As we approach our 10th anniversary from the devastating flood of 2013, I
reflect on what our community endured and the strength, grit and
determination we demonstrated to persevere and grow to where we are
Our updated infrastructure, parks, bridges and new affordable housing just
starting to be occupied continues to obscure the evidence of our
catastrophic flood and has allowed us to move forward. Many of us still
have PTSD when we experience heavy thunderstorms but hopefully that
will continue to fade over time.
The flood brought a new awareness to the meaning of giving, helping and
supporting those around us. September 11
th 2013 brought a change in
history to our little town that affected every one of us living here at that time.
From the day the flood started, our community gathered together as a
family to create a united front. Those who had never been involved
stepped up to assist community leaders and took on new roles that they
never imagined they would ever have to fill.
As soon as the flood hit, people from all over the country started reaching
out to our community asking what they could do to help. Many offered
donations that the Lyons Community Foundation (LCF) carefully collected,
a plethora of kind hearted volunteers drove from all over the country to help
muck out our homes and others opened up their doors and gave us warm
places to live for many weeks as we patiently waited to return to our
community. FEMA, United Way, Red Cross, Salvation Army, Life Bridge
Church, Team Rubicon, Christian Ministries and many other organizations
from around the country came to our assistance immediately.
Folks, not only here in town, but from far away held fundraisers to support
Lyons. Events such as Lyons Homecoming, the Holiday BBQ Fundraiser
for Lyons (that was responsible for feeding a local family for 6 months),
Celebrating Lyons Music Concert/Rebuild Lyons One Life at a Time,
NOLARADO in New Orleans, Flood Relief Benefit Concert by The
Songwriters Association in Washington DC, The Lyons Holiday Bazaar and
Local businesses such as Gwynne’s Greenhouse and Lyons Quilt Shop
donated proceeds from recent sales to help the LCF collect money. Lyons
own South Creek Limited held an online auction and donated the proceeds,
with generously donated items from their longtime customers, to the LCF.
Residents held birthday fundraisers, school children near and far held bake
sales, put up lemonade stands and sold beanie babies so they could collect
funds to donate to the LCF fundraising efforts.
Lyons, New York, a sister community with a common name, even donated
to our Lyons, Colorado.
The Community Foundation in Boulder (LCF’s fiscal manager), had been
instrumental to the success of the LCF’s fundraising efforts. They
supported the LCF and the town of Lyons by working tirelessly behind the
scenes to help nurture large donations to help our residents start to
Local and national organizations such as Oskar Blues CAN’D AID
Foundation, established by Lyons own Dale Katechis, Foothills United Way,
The Dr. Scholl Foundation and other extremely generous donors gave
handsomely to our fundraising cause. I don’t want to forget our local and
nearby residents who made substantial donations which gave us our start
to gather matching funds and allowed us to collect large swaths of money.
We should all be forever grateful for this unprecedented support during
these tough times.
In just a short few months we raised over $1,000,000 and the temporary
board of our local Rebuild Lyons One Life at a Time team was responsible
for approving and delivering funds to eligible local residents by Christmas
I do ask our community to remember Mr. Gerry Boland who perished in the
2013 flood. Gerry was a beloved teacher, coach and resident of Lyons.
His family created a memorial found in front of the elementary school that
reads “May we forever remember Gerald Boland, teacher, coach and
lifelong resident of Lyons. Through caring, compassion and leadership, he
taught our children well for 30 years.”
Because there have been many recent tragic natural disasters around the
world, I find it hard not to mention other communities and the suffering they
are now experiencing. Local community foundations are entrenched in the
day to day needs of their residents and I find it a great resource for those
wanting to donate to these community necessities.
At this 10 year milestone, I ask that you continue to support your local
Lyons Community Foundation and its ongoing community support efforts.
You are Lyons and we, my friends and neighbors, ARE collectively the LCF.
Former Chair: Lyons Community Foundation
Lyons Community Foundation