#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.
Julie Penrose was a devout Catholic throughout her life, and that influence can be seen in El Pomar’s early grant making. In 1942, the Foundation expanded its giving beyond Colorado Springs in order to support work being done by Catholic organizations in other cities along the Front Range.
A First in Pueblo: Dioceses of Denver & Pueblo
The course of history saw the flags of many nations raised over the land that is now Colorado. Among these, and active throughout the Southwestern United States, were the Spaniards, who brought their culture, language, and Catholic faith to Southern Colorado in the early-nineteenth century. Initially under the jurisdiction of the Diocese of Santa Fe, the Vicarate of Apostolic of Colorado and Utah was formed in 1870. The church was reorganized as the Diocese of Denver in 1887, drawing its congregation from throughout Colorado. The Diocese of Pueblo was ultimately created in 1941, with a congregation that covers the Southern portion of the state.
Julie Penrose was a devout Catholic, and this showed in many of her activities and initial grant making through El Pomar Foundation. In 1942, the Foundation made three grants to the two dioceses, totaling $19,300. The Diocese of Denver received two of the grants for $7,300 to allocate towards St. Mary’s High School as well as general operating funds. The Diocese of Pueblo received the remaining $12,000 in a grant for remodeling purposes. This 1942 grant marked the first by El Pomar in Pueblo.
El Pomar in 1942:
El Pomar made 29 grants to 23 different organizations totaling $248,250. The largest grant recipients in 1942 included: Cheyenne Mountain Zoo $55,000; Glockner Hospital $47,075; Colorado College $38,600; American Red Cross, Pikes Peak Chapter $26,700; Fountain Valley School of Colorado $19,000; and the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center $10,000.
Images from: denvercatholic.org and Diocese of Pueblo
Spotlight by Matt Nuñez