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Story of Impact: Silver Key Senior Services

August 21st, 2014

In honor of Senior Citizens Day, El Pomar Foundation wanted to highlight an organization serving senior citizens in Colorado Springs. Since 1971 Silver Key Senior Services provides seniors in El Paso County with programs and services that emphasize dignity, independence, safety, and comfort throughout the aging process. With respect and quality of life at the forefront of the organization’s vision, Silver Key strives to empower senior citizens and make Colorado Springs the nation’s best city to age.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The organization’s programs include Meals on Wheels, transportation services, individual case management, nutritional food assistance, an Emergency Pantry, and a medical equipment loan program. Meals on Wheels enables seniors to access hot meals consistently and conveniently. In 2013, Silver Key delivered 52,000 Meals on Wheels, distributed 17,852 boxes of food, and made 51,053 trips through their transportation program. Most recently, Silver Key called upon the Colorado Springs community to collect room fans for its seniors. Our community answered Silver Key’s request and enabled the organization to provide fans for every senior who requested one. This campaign represents both Silver Key’s and the community’s attentiveness to senior citizens in our community.

 

 

 

 

 

 

One Silver Key client commented “Words cannot express my feelings for all the good [Silver Key does] for seniors in our community.”

Silver Key Senior Services takes care of our seniors, and we wish to thank them for their services. Happy Senior Citizen Day!

Want to learn more? Visit www.silverkey.org for more information and volunteer opportunities.

 

CASA of the Pikes Peak Region: Celebrating 25 Years of Life-Changing Child Advocacy

August 19th, 2014

In 1977, a Seattle judge, worried about poor decisions being made on behalf of at-risk children, put out a request for community volunteers willing to provide advocacy and support for these children in court. 50 people responded, creating the organization Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA).

Here in Colorado Springs, studies conducted in the 1980s revealed abused and neglected children living in El Paso and Teller counties lacked adequate representation and advocacy in the legal system.  CASA’s volunteer-driven advocacy was identified as the best means to alleviate this troubling trend. In 1989, with start-up funding from El Pomar Foundation and The Junior League, CASA of the Pikes Peak Region was formed and began recruiting and training volunteers to advocate for children experiencing abuse, neglect, or domestic conflict. CASA advocates represent the best interests of children by attending court hearings, communicating with lawyers and social workers, and ensuring that each child ends up in a loving home able to provide the consistent support needed for future success.

 

 

 

 

Today, CASA of the Pikes Peak Region will celebrate its 25th anniversary. Since forming as a local chapter, CASA of the Pikes Peak Region has helped over 10,000 children receive the support they need to overcome abuse and extreme domestic conflict.

Despite all of the organization’s successes, challenges still remain. In The Gazette, executive director Trudy Strewler Hodges states that only half of the 1,000 neglected and abused children eligible to receive an advocate actually receives one. The organization hopes to shrink this gap by 2020, in addition to continuing to combat high levels of child abuse in the region.

While the challenges ahead are significant, CASA of the Pikes Peak Region has provided our community with 25 years of life-changing impact. Thank you to all of the staff, volunteers, and supporters of the organization for making such a positive difference in our community.

To learn more about CASA of the Pikes Peak Region, visit their website.

 

Trustees Approved Grants

August 15th, 2014

The Trustees of El Pomar Foundation met in July to consider and approve grant requests, including those from the Wild Land Fire Fund and Regional Councils. As a result, they approved 64 grants totaling nearly $1 million. Recipients represent 29 counties from across the state of Colorado.

Grant recipients are listed below. To learn more about El Pomar Foundation’s grantmaking and community stewardship programs visit www.elpomar.org. Read the rest of this entry »

Outward Bound 2014

August 7th, 2014

Recently, members of El Pomar’s Fellowship Program embarked on a week-long backpacking excursion with the Colorado Outward Bound School near Marble, Colorado. The Fellows crossed rivers, climbed mountains, endured thunderstorms, built shelters, and through it all, developed stronger relationships and a greater sense of compassion and teamwork. Below are several reflections on the experience from some of this year’s 1st year Fellows.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Breathe

July 23rd, 2014

Ashley Cornelius

Take a deep breath.  Easy, right? Breathing is so innate and effortless; we may go days without even thinking about it.  This isn’t true for everyone. For some, breathing is crushingly difficult, every breath is simultaneously a struggle and a gift.

Tuberculosis was rampant in the 1900’s and was the driving force behind many people’s pilgrimage to the Pikes Peak region.  According to Matt Mayberry, director of the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum, “For 30 or 40 years, tuberculosis was our sole industry. People afflicted with the disease came to Colorado by the thousands to experience the high altitude, mineral springs, and ample sunshine credited for treating tuberculosis.” Thousands more sought job opportunities in the sanatoriums. By the mid-1920’s, there were fifteen sanatoriums across Colorado treating tuberculosis patients.

I was diagnosed with asthma at a young age, and the humidity of my home state of Michigan only exacerbated my condition. By the time I was three, I was spending eight months per year in the hospital. Seeking to provide a better life for her child, my mother moved us to Colorado Springs in hopes that the dry air and high altitude would provide some reprieve.  Over the last 19 years, I have learned that I am not the only person to owe their health to this city- Colorado Springs has a deep history of restoring physical health and providing a high quality of life for residents. To this day, through institutions El Pomar Foundation and many others, Colorado Springs strives to improve the physical, emotional, intellectual and civic well-being of its citizens.

Edwin Solly, a well-known English doctor suffering from tuberculosis, moved to Colorado Springs in search of a cure.  In 1902, his dear friend William Jackson Palmer provided funds to develop a cutting edge sanatorium for America’s wealthiest individuals.  The Cragmor Sanatorium, designed by Thomas MacLaren opened in 1905 and was nicknamed the “Sun Palace,” known for its sun soaked rooftop lounge area. Following the advent of pharmaceutical treatments for tuberculosis, in 1964 Governor John Love issued the Cragmor facility to the University of Colorado. To this day, it serves as Main Hall at University of Colorado, Colorado Springs. While the purpose of Main Hall may have changed, the ultimate goal remains the same, to build a brighter tomorrow and improve the lives of their students and the deep history of hope is still palpable within the walls of Main Hall.

With each effortless breath, I am reminded that this city has been more than a home to me and my time at El Pomar has been more than a job; these opportunities have shaped me into a healthy and strong leader and resident of Colorado. Thank you Colorado Springs, for saving my life and giving me hope for the future.

Summit Community Care Clinic

July 23rd, 2014

Over the course of the last two years, Summit County has seen an alarming increase in the number of children reporting thoughts of suicide. Proactive and preventative behavioral health services are needed more than ever to assist medically underserved children. As the only safety-net health care provider in Summit County, Summit Community Care Clinic (SCCC) works to offer exceptional patient- centered health services while simultaneously keeping patient cost low. The integrated care model developed by SCCC effectively screens for suicide and mental health risk factors, connecting children in need to professional, quality, and affordable help. Read the rest of this entry »

College Readiness and Success Program

July 16th, 2014

In 2011 when Alyssa Young’s school counselor recommended the College Readiness and Success Program (CRSP), neither she nor her mother, Michelle, had ever considered higher education an option. With no knowledge of financial aid opportunities, they believed the financial burden too great to overcome. With the help of CRSP and  ambassadors from the Emerging Leadership Development Program, Alyssa and Michelle quickly learned about flexible community college courses and financial aid opportunities. Read the rest of this entry »

Welcome Fellows, Class of 2014

July 8th, 2014

The time has come- yesterday we welcomed the El Pomar Fellowship Class of 2014. Our new class is driven, passionate, and full of energy as they embark upon their two years of personal and professional growth through the Fellowship. These 12 individuals join us from all walks of life, each bringing their own unique perspective as well as a shared commitment to bettering the state of Colorado.  Read the rest of this entry »

Exhibits, Race Cars, and Records…Oh My

June 27th, 2014

Andy Post

 

 

 

 

 

 

Diversity of Penrose Legacy on Full Display in Weeks Ahead

As the 92nd annual Pikes Peak International Hill Climb rolls around this Sunday, June 29th, the usual excitement will be compounded by two additional events commemorating the Penrose Legacy.

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Trustees Approved Grants

June 9th, 2014

The Trustees of El Pomar Foundation met in May to consider and approve grant requests, including those from the Ferrand Fund and Regional Councils. As a result, they approved 44 grants totaling more than $2.5 million. Recipients represent 29 counties from across the state of Colorado.

Grant recipients are listed below. To learn more about El Pomar Foundation’s grantmaking and community stewardship programs visit www.elpomar.org. Read the rest of this entry »