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Celebrating 80 Years - 1981, YMCA of the Pikes Peak Region

Tags: #Celebrating80Years

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YMCA History Adventure Camp



#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 the 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.


The YMCA of the Pikes Peak Region has provided support for the community since 1878 through youth sport camps, after-school classes, healthy living workshops, and a wide variety of other programs. Since its early days in London, the YMCA continues to make its programs accessible to all members of the community, regardless of socioeconomic status, through scholarships and financial assistance.



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YMCA Garden Ranch Location, 1984

Grantee Spotlight:  YMCA of the Pikes Peak Region

Founded in response to working-class financial turmoil after the Industrial Revolution, the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) began in London, England in 1844. A retired marine missionary, Thomas Valentine Sullivan, brought the movement to the United States in 1851 in hopes of recreating the great work of the YMCA in his new home. YMCA now serves more than 10,000 neighborhoods across the U.S. and continues to support community members of all social classes. In 1878, the YMCA came to Colorado Springs and by 1901, the first Colorado Springs YMCA building provided exercise classes, night school for at-risk youth, counseling support, and numerous other activities and services.  

The YMCA of the Pikes Peak Region has only grown since its inception in the late 19th century, and now serves more than 125,000 people annually through the hard work of about 1,000 staff members and volunteers. Facilities can be found from Monument to Fountain and include eight family centers, twenty after-school sites, four aquatic facilities, three recreation centers, and Camp Shady Brook, a year-round retreat located in Deckers, CO. The YMCA operates under the values of youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility and serves about 51,000 local teens through youth sport, water safety, and healthy living programs. In support of the unique demographics of families in the region, the YMCA also offers several military outreach programs.

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YMCA Garden Ranch Location, 2008

Since 1969, El Pomar has supported YMCA of the Pikes Peak Region’s mission through a variety of competitive grants, funding from the Karl E. Eitel and Ackerman funds, and support through the Empty Stocking Fund.  Specifically, the Foundation has provided numerous scholarships for Camp Shady Brook and has funded many construction projects, with the most significant contributions made to the Southeast Family Center and Armed Services YMCA.


El Pomar in 1981:

The Foundation made 43 different grants for a total of $5.9 million in 1981. The Foundation continued to provide a wide variety of grants by size, ranging from the $1.75 million for the YMCA of the Pikes Peak Region to $2,500 to the Pauline Chapel.


Images courtesy of YMCA of the Pikes Peak Region

Spotlight by Kathryn Benson