Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Manna Soup Kitchen: Serving Meals and Opportunity

Wednesday, February 10th, 2016

Julia Lawton

Durango’s Manna Soup Kitchen provides more than meals. Founded in May of 1985 to feed the hungry in Durango, Manna is unique in its motivation to provide valuable opportunities and services for clients.

With a little help from El Pomar Foundation in the form of a $30,000 capital grant, Manna Soup Kitchen recently completed a new culinary education and teaching facility. As the only soup kitchen in La Plata County, the new building allows Manna Soup Kitchen to expand its meal service, which already provides more than 65,000 meals annually to homeless, low income, and unemployed adults and families. (more…)

Giving from the Heart

Friday, January 29th, 2016

Mari Tanabe

Rob Hilbert – El Pomar’s Chief Financial Officer and Life Trustee – describes his role at the Foundation as “back of the house.” For nearly 30 years, Rob has handled seemingly everything: processing grants, payroll, accounting, documentation, and human resources filing. This behind the scenes work is critical for the Foundation’s success. “I’m making all the things in the back work so the team up front that goes into the community doesn’t have to worry,” said Rob.

After working at El Pomar for nearly 30 years, Rob Hilbert will retire at the end of January, 2016. This blog reflects on his career at El Pomar, his goals for the next stage of his life, and his hopes for the Foundation’s future. (more…)

Building Hope

Friday, January 22nd, 2016

Garrett Mayberry

Serious illness and death are trials no one should have to face alone. Fortunately, HopeWest ensures people of all ages on Colorado’s Western Slope can access dignified hospice service, palliative care, and bereavement programs in an uplifting and hopeful atmosphere. (more…)

You Start By Cleaning Out the Closet

Friday, January 15th, 2016

Erin Tilney Eilmes, Fellowship class of 2000

“Umm…do you have a change of clothes?” I was asked as I walked into my first day at El Pomar as a summer intern.  I looked down at my business suit and wondered what they were talking about.  I was a poor college student who had just spent more money on this suit and other business attire than ever before in my life!  I thought maybe they were kidding, but quickly learned it was no joke.  Assigned to Dave Palenchar, El Pomar Trustee and former Chief Operating Officer, and the grants office for the summer, I was informed that my first task as an intern was to clean out the large closet in Dave’s office.  I swallowed my pride and replaced my new business suit with a pair of old jeans for an entire week as I completed my first assignment.  I’ve always been a hard worker and I’ve been known as the person to go to if something needs to be done.  That said, I never expected to add closet organizing to my resume after my El Pomar summer internship. (more…)

Voices of the Fellowship: Fellows Share the Highlights of Supporting the Empty Stocking Fund

Wednesday, January 13th, 2016

Each holiday season, thousands of generous individual donors and hundreds of businesses and organizations come together to support 20 health and human service agencies across the Pikes Peak region through The Gazette/El Pomar Foundation Empty Stocking Fund. What started as a small holiday food and utilities drive in 1984 has since grown to a campaign which raises more than one million dollars in just under 9 weeks. This year, six El Pomar Fellows have been privileged to work with the Empty Stocking Fund. Here, they share the highlights of working with and giving to the Empty Stocking Fund campaign.


Want to find your dream job?

Wednesday, December 30th, 2015

Beau Kelly, Fellowship Class of 2013

I am in my dream job thanks to the El Pomar Fellowship Program. I finished the Fellowship in March of 2015, and am now an Assistant Director of Development at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs (UCCS). In my new role, I fundraise for UCCS Athletics and the School of Public Affairs.

During my two years at El Pomar Foundation, I built an incredible base for my career.  I developed a network of lifelong mentors and friends; I was able to find a job that matched my passions and skillset; and I learned how to be a professional.

Here are the things that I cherish most from my time in the Fellowship program:

1. Career Support Network

From Day 1 at El Pomar, you are surrounded by accomplished and caring leaders and mentors.


Voices of the Fellowship: Lessons from WLA

Monday, December 21st, 2015

In early December, recently-elected state legislators from thirteen western states met at El Pomar’s Penrose House for the annual Western Legislative Academy (WLA) conference. The three and a half-day training program helps legislators refine their skills and share ideas to enhance their performance within their respective state governments. Four El Pomar Fellows joined the training program as both observers and participants.


A Perspective Outside My Own

Wednesday, December 9th, 2015

Molly Brown

“How are we going to know who they are?” we joked as we anxiously awaited the arrival of the eight Israeli leaders in the arrivals hall of Denver International Airport. As eight suited men and women came up the escalators taking rapid fire selfies, we quickly realized we need not worry. Our delegates had arrived.

Following the commotion of loading luggage into the cars at the airport, we quickly transitioned from complete strangers to friends. The eight young leaders from Israel—whom my colleagues and I would spend the next four days touring around Colorado—were both curious and engaged from the second we shook hands. (more…)

San Luis Valley’s Next Generation of Nurses

Thursday, December 3rd, 2015

Linda Relyea
Assistant Director of Communications, Adams State University

This article was published on October 27, 2015. You can see the original article here

Throughout the health care industry, the demand for nurses continues to rise, especially in isolated rural communities like the San Luis Valley.  In an effort to help fulfill that need El Pomar Foundation established an Adams State University Nursing Scholarship for undergraduate nursing students as well as graduate level health professionals to advance their education.

In recognition of this and other means of support for Adams State, the ASU Foundation chose El Pomar Foundation as the 2015 Willis Fassett Jr. Award recipient.  El Pomar’s Rob Hilbert, chief financial officer and life trustee, and Cathy Robbins, senior vice president, will accept the award at the Adams State Donor Recognition Dinner on November 4. (more…)

Wowed by the San Juans

Monday, November 23rd, 2015

Garrett Mayberry

The six county San Juan Region is a place where the spirit of Colorado not only lives, but thrives. It is a place of coal mines and cowboys, of hiking and hemp. It is inhabited by people who are proud, resilient, and welcoming. And it is this vastness and diversity that make succinctly answering the question, “What makes the San Juan region unique?” such a difficult task. Difficult, but not impossible.

This October marked the first time I visited the San Juan region of Colorado. As a first year Fellow at El Pomar Foundation, the westward journey was a rite of passage—an opportunity to immerse myself in the region, deliver merit grants on behalf of the Foundation, and meet the community leaders I will be working with over the next two years through the Regional Partnerships program. Traveling from Gunnison to Paonia, Montrose to Ouray, Ridgway to Telluride, I encountered a Colorado I never knew, yet spoke to me like an old friend. Winding along the road was a journey with a diverse landscape and people exuding the unbridled spirit of Colorado. (more…)