#Celebrating80Years: 2017 marked 80 years of working with Colorado’s nonprofits as they seek to strengthen their communities. Throughout 2018, we will be looking back on this history of the outstanding organizations and people the Trustees have had the opportunity to support. On the blog you will find a history of the Foundation’s grant making and a representative organization from every year since our founding in 1937.
Although they had no children of their own, Spencer and Julie Penrose were committed to the well-being of the children in their community, and gave generously to organizations like the Boys & Girls Club of Colorado Springs throughout their lives. According to current Northwest Regional Council member Tillie Bishop, one of El Pomar Foundation's earliest scholarship recipients, Julie Penrose was a regular visitor to what was then the Boys Club: "She was a very stately woman. Very poised. You can imagine that us at the Boys Club [now the Boys and Girls Club] were very impressed when she came in. She would come by the club every four to five months and ask the director the last time the boys had a party, and then she would throw one with hamburgers, hot dogs, soda pop, and ice cream. She had a deep concern and love for young people." El Pomar is proud to continue that legacy today.
El Pomar in 1938:
In its second year, the Foundation expanded its giving to a broader array of organizations, making 16 grants totaling $47,500. Giving in this year clearly demonstrates the diversity of Spencer and Julie’s philanthropic interests, including funding to all five of the Foundation’s current focus areas: Arts & Culture (Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center), Education (Colorado College, Colorado School for the Deaf and the Blind, Cheyenne Mountain High School, Fountain Valley School, Colorado Springs Nursery School), Human Services (The Salvation Army, Boys & Girls Club of Colorado Springs), Health (Glockner Hospital), and Civic & Community (Pikes Peak United Way).
Boys & Girls Club of the Pikes Peak Region
The oldest Boys & Girls Club west of the Mississippi River, the Boys & Girls Club of the Pikes Peak Region has been serving the community of Colorado Springs since 1888 when it was originally founded as the Ernest Whitney Boys Club. Formally chartered in 1896, the mission of the Club was “to care for and promote the moral, mental, and physical well-being of boys in and around Colorado Springs – and to remove them from temptation and demoralizing influences.” In 1987, the Club became chartered as the Boys & Girls Club of the Pikes Peak Region. By 2011, nine Boys & Girls Club programs were being offered throughout the region. While some of those programs have changed names to Kids Club 360, the region continues to benefit from the Boys & Girls Club’s commitment “to empower every Club member, through safe and impactful experiences, to: graduate high school with a plan for college or career, contribute to their community and live a healthy life.”
El Pomar Foundation first provided a $32,000 grant to the Boys & Girls Club of Colorado Springs in 1937 to remodel their clubhouse, and an additional $4,000 was given in 1938 for the completion of that project. As the Club has grew along with the development of Colorado Springs, the Foundation continued to support its capital renovations and expansions, including the construction of the westside El Pomar Club in 1968 and the Eleanor Armit Tutt Club in 1982.
Images from: http://www.bgcppr.org/about
Spotlight by Corey Baron