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El Pomar Foundation Honors Colorado Nonprofits with $175,000 in Awards for Excellence Grants



BLACK HAWK, Colo. – Monday, September 20, 2013. Five outstanding nonprofit organizations throughout the state of Colorado were honored this evening during El Pomar Foundation’s Awards for Excellence presentation ceremony in Black Hawk.  Atlas Preparatory School, a Colorado Springs charter school that ensures all students regardless of circumstance, will experience the academic preparation, character development, and ongoing support necessary to graduate college, was honored as the state’s outstanding nonprofit with the Julie and Spencer Penrose Award. In celebration of El Pomar Foundation's 75th Anniversary, The Penrose Award includes a $75,000 grant.

Located in Harrison School District Two Atlas Prep ensures all children in Colorado Springs experience a lifelong pursuit of self-fulfillment through education, character, and community.

“Atlas Prep is thrilled to be recognized by El Pomar Foundation,” said Founder, Executive Director, and Principal Zachary McComsey. “At Atlas Prep we are intent on working to close the achievement gap in Colorado Springs.  We know all students have the capacity to achieve and succeed in life, regardless of their background, and they can do so if they are prepared for a college education. Atlas Prep is honored to receive the Penrose Award and as a result we will be able to serve more students. Our plan is to continue to grow beyond our current 5th through 9th grades, adding a grade a year until Atlas Prep serves students throughout their high school career."

In addition, the 2013 Awards for Excellence winners include the following organizations. Each received a $25,000 prize:

Hippodrome Arts Center (Julesburg)- El Pomar Foundation Award for Excellence in Arts and Education

Rio Grande Headwaters Land Trust (Del Norte)- El Pomar Foundation Award for Excellence in Civic and Community Issues 

Summit County Care Clinic (Frisco) - El Pomar Foundation Award for Excellence in Health & Recreation

Intercambio (Boulder) - El Pomar Foundation Award for Excellence in Human Services

During the ceremony four individuals were honored for their service to Colorado. Harry Frampton, Chairman of the Vail Valley Foundation and President and Managing Partner of East West Partners, received the Ben S. Wendelken Special Trustees Award for his spirit of service, giving and commitment to the community. Sue Anschutz-Rodgers, Chair, President, and Trustee of the Anschutz Family Foundation, was honored with the Russell Thayer Tutt Award for exceptional leadership in the nonprofit sector. Dr. Evie Dennis, USA Track and Field Board of Directors, and Scott Blackmun, Chief Executive Officer United States Olympic Committee both accepted awards for Lifetime Achievement in Sport.

In total, El Pomar Foundation granted $175,000 to the Awards for Excellence recipients, which were selected by a statewide panel of community leaders.

“Awards for Excellence is El Pomar’s signature program as it combines our goals to enhance grant making, recognize and encourage nonprofit leadership and reach out to the entire state of Colorado,” said El Pomar Chairman and CEO William J. Hybl. “The honorees this year are all dynamic, creative organizations and leaders that set the pace for nonprofit performance throughout the state.”

Awards for Excellence annually recognizes the state’s highest performing nonprofit organizations.  Since its inception in 1989, the program has awarded more than $5 million in grants to more than 400 nonprofit organizations throughout the state.

For more information about Awards for Excellence and El Pomar Foundation, contact Lori Bellingham at (719) 331-6443 or

El Pomar Foundation, based in Colorado Springs, is one of the largest and oldest private foundations in the Rocky Mountain West. El Pomar contributes approximately $20 million annually through grants and programs to support Colorado nonprofit organizations involved in health, human services, education, arts and humanities and civic and community initiatives. Spencer and Julie Penrose established El Pomar in 1937.