From replacing the rescue mannequins used by the Golden Fire Department to constructing new stairs at the American Mountaineering Center, 40 nonprofits will be able continue to contribute to the economic and cultural vitality of the community, thanks to the Golden Civic Foundation's grants program.
A luncheon took place on March 6, during which the grant recipients were recognized.
The Golden Civic Foundation started in 1970, and boasts a timeline of accomplishments. Some that projects the organization is most proud of is purchasing the American Mountaineering Center; developing Clear Creek Commons, which is senior housing located at 11th Street and Washington Avenue; and helping to raise funds to build the Golden Visitor's Center.
Since its beginning, the foundation has always awarded grants in the community, and through the years, schools, clubs, services, special events and organizations that enhance the quality of life in Golden have benefited. The formal grant program began about 10 years ago. Funds for the grants program primarily come from the Golden Civic Foundation's annual gala and auction, which takes place in November.
This year, the 41st year the gala and auction took place, was an outstanding success and a record amount of funds was raised, said Heather Schneider, the foundation's executive director.
“It’s so inspiring to see how many people come together in our community to make this event such a success," she said. "The foundation has literally touched every part of downtown Golden."
Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum
Because it is one of only about eight quilt museums in the U.S., people travel from all over the world to visit Golden's Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum.
“We know we are a destination location,” said the museum's executive director Karen Roxburgh. She added that people sign the guest book and list all sorts of international places as where they traveled from.
Last fall, the museum was able to purchase its own building, and moved from its location on Washington Avenue in downtown Golden to its new location at 200 Violet St., Unit 140, which is near West Colfax Avenue.
The new space is a lot bigger, Roxburgh said, which benefits both quilters and museum visitors. For example, about 100 quilts were on display for the Patchwork Pundits Take on Politics and The Presidential Quilt Project, which ran from November to January. In the old building, only about 30 or 40 quilts could be displayed for an exhibit, Roxburgh said.
The quilt museum, which has been in existence for 26 years, prides itself on educating people on quilts, and the displays feature a good mix of contemporary and historical quilts that appeal to a wide range of ages. But women's history is almost always in the mix, Roxburgh said. In the 1800s, women didn't have a voice, she said, so often, they would express their views through their quilts.
However, now days, many men also have taken up the craft.
“There are so many quilts out there to be displayed,” she said. “These quilts will live on forever. They'll be around for future men and women to look at and contemplate.”
Golden Landmarks Association
One of the things that makes the City of Golden unique is that it happens to have more buildings still standing from when it was the territorial capital than both Denver and Colorado City.
There are 21 one of those historic buildings in Golden, and one of the current projects of the Golden Landmarks Association is working toward designating a territorial capital district in the city.
“Golden is very lucky because it still possesses these buildings that other cities have lost,” said Bill Litz, president of the Golden Landmarks Association. “This adds to the culture of the city.”
The Golden Landmarks Association began in 1972 with the purpose to save the Astor House from demolition. Now, the association continues with broader efforts to preserve and educate Golden's residents and visitors on the city's history and significant landmarks.
A long-time recipient of a Golden Civic Foundation grant, this year, a certain amount of the money will go toward purchasing protective cases for the association's collection of approximately 500 photos, Litz said. The photos document about 100 years of Golden history, from the late 1800s to the end of World War II.
The goal is to make the collection more mobile, Litz said, so it can be transported to schools and other educational institutions without the risk of damaging the photos. This will provide more opportunities for it to be out in the community.
“We'd like to get it in front of the public as much, and as often, as possible,” Litz said.
The Colorado Trail Foundation
Each year, 600 to 700 volunteers work to maintain and improve the more than 550 miles that make up The Colorado Trail.
“It's Colorado's namesake trail,” said Bill Manning, The Colorado Trail Foundation's executive director. “And often, it's considered one of the most beautiful in America.”
The trail's 33 segments — which are primarily on National Forest land — allow people to enjoy long distance hiking, biking or travel on horse from Denver to Durango.
The Colorado Trail was conceived in 1974, and began to gain footing when the late Gudy Gaskill — a former resident of Lookout Mountain who died on July 14, 2016, at age 89 — got involved, worked with the forest service and organized volunteers to build the trail. In 1987, The Colorado Trail Foundation was established.
Now, The Colorado Trail is enjoyed by thousands of people — Coloradans, and out-of-state and worldwide tourists — each trail season, which is primarily July through September.
“It brings people back to Mother Nature,” Manning said. “It's a place for self-renewal.”
Trail users like to immerse themselves in the different eco zones and the quiet of the Colorado mountain backcountry, Manning said.
“It's a wonderful life adventure to travel The Colorado Trail,” he said.
Golden Concert Choir
After a concert performance, Sarah McVeigh, president of the Golden Concert Choir, loves to look around at the audience and see everybody's smiling faces.
“We bring music that people might not have been exposed to before,” she said.
Music can include anything from classical to folk. For example, the group's 2017 Spring Concert will take the audience on a European vacation through a performance of a collection of European folk songs.
The Golden Concert Choir was founded in October of 2000. It consists of a multi-generational average of 50-70 members who range from high schoolers to retired grandparents, McVeigh said. “It's a great mix of people.”
Just about anybody with a passion for singing may join the choir, McVeigh said. There is no formal audition or prerequisite experience, she added, and the only requirement is that the singer must be able to match pitch.
The choir performs at least twice a year, in December and May, and will occasionally sing in a concert part of a collaborative effort with another performance group.
The choir has been a recipient of a Golden Civic Foundation grant for a number of years, McVeigh said, and this year, part of the money will go toward scholarships for people who cannot afford the membership dues.
Golden Concert Choir is community-oriented, McVeigh said. People don't have to drive to downtown Denver, pay for parking and steep ticket prices to attend a quality concert, she said, because the choir performs in the immediate area — Golden and Wheat Ridge.
“We're bringing the performances to their own community,” McVeigh said, adding that, in turn, the choir “thrives because of community support.”