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A Letter from the Chairman

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Mr. Hybl 2016 Letter from the Chairman.jpg

Ben Wendelken, former trustee, legal counsel, and friend of the Penroses, often said it is the ability of the Foundation to “represent those who are unable to represent themselves” that catalyzes action for communities, urban and rural, across the state. In the past century philanthropic investment has evolved from traditionally capitol and humanitarian or human services support to innovative partnerships across sectors.


For 79 years El Pomar Trustees have honored the Penroses’ wishes to enhance the well-being of the people of Colorado, and approximately 30% of El Pomar’s grants have been made in support of critical human services this past year.  However, as the Foundation joins more than 70 Regional Council members representing all 64 Colorado counties in innovative partnerships across the state, Trustees have invested more than $3.6 million in rural communities in education, workforce development, youth development and early childhood education projects. 

In this newsletter you’ll read about our work in 2016: news from the grants department; the 35,000 visitors to the Penrose House Conference Center; individuals such as philanthropist Lyda Hill and organizations like Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado who received an El Pomar Award for Excellence for their work to improve lives for Coloradans; and important investment in leaders across the state as we welcome the 25th class of the Fellowship. 

As the Foundation enters its 80th year Trustees have invested a total $572 million in the people of Colorado on behalf of Spencer and Julie Penrose. We look forward to the coming year of new investments and new partnerships across the state. 

William J. Hybl
Chairman and CEO