Article recently appeared in the Redstone Review
The Lyons Community Foundation is thrilled to announce the 2019 Community Support Grant Awards. Each fall, Lyons- area non -profits apply for grants that will support the work they will do in the coming year. As a community foundation, LCF’s job is to raise money that supports a diverse range of projects and populations. By offering a centralized source for fundraising, non-profits can focus on the projects they perform. The grant review committee, an anonymous group of area citizens, meets to analyze grant applications and award those whose intent aligns with LCF’s mission to improve the quality of life, build of culture of giving and encourage positive change in the greater Lyons area.
This year, the committee approved more than $27,000 in grants to 14 separate projects. Grant applications received totaled several times over this amount. While LCF would like to provide funding for many more projects and scholarships, increased investment by local individuals is necessary. The following is a brief description of the projects awarded. For more information on these awards see www.lyonscf.org.
LEAF (Lyons Emergency Assistance Fund) continues to be the largest single recipient of LCF funding. While important projects such as the Food Pantry and Meals on Wheels received renewed grants, there are 2 new projects that were awarded. There is a new Mental Wellness and Addiction Recovery program initiated by LEAF that will support the community’s overall well- being. There is also a Basic Needs and Resource Matching program that provides emergency grants or broader case management and/or resource referrals to clients in times of crisis. Help with things like housing or heat may provide the difference for a neighbor to stay in their home, further supporting those most vulnerable in our community.
Habitat for Humanity of Saint Vrain Valley is another 2019 grant recipient. Since the 2013 Floods, Habitat has brought volunteers and financial support to help repair 12 homes in Lyons, and rebuild another destroyed home. The Park Street development will allow 6 additional families to return to the Lyons community. The grant will help close the gap in funding for completion of the last 2 units in this project, allowing the last two families to be home for Christmas.
The new Rocky Mountain Botanic Gardens, in the 504 buyout property in the confluence area of town, is blossoming as a post-flood highlight of community collaboration. Their mission is to create an educational native plant botanic garden for residents and visitors to Lyons. The grant will support a small free library on the site of the garden. Visitors may both borrow and donate books or guides on native plants and gardening, for sharing and learning from each other and the books. Groups already contributing to the gardens include the Lyons Volunteers, the Lyons Weed Posse, the Lyons Ecology Board, the Lyons Walking Arboretum, the Town of Lyons and Lyons’ school athletic and service organizations. The soil testing Safe Organic Sustainable Weeds Action Plan (SOSWAP) group received a grant to perform further testing of the soils in areas of our public parks that have shown elevated levels of pesticides, protecting public health and safety for our residents.
A new mental health initiative started by the Lyons Regional Library will receive a grant to support their once-month “community dinner and arts” nights. The program is designed as an extension of a mental health initiative by offering a safe, social, sober environment for residents of all ages. This group has offered successful programming on issues of suicide awareness and other topics, and intends to provide access to more socialization and human connections, proven to increase mental well- being for individuals and within the community. The vision of this program is “Creating belonging and personal safety for everyone”
Two grants focused on the schools include one for the Lyons Elementary Garden Club that supports garden-based curriculum and programs. The seed collection program provides an opportunity for plant-cycle learning with a bounty of food produced for the Lyons Food Pantry. A grant awarded to the Lyons High School After Prom program will go towards supporting a safe, sober, supervised activity for high school students.
Other 2019 grants include the Town of Lyons for the ever-popular Sandstone Summer Concert Series, and the Holiday Parade of Lights. The Lyons Arts and Humanities Commission received an award to continue their work in securing the public art sculptures around town, supporting Lyons’ identity as an art-loving and artist-enriched town. Funding for the Lyons Historical Society will go towards a 2020 exhibit celebrating Lyons’ rich history in the quarry industry.
The Lyons Community Foundation traditionally raises funding for ALL future grants and student scholarships with an annual gala held in November. In order to provide a more inclusive opportunity for residents, we have decided NOT to hold the gala this year and are planning a different focus in 2020. We are asking all residents to consider LCF in their year-end giving by donating to the foundation at www.lyonscf.org.
Last fall, thanks to a Lyons Community Foundation grant, the garden program at Lyons Elementary added a new element: Bees! A honeybee habitat with a clear viewing window was installed in the wall of the school that leads out to the garden courtyard, allowing students to witness the activity of a live bee colony and its bounty of honey created.
Spearheaded by Kim and Andy Doering, the garden program has been flourishing over the last few years. Students at every grade level participate in everything from the collection and harvesting of seeds, planting and growing plants, crop cultivation, picking of the harvest and ultimately the delivery of fresh vegetables to the Lyons Food Pantry. There are also bulbs and flowers grown that contribute to landscaping efforts around the school. Key additions also funded through Lyons Community Foundation (LCF) granting over the past few years have included the addition of several hoop houses that extend the growing season.
Not only are students engaged in the curriculum during grade level science study, but elements of garden work have engaged other student groups such as the Garden/Eco club, the monthly K-12 Outdoor Science and Leadership program, and the after school enrichment “Pathfinders” program. In addition, a variety of community members have been brought into the mix to add their expertise. Daniel Warner is a professional bee keeper and has lent his knowledge to the bee program. Local high school student, garden and eco-enthusiast, Charlie Gau and community members Nell and Gary Coffey participate in the Science and Leadership program regularly along with other experts in composting and permaculture.
The environmental leadership shown at Lyons Elementary is something that has been building over the last many years. The school became one of Eco Cycle’s “green star” schools in 2005, meaning the school recycles and composts. Eco Cycle provides consistent training and support for higher level sustainable practices. The school started an Eco Club in 2012, further engaging passionately involved school children and, by default, their families and classmates. Each year, this program has broadened its focus. Initially, the club focused on proper sorting of trash and compost. With the help of a grant, they purchased reusable dishes and have gradually moved towards a Zero Waste model for all school events and classroom parties. The club works with University of Colorado’s Ralphie’s Green Team at home football and basketball games and has begun to work on a model for a true zero waste school. The school store has shifted from selling disposable plastic trinkets to offering reusable napkins and sandwich bags as well as veggie and plant seedlings. This year, the club is looking to focus its efforts to tackle a big issue in climate change: food waste.
Lyons Elementary School and Middle/High Schools along with dozens of Lyons area non- profits all benefit from the Lyons Community Foundation’s annual Community Support Grants, which focus on LCF’s mission to improve the quality of life, build a culture of giving, and encourage positive change for the greater Lyons area. All grants aim to connect philanthropic and lifestyle- enriching experiences for Lyons- area residents with the people willing and able to support them. Awards typically focus on areas such as human services, culture, history, youth development and ecology. The application window for this year recently closed, awards will be announced in early November. LCF relies on the contributions of area residents and businesses. To donate or get more involved, please see lyonscf.org.
Article Appeared in July issue of the Redstone Review
Beauty, inspiration, imagination, creativity. We can all use a little more of these free expressions in our world today. The Lyons Arts and Humanities Commission (LAHC), an official Town of Lyons public commission, through the efforts of a diverse group of area artists and the support of locally-based funding by residents and the Lyons Community Foundation, is dedicated to nurturing and expanding the manifestation of the these elements throughout Lyons. Since 2006, the Lyons Community Foundation (LCF) has earmarked well over $55,000 in funding to support diverse artistic endeavors around Lyons.
The mission of the LAHC as stated is to “beautify the streets of downtown Lyons, promote local artists, and educate the viewing public on artistic inspirations and procedures”. One of the most visible representations of this work are the dozens of public sculptures installed throughout downtown Lyons.
What began as a way to showcase local and regional artists’ work, the sculptures started off with a handful of pieces on Main Street. These sculptures were commissioned with the help of LCF Annual Grants by awarding a stipend to artists to “lend” the town their work, generally for a period of two years. This allowed the piece to be displayed prominently in downtown Lyons on our eclectic Main Street as an interesting focal point for residents and tourists. By rotating the sculptures, it allows for the art to be continually changing, while minimizing the investment that would come with more permanent fixtures.
The sculpture collection, now totaling more than 30 pieces, continues to evolve and grow. This year alone, the Town of Lyons has installed 19 new outdoor public art pieces, with the intention of adding 8-10 more during the fall open call to artists. Plans are underway to create a tour map of the public art visible throughout town. Sculptures have featured artists such a kinetic-sculpture artist John King, whose interactive work has been featured prominently all over the state. A recent effort in the works called “The Bell of Renewal” by artists James G. Moore and Anita Miller was commissioned by the LAHC and the Town of Lyons Board of Trustees as a flood commemoration piece. Donor/sponsors are being sought who wish to support this project: www.townoflyons.com/BellofRenewal).
The Lyons Clarifier Community Mosaic project was dedicated in 2015, culminating over 10 years of effort turning an old water clarifier into a beautiful 1000 square foot tile-covered structure. The clarifier mosaic, miraculously surviving through the epicenter of the 2013 floods, tells a story of community resilience and perseverance and is visible across from the Black Bear hole in the heart of town. The Lyons Community Foundation supported the ongoing efforts to see the project to its completion over the course of a decade.
Always creating and evolving, the LAHC has a hand in many other public venues for art. The Quarterly Town Hall Art Show changes with each season, giving local artists the opportunity to display their work in theme-based shows gracing the walls of our local government. The current call to artists invites entries by seniors, ages 55 and up and the 4th quarter theme will feature the work of artists 18 and under.
A signature LAHC event, Art at River Bend will be held On Sunday, August 25th. It will feature dozens of area artists of all mediums including paintings, photography, pottery, jewelry, and fiber art. In addition to the art and craft sales, Art at River Bend will feature live demos, children's activities, food, libations and more.
The LAHC along with dozens of other area non-profits all benefit from the Lyons Community Foundation’s Annual Community Support Grants, which focus on LCF’s mission to improve the quality of life, build a culture of giving, and encourage positive change for the greater Lyons area. The 12th annual granting cycle will be opening in a few weeks.
Applications will be available online at www.lyonscf.org beginning August 1st and will be due September 11th, 2019. Stay tuned for more specifics and details on a free grant writing workshop as well as an opportunity to apply to be serve on our grants review committee. If you have an idea or project in mind that will benefit the community, we encourage you to apply. Eligible for grants are non-profit organizations in the greater Lyons area that have 501(c)3 status or a sponsoring organization with 501(c)3 status, government agencies, and schools.
The Lyons Community Foundation is a community catalyst dedicated to connecting people who care with the causes that matter. We rely on the contributions of Lyons-area residents and businesses.
This article appeared in the July Issue of the Redstone Review
Where else can you go to see class pictures from Lyons High School dating back to 1914, a detailed exhibit about the railroad’s effects on settling the town, Edward S. Lyon’s personal journals and legal documents, and original copies of the Lyons Recorder which was first published in 1900? June marks the 40th Anniversary of the Lyons’ Redstone Museum established in our town’s original schoolhouse. Since the Lyons Community Foundation’s inception in 2006, historical preservation has been included in the many diverse programs that are supported annually. Funds from LCF, totaling more than $26,000 over the last decade, have allowed for the development of unique exhibits as well as important preservation and restoration work.
Lyons, unlike many Colorado towns with exploding growth, is holding on to its rich heritage by design. Our small town embraces our past and holds dear its character and tradition. We welcome visitors seeking a unique experience and feature a picturesque downtown made up of historical buildings with signature sandstone façades. By design, there are no chain stores or retailers, rather an eclectic mix of shops, galleries and eateries. Visitors feel they have arrived in a place that is set back in a simpler time.
Heritage Tourism, which the national Trust for Historic Preservation defines as “traveling to experience the places, artifacts and activities that authentically represent the stories and people of the past” is a popular tourist activity and brings many visitors to Lyons. The museum, open daily in the summer (except Sundays) is free to the public, which allows for wide access to visitors and tourists, but also offers a key resource for local residents and school children. In partnership with Lyons Elementary School, the museum hosts area kids on a monthly basis to explore the rich cultural and scientific resources as part of their experience-based curriculum.
The museum saw more 2347 guests last year. Destination visitors enjoy the unique collections and stories about early pioneers, the prominence of the quarries in town development, an opportunity to research family genealogy and the increasing availability of interactive exhibits. Through the support of LCF and other grants, the museum is putting forth a concerted effort to modernize collections and implement best practices in the important preservation of its vast resources.
The population of Lyons has changed considerably over the years, especially since the 2013 flood. As longtime residents disappear, the museum has put an emphasis on making the stories of the town’s origins in the quarries, railroads and as a major tourist destination available for the long term. There is also the force of LaVern Johnson, the town’s official matriarch who has championed causes ranging from keeping the school in Lyons, fighting the coffin top dam and other harmful development, as well as keeping square dancing and historical preservation a priority.
Grants from the LCF, the Town of Lyons, the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District (SFCD) and others have provided a means for the museum to offer new programming each year. This summer, there is an exhibit that features “Forty Years/Forty Artifacts” showcasing the breadth of the museum’s collections. Staff is working on a walking tour of the Lyons Historic District that will have an interactive/digital element. There are planned talks, walking tours, a kids summer history camp, and of course many activities around Lyons Annual Good Old Days celebration on Saturday, June 29th. For information on these events, go to townoflyons.com, lyonsredstonemuseum.com or follow the Redstone Museum on Facebook and Instagram.
Lyons Community foundation grants have also funded the Sandstone Summer Concert Series, which has grown in popularity since its inception. The free concerts held Thursday evenings for 10 weeks starting in June, feature a variety of local musicians. Lyons is rich in musical tradition, as the home of the world -class Planet Bluegrass festivals as well as becoming an enclave for many artists. This homegrown resource allows for the performances of talented musicians that grace our town and the Raul Vasquez stage. Each Thursday at 6:30pm throughout the summer, residents and visitors can enjoy music, food and a gathering of community.
The Lyons Community Foundation is a community based non-profit with a mission to “connect people who care with causes that matter”. Annual funds support the diverse interests of the residents of the greater Lyons area. Projects feature such a wide range of programming that includes public art installations, area ecology and the food pantry.
Lyons Middle Senior celebrated the accomplishments of graduating seniors last week at Senior Night with graduation ceremonies set for Saturday morning. Eight students were awarded scholarships from the Lyons Community Foundation. Student scholarships have been an area of focus for LCF since its inception in 2006 and in that time has awarded more than $52,000 to Lyons-area students. These impressive kids have all demonstrated academic excellence and participation in extra- curricular activities, but also extraordinary qualities of giving back and serving as leaders in their school and community.
The proportion of students receiving scholarships and awards is high at Lyons Middle/Senior. There is a tremendous opportunity to participate and stand out in a wide variety of sports, activities, service groups and volunteer efforts. As Lyons Middle High School Principal, Dr. Andrea Smith explains “At Lyons Middle Senior, we work really hard to support our students in whatever path they choose to take after high school. We have had a 100% graduation rate for the past two years, and we are really proud of the work we do to support our students as they move on to post-secondary options. Many of our students are college-bound, and the LCF scholarships are one example of this small AND mighty community. Because our graduating classes are smaller than some of the bigger high schools, students are able to access more support from our community in the form of scholarships”.
The accessibility to scholarships, by no means diminishes the quality of the student applicants and winners. By contrast, these students show extraordinary leadership and meaningful work in the local community in addition to their academic and extracurricular achievements. Each winner presented their resume, packed with accomplishments in multiple areas such as athletics, student government, honor society, school clubs, volunteer work, band and more. Students present letters of recommendation from teachers, advisors and community members who have witnessed their capabilities throughout their school years.
One such student, Colton Johnjak- Plahn, is a three -sport athlete and student leader and was named the recipient of the Steve Ralston Memorial Scholarship. Christine Ralston explains the reasons for selecting Colton: “The focus of the LCF Scholarship in Memory of Steve Ralston is passion for learning and sharing one’s interests, skills and joyful life experiences with their community. Colton Jonjak- Plahn has demonstrated these qualities in abundance throughout his life. He has energetically participated as a leader in student government, a variety of clubs and community volunteer organization, varsity sports, Jazz Band and drama, while pursuing his primary interests in science, aerospace engineering, environmental and multicultural action endeavors”. Johnjak-Plan will be headed to Stanford University next year to study aerospace engineering.
Jaden Batts, a Lyons student since Kindergarten not only achieved excellence in his years at Lyons, but simultaneously pursued his interest in aviation. He flew his first solo flight at age 16, anticipates getting his commercial pilot’s license this summer and is attending the University of North Dakota in the fall to pursue commercial aviation.
Josie Wratten, chair of the LCF Scholarship committee explains the relevance of the scholarship program “The Lyons Community Foundation is proud to support the young people in town as they move into higher education and their future pursuits. Student scholarships can give students the added financial support needed for them to take the leap in going to college, as well as improving their confidence in their ability to work toward a better future. The LCF Scholarship Review committee is comprised of local residents who thoroughly review all student applications and meet to discuss the merits of the award recipients. The committee takes into account not only academic and extra-curricular excellence, but also their commitment to leadership and community-mindedness. As long as local residents continue to fund and value the scholarship programs, LCF will continue to cultivate our support of high school students. ” Named scholarships have been funded by contributions from locals as well as the families of the honorees, and needs community backing to continue to fund and grow these opportunities for Lyons-area students for the future.
Here are the scholarship recipient’s awards: Each student presented impressive qualities and has committed plans to attend an institution of higher learning. To learn more about the requirements and background on each or to contribute to the Lyons Community Foundation scholarship program, see www.lyonscf.org/scholarships.
Lyons Community Foundation Scholarships: Jaiden Batts and Kylen Christiansen
Joel Mack Memorial Scholarships - Finn Basey and Jewel Thomas
Janet Orback Scholarship - Jack London
Steve Ralston Scholarship – Colton Jonjak-Plahn
Gerald Boland Memorial Scholarship - Kylee Udovich
Uncle Louis “Bud” Winkler Memorial Scholarship - Devin Isenhart
Article appeared recently in the Redstone Review
By Kristen Bruckner
It has been said “volunteers are not paid because they are worthless, but because they are priceless.” The value of citizens volunteering and participating in local government, school organizations, and non-profits cannot be overstated. In a small town such as Lyons, local groups depend on its residents to step up to serve on a variety of boards, commissions and work groups. If you are new to Lyons or to new to serving on boards or volunteer organizations, here’s a look at what to expect. While corporate boards may often include compensation or financial incentive for participation, the work described here is mostly unpaid, but highly rewarding nonetheless.
Why? Why serve on a Volunteer Board? The main reason most people serve on a board is a personal connection to the organization’s work or mission. Claudia Paterno, President of the Lyons Elementary School Parent Teacher Organization, volunteers to run this group because she has children in the school and wholeheartedly believes in LES’s mission of supporting a community school environment. She and the rest of the board put in tremendous time and effort behind the scenes ensuring the work of the group is accomplished. The PTO augments what local and state government offer in terms of funding and resources which allows the school to develop such cutting edge programming as its Outdoor Science Leadership Program. Without the PTO’s efforts as well as the contributions of countless parent and community volunteers, this program would not exist.
Another benefit to serving on a board might be to gain experience that would serve in other areas. For example, perhaps someone is interested in starting their own non-profit or increasing exposure to local entrepreneurs or needs relevant experience in social media marketing. A turn in serving in a volunteer-based organization might provide this experience as well as valuable networking and community connections. A co-board member might just prove to be one’s next employer, client, close friend, or mentor.
Who? Who are the best volunteers and what makes a good board member? The number one quality is commitment. A board member who doesn’t show up to meetings, follow through on commitments or is unreliable can be very damaging to the success of a volunteer-based group. If members don’t regularly contribute or are unprepared in work that is promised, it can kill the group’s momentum or morale. This is especially true in organizations who might only meet once a month or once/quarter. It is hard to accomplish goals if tasks are not consistently achieved along the way. A board member also needs to acknowledge the dynamics of working with a group and allow for others to express opinions. When working with diverse volunteers, there is not room for a dictatorship or a “my way or the highway” attitude by any one participant. Collaboration and support are critical and generally led by strong leadership within the board or across the organization.
A volunteer with a particular skill set is valuable but not always necessary. The Town of Lyons has 13 Boards and Commissions. Someone with a background or professional experience such as
Dave Hatchimonji, chair of the Sustainable Futures Commission has a professional knowledge of practices and standards working as Boulder County's EnergySmart program manager, but acknowledges that a passion or just personal interest in the commission’s work can be just as valuable. A volunteer who possesses such key skills as graphic design or social media marketing can offer a service to a group trying to accomplish its goals.
What? How much time is involved or what type of commitment are we talking about? In the case of the Lyons Community Foundation, board members commit to roughly 5-10 hours per month. With an all-volunteer Advisory Board, the mission to raise money to support such a diverse group of community based projects relies on the ‘heavy lifting’ of its board. They are asked to attend monthly board meetings and also serve on some type of committee. Beth Smith, for example is the board Co-Chair along with Jeanne Moore, but also assists in a Community Connectedness committee that supports activities such as public art and music. She helps to arrange events and shows up to be a spokesperson for the important projects LCF funds. Non-profit board members are also often asked to help fund-raise for their organizations. This may include attending events, direct donations or reaching out to their networks for financial support.
When? When is good time to jump in? Really anytime. Some boards have cycles of applications or elections. A good way to understand what a board does or how it operates is to attend a general meeting. Most meetings for the Town of Lyons boards and commissions are open to the public and the schedules are posted on the Town of Lyons website. If you have an interest in its work, check out a meeting. You will not be forced into a commitment. Another great way to get involved is to volunteer to serve on a committee or a short term project. LEAF and the Lyons Food Pantry rely on many volunteers to run its programs. Tanya Daty volunteered to help with school food drive at LES before signing on to be the Chair of the LEAF board. By working on a short term project, citizens may be able to contribute and understand how a group operates and if it’s a good fit. One can provide a volunteer experience while deciding if a deeper commitment feels right.
Why not? People have asked “why do the same 20 people seem to volunteer for everything?” That’s a great question with no easy answers. Yes, many people work full-time, have kids, have an active lifestyle and generally seem to be busier than other people. Yet some people somehow seem to work out a way to step up. Part of the trick is to find an avenue to participate that works for you. If you have a job that would not allow you to attend meetings during the work day, perhaps a board or commission that meets in the evenings is better. There are always opportunities to provide input or work on one’s own terms. A web design consultant, for example might be able to offer expertise or contributions to an organization in need of those skills without attending the “business meetings” of the group.
The Lyons Community Foundation is currently seeking applications for its Advisory Board. “We have been fortunate to have dedicated volunteers fund-raise and serve, building our granting and projects efforts for more than 10 years” says Jeanne Moore, LCF Board co-Chair. The Advisory Board members run such programs as the Scholarship Committee and the Community Granting program. We get to hear the stories of how grants have funded such programs as Meals on Wheels, the LES Garden Program, and the Sandstone Summer Concert series that might not happen without our efforts. It’s very rewarding. It is the Lyon’s Community Foundation’s mission to connect people who care with causes that matter in our community”. For more information, please contact us at email@example.com.
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”. Nelson Mandela
The Lyons Community Foundation (LCF) is pleased to announce eight college scholarships now available to graduating high school students from the greater Lyons area. Applications are available online at www.lyonscf.org/receive or from the front office of Lyons High School. Below is a brief description of each scholarship; please refer to individual applications for complete information about eligibility and submission requirements.
2019 Lyons Community Foundation Scholarship. Two $1000 scholarships offered by the Lyons Community Foundation, will recognize any graduating senior, or home schooled student from the greater Lyons area who has successfully served in a leadership role, earned at least a 3.5 GPA (or equivalent) and has demonstrated community-mindedness.
Lyons Community Foundation Scholarships in Memory of Steve Ralston. Created in 2009 to honor the memory of Lyons resident, businessman, and community supporter Steve Ralston. One $1000 scholarship will be awarded to students who best express their passion for learning and sharing one’s interests, skills and joyful life experiences with their community. Eligible students include graduating Lyons High students, greater Lyons area students who attend schools neighboring communities and home schooled students.
Lyons Community Foundation Joel Mack Memorial Scholarships. Honoring the memory of Joel Mack, a Lyons High School athlete and alumni who was killed in 1983 when he stopped to render aid to stranded motorists. Two $1000 scholarships awarded to one female and one male athlete. Students applying for this scholarship must be a graduating Lyons High School senior or home schooled student who participates in a sport at Lyons High School.
Gerald Boland Memorial Scholarships. Honoring the memory of Gerald Boland, a 54 year resident of Lyons who taught in Lyons Schools for 31 years. He was a coach, Boy Scout Leader, and mentor who had a passion for learning and the outdoors. One $1000 scholarship will be awarded to students who share these passions. Eligible students must attend Lyons High School and have at least a 3.0 GPA.
Uncle Louis “Bud” Winkler Memorial Scholarship. Honoring the memory of businessman Louis Winkler, one $1000 scholarship is available to any graduating senior or home schooled student in the greater Lyons area who has at least a 3.0 GPA and plan on majoring in business or finance.
Janet Orback Memorial Scholarship. Established in 2018, this $500 scholarship honors the memory of lifelong Lyons resident Janet Orback, who along with her husband Dave, tirelessly helped to provide support and friendship to her neighbors whose homes and lives were destroyed in the 2013 floods, as well as being stewards of the Lyons Cemetery for over 15 years. Recipients of the Janet Orback Memorial Scholarship must have a 2.5 GPA, are active participants in the community, and show a commitment to caring for the environment.
All applications must be received or postmarked by March 11, 2019. Applications may be returned to the front office of Lyons High School or mailed to the Lyons Community Foundation, PO Box 546, Lyons Co, 80540. The scholarships may be used at any accredited post-secondary education program in the country. Students must be accepted to or have acceptance pending at their prospective school(s) when they submit their applications.
If you have any questions about the scholarships, inquiries can be directed by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone to (720) 295-9667. All applications are reviewed and kept confidential by a committee consisting of Lyons area community members.
I recently attended a reception for the 2018 Lyons Community Foundation grant recipients. As I sat in the audience and listed to all the amazing citizens and the work they are doing in the community, I am very inspired. In Lyons, we have an abundance of opportunities to make a difference. Because the spirit of volunteering and local philanthropy is so strong, it seems like everyone contributes in some way and eventually all projects and people seem to intersect in their efforts.
When LCF was started over 10 years ago, it was really the only non-profit in town. The whole reason to start a foundation was so that local residents could find a centralized avenue for organizing community projects and an avenue for individuals and businesses to consolidate fundraising efforts. As Lyons has grown and also endured a natural disaster, the need and inspiration for more non-profits has grown as well. One might assume that an increase in community philanthropy would create competitive problems, but in reality I see the synergy of many inspired groups working together.
A great example of this small-town collaboration is the garden program at Lyons Elementary. This program, initiated with the help of an LCF grant, offers real garden classroom for students K-12 who work with scientific and ecology experts from the community. The result is engaged, hands on learning for kids and also an abundance of produce (over 600 pounds last year!) that is harvested and donated to the Lyons Food Pantry (LEAF). Complimenting these efforts, the LES eco-club kids volunteer their time every week in the garden and also in making their school and community more sustainable. The kids embrace their leadership opportunities and chance to make an impact on their world.
The flourishing partnership with LEAF and the elementary and middle/senior is magnified during the holiday food and personal care drives. Each December, students are motivated to bring in canned goods and personal care items for those most in need in our community. Kids carry in canned goods each day with volunteer parents counting and sorting these items. We are given the opportunity to teach our kids not only the value of giving, but in participating and lending our time. The most sought after prize of the food drive is an opportunity to go deliver the food to the food pantry. The goal of 2500 food items will be easily met this year, providing non-perishables that will stock the pantry for months. The food drive also partners with Higher Ground Ministries and the Lyons Community Church to complete the holiday food baskets with a turkey and fresh produce. The middle/high school student council organizes the personal care drive, and the LEAF “giving tree” program provides holiday gifts to 125 individuals when locals sponsor one of their wishes.
Indeed, many of the local organizations that exist and flourish all help each other. Lyons Leos a youth service organization was started after the flood with the help of an LCF grant, has grown and flourished. The high school kids, now up to 30 members and sponsored by the Lions Club, take on all kinds of projects including work on Habitat for Humanity construction, assisting LEAF at the Rave fundraiser, and helping seniors with technology.
There are many opportunities to be an active citizen, as most groups rely predominantly on volunteers. Lyons Volunteers is a cornerstone in town for volunteer deployment. Started as a disaster/flood recovery group immediately following the 2013 floods, the group continues to be active five years later. Every Wednesday and Saturday a crew of volunteers shows up to do whatever is most needed. During the first few years, dozens of people were needed each week, helping with the most demanding work of cleanup and recovery, but the group continues to perform whatever is asked including helping with town events and environmental sustainability efforts. Notably, Lyons Volunteers was able to collect thousands of pounds of scrap metal for recycling in post-flood buy out homes with strict adherence to regulations.
Although they have been assisted with LCF grants and donated tools, Lyons Volunteers operates on virtually no overhead. In fact, they are able to share the lunch voucher program with the Weed Posse in the eradication of noxious weeds throughout town and also with Americorps workers who join in the construction of the Habitat homes. An obvious bonus to this volunteer organization is the community- building and comradery enjoyed. The group of regular volunteers has built such a tight community of friends and participants who continue to show up every week, becoming a big part of their lives.
The avenues that exist for someone to become an engaged citizens are endless. People are able to volunteer their time with Habitat for Humanity to aid in construction for housing that brings our neighbors (especially those displaced from the flood) finally back home! LEAF has roughly 20 volunteers that aid in food procurement, food pantry stocking and distribution, and delivery of Meals on Wheels. Neighbors donate their time doing everything from driving to the Community Food Bank in Louisville to making life saving well-checks while delivering for Meals on Wheels to anyone who is homebound due to age, disability or illness. The Lyons Garden Club meets regularly, managing weeds and beautifying our landscape. A group of young moms concerned about pesticides in our parks is working to test and provide data on the soil in our public play spaces. There is Flood Memorial group dedicated to the recovery, restoration and preservation of the most severely damaged neighborhoods.
A great way to give back and truly have an impact on happenings around town is to step up to sit on one of the Town of Lyons’ numerous boards or commissions. Volunteering time in this way has an impact on decisions and agendas being considered in leading the town.
Financially, Lyons residents are very generous. With the abundance of fundraising happening, we might be concerned about a saturated “giving pool”, but when asked locals step up. In the past few months alone, we have witnessed an impressive amount of money raised for various causes. Friends of the Lyons Library was able to raise the needed $3.4 million to build our new library and community center. The elementary school/PTO jogathon raised over $50K going towards student programming, LEAF threw its annual Rave to Grave raising over $34K, LCF raised over 24K during our annual gala, and Colorado Gives day brought another $6400 to LEAF and $1200 for the library. A few weeks ago, the teachers and administrative staff of Lyons Elementary, Middle, and High schools came together in a charity volleyball tournament to “pay it forward” to the community of Paradise, California which was so devastated with wildfires. Many Lyons residents came out to cheer and donate over $6000, recalling how communities from all over the country reached out to help Lyons after the flood.
It’s really quite remarkable to list some of the various groups and causes doing good work in Lyons. There are others not mentioned here, so if there is something you’d like to offer or have an interest in seeing, just ask. The Lyons Community Foundation is honored to have contributed to all of the above mentioned causes and looks forward to continuing this tradition of community- based philanthropy. For more information on LCF or to donate, visit lyonscf.org.
The Lyons Community Foundation is pleased to announce our 2018 Community Support Grant Recipients. This year’s annual granting cycle will support 12 separate community based projects with awards totaling close to $30,000. Each project is the result of an application submitted by a 501 c (3) organization whose purpose aligns with LCF’s mission to improve the quality of life, build a culture of giving and encourage positive change in the greater Lyons area. LCF is a fund of the Community Foundation of Boulder County and is going into its 11th year of existence.
LCF's main role is to act as a community catalyst in supporting a diverse range of work in the areas of human services, art and music, local ecology, area schools and local history. The organization is supported through community donations and an annual gala that is coming up November 16th. Without the proceeds of this event, grant projects for the following year will not occur. Tickets and more information at lyonscf.org/events
LEAF (Lyons Emergency Assistance Fund) which operates the Lyons Food Pantry, Meals on Wheels and client advocacy programs continues to be LCF’s largest recipient of annual funds. LEAF will be awarded $10,000 to support these programs. This is in addition to the $6000 granted earlier this year to LEAF for general operating expenses. As Lyons’ human services safety net, LEAF’s mission in serving those who need it most is a high priority for LCF funds.
The Lyons Elementary School Garden project is a true community collaboration that has been advanced through LCF support. Spearheaded by Kim and Andy Doering, this program teaches students the full life cycle from seed to harvest, involving students in each step. Last year’s LCF grant got the hoop house going, extending the growing season. This year’s funds will expand the hoop house and incorporate on-campus composting efforts and a bee habitat. Program participants include the entire school and many community members with the added bonus of over 600 pounds of food produced and donated to the Lyons Food Pantry in the past two seasons alone.
Lyons Art and Humanities Council is another organization whose work aligns with LCF’s mission to enhance residents' experience in Lyons. Awards totaling $4000 will support such programs as the public art sculptures visible throughout town as well as events such as the Arts on the River and Town Hall public art shows.
The Town of Lyons/Parks and Recreation department has such a diverse slate of activities that annual events such as the Sandstone Summer Concert Series and the Holiday Parade of Lights and fireworks might not receive enough public funds to sustain their production. LCF awards to the tune of $7500 will ensure these popular community traditions continue.
The Redstone History Museum, preserving Lyons area history and culture is celebrating its 40th year and will benefit from $2500 in grant funding to pay for ongoing project and preservation work.
Other organizations who benefit from continued LCF support include the Lyons High School Booster club in providing a safe-after prom experience. A group supported by the Town of Lyons called WEED Management SOS- will study possible harmful effects of toxic pesticides in local public parks, and the Longmont Humane Society who provides animal welfare services to the Town of Lyons will receive funding.
LCF’s upcoming GROOVY gala is an annual Lyons social tradition whose proceeds provide for next year’s grant work. The event to be held on November 16th at Lionscrest Manor will be cocktail style party featuring food from A Spice of Life Catering, drinks featuring local distillers Spirit Hound, beer by Oskar Blues and dancing by the Mayama dance studio. A silent and live auction will offer chances to bid on an electronic bike, trips to Mexico, Pagosa Springs and Crested Butte, a Sally King original bear painting and much more.
Reflections from the past five years and how the landscape of local philanthropy has evolved
Article recently appeared in the Redstone Review
Five years ago this week, a historic life-altering event literally roared through Lyons. For anyone who lived through the floods, it was and is an experience we will never forget. We lived stranded on our five islands, we were evacuated in many cases by helicopter and under duress, we lived in temporary housing, and our kids went to school in a temporary building in the middle of Longmont. Many of us still refer to the families we stayed with as our “flood families” and events in town and in our lives are referenced as either “before the flood” or “after the flood”.
During these dark uncertain times, the best of our neighbors and the outside community surfaced. People reached out from all over the region and the country to see how they could help. Schools wrote letters to our kids, universities donated backpacks and supplies, and money poured into the Lyons Community Foundation to offer aid. Because Lyons had its own foundation, we were able to accept this type of support and in turn began distributing funds within three months following the flood. In all, LCF granted over $1.1 million in flood recovery aid that supported everything from helping businesses get through months of not being open, to individuals who needed a hand just getting through the massive damage that many sustained.
As the months and years have worn on, the demands and needs in town have changed but have only grown. In granting efforts, LCF has shifted from immediate, urgent needs in flood recovery, to other more persistent, ongoing needs. After the flood money was depleted, LCF has focused more on the ongoing, evolving causes in Lyons. The food pantry and now LEAF which is our public safety net, was founded well before the flood, but its customer base has continued to grow. LEAF has been the largest single recipient of LCF funding over the past 10 years. Our population of residents who don’t have enough to eat, need housing help, and are still struggling to recover and thrive continues to grow.
Other causes spawned by the flood, including the Lyons Volunteers and Lyons Leos youth service organization are great examples of the momentum of community service and local philanthropy being propelled. LCF was able to fund these groups as they had their start and continue to perform a tremendous amount community service in a wide variety of settings. Since the flood, they have assisted in everything from digging out residents homes to now aiding in building the new Habitat for Humanity housing.
At the same time, Lyons Community Foundation continues to fund projects that cultivate the unique culture that we love and appreciate as a community. Annual granting pays for things like the Sandstone Summer Concert Series and the Lyons Arts and Humanities Council, a champion in nurturing our strong community of artists. The Town of Lyons Parks and Recreation department has its hands full in rebuilding our parks, but LCF funding allows for things like Good Old Days, Lyons Outdoor Games and the Holiday Parade of lights to continue.
While residents are focused now on such a wide variety of causes, it is assuring to know that LCF’s core mission of creating a culture of giving continues. Our students are supported through scholarships and academic enhancement granting. Kids and adults are empowered to make a difference. Our human services groups are given a lift up in their efforts benefiting all of us as a community, and projects that otherwise would not occur are able to get off the ground.
As we go into our 11th year of funding Community Support Granting we are looking forward to seeing what ideas and projects local residents are planning. Applications for these annual grants have just closed and funds will be awarded in the next several months. In order to pay for this continued work, we host an annual gala whose proceeds provide funds for all future granting. This event will take place on Friday, November 16th at Lionscrest Manor. We will be debuting an exciting new format for the gala and but will include important elements and participation of our local community including the fabulous Mayama dance team. Please SAVE THE DATE to plan to attend this event.
The Lyons Community Foundation would like to take this moment in time to recognize the heroes in our community. During the flood, we saw our local police, firefighters, and other responders work along ordinary residents in acting heroically. Public works employees performed rescues and ensured there were not more casualties. We witnessed service groups come from all over the country to help our town rebuild and recover. We watched our neighbors reaching out to literally dig their fellow residents from under the mud and debris. Community members have stepped up to form service groups, to serve in public office, to lead our town governments. None of these jobs are easy and are quite often thankless. We are fortunate to live in a town where residents really care about one another. We are humbled by the opportunity to serve the Greater Lyons Area.
Lyons Community Foundation