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Pagosa Country is not new to the concept of “rural philanthropy.”
When local mother of four Ann Bryant was recently diagnosed with stage four non-small cell lung cancer, the family worked with its insurance company and pharmaceutical companies to lower expenses; however, they were still faced with a huge financial burden. The community reached out and held a bake sale and launched an online effort to raise $50,000 in donations. As of today, over $4,000 has been raised at www.gofundme.com/9kgr64.
When our neighbors are in need, we open our pocketbooks. When fundraisers are held, we buy tickets, bid on auction items and support our nonprofits.
There’s no question that the nonprofit sector in our community has impact and significance. Pagosa Springs is home to dozens of nonprofit organizations that provide much-needed services and programs — often free or at low cost. Nonprofits teach valuable skills. Nonprofits provide essential cultural and recreational opportunities. And, even with the support they gratefully receive from local donations, our nonprofits sometimes struggle to survive.
This week, Rural Philanthropy Days (RPD) is being hosted in Pagosa Springs.
RPD provides nonprofits with the opportunity to present their cause to funders they would otherwise not have the opportunity to meet, in hopes of increasing their funding.
According to their website, “For those of us fortunate to live in one of the five counties of Archuleta, La Plata, Montezuma, Dolores and San Juan, we know that there is a spirit in the Southwest Colorado mountains. … Our mountain towns are unique and special places of diversity, hardship, hard work, trading, community, family and talent. … There is more here than meets the eye, and Rural Philanthropy Days is our opportunity to showcase this corner of Colorado to an audience of over 20 foundation representatives, your local government officials and over 300 nonprofit leaders. A unique conference with the potential to raise us even higher.”
The website lists funders you can expect to see at RPD: Adolph Coors Foundation, Anschutz Family Foundation, A.V. Hunter Trust, Ballantine Family Fund, Boettcher Foundation, Caring for Colorado Foundation, Chinook Fund, Colorado Creative Industries, Colorado Department of Local Affairs, The Colorado Health Foundation, The Colorado Trust, Commonwealth Fund, Community Foundation serving Southwest Colorado, Corporation for National and Community Service, Daniels Fund, El Pomar Foundation, Helen K. and Arthur E. Johnson Foundation, Jared Polis Foundation, Kenneth King Foundation, MercuryGives, The Rotary Foundation, Serve Colorado — The Governor’s Commission on Community Service, Temple Hoyne Buell Foundation, USDA, Rural Development and The Women’s Foundation of Colorado.
We welcome the RPD funders to Pagosa Springs. We invite them to experience the sort of country hospitality that Pagosa uniquely delivers. We thank them for their generosity.
Terri Lynn Oldham House