Youth development nonprofits receive a boost from El Pomar Foundation

By Lori Bellingham
Special to The Pagosa Springs SUN Online

Hundreds of southwestern Colorado’s young people and their families will receive the services they need this year. On March 13, a total of $192,500 in grants will be awarded by the Southwest Regional Council of El Pomar Foundation to 17 southwest nonprofits working in youth development.

The grant presentation will be held from 5:15-6 p.m. on March 13 at Sorrel Sky Gallery in Durango.

The grants were recommended by El Pomar Foundation’s Southwest Regional Council, an advisory board of community leaders representing five counties in southwestern Colorado. The council is a board of local leaders representing Archuleta, Dolores, La Plata, Montezuma and San Juan counties. The council provides local insight and grant recommendations to trustees of El Pomar Foundation. Since its inception in 2004, the council has recommended 147 grants totaling $1,675,556.41 in southwestern Colorado.

The council hopes to maintain their focus on youth development in 2014, capitalizing on momentum from the Youth Development Summit they hosted in August. Said President, Chief Investment Officer and Southwest Trustee R. Thayer Tutt, “The Trustees of El Pomar Foundation continue to appreciate the engagement of the Southwest Regional Council. The council’s efforts to support numerous organizations that make a significant difference in the community have impacted the lives of thousands in Southwest Colorado. With their energy driving the council’s next projects, we are excited to see what will unfold.”

Mary Jo Coulehan, former director of the Pagosa Springs Area Chamber of Commerce, serves on the council representing Pagosa Springs.

Local grant recipients include:

• Pagosa Youth Center ($10,000), general operating support.

• Regional Substance Abuse Prevention Partners ($10,000), Healthy Kids Colorado Survey.

• San Juan Board of Cooperative Educational Services ($10,000), Check and Connect Program.

• Archuleta County School Health Clinic ($5,000), general operating support.

• Seeds of Learning Family Center ($5,000), The Incredible Years Program.

El Pomar Foundation, based in Colorado Springs, is one of the oldest and largest private foundations in the Rocky Mountain West. El Pomar contributes approximately $20 million annually through grants and community stewardship programs to support Colorado nonprofit organizations involved in health, human services, education, arts and humanities, and civic and community initiatives. Spencer and Julie Penrose founded El Pomar in 1937.

This story was posted on March 20, 2014.