A centerpiece for entertainment in El Paso County, the Pikes Peak Center in downtown Colorado Springs now hosts more than 200 performances annually, from opera to symphony to ballet. In line with Julie Penrose’s love for music and the arts, El Pomar granted a total of $ 3.1 million toward the construction of the center from 1977 to 1980 and an additional $2 million for building improvements in 2004.
Originally a one-room operation, Silver Key Senior Services has grown considerably over the years and has now served more than 250,000 seniors in El Paso County in its work to improve the quality of life for elderly individuals by preserving independence and alleviating isolation. El Pomar first granted to Silver Key in 1976 as the Foundation began to support aging councils and other similar organizations across the state. Support for these organizations recognized the importance of encouraging the well-being of all generations when fostering strong communities.
Celebrating 80 Years - Supporting Self-Sufficiency, 1975, Discover Goodwill of Southern and Western Colorado
A grantee of El Pomar since the early 1970s, Discover Goodwill of Southern and Western Colorado strives to maximize personal and financial independence for every individual in the community through a variety of programs. With a job placement success rate that consistently ranks among the top 10 Goodwills in the United States and Canada, Discover Goodwill has positively impacted workforce development in Colorado for more than half a century.
An early grantee in the Southeast region, the Koshare Museum promotes the art and history of the Native peoples of the American Southwest while also serving as a testament to the powerful impact that local youth can have on a community.
Spencer Penrose loved and celebrated western heritage, and one certain way to do that was to found and host the Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo in a stadium at the Broadmoor Hotel in 1938. While the event and venue have changed over the years, the Rodeo continues to take place each July in celebration of Western tradition and in recognition of the servicemen and women who have sacrificed their lives in defense of the United States of America.
Every year, members of El Pomar’s Fellowship program participate in a weeklong Colorado Outward Bound School (COBS) course, where they are given the opportunity to reflect on the philosophy and practice of leadership in the unique context of the wilderness. Over 200 have participated in Outward Bound since the 1990’s, but the Foundation’s connection to the organization dates back to 1967 when COBS received its first grant from El Pomar.
Since 1906, the Western Stock Show Association has been a vital contributor to Colorado’s tourism and livestock industries. A nonprofit rich in western heritage and tradition, the Western Stock Show Association strives to further education in agriculture and stages the National Western Stock Show every year.
The Penroses' support for education was clear in their philanthropic activity, as can be seen in the considerable support offered in scholarships throughout the state in the Foundation’s early years. Ever since, the Foundation has made it a priority to continue to support the higher education institutions that have promoted Colorado’s vibrant and competitive growth.
Since 1954, Junior Achievement of Southern Colorado, Inc. has been educating and inspiring young people to value free enterprise and understand business and economics to improve the quality of their lives. The organization now serves more than half of the counties in Colorado.
Celebrating 80 Years - “A fit place for the Gods to assemble,” 1968, City of Colorado Springs and Garden of the Gods Rock Ledge Ranch
Iconic in Colorado Springs is the Garden of the Gods—massive red rocks that rise vertically from the foothills beneath Pikes Peak. Adjacent to the famous park is the Rock Ledge Ranch Historic Site, a living history adventure that takes visitors back in time through various moments in the early settling of the Pikes Peak of Region.