Helping Works

Anna Webb: Idaho Humanities Council to honor photographer Jan Boles

“Boulder #7, Wees Bar Petroglyph Field, 1974,” a black and white photograph by Jan Boles. Wees Bar is on the Snake River not far downstream from Swan Falls Dam in what is now the Morley Nelson Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area. This photograph was part of “Reflections/Refractions,” an exhibition at the College of Idaho in 1984. It is emblematic of Boles’ photographic work.
“Boulder #7, Wees Bar Petroglyph Field, 1974,” a black and white photograph by Jan Boles. Wees Bar is on the Snake River not far downstream from Swan Falls Dam in what is now the Morley Nelson Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area. This photograph was part of “Reflections/Refractions,” an exhibition at the College of Idaho in 1984. It is emblematic of Boles’ photographic work. Jan Boles

The Idaho Humanities Council will honor Jan Boles, College of Idaho archivist, photographer and historic preservationist, with its Outstanding Achievement in the Humanities Award.

Boles has documented Idaho landscapes for years. His work has appeared in newspapers, books, magazines, Idaho Public Television documentaries and galleries. Working closely with the Idaho Heritage Trust, Boles has taken a special interest in documenting Idaho’s historic buildings. He was a member of the Caldwell Historic Preservation Commission for 14 years. During that time, he received an Orchid Award from Preservation Idaho for his work to preserve “The Hat,” a covered structure on the College of Idaho campus that once served as a trolley stop for the Boise Valley interurban railway that connected Valley cities until 1928.

The Idaho Heritage Trust recently published “Bridging the Past, Present, and Future: Commemorating 25 Years of the Idaho Heritage Trust” to celebrate its first quarter century. The book features many of Boles’ photographs.

“Jan is so talented, such a beautiful artist and beautiful photographer,” said Katherine Kirk, the trust’s executive director. “He’s so generous. It’s a gift he gives us, showing the beauty of the historic landscapes of Idaho through his eyes.”

Kirk admires Boles’ exploration of new subject matter and new ways to photograph it, whether that’s an up-close view of a hummingbird at a feeder or a surprising view of hoar frost.

“He’s constantly at work,” said Kirk.

His new challenge is making a series of photographs that will document the geological remnants of the Bonneville Flood. The massive flood took place about 15,000 years ago during the last ice age, washing over parts of Southern Idaho.

“Driving back and forth for years over the terrain for other assignments, it finally occurred to me that I was crossing over what would make a rich subject matter,” said Boles. “The flood sculpted Shoshone Falls. It uncovered fields of lava near Twin Falls.”

An exhibition of Boles’ photographs is on display at the College of Idaho Blatchley-Rosenthal Gallery through March 4.

“We look forward to recognizing Jan for Outstanding Achievement in the Humanities,” said IHC Chair Margo Aragon. “Through his wide-ranging work as a public humanist, he has enriched the heritage of the Intermountain West.”

Boles has lived in Idaho since 1963. He graduated from the College of Idaho in 1965 and married Anna Marie Walton (1942-2015). Boles has been the archivist of the College of Idaho’s Robert E. Smylie Archives since 1997.

Boles will receive the award at a public wine/dessert reception at 7 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 25 at the Blatchley-Rosenthal Gallery on the College of Idaho campus. If you’d like to attend, RSVP to the Idaho Humanities Council at 208-345-5346, or email

Boles will receive a $1,000 honorarium.

Note: “Bridging the Past, Present, and Future” is available for $25 through the Idaho Heritage Trust. Call or email Katherine Kirk for more information at 208-549-1778 or

Calling all new nonprofits

Are you part of a new, small, grassroots nonprofit that’s just getting started in the Treasure Valley? We’d like to hear about your work and what you want to do for the community. Email your story to

Here’s one, 208cares, that recently crossed our path. The group was founded in 2015, inspired by Homes for Our Troops, the nationwide nonprofit that builds homes for veterans with disabilities.

“We wanted to do something that had an Idaho thumb print on it,” said Cheryl Miller, board treasurer and longtime veteran advocate.

208cares has already selected a veteran to receive the first home. The group has secured donated land in an Eagle subdivision as well as donated building materials and labor. Groundbreaking should happen some time this spring or summer, said Miller. The Idaho Statesman will keep you posted on the project, but you can read about its progress and make donations online at

Besides its homegrown Idaho roots, 208cares is unique in another way. Homes for Our Troops provides support exclusively for post-9/11 veterans. 208cares will consider veterans from all conflicts, especially those with mobility issues. One group of special concern are Vietnam veterans who developed diabetes after exposure to Agent Orange and other chemicals and developed foot problems related to their diabetes. A veteran’s disability does not have to be combat-related to be considered for the 208cares program, said Miller.

How does the Boise High Choir get to Carnegie Hall? Practice. And donations

The Boise High School High Expectations Choir has spent the year raising money for a trip to New York City — you might have seen them a couple weeks back, singing for change outside the Boise Co-op on a chilly evening.

If the choir is successful with its fundraising, it will join other high school choirs from from across the country for a performance at Carnegie Hall. The trip will also be an opportunity for the choir members to take in the 9/11 memorial, Ellis Island, the Statue of Liberty and other cultural attractions.

Choir director David Burton said the group is “in the home stretch now,” but is still needs donations.

If you’d like to help, mail your check, c/o David Burton, to Boise High School, 1010 W. Washington St., Boise, ID 83702. You can also drop your check off in person, or donate online through the Boise Schools Education Foundation. Make sure to specify David Burton BHS Choir as the recipient of the donation. Contact Burton for more information by emailing or calling 208-854-4353.

The fundraising deadline is the end of February, or by March 15 at the latest.

Flying Pie fires up its ovens for Life’s Kitchen

Flying Pie, Boise’s iconic pizza spot, is opening its new location at 1326 Broadway with a special fundraiser. A $10 donation will get you limitless pizza samples, two complimentary beers, a look inside the new restaurant and most important, a chance to help Life’s Kitchen. Life’s Kitchen is a local nonprofit that trains at-risk youth in the culinary arts as well as life skills. All proceeds from the evening will benefit the program.

The fundraiser is on Sunday, Feb. 21 at Flying Pie. There are three time slots. The 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. time slots are sold out, but at the time of publication of this column, tickets were still available for the 8 p.m. time slot. Get them now, online at

Flying Pie’s official opening is Feb. 23.

Update: Women’s and Children’s Alliance wish list

The WCA, which has provided shelter and support for victims of domestic or sexual abuse, keeps on ongoing wish list of needs. Drop items at the WCA lobby, 720 W. Washington St., Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Here’s the latest: cold medicine (adult, non-alcoholic), high chairs (three needed), individually packaged foods (granola bars, fruit snacks, pretzels, nut packs, cracker packs, cereal packs), kinetic sand (different colors, five packs of each color), LeapFrog LeapPad learning tablets, LEGOs, portable DVD players (four needed), shower caddies, spatulas (five needed), Thomas the Tank Engine toys.

Call 208-343-3688 for more information.

Credit union company collecting donations for local food bank

First Tech, a credit union with branches across the U.S. is collecting non-perishable food items at its Boise branch, 11311 W. Chinden Blvd. through Feb. 26. Donations will benefit the Idaho Foodbank.

A volunteer’s story

This is an ongoing feature in the Helping Works column. If you’d like to share your story as a volunteer, email Please include a photograph of yourself in your submission. If you have a photograph of yourself volunteering, please send it along.

From Margo Henning, Boise

I’ve been volunteering for over 20 years for a wide variety of organizations. Part of my motivation is a desire to help people. It makes me feel fulfilled knowing I’m using whatever gifts and talents I might have to be of service to others. I only stay with an organization if I feel like what I’m doing makes a difference. If I see a lot of volunteers and not as much need then I usually decide to move on to where I might be of more use.

St. Luke’s Hospice has a good system of letting volunteers choose what clients they want based on their time, availability and commitment capabilities while providing training and support. Adequate training and support are truly key to any experience. That being said, I’m currently volunteering the most hours with an organization where the need is huge, but where I’m basically writing my own job description because while performing another task, I saw a bigger need elsewhere.

I am properties manager for Chrysalis Women’s Transitional Living program. Chrysalis has three residences for women seeking freedom from their addictions. I love matching other volunteers with the needs we have at Chrysalis and providing lots of others with an opportunity to serve.

Learn more about volunteering for St. Luke’s Hospice online or by calling 208-381-2222.

Learn more about volunteering for Chrysalis Women’s Transitional Living online or by calling 208-424-1323.