Meet Barbara Thrasher. The inspiration behind the creation of the Wood River Women’s Foundation. An idea formed on Bald Mountain on a chairlift in 2005. She was also the founder of The Harriman Tea. An organization that has been raising money for the BCRD, Blaine County Recreation District, since 2000.
What inspired you to create the Wood River Women’s Foundation?
My inspiration was from the Washington Women’s Foundation, that foundation was the one I was most familiar with. Actually it’s funny because I am from Seattle and you would think that’s where I would have heard of it, but I read about it and other women’s collective giving circles in People Magazine. Then not long after, Jo Murray, asked me if we could meet about the Idaho Community Foundation. I never heard of them. I asked “Why don’t we have in Idaho a Women’s Giving Network like Washington has?” The idea sort of evolved from there. Jo & I invited some women to hear about it and then it took off!
What is your favorite restaurant in Wood River Valley, and what do you love there?
I think it’s Enoteca. Great food and pizza made in a wood fired oven. We were there a while ago and you could have a very casual meal in there. They make great food and it’s always full of great people. My other favorite is DaVinci’s in Hailey. We love just a simple good bowl of spaghetti and it’s like a restaurant where you would’ve eaten during your college years.
When did you first visit Sun Valley?
Well, I came here originally because my late husband, Joel, was a doctor and had medical meetings here. The physicians would get up at like 7 in the morning, spend 2 or 3 hours at meetings, ski and then go back in the afternoon for the rest of their meetings. Every time we would come to Sun Valley, I was so excited. I learned to ski here on Dolllar Mountain. We used to come here every year. I loved to ski and then I met Rick Koffey, my husband of 25 years, on a ski trip in Vail and he also loved Sun Valley. So we decided to build a home in here in 1998.
What is your favorite thing or something unique about Sun Valley?
Someone asked a friend of mine whose husband had passed away, “Do you have a church?” And she said, “This community, this Valley is my church.” What I love about here, is that no matter who you meet, what you do, people have a sense of all being in the same community together. No matter who you are, people will help others even someone that they don’t even know.
What is something interesting that most people don’t know about you?
After college I started as a school teacher. I used to teach 7th grade in Atlanta. Then we moved to Seattle, and I even had my own art gallery in Seattle. Also, that I have lived here in Sun Valley for 20 years and learned to ski here. I did the master’s ski program.
What is your favorite movie?
My favorite movie is The Fielding about Tom Jones. I just love it, I love that sort of 17th Century time period and the costumes.
Who is the most interesting person you’ve met here in Sun Valley?
Esther Ochsman is the most interesting person. She’s one of the original members of Wood River Women’s Foundation and has always been a big supporter. She’s very accomplished.
What is something on your bucket list?
It’s funny, I always say i would like to go to India, but I don’t think I’ll ever go. I love Thailand, but it’s a whole different thing.
Choosing anyone alive and a non-relative with whom would you love to have lunch?
It would be Ann Sothern. I watched her tv show for years! I once told her daughter that I spent my entire life with your mother. She was so elegant, she was on this show and she was the secretary and Mr. Devery was her boss. I just loved her acting!
What 3 words or phrases come to mind when you think of the word HOME?
Warmth, Family and Sense of Arrival. Every time we come back to our home here, I open the door and it just feels like home.