Penrose House has a few furry creatures that frequently hang around outside the estate, but this guy is not one of the usual suspects. This past weekend, we were fortunate to have a camera on hand when he passed through.
Archive for December, 2011
Recipients of Karl E. Eitel Fund, Ferrand Fund, and Trustee oustanding service grants joined El Pomar staff at Penrose House last night for a reception honoring this year’s winners. Over $416,000 was given to 76 organizations from across the state. After remarks by El Pomar Foundation CEO and Chairman Bill Hybl, President and Chief Investment Officer R. Thayer Tutt Jr., and Trustee Judy Bell, attendees enjoyed an opportunity to meet recipients over warm beverages and holiday cookies.
This year, El Pomar Foundation staff adopted two families through the Marian House’s Life Support Services program. As a way to connect with and support local neighbors in need, staff members purchased a variety of items including clothing, toys, gift cards and holiday meals in hopes of making each family’s holiday season a little brighter.
Last month, El Pomar Foundation announced a major grant to Mt. Carmel Health, Wellness, and Community Center in Trinidad. Once a Catholic Church that served as a spiritual center to the area’s many Italian immigrants, today the 1907 structure is becoming the anchor of a new health and wellness center for the entire southeast region.
Recently, I took a course at the United States Air Force Academy on transformative leadership. After four weekends and more than 40 hours, I am better equipped to lead. I continue to think about one idea in particular, called the “already-always listening” concept.
Knowing whom to blame for the current issues facing America or how to predict impending doom and downfall doesn’t help anyone. This was the stance taken by Jim Hayes, former publisher of Fortune Magazine and former CEO of Junior Achievement, who recently spoke to the current class of El Pomar Fellows. He urged us to change the dialogue.
In the nonprofit sector, everyone seems to be talking about collaboration. At a time when resources are scarce and needs remain great, it makes sense for organizations to work together to make their resources go further. But is collaboration always positive? Can ineffective collaboration undermine results and shortchange society?
A long drive and short meetings can make a huge difference. Ride along with me on an El Pomar Community Impact Visit trip to Hayden to see how.
As a first-year fellow just learning the ropes at El Pomar Foundation, it did not make sense to me why I might have to drive to the northwest region—generally at least a five-hour trip in the best weather—to conduct only a few hour-long site visits with grantees. It seemed inefficient. However, well into my second year in the fellowship, I have come to understand the importance of the community impact visit (CIV), and more than that, I have come to love going on them.
One CIV I did in my hometown showed me how filling up a gas tank can be a step to preventing poverty; it allowed me to produce a memo for the Northwest Regional Council about the lack of funding for gas cards and car insurance assistance. Another CIV, conducted this summer, showed me what a single site visit can do for an organization and even an entire community in rural Colorado; this is the story I would like to share.
March, 2009. A meeting of the Pikes Peak Community Development (PPCD) Advisory Group, convened by El Pomar Foundation to address and discuss shared concerns of those living in southeast El Paso County. A group of business, civic, and community leaders going back and forth. The economy? Health care? Homelessness? What are the biggest challenges facing the area, and where can the group make a difference?
Fast forward to October, 2011. One hundred-plus high school students and their parents invade Pikes Peak Community College. They attend workshops like What is College? and How to Pay for College. Imagination Celebration hosts the keynote session—Imagine Your Future: Who Are You & Who Do You Want to Be?
This was the answer to those questions posed years earlier come to life. What was the biggest priority and where could they make a difference? Education.