Article appeared in the December issue of the Redstone Review
As 2017 comes to a close, there’s a common theme to reflect on the year that has passed. In the case of the Lyons Community Foundation, we are taking this moment to reflect on the past 10 years. Founded in 2007, LCF has been a part of an incredibly diverse list of Lyons-area projects, all whose mission has been to Improve the Quality of Life, Build a culture of giving, and Encourage positive change in the Greater Lyons Area.
We asked several of the local citizens who have been integral in building and sustaining the work of the foundation for their thoughts on what they were most proud of in this last decade of service. Here are some of their responses:
“I was really proud of the emergency fund that we started through the Lyons Community Church, which under the leadership of the Church turned into the food pantry, which eventually turned into LEAF. We were just a small part of that growth, but I think it has added tremendous value to our community”- Connie Eyster- founding board member
“We made the decision to raise and grant out funds immediately. We did not wait for years to build up funds as some foundation experts recommended. LCF was there for flood recovery; what a great resource to have for recovery. A third thing is staying connected with a larger organization as a parent - the Boulder Community Foundation - they have been a good partner over the years, and has allowed the LCF volunteers to focus on fund raising, granting and programs otherwise time would be spent on administration duties. “- Christy Crosser, founding board member
I'm most proud of being able to participate with many other devoted volunteers, post flood, to help those in our community who lost so much. Many dedicated organizations worked on everything imaginable trying to make things a little easier as flood victims and our community dealt with this tragedy”- Dr. Liz Erley, former board chair, and chair of Rebuild Lyons, One life at a Time”.
“On the microcosmic level, I’m grateful I knew Brian Eyster through our time together on the revived Arts and Humanities Commission, and subsequently his wife, Connie Tromble Eyster. Connie agreed to join the LCF board and together with the amazing Christy Crosser, served as a powerful dynamic duo in leading the founding board. I cannot emphasize enough the force of nature these two women are and how significant their leadership was. On a macrocosmic level, I’m grateful for the Community Foundation, serving Boulder County, for their initial and sustaining support on so many levels and for the greater Lyons Community, for ‘getting’ what we were hoping to birth and so fully supporting the idea and the reality of the Lyons Community Foundation”- Mystie Bracket-founding board member.
“I’m proud of the initial group for what they went through to start LCF and contribute along the way, as well as the entire Lyons community for their many contributions. ”- Rick England- founding board member
“Of all the great work that LCF has done over the years, what shines brightest in my memory is how LCF was able to respond so quickly to mobilize and distribute financial support for the hundreds in our community that were hit so hard by the flood,” Roger Flynn, former advisory board member
“What strikes me the most about LCF is their breadth of giving, from large organizations to the smallest of new ideas and programs. So many wonderful and tangible projects would not exist in our town if it were not for LCF and those who support it. It was deeply fulfilling to be a part of the scholarship committee that created the Gerald Boland Memorial Scholarship in 2013, after Mr. Boland lost his life in the flood. This scholarship has meant a tremendous amount to his family and it is such a lasting tribute to this man who gave so much to our community and schools”- Alison Jennings former advisory board member and co-chair
“I’ve had the good fortune to serve as a board member of both the LCF and Rebuild Lyons, and have also witnessed, first hand, how critical LCF funding is to the Town of Lyons and the Lyons Arts and Humanities Foundation. The LCF is a genuinely heart-centric entity where need, collaboration and generosity germinate meaningful solutions, creative community events, and funding for all facets of what’s most cherished in Lyons. Whether it’s the timely flood recovery impact made by Rebuild Lyons One Life at a Time, LEAF’s powerful outreach to residents in need, the zeal of Hometown Hoedown, the zest of the annual Parade of Lights, or the rich aesthetic immersion of Arts on the River, the LCF is positively behind it in one way or another”. -Chrystal DeCoster, former advisory board member
“I am so proud of all LCF has accomplished in its 10 years of existence. It was a true honor to serve as LCF's Executive Director during flood recovery. The passion, talent, and generosity of our community is exemplified in LCF. In small towns, it's especially important to have an organization where people can donate and know that their gifts stay local and make a big difference in our community.”- Emily Dusel, former Executive Director
I've had the pleasure of participating in the grant process and giving side and so appreciate your continued support for two programs with which I've been directly involved over the years, the 9Health Fair providing low and no cost health screenings and the Lyons Leos youth volunteer organization who support our community through service”- Jonelle Tucker, community activist.
“I am proud of the great variety of programs and nonprofits that have been supported by the LCF over the past ten years. The depth and breadth of the community support grants awarded truly encompasses the greater Lyons community”.-Monique Sawyer-Lang six- year advisory board member and former chair
“The Lyons Community Foundation can't be reduced to any one thing. It was about growing the capacity to build a strong, vibrant, healthy, inclusive community. A community where its members got together to clean out a burned out trailer home on short notice, for a friend we didn't know. One where a garden club pulled all generations together to grow something beautiful for all to enjoy. One where we worked with other organizations to learn how best apply our efforts locally. One where people got together and provided food for those in our town - less fortunate. One where we took on things without consensus, knowing that it worked for the greater good. One where youth pulled together to create regular opportunities to do something for others. One where we recognized and celebrated those that put back into the community, encouraging them to continue on. LCF in itself is nothing but a catalyst. A catalyst for good community in Lyons.”- Clark Hodge, former advisory board member
“I am most proud of the colleagues I have had the privilege to work with over the last 6 years. Everyone I have worked with has displayed incredible passion for the mission of LCF coupled with an amazing skill set and willingness to put the projects in motion. Working collaboratively with fellow Lyons locals has ensured financial support of community projects that make our Town a vibrant and dynamic place to call home!” -Debbie Simms-six- year board member and outgoing board chair.
"Personally, my favorite project that is currently supported through LCF granting is the “integrated garden” program through Lyons Elementary School Outdoor Leadership Program, the Eco Club, and LEAF. Students participate in growing vegetables whose harvest goes to the food pantry. It combines elements of environmental sustainability, work in our schools and serving those in our community most in need; three areas close to my heart. I am also particularly fond of the LCF support to finish the Lyons Clarifier Mosiac project- what an incredible masterpiece and tribute to our town". Kristen Bruckner, Communications Specialist for LCF.
Never has it been more evident that it takes a village, and to quote Margaret Mead “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it is the only thing that ever has”. The Lyons Community Foundation is extremely grateful for the many committed citizens who have worked very hard to bring the foundation and its work to fruition. Dozens and dozens of area citizens have donated their time, energy and financial support to lead this effort. We are extremely grateful for their service.