Celebrating 80 Years - “No place so democratic”, 1967, The Pikes Peak Library District and Penrose Library
Libraries have evolved to become central components of thriving communities, and El Paso County is fortunate to be served by the Pikes Peak Library District and its 14 locations, online resources, and mobile library service. In 1967, El Pomar demonstrated its support for libraries and the resources they provide with a grant toward the construction of the Penrose Public Library in downtown Colorado Springs.
It is no secret that Colorado Springs has been closely connected to the United States military throughout its history, and one element of that is the United States Air Force Academy, located in the northern part of the city. The Air Force Academy was established in 1954 and graduated its first class in 1959, and El Pomar has proudly supported the Academy through the Air Force Academy Foundation from the beginning.
Celebrating 80 Years - Investing in Education, 1965; Colorado Academy, Denver Country Day School, and Kent Denver
Education has been one of El Pomar’s grant making areas from the beginning, when one of the Foundation’s first five grants was provided to the Fountain Valley School in Colorado Springs in 1937. As the Foundation’s grant making began to expand geographically in the 1950s and 1960s, grants were provided to three private schools in Denver that provided similar focuses on student learning and development.
Originally founded as the Webb-Waring Lung Institute in 1924, the Webb Waring Center at the University of Colorado School of Medicine works “...to conduct and teach innovative biomedical research that improves the understanding, treatment and prevention of disease worldwide.”
What today serves as a brewery and event center was originally built as an African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church in 1897. The Carter Payne Chapel at Weber and Costilla was built on land donated by Colorado Springs founder General William Jackson Palmer. And while the AME congregation it once housed has moved to another location, the building remains as an important reminder of Colorado Springs history.
Celebrating 80 Years - Standing Up for Others, Honoring the El Paso County Corps of the Salvation Army and Ben Wendelken, 1962
Originally founded as a Mission in London in 1865 by Catherine and William Booth, the Salvation Army now serves in 127 countries around the world with the mission of meeting human need without discrimination. The Colorado Springs Corps serves all of El Paso County, and provides a range of services including food programs, youth programs, disaster services, and shelter & housing.
In its first year, 1937, El Pomar granted to five organizations: the Fountain Valley School, Glockner Hospital, the Boys & Girls Club of The Pikes Peak Region, the Junior League of Colorado Springs (for the Nutrition Camp School), and the Penrose Community School. The grant to the community school in Penrose, Colorado offers an opportunity to explore the history of the town named for El Pomar Foundation’s founder.
Just north of downtown Colorado Springs, at 423 N Cascade Avenue, is the McAllister House—one of the three oldest houses in Colorado Springs and the only one that retains its original floor plan. On the National Register of Historic Places since 1973, the House is open to the public as a museum, offering insights into the rich history of Colorado Springs and the McAllisters’ role in the development of the region.
While it is well known that nonprofit grant making foundations like El Pomar maintain and grow their assets via financial investments, it is less well known that this means that foundations also pay a considerable sum in taxes each year. In fact, if the Internal Revenue Service were a grantee organization, it would be El Pomar’s sixth highest grantee to date.
Belief in the power of education and the promise of children have been central components of El Pomar Foundation giving from the beginning, and many of the Foundation’s early grants reflect the compassion Spencer and Julie Penrose had for the young. A grantee since 1952, the Laradon Hall Society for Exceptional Children and Adults was the first charitable organization in the Rocky Mountain region to offer innovative support for a particular group of Colorado’s children—those with developmental disabilities.