Article appeared in the April issue of the Redstone Review.
When Ken and Judy Brownsberger made the recent decision to buy a new car, they opted to donate their beloved 2009 Mini Cooper to the Lyons Community Foundation. What they reported was a quick, easy and simple process through an organization called Vehicles for Charity. What people don’t realize is that the ease and convenience of a car donation along with tax benefits and the opportunity to give directly to your local community, often outweighs the hassle and expense of selling a car outright. In fact, donating your vehicle is a process that provides direct, immediate funds that in turn can be applied to projects happening right in Lyons.
Ken describes the decision to donate and the process as very easy: “earlier this year we decided to donate our 2009 Mini Cooper as we were buying a new plug-in hybrid minivan for the family, and didn’t want to keep a third vehicle. Years ago we’d donated an older car to public radio, and recalled that it was pretty simple. We knew this time we wanted the donation to go to a charitable organization in Lyons - and a quick web search of possible options led us to the LCF article about Phil Aumiller, another Lyons local who coincidently works with Judy, but had also donated a car to LCF.”
Ken further explains, “The donation process thru Vehicles for Charity (VFC) is very easy. You go to the VFC website and pick a charity, fill out the online form and submit it; a short time later they call you back to arrange the vehicle pickup - and then they come to get your vehicle and you hand them the signed title and the keys - and they take it away. Later, VFC mails you the IRS tax deduction paperwork when everything is wrapped up. Easy! We are planning to donate our other old car later this year too - given how easy it was, we’re almost certain to use the VFC website and donate to LCF again.”
Contributions such as the vehicle donation program are so appreciated by the Lyons Community Foundation. “This is a great example of the local philanthropy circle being completed,”says Jeanne Moore Co-Chair of the LCF Advisory Board. “By residents putting their generosity into a Lyons-based organization, we are able to fund local projects including everything from the food pantry, student scholarships, Lyons Volunteers, and public art and music. Dollars given to LCF can directly pay for programs that benefit our residents.”
“What’s also great,” says Jeanne “is that by using a mechanism like Vehicles for Charity, it requires no effort on the part of LCF’s all-volunteer member advisory board”. As with any non-profit, fundraising is its most challenging and resource-demanding issue.” The Lyons Community Foundation operates solely on donations from local businesses and individuals, drawing most of its funds from an annual event held in November, followed up with a year-end donor appeal. As local needs and causes grow, the Foundation’s fundraising efforts have become increasingly challenging.
The Lyons Community Foundation began as way to address the needs of a small, yet diverse community and also provide a platform for residents to give back. When you give to LCF, you are supporting your neighbor who might need assistance from Meals on Wheels or other human services, in addition to the local artist whose work is being supported by a grant to integrate their art in town. Because volunteers and donors come from the same small pool, it makes sense to try and consolidate efforts and ways in which residents are asked to contribute. We are so grateful that so many residents are committed to giving and acting locally.
The Lyons Community Foundation is a Lyons-based community 501(c)(3) organization. Our mission is to improve the quality of life, build a culture of giving and encourage positive change in the greater Lyons area. We are a fund of the Community Foundation serving Boulder County and our work supports local residents in their pursuits to enhance life in Lyons. For more information on the Lyons Community Foundation, its board, or our granting work, please visit www.lyonscf.org.
About Vehicles for Charity: The arc Thrift Stores, Lakewood, CO., a Colorado 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization, serves as the fundraising arm of the ARC Units, which provide advocacy and support for children and adults with developmental disabilities. arc Thrift Stores has historically accepted vehicle donations since 1995 for themselves and several other non-profits. Demand grew and in 2001, Vehicles for Charity (VFC) was established. This comprehensive vehicle donation program was developed and implemented to provide for prompt and professional disposition of vehicles donated to VFC. Our working agreements with carefully selected tow companies and auto auctions have contributed to the program’s success. For more information on VFC: vehiclesforcharity.org
Article appeared in a recent issue of the Redstone Review
The Lyons Community Foundation (LCF) has been a go-to resource for locally based community philanthropy for the last ten years. As other non-profits and public based groups are established and gain momentum in Lyons, the best of small town cooperation and collaboration is continuing to flourish.
At a recent reception for LCF Annual Grant award winners, it was evident just how small and interconnected our town really is. Almost every single non-profit’s work in some way benefits or overlaps with one another. Small or large LCF grants are able to be leveraged in a really effective way through the synergy of complimentary missions and the hard-work of volunteers. There are now quite a few non-profits that one might think compete with each other, but instead all tend to work together to get important work done in Lyons. This may be aided by the fact that many of the active citizens who engage in civic-minded work tend to volunteer for a variety of causes and may span several different projects, but it is also clear that philanthropy and volunteerism tend to be contagious.
An excellent example of a continuous loop of work is the “garden to table” program that was initially funded through an LCF grant in 2016. Kim and Andy Doering, long standing crusaders in many environmental and school based-programs started the school plantings with an LCF grant for irrigation in 2016. This grant paved the way to re-ignite gardening-based curriculum at Lyons Elementary that was started with an LCF-funded salad cart initiative in the early days of the foundation. The extension of that work didn’t stop there. The curriculum allows for students to study botany and ecology all the way through its life cycle with its eventual bounty delivered to the Lyons Food Pantry. LEAF and the Food Pantry are the largest beneficiaries of LCF grant funding. Students in classroom projects, the Lyons Elementary Eco Club, and the Pathfinders after school program all have a hand in cultivation, harvest and delivery to the food bank.
As vegetables grow, the students continue their hands on work during Lyons Elementary’s Science Leadership curriculum. This trail blazing program, also supported through LES Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) funding, is in its pilot year, focusing on leadership and team building skills with a science and ecology focus during a once per month all-day outdoor curriculum.
The possibilities for providing leadership opportunities for Lyons High School students along with mentoring and outdoor curriculum expansions at the elementary school appear endless. Lyons High School students who are members of a study group called “River Watch” have been folded into the program, leading elementary school students in measuring local river health. The goal is to eventually build even more pathways between to the two local schools creating more opportunities for leadership and collaboration.
Lyons Elementary School Principal Andrew Moore, a champion of this program comments “we are so fortunate to have engaged parents, teachers, area environmental groups, and local citizens who are all working together to see this program succeed. We’ve been able to initiate a school-wide initiative that has touched so many facets of outdoor-based study by leveraging our community resources, the great people of Lyons”.
The Lyons Historical Society, another long-time LCF grant beneficiary has also combined forces with the Elementary School. School groups are brought to the Redstone Museum on regular basis to study museum science and learn about local history.
The Lyons Arts and Humanities Commission is another organization that also benefits from LCF granting and collaboration with area artists and the Town of Lyons. The art installations you see on Main Street are a result of LCF grants along with LAHC funding and the dedication of the commission whose mission is to support and enhance the artistic community. LAHC also sponsors such community-wide efforts at the art shows in town hall, the Lyons Film Festival and the annual Art Walk. LCF granting that funds the Sandstone Summer Concert Series also gives back directly in supporting local musicians and providing amazing, free entertainment for residents.
Other service groups that have been supported by LCF continue to show up just about everywhere in town. Lyons Volunteers, started initially for flood response and recovery now lends itself to a variety of community needs. The recent success of the Lyons Chill Fest, sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce, was made possible by the work of these volunteers along with Lyons Leos, a youth-based service organization. The Leos and Lyons Volunteers have also poured many hours into the Habitat for Humanity construction of affordable housing currently underway.
This is the beauty of living and working in a small town. Residents feel empowered to make an impact. By supporting community-based philanthropy either through financial support, hard work and dedication or just providing the inspiration for projects that will positively impact our community, we are all brought closer and make our local world just a bit brighter. If you aren’t yet involved in any community based work, go ahead and jump in. With a small town, you have the opportunity to really impact things that you care about. Volunteer at the school, join a Town of Lyons commission or board, or just show up at the next community event. Here in Lyons we have a festival, a music concert, an outdoor event or race, or a school event just about every week.
“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 here under the receive tab 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.
2018 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. Newly 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 12, 2018. 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 email@example.com or by phone to (720) 295-9667. All applications are reviewed and kept confidential by a committee consisting of Lyons area community members.
Lyons Community Foundation: Reflections on 10 years
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.
Lyons Celebrates 10 years with a Samba Party to Remember
Article appeared in the Redstone Review November issue
Last Friday, November 10th, the Lyons Community Foundation put on a Brazilian Carnival themed birthday party that brought out 200 of Lyons-area residents in a rousing celebration of community. Samba Colorado dancers inspired the crowd in learning some new moves, leading a Congo line and getting citizens of all ages out of their chairs. Highlights for attendees were reported as the amazing food, company of old and new neighbors, and the incredible music of Brazilian soul ensemble Sambadende.
“The goal of the 10th anniversary gala was to really recognize and celebrate 10 years of service to Lyons. Founding board members and donors were in attendance as well as current board members and citizens who are involved in the community-inspired work that still continues a decade later”, says Laura Levy executive advisory board vice chair and presenting sponsor for the event. The annual gala’s goal is also to provide fundraising that will support all the work that goes on in the community for the following year. Local resources such as LEAF/food pantry, the summer concert series in Sandstone Park, public art installations, and the holiday fireworks following the parade of lights all benefit from LCF granting. At the time of press the results are not available, however the proceeds from the gala combined with the Annual Appeal following shortly will go towards sustaining the dozens of worthwhile projects that happen in Lyons every year due to LCF granting.
Gala guest and local entrepreneur Wayne Anderson commented “without the support of LCF, we wouldn’t be where we are today. In the time following the flood, LCF stepped up and lent us a hand, we want to come out and show our appreciation”. Indeed. Spirit Hound Distillers was well represented in the dining room, and on the dance floor. Spirit Hound also provided their craft spirits for Gala cocktails.
In an event this size, there are literally dozens of community members and businesses that are responsible for making it all happen. The gala committee consisting of Laura Levy, Debbie Simms, Jennie Lock, Kari Basey, Jeanne Moore, Kristen Bruckner, Beth Smith, Toni St John, Kim Lear, Kathy Leiding, Gabry Cornell, Dave Lock and Pam Freeman dedicated countless hours in planning and executing the gala. In addition, all the local sponsors were instrumental in allowing the party to be put on with such an amazing flair. LCF wishes to thank Laura Levy/Coldwell Banker Global Luxury, Gateway Realty Group, Colorado Lending Group, Smokin Dave’s BBQ, Tucker Group Real Estate, Brain McCann Real Estate, 24-7 Restoration, Lyons ReRuns, and Lyons Automotive.
Additionally, locally owned businesses donated their services including Lionscrest Manor, A Spice of Life Catering, Richardo’s Decaf Liquor, Spirit Hound Distillers, St Vrain Market, and Oskar Blues. There were also 80 area individuals and locally owned businesses who donated to the silent auction. It truly takes a village to support each other and LCF is enormously grateful for their generosity.
The Lyons Community Foundation exists to improve the quality of life, build a culture of giving, and encourage positive change in the Greater Lyons Area. We invite all area citizens to engage and celebrate your foundation. If you didn’t have the opportunity to attend the gala, but would still like to contribute to our community based work, please visit www.lyonscf.org/give
The HeART of Lyons- Community Inspired Art
Article appeared in the September Issue of the Redstone Review
The Lyons Clarifier Art project is perhaps, one of the best and most compelling symbols of the spirit of the artistic community in Lyons. The project, which took more than 11 years to complete, tells a great story of creativity, community collaboration and perseverance.
If you’ve never visited the clarifier and taken in mosaic brilliance and captivating visual storytelling, it’s worth a trip. The landscaping and access to the clarifier are awaiting completion due to flood/river restoration work in this area just past the water treatment plant by the black bear hole. The fact that the clarifier exists at all and survived the flood is miraculous. Flood waters surrounded the old concrete treatment tank but incredibly did not destroy it. The mosaic itself was actually completed in 2015, incorporating the ‘high water’ marks left in the flood path. Local artists, school children, seniors, church goers, stone and landscaping companies and many many more artists and citizens collaborated with the projects leaders Cathy Rivers, Priscilla Cohan, Kristine Smock, Candace Shepard, and Shelly Gottshamer who initiated the projects and helped see it through. The Lyons Community Foundation funded the project over this period in annual grants to the tune of more than $16,000.
In fact, the art community has been a major focus of LCF Community Support Grants in the decade of the foundations’ existence. Its annual granting cycle has awarded more than $50,000 to a variety of groups in town that support and promote local artists of many genres.
The Lyons Arts and Humanities Commission plays a key role in representing and nurturing these efforts. More than $22,250 in grants during the decade-long relationship with LCF has allowed for such popular events as the Lyons Art Walk and its various iterations. The commissioned sculptures installed throughout downtown are also a very tangible and iconic example of our love for public art expression. These pieces are temporary installations for which artists are paid a stipend to loan the work to the Town of Lyons for a period of generally two years. This makes the art affordable for the Town to “borrow”. LAHC is currently working to bring at least 10 new pieces in the coming year, complete with identification placards and ample mounting blocks or pedestals. Under consideration is the development of a contribution program where pieces determined to be beloved by the people of Lyons could perhaps be ultimately purchased by the community for permanent display in town.
The LAHC in addition to the heARTS of Lyons collection of outdoor art, also co-hosts Arts on the River / Sounds of Lyons with the Boulder County Arts Alliance, coordinates quarterly Town Hall Art Shows with Community Tapas Potlucks and local musicians at their openings, has been instrumental in the still-evolving Lyons Last Thursday Arts Strolls/Lyons Arts Walk Weekends, and is always eager to both physically and financially assist (when possible) artists and arts endeavors such as the Lyons Film Festival, Lyons Old-Time Square Dances and sponsoring LAHC representation at events such as the annual Colorado Creative Industries Summit.
The Sounds of Lyons (SOL), an organization that presents world class musical experiences to the people of Lyons was also helped to thrive with Lyons Community Foundation’s financial assistance. Since its inception in 2009, SOL has partnered with LCF along with other groups such as the LAHC, Mayama dance studio and High Street Concerts to bring a music festival to town that is rich in creativity and expression. With director, founder and accomplished classical violinist MinTze Wu recently moving back to the area, we look forward to the continuation of this incredible musical experience.
The Community Foundation has also funded other such popular events as the Town Of Lyons Summer Concert Series. With more than $18,000 in the past decade, the Town has been able to bring free concerts to Sandstone Park, now for 10 weeks in the summer months. The concerts are a great community event; they feature local musicians as well other businesses selling food and other amenities.
The Lyons Film Festival, running its 3rd season this June was helped off the ground with an LCF grant in 2014. Annual support has allowed for this unique and alternative outlet for artistic creativity and expression in film to continue.
With the abundance of talent and passion for everything from visual arts, music of diverse genres, public installations and a vibrant artisan culture, the Lyons Community Foundation has been proud to nurture the area’s artistic community. As part of our mission to enhance life in Lyons, we will continue to support these types of projects. Stay tuned for more information on our 10th Anniversary Celebration which will be held at Lionscrest Manor on November 10th. The work of Community Support Granting will not continue without the continued support of Lyons area residents. For more information about volunteering, donating or applying for a grant, please visit our website or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website at www.lyonscf.org.
More information on:
The Clarifier Project: clarifierproject.net
The Sounds of Lyons: soundsoflyons.com
Lyons Arts and Humanities Commission or Sandstone Summer Concert Series: www.townoflyons.com
Lyons Film Festival: lyonsfilmfestival.com
Article Appeared in the September Issue of the Redstone Review
Fruits of their labor
What began with a Lyons Community Foundation Community Support Grant for “seed money” to fund a Garden Classroom Integration program last year, has blossomed into true garden to table program with the bounty going to support the LEAF/Food Pantry program that serves members of the Lyons Community that may not have enough to eat.
Kim and Andy Doering, on behalf of Lyons Elementary School (LES) were awarded a $1400 LCF grant last fall to buy some new growing lights and supplemental support for the existing garden beds and irrigation infrastructure. The plant life cycle curriculum as well as the ‘garden to table’ programs have existed at LES for years, but until now the lessons learned about seed life cycle, planting and cultivation mostly ended in the classroom. There was also a garden to table program but the harvest happened to coincide with summer vacation and students being away from school. By initiating the new integrated program involving the students in all phases of planting and harvest, the cycle of “seed to table” has been completed with students delivering fresh fruits and vegetables to the Lyons Food Pantry starting last week.
Last years’ 1st grade class, along with Eco Club students planted all the fruits, veggies and flowers from seed in the springtime. They used milk cartons from the cafeteria, donated seeds, and set them up under the new grow light stations. With some extra care by ‘master gardener” Andy Doering, these have now blossomed into a bountiful harvest. The first batch of produce was delivered to the food pantry during their regular Wednesday food distribution at the Lyons Community Church. The plan is to provide a steady stream of fresh, local produce to the pantry on an ongoing basis. This is something typically hard to come by for locals relying on the weekly food support service.
The more integrated experience teaches students not only about plant life cycles and gardening but now students are able to see how and where the finished product goes. Kids today mostly see their food coming from a grocery store, but don’t get to experience the importance of actually feeding people what is grown. The integrated classroom curriculum has plenty of room for expansion with plans to expand the Butterfly Gardens, the Bee Observatory Learning center and additional beds for increasing the volume of produce.
Over the last 10 years, Lyons-area schools have been one of the largest benefactors of LCF Community Support Grants. In fact, since 2009 more than $68,000 has gone to support a wide range of educational enrichment programs. This is in addition to the more than $30K in college scholarships that have been granted to local area graduating seniors seeking to pursue higher education.
At Lyons Elementary, grants that are typically applied for by teachers seeking to enrich their students’ experience have gone to fund everything from literacy tool kits, summer reading programs, classroom technology, Spanish-language scholarships, school field trips, homework club and more. These are programs that teachers and administrators are inspired to offer to their students, but likely would not be funded from traditional sources.
Lyons Middle/High School has also received significant support from LCF over the last decade. Grants awarded to the High School Booster Club, for example, have helped to fund the after-prom tradition of providing a safe, fun activity for juniors and seniors attending prom. Community Support Granting has also supplemented needs for band uniforms, sound equipment, student activists, robotics club and scientific equipment, and much more.
The Lyons Community Foundation as a catalyst for community inspired-change has also been in a position to fund projects that bridge the gap in work done by local government in partnership with the schools and concerned citizens wanting the make their community better. In addition to classroom and extra-curricular support, LCF funds programs that promote safety and education for area residents. Programs such as parenting classes, traffic safety, youth sports and volunteer programs have all been the beneficiary of Community Support Grants.
Article appeared recently in the Redstone Review
Good deeds are like planting seeds. Their effects grow beauty and change for years to come. This is what happened when the Lyons Community Foundation was founded 10 years ago. What began as collaboration of a group of Lyons citizens in an attempt to consolidate local philanthropy, has been nurtured and cultivated into a community catalyst, capable of addressing a wide variety of Lyons Area projects that have had long -lasting and profound effects.
Local groups, including the Lyons Ecology Board and the Lyons Garden Club, are excellent, visible examples of programs that have literally sown the seeds of change. Over the last 10 years, almost $24,000 has gone to local ecology and landscape beautification projects. These have included such efforts as the planting of the new Native Habitat Garden at Town Hall plaza, native plant restoration, Upper 5th Avenue landscaping and supplemental plantings on Main Street. If you look around town at the beautiful -community supported gardens, one witnesses the efforts of these groups of citizens.
To illustrate the impact of the numbers, LCF grant-funded work by the Ecology Board supported the disbursement of 1million square feet or over 900 pounds! of native seed in the Lyons river corridor as well as the planting of 150 trees and shrubs, rebuilding local ecology post-flood. The Ecology Board has also worked hard to battle invasive weeds and promote native planting, investing in community education and outreach.
Now we need to plant seeds for the future. Without continued dollars and volunteer efforts there will be no seeds planted for tomorrow’s philanthropic efforts. Over the last 10 years, the Lyons Community Foundation has grown and enjoyed strong support of the community. There are now more groups, causes and needs in general. Citizens’ dollars are stretched in many directions. Because LCF supports so many types of programming and remains a centralized resource for community change, the need to keep it going is strong and we are reaching out for your continued support.
The power of numbers and the ability of combined efforts is what keep LCF going. If one quarter of households the greater Lyons area each gave $25/month to LCF, that could generate almost $38,000 in a year. This is roughly the annual budget for Community Support Granting which includes all projects awarded each November to projects that affect the greater Lyons area including Spring Gulch, Pinewood and other surrounding population centers as well as LCF’s commitment to support LEAF (Lyons Emergency Assistance Fund) on a continued basis.
The Lyons Community Foundation was founded in 2007, and began granting in 2008. The mission to Improve the Quality of Life, Build a Culture of Giving, and Encourage Positive Change in the Greater Lyons Area remains the driving force. In 10 years, dozens of volunteer board members, project leaders, local businesses, students and caring citizens have contributed to the spirit of community -based philanthropy. As we look forward to our second decade of serving the people of Lyons, we ask for your support. Become a monthly donor, inspired volunteer, grant seeker, or champion of work. For more information, visit www.lyonscf.org
Article Recently Appeared in the Restone Review:
The Lyons Community Foundation has announced the winners of the 2017 Student Scholarships. The winners are Maddie Maguire (Gerald Boland Memorial Scholarship), Cole Berreman (Steve Ralston Memorial Scholarship), Nicole Smith (“Uncle Bud” Winker Memorial Scholarship, Kyle Frohling and CeAnn Udovich (Joel Mack Memorial Scholarships) and Grayson Thomas (LCF Scholarship). These stand-out students are recognized as leaders in academics, community mindedness and athletics. The scholarships are $1000 each and may be applied to any institution of higher learning. They were formally recognized at Lyons High School on May 16th.
Over the years, the scholarship program has been an important piece of the LCF legacy. Since 2008, over $26,000 has gone to dozens of Lyons-area students to aid in their dreams of attending college. In some cases, first generation college students’ college careers have been launched, thanks in part to this assistance. If one considers the impact of LCF scholarships in a small school, historically one in 5 graduates will merit an award. While it may not seem like a huge amount with the high cost of college tuition, it can certainly fill a gap in providing resources to a student embarking on their journey.
In addition to scholarships, the Lyons Community Foundation has historically made many grants to local area schools. A local leader in the school community Kathy Leiding, has recently come back to serve on the LCF Advisory Board. The former teacher and athletic director recently retired after serving in Lyons for 28 years! Kathy was one of the founding board members of LCF in 2008, and has seen the impact on Lyons schools first-hand.
Since 2008, $68,000 has gone to Lyons schools to support everything from the booster club, field trips, student service groups, the band and more. As Kathy describes “the school is lifeblood of a community. It’s where parents meet each other and you see the impact of volunteer contributions and community involvement. In particular in a small school, there are only so many resources to go around. One of the reasons I got involved in LCF in the first place was to further support school enrichment in areas such as robotics, after-prom, and technology. With a foundation like LCF, fundraising efforts can be consolidated and giving will go farther”.
Debbie Simms, Chair of the LCF Executive Committee adds “We are so thrilled to have Kathy back on board. Her commitment to the schools and the whole community of Lyons is tremendous. Her well-deserved retirement allows us to tap into her spirit of contributing”. Indeed. Along with founders Christy Crosser and Connie Eyster, the original board including Kathy, Dorothy Pelluchoud, Nancy Hammons, Rick England, and Mystie Bracket had the vision 10 years ago to start something special. As one looks around Lyons and notices public art, garden plantings, enjoys music in the park, one can’t help but notice LCF’s impact. At a recent donor event, a grant recipient remarked “I’ve never lived in a community where people are so caring. The generosity and willingness to contribute by the people of Lyons is truly amazing”.
Ten years in, the Lyons Community Foundation is going strong. The support for the wide-range of projects supported is still evident despite increased competition from other nonprofits in the area. The goal of the foundation is to continue to support life in Lyons and work collaboratively with other organizations such as LEAF, the Lyons Arts and Humanities Commission, Lyons Elementary, Middle, and High Schools, Lyons Historical Society, and the Town of Lyons. These groups have all seen the support of LCF granting and only benefit from its existence.
The Lyons Community Foundation was founded in 2007, and began granting in 2008. The mission to Improve the Quality of Life, Build a Culture of Giving, and Encourage Positive Change in the Greater Lyons Area remains the driving force. In 10 years, dozens of volunteer board members, project leaders, local businesses, students and caring citizens have contributed to the spirit of community -based philanthropy. As we look forward to our second decade of serving the people of Lyons, we ask for your support. Become a monthly donor, inspired volunteer, grant seeker, or champion of work.
LCF and LEAF: An enduring collaboration serving Lyons Residents
By Kristen Bruckner (article appeared in the Redstone Review March 2017
The Lyons Community Foundation board last year created a policy to continue to provide support to the Lyons Emergency Assistance Fund (LEAF). LCF has been supporting LEAF and its predecessors since LCF’s inception 10 years ago. Since LCF began awarding grants in 2009, funds allocated to LEAF/Food Pantry/Basic Needs Fund have accounted for over a quarter of all money awarded by the foundation, or almost $103,000.
The new policy will grant LEAF an amount equal to 20% of all of the grants given to other organizations that LCF supports. The funds are intended to pay operating expenses of the important “Human Services Safety Net” LEAF provides to members of the Lyons community.
Since its beginning, LCF recognized the importance of serving those most in need in our community and began supporting what was then the Basic Needs Fund. Both organizations operate independently and serve residents in very different capacities, yet there remains a bit of confusion about what LEAF does vs LCF. It’s helpful to understand each nonprofit’s history and mission of service to appreciate why each is critically important to the residents of Lyons.
When the Lyons Community Foundation was started (a process described in the February Redstone issue), locals realized that a regional foundation wouldn’t address the unique needs of our community. As described by Laura Levy, Co-Executive Chair of the LCF Advisory Board “The Lyons Community Foundation was formed in response to a wide range of cultural interests as well as a call for public service in town. We are here to provide a conduit for those who seek to enhance lives in a broad range of ongoing community interests”. Grantees such as the Clarifier Project, Lyons Volunteers, the Sandstone Summer Concert Series, and scholarships for Lyons-area students indicate the diversity of projects funded. LCF is able to grant to non-profits backed by local citizens who perform the arms and legs of project-based work.
In the immediate aftermath of the epic flood, LCF raised over 1M dollars that was disseminated through LEAF to help individuals, families and local businesses. Typically LCF can only grant to non-profit entities 501 c(3)’s, but by partnering with LEAF, individual critical needs were addressed. Recently, the partnership with LEAF/LCF was able to facilitate the allocation of the last of LCF’s “Rebuild Lyons” fund to residents in the confluence still facing hurdles in getting back and remaining in their homes.
LEAF’s mission is to offer a human services safety net to those in need in the Greater Lyons area. LEAF began in 2008 when the pastor of the Lyons Community Church, Claire McNulty-Drewes had the compelling idea of starting a food pantry and basic needs emergency fund. In her role as pastor, she had noticed that there were residents of Lyons who didn’t have enough to eat, and that sometimes local people ran into emergencies where they needed help paying for basic needs like heat, electricity, rent and medical bills. The pastor went to her congregation, where members volunteered to help out in creating a food pantry and a Basic Needs Emergency Fund. LCF began supporting the Basic Needs Fund (BNF) in this very first year. LEAF officially became its own 501 c (3) in 2016. Local resident Emily Dusel is the Executive Director.
LEAF serves those in need in the Greater Lyons area in three basic areas:
So what are the reasons to have both organizations?
LCF can address a wide range of community interests
LCF is able to fund long-range programs and diverse groups
LCF grants to 501c (3) organizations, not individuals
LCF addresses community culture, public education, and enhancement of public spaces
LCF is a catalyst for local volunteerism and public engagement
LEAF aids residents in their critical time of need; resources for food, rent, utilities, etc
LEAF works to increase awareness of poverty on a local level
LEAF can work with individuals through client advocacy services
LEAF can assist residents in tapping into available resources
Both LCF and LEAF rely heavily on volunteer support. Both organizations have volunteer board members as well as dozens of citizens who perform the hundreds of hours of work of each organization’s mission each month. Without LCF, things like the 9Health Fair, the Lyons Art Walk, and the Holiday Parade of Lights likely wouldn’t continue. Without LEAF, there would be no local safety net for the estimated 1 in 4 people who will fall into poverty at some point in their lives. Both LEAF and LCF are eternally grateful to area residents who volunteer, donate, and participate in the programs offered. To find out more visit www.Lyonscf.org and www.leaflyons.org.
Lyons Community Foundation