Nonprofit organizations working in Montezuma County focused on youth and nonprofit collaboration received grants totaling $65,000 this week from Colorado Springs-based El Pomar Foundation.
Grants presented on Wednesday in Cortez included: $50,000 to the Montelores Nonprofit Collaborative, to promote collaboration amongst nonprofits in Dolores and Montezuma Counties and $15,000 to the School Community Youth Coalition, to support youth programming, Positive Community Norms strategy and media and communications.
The checks were delivered on Wednesday. Both of the grants were recommended by El Pomar Foundations Southwest Regional Council, an advisory board of community leaders representing Archuleta, Dolores, La Plata, Montezuma and San Juan Counties.
Chuck McAfee (president of the Board of Directors of Montezuma Land Trust) and Lori Cooper (executive director of Montezuma County Health Department) serve as members of the Southwest Regional Council.
The Southwest Regional Council recognized the importance of investing in youth programming, and the consolidation of the nonprofit community. The Councils goal is to assist nonprofit organizations in Montezuma County that provide educational programs to youth in need and the Collaborative that is working to improve, aid, and consolidate the areas nonprofit community.
The Montelores Nonprofit Collaborative is a start-up program designed to enhance and build meaningful collaboration among nonprofits in Dolores and Montezuma Counties. This project will empower the community to discuss volunteerism, leadership training, and the importance of social networking to increase organizational capacity and improve the quality of life of people in need.
The Council is also providing a $35,000 grant to the Regional Substance Abuse Prevention Program. RSAPP is an initiative of the Southwest Council to support unprecedented regional collaboration in the fight against substance abuse. Specifically, this program is being accomplished through funds and support for initiatives that address substance abuse issues and their contributing factors across southwest Colorado.
The RSAPP steering committee includes more than 20 community leaders from across six regional communities: the five southwest counties (Archuleta, Dolores, La Plata, Montezuma, and San Juan) and Fort Lewis College. RSAPP was created in 2006 and funded by the Southwest Regional Council. In 2009, RSAPP received a three-year $246,000 grant from AmeriCorp and $150,000 of cash and in-kind contributions from local communities.
In addition to McAfee and Cooper, other Southwest Regional Council members include: Eddie Box, Jr., information service manager for the Southern Ute Indian Tribe; Dean Brookie, founder and president of Brookie Architecture and Planning; Lori Cooper, executive director of Montezuma County Health Department; Mary Jo Coulehan, executive director of the Pagosa Springs Chamber of Commerce; Dan Fernandez, director of State University Extension Office in Dolores County and Susan Lander, executive director of Music in the Mountains.
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.