Most of the grants are fairly small, according to Foundation director Melanie Hall, but they make a big difference in individual lives, such as a $2,500 grant to the Montrose County School District for a family support center, and a $500 grant directed to Special Olympics for snowshoeing and basketball.
Montrose Community Foundation funds are based on an endowment, Hall said, ensuring that the foundation has permanent funding and growth potential.
Donors to the foundation’s endowment fund can direct how they want their money used and the foundation selects the best fit from the nonprofit applicants. This year a donation from Russell Cook, a 95-year-old veteran who recently received his high school diploma through a special program of the Montrose County School District, established a new $1,000 Cook Educational Grant through the Foundation. In its inaugural year, the grant went to Partners of Delta, Montrose and Ouray, to help keep kids in school and ensure their long-term success.
The foundation also distributed its annual Sue Olson YEA! grants, established by the Olson family to honor the wife and mother who died in a tragic accident in 2005. YEA! stands for Youth, Education and the Arts!, all of which were extremely important to Olson, a former teacher at Columbine Middle School. She was known for using “hands-on projects, magic tricks, songs, art common objects, and toys to teach science, math and reading.”
This year, YEA! Grants contributed $1,000 to the Climbing Tree Children’s Museum for a science exhibit created in cooperation with Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, and $1,000 to Girls on the Run, an after school program for pre-teen girls sponsored by Tri-County Resources Inc.
Other Montrose Foundation Grant recipients were:
• Montrose County Housing Authority – $1,500 for improvements to the Child Quest Learning Center in Olathe.
• Montrose Meth Coalition – 1,000 for substance abuse education.
• Roubideau Rim Wildlife Rescue – $250 for computer software and community outreach.
• Christ’s Kitchen – $500 to increase capacity and improve accounting system.
• Hospice and Palliative Care of Western Colorado – $500 for Child and Teen Grief programs.
• Public Art eXperience (PAX) – $500 toward purchase of public art and education outreach.
• Voices for Children, Court Appointed Special Advocates – $1,000 to send staff to national conference on child abuse.
• Center for Mental Health – $1,100 to build a greenhouse to help troubled kids at Johnson Elementary.
• Hilltop Runaway and Homeless Youth Program – $1,000 for an at risk youth program for ages 12 to 21.
• Black Canyon Boys and Girls Club – $2,000 for the club’s Power Hour program.
• Sharing Ministries – $500 for food and other items for the needy.
More information on the Montrose Community Foundation and their grant recipients is available at www.montrosecf.com.