was an early volunteer at Hospice and Home Care of Juneau. She selected the Juneau Hospice Endowment Fund to receive the $34,000 raised at the Juneau Community Foundation awards banquet.
Most recently, the Grants helped fund the completion of the Tahku whale sculpture by the Douglas Bridge.
AEL&P President Connie Hulbert said the company is proud of its philanthropic history, which she says they’ve kept vibrant through their 124-year history.
“We have employees who are coaches, volunteers, they sit on boards and donate,” Hulbert said.
In 2016, AEL&P gave to the Eaglecrest Foundation, the Glory Hole, Juneau Hospice and Home Care and $10,000 to the Project Three Squares program, which helps feed students in the Juneau School District.
AEL&P was sold to Avista Utilities in 2013. Former owner Bill Corbus donated 90 percent of his proceeds from the sale — $40 million — to the Juneau Community Foundation.
Alaska Marine Lines has donated shipping services and cash to Juneau charities since they began servicing Southeast in 1967. The list of charities they donate to includes the Juneau Soccer Club, Litter Free, Capital City Fire/Rescue, Maritime Festival, the Juneau Arts and Humanities Council, Juneau Jazz and Classics, Git-Hoan Dancers and Housing First.