top of page

Jeff Hamilton
Legacy Fund

Our Vision

To provide yearly awards to local individuals in six categories.

Our Mission

To recognize individual community members’ commitment, imagination, and fearlessness by supporting their limitless potential.

Our Rationale

The no-strings-attached monetary awards will alleviate financial limitations and enable recipients to engage boldly on their paths.

Now accepting nominations
for the 2024 cycle!

2023 Recap

For more information on the recipients, click here.

Jeff’s vision for this fund was ambitious, so we are building toward endowment over the next 4 years. Please consider donating here.

Juniper Awards

A Juniper tree that grows fearlessly out of granite is able to do so because of its strong roots. Investing in individuals - the roots of our Tahoe Truckee community - and helping them pursue what they love reinforces our collective resilience and beauty.

Art & Performing Arts

Jeff's Why

The Juniper Award for Art & Performing Arts recognizes a local visual or performing artist's commitment to their bold path and aims to alleviate financial constraints so artists can spend more time cultivating their imagination and fearlessness.

"For fun, I painted, sketched, and carved all my life, but I did not choose art as a career. My sister did. My appreciation for the working artist is rooted in her career. I watched my sister turn a skillset and passion into work, enhancing our community with talent, ideas, and beauty. I want to give artists like her some financial breathing room to spend more time on their art."

Medical Care

Jeff's Why

The Juniper Award for Medical Care recognizes the commitment of people in the medical field at all levels. Through financial reward, this Juniper Award aims to help remove financial barriers so recipients can concentrate on their critical contributions or continue their medical training.

"I am impressed and humbled by the medical care I have received during my time as a cancer patient. I am grateful for the many tiers of caregivers it takes to deliver good medicine. I feel the sincerity of those who transfer me from the ER to my hospital room, take my blood pressure, administer my chemotherapy, and design my treatments. It makes me happy to imagine celebrating one medical caregiver per year."

Music & Writing

Jeff's Why

The Juniper Award for Music and Writing recognizes a local musician or writer's dedication to creativity and imagination, and aims to empower them to continue on their bold path with fewer financial barriers. Recipients will alternate annually. In 2024, the award will go to a local writer. 

"My appreciation for music and writing strengthened as I watched my two daughters grow up writing and playing music. I witnessed them define and express themselves, dare to try, learn commitment and find joy. I also watched gratefully as their mentors supported and illuminated my girls’ chosen paths. I understand how essential these forms of expression are to oneself and one’s community, and I want to help local musicians and writers concentrate on their passion by offering financial support."


Jeff's Why

The Juniper Award for Trades recognizes the essential work tradespeople do for our community, and the financial costs that accompany both learning and performing a trade. Monetary assistance allows space for tradespeople to be imaginative, fearless, and committed to their work with less financial burden. 

"I feel lucky to have studied literature at a small liberal arts college, but I feel equally lucky to have worked in various trades my whole life, making friends with and learning from others who did the same. As a kid, I earned nickels for digging, pruning, and planting in the garden; later, I cut and arranged flowers, and waxed and edged skis. In the summer, I stained facia from rooftops, and cooked, cleaned, and hauled supplies in Yosemite’s High Sierra camps. As an adult I built my own homes, leaning on the expertise of tradespeople who knew more than me. I have immense respect for people who work in the trades and would like to help more people find their way to meaningful work in these areas."

Winter Olympics

Jeff's Why

The Juniper Award for Winter Olympics recognizes a local Team USA athlete who demonstrates the commitment, imagination, and fearlessness necessary to pursue excellence in high-level yet under-funded sports.

"In 1992, I was named to the US Olympic team in the demonstration sport of Speed Skiing. The Olympic Committee and the US Ski Team paid for my direct expenses. But during the year I won my bronze, I still needed multiple other jobs. I know first-hand that Olympic Athletes face serious shortfalls in funding for training and travel. I would like to help one Winter Olympic athlete every four years spend more time training and less time working side jobs to support their athletic careers."

Community Impact

Jeff's Why

The Juniper Award for Community Impact recognizes an individual’s bold commitment to their community. By helping remove financial barriers, this award aims to empower recipients to concentrate on their important contributions to community.

"After living, working, and serving on non-profit boards in the Truckee-Tahoe community for more than twenty years, I witnessed the positive change that can result from just one inspired and driven individual. Oftentimes, these people work for entities that receive various forms of funding; sometimes, they are simply individuals, passionately working for an underserved segment of our community. Either way, they don’t do it for financial gain, but to make an impact. I would like to reward that good work."

Giving Options

Here are some ways you can donate


One-Time Donation

Make a one-time donation in Jeff's memory and honor.

Tier One

A pledge of five years at

$25,000 - $20,000 per year

Tier Two

A pledge of five years at

$15,000 - $10,000 per year

Tier Three

A pledge of five years at

$7,500 - $5,000 per year

Tier Four

A pledge of five years at

$2,000 - $1,000 per year



Tell us who you think deserves a Juniper Award.

Nominate a Truckee-Tahoe resident who exemplifies commitment, imagination, and fearlessness. 

“Juniper Strong”
by Penny Otwell

Commissioned by the Hamilton Family in 2022 

bottom of page