December 2022
Looking Back, Dreaming Forward with Donors and Friends
October Luncheon Caps 25th Anniversary Celebrations

Long-time President/CEO, Anne Wenzel, shares our Community Foundation's
Dreaming Forward plans at a 25th anniversary celebration luncheon in October.
On October 20th, almost 200 Community Foundation board and alumni board members, donors and friends gathered for a celebration luncheon at CMU's Ballroom. The energy and enthusiasm in the room was high for the milestone 25th anniversary celebration. A big thank you to Alpine Bank for underwriting the luncheon; the Bank has been sponsoring our anniversary luncheons every five years since 2007.

A number of family members of the community leaders and founders who first articulated a vision and commitment to have "our own foundation" here in western Colorado were in attendance. We were pleased to celebrate with Linda Reid, daughter of Herb and Laura Mae Bacon; Ruth Gormley and John Gormley, wife and son of Pat Gormley; Jane Quimby, daughter of Jane Quimby; Kate Denning, wife of Bob Denning; Dan Prinster, son of Joseph and Del Prinster; Martha Tjossem, daughter of Dave Wood. First director Verne Smith was also in attendance and many other friends and donors who have watched our organization launch, grow and thrive over the past 25 years.

In lieu of a traditional keynote speaker, Community Foundation staff organized a multi-media Looking Back, Dreaming Forward program with live narrators, video segments and music. The program celebrated the rich and generous history of our donors and the impact they have made over the first quarter century: $37 million in grants and scholarships have been invested in our communities since our inception. The program also celebrated the theme of Dreaming Forward - acknowledging and celebrating the spirit of thinking creatively, looking ahead and organizing initiatives and projects to make our communities better. Some of our community leaders spoke on video about what it takes to be a "Dreaming Forward Community" in the areas of children and youth, education, health care and the arts. Four entrepreneurial nonprofit leaders spoke on video about their organizations' plans to take programs and services to a new level, and how our Community Foundation's Dreaming Forward grants were helping them with that. And finally our President and CEO laid out what it means to be a Dreaming Forward Community Foundation, summarizing our board's new 5-year vision and plans for the organization, inviting people in the room to help us keep growing, thriving and making a difference in the next 25 years.

You can watch the full 12-minute recap video of the event below.
Coming in January 2023: Exciting news about our
Community Foundation's plans for a new office home
and Center for Philanthropy!
2022 Dreaming Forward Grants
$550,000 helps 10 organizations Dream Forward
The Confluence Center at Dos Rios will be home to five nonprofit organizations and serve as a regional Land and Water Education Center
In celebration of our 25th Anniversary, our Community Foundation awarded 10 Dreaming Forward Grants to organizations working in our leadership areas. These grants are supporting nonprofits for capacity building or growth/expansion, improving competencies, developing strategic plans, investing in organizational infrastructure and systems, improving effectiveness, or growing impact. We are proud to play a role in helping the following organizations to Dream Forward:

  • District 51 Food and Nutrition Services - two new Lunch Lizard Food Trucks

Conservation, Outdoor Recreation/Environment (C.O.R.E.)
  • Confluence Center at Dos Rios - feasibility study for a regional Land and Water Education Center
  • Colorado National Monument Association - strategic branding and marketing
  • Grand Mesa Nordic Council - website upgrades

  • 7th Judicial District Attorney's Office - Lighthouse Diversion Program
  • Karis/The House - strategic planning and leadership development
  • Riverside Educational Center - leadership development and strategic planning

  • Habitat for Humanity of the San Juans - feasibility study for a modular home construction campus in Delta/Montrose
  • Housing Resources of Western Colorado - Purchase Assistance Loan Program
  • Habitat for Humanity Roaring Fork - feasibility study for modular home manufacturing facility in Rifle
Donor Spotlight:
Generous Legacy of Tom Huerkamp
Long-time resident of Austin, founder and co-owner of ProSpace Interiors, and active businessman and civic leader in Delta County, Tom Huerkamp passed away a little over a year ago.

Tom and his wife, Mary Lou, left a sizable portion of their estate to support charitable interests in the local community. Our Community Foundation is one of the designated charitable beneficiaries, receiving interest in both residential and commercial real estate assets that have been liquidated and will now support several of the donor's long-time interests.

First, proceeds from the estate will be used to set up two endowed scholarships -- one at CMU Foundation to provide scholarships for business students in the Davis School of Business who come from Delta County. And a second endowed scholarship is being set up at St. Mary's Hospital Foundation to provide continuing education opportunities for Delta County based health care staff working at St. Mary's. Both these endowments are named in recognition of the donor's business, ProSpace, which he built with his brother, Dave. The business is 50 years old.

Our Community Foundation will itself manage two new legacy funds - one a scholarship fund for graduating seniors in Delta County high schools, and one a designated fund for Delta County Hospital Foundation to provide professional development opportunities for its staff. Tom very much valued education, and he recognized the importance of health care workers and how much training and expense is involved in getting into this career. He served on the boards of the Delta Hospital and also HopeWest for many years.

A portion of Tom's donation to our Community Foundation was unrestricted, which provides valuable discretionary funding to support needs and programs we identify at the time of the gift. Some of this funding has been designated to the Surface Creek Community Fund, a local grantmaking fund that supports the communities of Cedaredge, Austin and Orchard City. WCCF Board Member and one of the founders of the Surface Creek Community Fund, Bill Welch noted, "Tom was always so generous with his time and energy in making the Surface Creek area a wonderful place to live. This donation of $25,000 to our endowment is a generous and appreciated investment in the community where he lived and called home."

Tom Huerkamp was one of those proverbial "bigger than life" people during his time on earth, and is continuing his community and civic commitments with a generous and thoughtful legacy donation. On behalf of the many students and health care professionals who will benefit from his generosity, thank you and rest in peace, Tom Huerkamp!
Regional Updates
Local Community Funds
Record Year for Grants Awarded

In 2022, our six Local Community Funds granted a record total of over $164,000 to 86 nonprofit organizations across our region. Since 2002, our Foundation has partnered with local steering committees to develop these funds to support nonprofits and programs within their geographic regions. This "give where you live" philosophy resonates with community members who want to improve the place they call home, and have seen significant growth over the past 10 years, funding over $650,000 in grants across the region. Read more about each of these unique community funds, the impact of their work and how to get involved by clicking the links below to specific funds:
25th Anniversary Business Partners
We would like to recognize and thank our Dreaming Forward Business Partners this 25th Anniversary year for their support and commitment to our mission of promoting local philanthropy and improving the quality of life for the people and communities of western Colorado. 
Reflections from the President & CEO
A very busy year, an exciting year, a festive year of celebration and looking back, Dreaming Forward is coming to a close as December holidays are fast approaching and the calendar formally turns a page on another year. We usher in 2023 just two weeks from now.

I have to say it has been beyond full and rewarding for me, our staff team and our wonderful board of directors this year. To think about where we started 25 years ago and how far we've come, how many donors we have giving and engaging with our work, how much funding and technical assistance we've been able to provide our nonprofits doing important things is truly awe-inspiring. I am grateful for the opportunity to lead this organization for many of its past 25 years. I am thankful for an energetic, committed and hard-working staff team. I am humbled by the community leaders and talent and commitment we have on our board of directors, now and over the course of our history. It takes all of us - all of you - to be a successful Community Foundation.

Thank you! Best wishes for a wonderful holiday season! And thank you for staying interested and involved as we charge ahead with our Dreaming Forward plans and agenda in the new year.

-- Anne Wenzel

The Western Colorado Community Foundation is confirmed in compliance with National Standards for U.S. Community Foundations by the Council on Foundations.
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