Learn about Colorado Assistance Fund grants, changes in El Pomar Board leadership, and a recent event on the fentanyl epidemic.

View Trustee Approved Grants from December

Nonprofits Receive $1.75 Million Through Colorado Assistance Fund

Nonprofits across Colorado are facing significant challenges, including workforce shortages, declines in donations, inflation, economic uncertainty, and the continued impact of COVID-19. In support of the ongoing capacity of nonprofits, El Pomar awarded grants to 182 nonprofits across 45 counties through our Colorado Assistance Fund (CAF), totaling $1.75 million.

Matt Carpenter, El Pomar’s Chief Operating Officer, explains: “The most recent allocations of CAF continue the tradition of El Pomar’s Trustees providing timely support to organizations throughout Colorado during challenging times. However, the tenth edition of CAF is unique since it provides funding to support nonprofit staff with workforce challenges and provide resources for organizations strategizing future impact in their communities.” 

Board Changes at El Pomar

Bill Hybl stepped down as Board Chairman after 34 years and now serves as Chair Emeritus. He will continue serving as a Trustee and engaging with El Pomar’s Regional Partnerships program. After 27 years, Bill Ward departed the Board as Trustee and became Trustee Emeritus. He held many roles, including Vice Chair, Chair of Audit and Governance Committees, Chair of Awards for Excellence, and Regional Trustee. Dave Palenchar has been elected Board Chair and Nechie Hall as Vice Chair. Thayer Tutt will also continue to serve as a Vice Chair.

Two new Community Trustees were elected to El Pomar’s Board in December: Kathy Boe, Founder of Boecore, with more than 30+ years of engineering and leadership experience supporting the Department of Defense, and Ken Montera, Regent for the University of Colorado, who spent over 30 years as a senior executive in four Fortune 200 companies.

Community Leaders Convene for Forum on Fentanyl

El Paso County saw 216 drug-related accidental deaths in 2021 alone. 

In November, El Pomar's Forum for Civic Advancement hosted a Forum on Fentanyl to discuss data surrounding the fentanyl epidemic and what the community can do about it. Panelists from public health, education, non-profits, and law enforcement came together to talk about their current work to support this issue and what brings them hope looking forward. 

Read 1st Year Fellow Noelle Paiement’s summary of the event ➔

Nonprofits Celebrated at

Annual Merit Grant Reception

In December, El Pomar held our annual Merit Grant Reception at Penrose House to celebrate 68 organizations that received grants totaling $536,500.

$100,000 of these grants were made from the Karl E. Eitel Fund, which celebrated its 25th and final year. The Fund was established in honor of former El Pomar Trustee Karl E. Eitel, who was a strong supporter of programs developing Colorado's youth. The Fund distributed more than $2 million across every region of the state in support of at-risk youth.

In the News

Watch the Interview: Bill Hybl Reflects on 50 Years at El Pomar

Grantee, El Paso County Parks, Starts Work to Protect Paint Mines

Call for Nominations: Milton E. Proby Award

Since 2006, El Pomar Foundation’s Elevating Leadership Development (ELD) program has posthumously recognized leaders of color in Southern Colorado in celebration of their civic contributions through the Milton E. Proby Cultural Heritage Induction Ceremony.

The deadline for nominations for the 2024 Native American Milton E. Proby Inductee is February 28, 2024. However, the committee encourages nominations for all candidates, which are accepted on an ongoing basis.

Submit a Nomination ➔

Applications Opening: PeOPLE

The application for the 2024 Penrose Organizational and Professional Leadership Experience (PeOPLE) is opening soon! PeOPLE is a customized four-day leadership workshop offered in partnership with the Center for Creative Leadership (CCL) that develops exceptional leaders enabling them to effectively manage and lead.

The 2024 session will be held September 24-27 in Colorado Springs and will be open to nonprofit and government leaders in Colorado. The application will open in late March with selections made in late May.

Learn More ➔

Fellows Connect with Legislators at Western Leadership Academy

More than 40 state legislators from across the western U.S. traveled to The Broadmoor in December to attend a leadership training academy run by The Council of State Governments West. As a sponsor of the event, El Pomar sends Fellows to the conference every year to attend sessions and create an evaluation report.

2nd Year Fellow Boe Gold reflected on his experience: “I always find these sessions to be of great benefit for legislators and non-legislators alike, as I feel as though we can all benefit from becoming better communicators and understanding those we disagree with... This year’s cohort was particularly inspiring, as I was moved by their passion and powerful sense of duty.”

History Tidbit:

Curious Colorado Film

Spencer Penrose was contacted by W.C. Lewellen in 1935 about producing a film to advertise the Pikes Peak region and Spencer's projects in the area, including the Will Rogers Memorial Shrine, Cheyenne Mountain Highway, and Zoo.

Lewellen wrote the letter as if two of the zoo's chimpanzees were personally inviting him.

Watch the Film ➔

Grantee Spotlight:

Mind Springs Health

Mind Springs Health, a low-barrier mental health and addiction recovery center, recently received a $50,000 capital grant from El Pomar for the construction of a detoxification facility in Glenwood Springs.

The project came out of a group of healthcare and emergency services stakeholders assembled by the city identifying the need for withdrawal services, which have not been available in the community for more than a decade.