Why we need community foundations
As we navigated the second year living with a pandemic in our midst, the Omicron COVID-19 variant hit and almost every family knew someone who had to quarantine over the holidays due to a positive test. Then, on December 30th, 2021 the most destructive wildfire in the state's history, the Marshall fire, destroyed nearly 1,000 homes in Boulder County.
Our community knows what it is like to suffer such devastation and loss. Back in 2013, Lyons and the surrounding area experienced an historic flood, which resulted in one life lost and 10% of our population left homeless. Some of our residents were never able to rebuild. Seven and a half years later, Lyons is still recovering from the flood. We look forward to the final bridge (4th avenue) being replaced and connecting downtown Lyons to the confluence area. The day of the wildfire, our thoughts and prayers immediately went to our friends and neighbors in Louisville and Superior who watched as their homes and their neighborhoods went up in flames. We know the challenges that lie ahead for the victims of the wildfire and are grateful that non-profit organizations like the Community Foundation of Boulder County (TCF) and the Lyons Community Foundation (LCF) exist to help us build back better and stronger.
In less than two weeks, nearly $19.5 million was raised to support our friends and neighbors through the Boulder County Wildfire Fund. As Tatiana Hernandez, CEO of The Community Foundation stated “Our community has, as it always does, shown up for each other in an enormous way after an unimaginable crisis”. Lyons felt this same support in 2013 when an outpouring of donations were channeled into LCF’s Rebuild Lyons Fund. This fund raised over $1 million dollars and was able to help flood victims financially by putting money directly in their hands. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the Lyons Community Foundation created the Lyons Share Fund which raised and distributed $43,000 to local businesses and another $15,000 for individual grants. Thanks to a group of dedicated volunteers, the advisory boards of these organizations are able to act quickly and disburse funds when the need arises. The central purpose of the community foundation is to serve the needs and philanthropic aims of donors who wish to better their community, now and in the future.
As Boulder County's trusted philanthropic partner for over 30 years, the Community Foundation of Boulder County has shown the importance of deep local relationships in meeting short and long-term community needs in a crisis with equity, transparency, and integrity. When the Lyons Community Foundation became a fund of the Community Foundation in 2008, we were able to tap into this experience. The Lyons Community Foundation has grown from a small grassroots group to a well organized community foundation made up of an advisory board and a part-time employee. Two important funds, the Community Support Grants and the Scholarship Fund allow us to support the needs of the community in areas such as arts, education, civic affairs, ecology, human services and basic needs. All residents benefit from the art sculptures sprinkled around town, the events that bring us together, the gardens that bloom and the wellness provided by human services.
We are immensely grateful for the many generous residents who showed their appreciation for our work in the community by donating over $43,000 through their monthly and end of year giving. We need all of YOU so that we can further our mission of improving the quality of life, and encouraging positive change in the greater Lyons area. We also need community members to participate on our committees such as Fundraising, Community Outreach, Grants Review, Scholarship Review, as well as Marketing and Communications. This is an excellent way to give back to the community and meet new people. Please visit our website at lyonscf.org/volunteer to sign up.
We approach this new year with hope that the health and economic crisis will end, and our community will connect in kindness, compassion and joy!
Happy New Year to all!
Advisory Board Members: Jeanne Moore, Gail Frankfurt, Claudia Kean, Ravi Gandh, Kate Schnepel, Ella Levy, Gil Sparks, Sara Erickson, Gwyd Winkelmeyer
Communications and Marketing Associate: Tanya Daty
Lyons Community Foundation