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Peirone Prize Winners 

click to enlarge Joe and Alice Peirone
  • Joe and Alice Peirone

Welcome to our 14th annual Inlander Give Guide, which includes our annual Peirone Prize winners. The Peirone name (pronounced "Purr-ohn") is a big part of the Inlander story. Joe and Alice Peirone were not only the founders of Peirone Produce, which still delivers fresh fruits and veggies all over the region, they were our grandparents, too.

When Jer and I were ready to go into the newspaper business back in 1993, Grandma Alice was the first one to loan us money to get started. She and Joe, having known the tough times of the Great Depression, were always generous once they had extra to share. When you think of the Inlander, you can think of them and the example they set for us.

Today, their legacy lives on through their kids, our mom Jeanne and our Uncle Jim. But we're also keeping their spirit close with the five-year-old Peirone Prize. This year's winners — Kate Burke, Randy Ramos and Jeni Riplinger-Hegsted — rose to the top of our list of more than 30 nominees for all the reasons you will read about in the pages ahead.

We are especially recognizing them, but everyone who works in the Inland Northwest's nonprofit and charity world deserves a big "thank you." Our community works hard to do the right thing, to help our neighbors, and that only comes from a dedicated bunch of people — the front-line workers who often aren't thanked for all they do. A big part of the Give Guide is to take a minute, shine a light on that effort and say "thank you."

So as you read through the Give Guide, we encourage you to keep up that Peirone spirit and to say thanks with your own contribution to a charity of your choice.

— Send your Peirone Prize 2015 nominees or thoughts on this Give Guide section to [email protected].

PAST WINNERS: Where are they now?


Keirsten Lyons, regional service to armed forces director at the Eastern Washington chapter of the American Red Cross

Keith Kelley, small business owner and case manager at Gonzaga University

Virla Spencer, outreach coordinator at the Center for Justice


Kat Hall, conservation programs director at the Lands Council

Jamie Borgan, program director at New Leaf Bakery

Mary Charbonneau, director of fundraising and community outreach at Washington Basset Rescue


Brent and Amy Hendricks, co-founders of Global Neighborhood

Korrine Kreilkamp, founder of Community Roots

Bart Mihailovich, affiliate coordinator at the Waterkeeper Alliance


Taylor Weech, Inlander columnist and radio host at KYRS-FM.

Ben Stuckart, Spokane City Council President

Emily Paulson, Campus Kitchen coordinator at Gonzaga University

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