The Ballantine Family Fund will award $54,000 in Core Value Grants to nonprofits in Montezuma County.
According to news release, The Ballantine Family began awarding these grants in 2015 as a way to designate special funds to specific areas of need.
“These Core Value Grants show broad support across multiple nonprofit sectors and will go a long way in addressing pressing needs in Montezuma County,” Briggen Wrinkle said in the news release. Wrinkle is executive director of the Community Foundation serving Southwest Colorado and grants manager for the Ballantine Family Fund.
The four recipients of this year’s grants are The Mancos Creative District, Montezuma County’s Paths to Mesa Verde trail project, the Piñon Project’s Montelores Emergency Assistance Coalition, and The Bridge Emergency Shelter.
Mancos Creative District. Funds go to the Maker’s Space program, which helps provide space for partners and other artists to hold maker’s classes and demonstrations, as well as community space for arts festivals.“The Ballantine family generously supported some startup money to make that a reality,” Carol Mehesy said. “We will be doing community meetings soon.”Paths to Mesa Verde. Funds go toward the priority project, a multi-use trail connecting Cortez, Mesa Verde National Park and Mancos that has value-added community benefits. Gov. John Hickenlooper has listed the project as one of the state’s 16 most important trail projects for 2016.Montelores Emergency Assistance Coalition. Funds go toward supporting low-income families who need utility assistance to maintain housing and/or heat.The Bridge Emergency Shelter. Funds go toward its new facility expenses.James Dietrich, National Resources Planning and Public Lands coordinator at Montezuma County, said he and his organization are thankful for the grant and look forward to putting it toward the project.
“Currently we are in the planning process, and we are hoping to use the money to leverage additional funds from the state to acquire right of way,” Dietrich said. “We would be negotiating with willing landowners to receive right of way.”
Laurie Knutson, executive director of The Bridge Emergency shelter, said the grant makes strides in their organization toward its new building. Colorado state funding wanted Bridge to raise $2.3 million for their project.
“The Bridge is at a transitional moment in history, embarking on a new endeavor,” Knutson said in a news release. “The new facilities will shelter 26 persons, and provide Sobering Space for another 15 persons. Additionally, 24 persons will be housed in 1- and 2-bedroom transitional apartments.”
According to Knutson, the organization is within $41,000 of receiving that grant since being awarded the Ballantine Core Value Grant, an invitation-only program.
“It goes to point out that so many people see the value in not only sheltering but giving them the opportunity to be housed,” Knutson said.
After losing funding from Energy Outreach Colorado to help needy families keep the heat on in their homes during the winter, the Ballantine grant came as a relief for the Piñon Project.
“It was a big surprise and a big blessing because our emergency assistance coalition is the only point of entry,” Kellie Willis, of the Piñon Project said. “The fact is that we did not receive some funding that we have received for many years.”