Article appeared in the April Redstone Review
by Kristen Bruckner
COVID-19-Response-LCF launches the “Lyons Share: A small business economic relief fund”
With all that is happening in our community and our world, Lyons residents want to know how to help. While many in the Lyons area experienced the reality of taking care of our own through the floods of 2013, the nature of this crisis is different and may be leaving residents at a loss for how to contribute. Fortunately, area non-profits and service organizations excel during these times and have sprung into action.
The first and most important action we can take is to STAY HOME. By following the recommendations on social distancing, stay at home orders and mask wearing, we can affect the trajectory of this horrible virus. There are other community-minded actions we can participate in such as sewing masks for others, the “8pm howling”, supporting the Lyons restaurants and businesses that are open, and reaching out to those who are living alone and feeling especially isolated.
Beyond this basic adherence to social practices, there are many groups spearheading important work to aid those most vulnerable. The Lyons Community Foundation has launched “The Lyons Share-a small business economic relief fund” in partnership with the St. Vrain Market (SVM). The fund, seeded with proceeds from the market and matched by LCF, is designed to help local businesses survive the impact of COVID-19’s forced business closures. Neil and Connie Sullivan, owners of the market, recognized their unique position as an essential business operating daily and reached out to LCF to establish this fund in the hopes of providing economic relief to others. By diverting some of their increased revenues into this fund, they hope to aid local businesses with immediate needs such as rent and utilities. By shopping locally for items such as fresh produce, in-house baked goods and other grocery essentials in an environment of strict social distancing and safe shopping practices, customers automatically contribute to this fund.
Economic aid grants of up to $1000 each will be made eligible to businesses with a registered Lyons business license and may be used to pay rent, employees or other operating expenses. Applications are available now at www.lyonscf.org. The deadline for the first round of submissions is April 20, with the first round of grants awarded around May 1. Individuals may also contribute to this fund by making a direct donation to the LCF Lyons Share fund. There are other federal and state economic aid and granting programs kicking off and the Lyons Chamber of Commerce is doing a great job of informing local businesses on how best to navigate these options.
The Community Foundation of Boulder County, LCF’s parent organization, has also responded to the crisis in a big way. They have launched a COVID-19 Response Fund, already raising almost $400K. Within days of announcing their first round of funding, LCF was able to secure $5000 to help Lyons Emergency Assistance Fund (LEAF) and those most vulnerable in our community, boosting services for the Food Pantry, Meals on Wheels and other basic needs.
Beyond Lyons, other area nonprofits are addressing tremendous needs. The Boulder homeless shelter is offering a program where individuals can donate to provide meals to the homeless. A restaurant group in Boulder has collaborated to provide meals to hospital workers. The St. Vrain Valley and Boulder Valley School districts have stepped up to continue meal service to kids not in school. With all of the options to help, it can be overwhelming.
The following is an abbreviated list of some organizations doing critical work to aid in this crisis.
Please visit these websites for more information and be sure to verify for legitimacy with any online donation or funding sites.
Lyons Community Foundation: “Lyons Share: small business economic relief fund: www.lyonscf.org
Lyons Chamber of Commerce- navigating economic relief: www.lyonschamber.org
Community Foundation of Boulder County: directing a wide variety of responses www.commfound.org
Boulder Homeless shelter: providing assistance for area homeless: www.Bouldershelter.org
Lyons Emergency Assistance Fund- food pantry, meals on wheels and other services: www.Leaflyons.org
Bch.org –Boulder Community Hospital Foundation: assistance for front line workers: www.bch.org
Town of Lyons- COVID website http://www.townoflyons.com/652/COVID-19
Mark your calendars for May 3!
The Lyons Community Foundation (LCF) invites you to the Lyons COLORado Fun Run/Walk/Roll. This event will directly benefit the people and organizations of Lyons and our surrounding area, as all monies raised will go directly into the 2020 LCF Grants Fund. This un-timed walk/run/roll will be held from 9am-12pm on SUNDAY, MAY 3, 2020 starting and ending at beautiful Bohn Park.
After a decade of LCF gala fundraisers, it was decided to seek out new events that can engage people of all ages to be silly, get some exercise, meet new friends and raise funds for our community. Meetings about Lyons COLORado Fun Run/Walk/Roll began last spring, we’re working closely with the folks from the Town of Lyons, and momentum is starting to build.
What’s a Color Fun Run exactly? Everyone will get an event t-shirt to wear. There will be 2K and 5K courses, with four stops along the way during which willing participants (runners, walkers, wheelchair racers, strollers) get showered with bright, vibrant powders. The color powders are safe, made from a blend of food grade cornstarch, FD&C approved (food, drug and cosmetic dyes) and baking soda.
This is Lyons…so of course there will be all sorts of live music and entertainment along the routes. When you and your family, friends and team members cross the finish, you’ll find yourself in the middle of a LYONS COLOR Blast that will surely be photo worthy.
The COLOR Fun Planning Committee is actively seeking business sponsorships so that we can keep the registration costs down. An average gala ticket was prohibitive for many locals, particularly families with young children. The goal is to keep our registration cost as low as possible while still being a successful fundraising event.
In early March, look for the event website and a lot more info coming your way. Early-bird registration will go through April 3! For now, please mark your calendars for MAY 3, 9-12 for the best spring kick-off community celebration ever.
COLOR Fun Chair: Lori Stott email@example.com
LCF Chair: Jeanne Moore firstname.lastname@example.org
New to town? The LCF mission is to improve the quality of life, build a culture of giving and to create positive change in the greater Lyons area. The Grants Fund helps fund LEAF and the Food Pantry, school gardening programs, Town of Lyons/Parks and Rec Sandstone Concert Series and Parade of Lights, Lyons Historical Society, amazing public art installations, Clarifier Project, student scholarships and the new library and more. https://www.lyonscf.org
“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 six college scholarships now available to the class of 2020 graduating high school students from the greater Lyons area. Providing assistance to area students has been big part of the granting program LCF established over a decade ago. Several of the awards are named in memory of local business and community leaders. New scholarship programs are intended to aid students pursuing technical or vocational training and compliment the funds designated for more traditional institutions. Scholarship support relies on the contributions of local residents. To make a contribution towards future student scholarships: www.lyonscf.org.
Below is a brief description of each scholarship; please refer to the LCF website for a complete list and information about eligibility and submission requirements.
2020 Lyons Community Foundation Mission Scholarship. One $2000 scholarship offered by the Lyons Community Foundation, will recognize any graduating senior, or home schooled student from the greater Lyons area who embodies the LCF's mission of improving the quality of life, building a culture of giving, and encourage positive change for the greater Lyons area.
2020 Lyons Community Foundation 2-Year Study Scholarship. One $2000 scholarship offered by the Lyons Community Foundation, will recognize any graduating senior, or home schooled student from the greater Lyons area who plans to attend a two-year program at college / university, trade school or other technical / vocational training. The scholarship will recognize a student who embodies the LCF’s mission of improving the quality of life, building a culture of giving, and encourage positive change for the greater Lyons area.
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 plans 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.
Gerald Boland Memorial Scholarships. Honors 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 a graduating senior who share these passions. Eligible students must attend Lyons High School and have at least a 3.0 GPA.
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 a graduating senior 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.
Applications are available on the scholarship page www.lyonscf.org through a google form or through the Lyons High School Naviance scholarship site. All applications must be received by March 13, 2020. Applications may also be returned to the front office at 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 email@example.com. All applications are reviewed and kept confidential by a committee consisting of Lyons area community members.
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
Lyons Community Foundation