While the landscape of Costilla County is primarily barren desert, the region is also home to some of the richest historical sites in Colorado. San Luis is the oldest continuously-occupied town in the state and sites throughout the broader San Luis Valley speak to the historical influences of Spain, Mexico, the United States, and the Ute people. El Pomar Foundation made its first grant to the region in 1954.
Although Spencer Penrose made his original fortune mining copper, he is often better known for founding and operating the Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs. While Penrose’s involvement with the hospitality industry and charitable giving are two separate sides of his Penrose legacy, these passions were brought together in the Foundation’s grants to the Geneva National Home in Littleton, which served as a center for recuperation and retirement for hotel employees from around the country.
Julie Penrose’s faith was a well-known element of her life and philanthropic activity, and in 1952 El Pomar Foundation made seven grants to parishes throughout the Front Range. Among these were grants to Mount Carmel Church in Pueblo for the purchase of a school bus, to St. Mary’s Church in Colorado Springs for maintenance of the Hammond organ, and to Sacred Heart Church in Old Colorado City.
The Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region cares for thousands of lost, abandoned, abused and unwanted pets. An El Pomar grant recipient since 1951, HSPPR provides an important service to vulnerable and often neglected residents of our community.
Helping students make informed decisions through meaningful career conversations was the cornerstone mission of an eighth-grade career fair at Morgan County Fairgrounds.
El Pomar Foundation has a long-standing commitment to support and relief in emergencies. From the purchase of emergency vehicles and computers to funding homeless shelters and supporting celebratory dinners for our hometown heroes, the Foundation has granted to the American Red Cross Pikes Peak Chapter consistently since 1941.
In 1936, what is now the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College opened to massive community praise, with works on display from such renowned artists as Van Gogh, Picasso, Cezanne, and Renoir. To date, the Fine Arts Center is one of El Pomar’s largest grant recipients, promoting valuable art displays and education in the heart of Colorado Springs.
UCHealth Memorial Hospital North and Children's Hospital's new Colorado Springs location reach the halfway point.
Fellow Emily Padgett describes how her own experience with bilingual education inspired her love of learning and directly connects to her work with the Metro Regional Council.
Founded in 1923, Grace and St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church and its parish have been longstanding contributors to the Colorado Springs community. Closely engaged with the social, educational, and cultural life of Colorado Springs, priests and parishioners initiated the American Red Cross chapter, the Community Chest, the Tuberculosis Association, and the Visiting Nurses Association, and Ecumenical Social Ministries.
Julie Penrose was an avid fan and sponsor of the arts and culture scene in Colorado Springs, and this included the Colorado Springs Symphony. Founded in 1927, the Colorado Springs Symphony Ensemble was known for its ability to captivate audiences with talent from around the world until its closure in 2003. Today the same sound of celebration is provided to the city by the Colorado Springs Philharmonic.
"Let the magic begin." The dream had come true for Chancellor Emerita Pam Shockley-Zalabak with the Center's opening gala.
As can be seen in their giving to educational institutions like the Fountain Valley School and to organizations like the Boys & Girls Club of the Pikes Peak Region and Colorado Springs Day Nursery Association, Spencer and Julie Penrose were philanthropically invested in the well-being of children in the Colorado Springs community. Another example of this interest in the Foundation’s early giving can be seen in grants made to both Boy and Girl Scouts in the Pikes Peak region.
United Way has grown considerably since its Colorado origins. There are now almost 1,800 United Ways across the United States and the world, all serving the mission of “improving lives by mobilizing the caring power of communities around the world to advance the common good.” In Colorado Springs, Pikes Peak United Way works to strengthen Youth Success and Family Stability, by providing tools and resources that will lead to a stable job and enough income to support a family and good health.
Many philanthropic foundations bear the names of their founders, so it may not be immediately obvious why the name “El Pomar” is associated with the Penrose legacy. The answer lies in the Penrose House, Spencer and Julie Penrose’s Colorado Springs home, which now serves as a free-of-charge meeting space and conference center for nonprofit agencies and government organizations.