Golden Civic Foundation awards its grant recipients

A look into what was funded

Posted 3/13/18

The Golden Civic Foundation’s 42nd annual Auction and Gala, which took place in November, produced record-breaking numbers, both in attendance and fundraising, said Heather Schneider, the …

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Golden Civic Foundation awards its grant recipients

A look into what was funded


The Golden Civic Foundation’s 42nd annual Auction and Gala, which took place in November, produced record-breaking numbers, both in attendance and fundraising, said Heather Schneider, the foundation’s executive director.

And this contributes to the amount of grants the foundation is able to provide to Golden’s nonprofits.

“It’s so great to see all of the positive momentum,” Schneider said. “The Golden Civic Foundation’s mission is to invest in the economic and cultural vitality of the Golden community. In partnership with our sponsors, donors and volunteers, it’s truly amazing to see how our community comes together for our annual Gala and Auction that funds so many great things doing good in our community of Golden.”

This year, the foundation funded more than $130,000 in grants to 39 local nonprofits at the Community Grants Luncheon event, March 12 at the Golden Community Center.

Here is a look at just a few of the nonprofit recipients:

Colorado School of Mines Geology Museum

The Colorado School of Mines Geology Museum has some real eye-catching attractions — everything from silver and quartz to a special exhibit of territorial gold coins and rhodochrosite, which is Colorado’s state mineral.

And now, every visitor will have a chance to get well-versed in mining history through a series of murals by Irwin Hoffman on display at the museum.

“We think these murals do a good job depicting man’s pursuits of these resources and the value that the specimens in our collection hold,” said Nick Iwanicki, the geology museum’s interim director.

The geology museum received its $1,500 grant from the Golden Civic Foundation to help cover the cost of mounting a 10-feet-long and three-and-a-half feet tall mural, including the lights and fixtures.

The mural is the seventh in the series, and as far as the museum knows, it is the final piece, Iwanicki said. The first mural depicts prehistory of mining, the second is ancient Egypt, the third is ancient Greece, the fourth is of the 1800’s Gold Rush and the fifth and sixth demonstrate modern mining and the use of resources. The seventh depicts the connection between early and modern mining.

“It’s nice that we have the whole set,” he said. “We want to show it off.”

Iwanicki noted that the other six have been on display at the museum since at least the early 2000s.

At any given time, about 1,500 specimens on display, but the museum has more than 20,000 specimens in its collections — plus an additional 20,000 microscopic specimens.

The museum started its collection in 1871, but formally established in 1940, Iwanicki said. It is in possession of the state mineral collection, started in 1895,

Second only to the Harvard Mineralogical Museum in terms of annual visitors, the Mines geology museum attracts 30,000 people a year.

“We get visitors from all over the world,” Iwanicki said. “It really has a worldwide appeal, regardless of where you hail from.”

Colorado Teen Project

Financial budgeting, obtaining a driver’s license, conducting a job search or finding housing...

These independent living skills can be quite a challenge for youth without proper guidance or mentorship.

“Research shows that we are a society where people are expected to achieve financial stability and take care of themselves at an early age,” said Lori Fuqua Gregory, the executive director of the Colorado Teen Project. “If they fail or have a slow start, and do not have family to support or shelter them, many end up on the streets (and) many turn to drugs and alcohol, often ending up in the judicial system for petty crimes committed out of the necessity to survive.”

To help avoid this, the Colorado Teen Project provides services to youth ages 16-24 who exit the foster care system at varying levels of life preparedness.

“It is less daunting for a teen or young adult to work with our mentors to get on track to self-sustainability,” Gregory said. “The youth create productive, independent lives that will help them avoid becoming sad sums in our nation’s chronic homelessness statistics.”

The nonprofit, which is based out of Connects Workspace in the Armory Building in Golden, established in October 2014 and this is the first year it has applied for the Golden Civic Foundation’s grant. The $500 it received will fund the cost of background checks for volunteers — the Colorado Teen Project will be screening about 120 people within the next three months, Gregory said.

In Colorado alone, there are more than 600-700 youth aging out of the foster system each year with no support, Gregory said. The Colorado Teen Project serves youth across the Denver-metro area, but a large concentration of them come from Golden and broader Jefferson County, averaging about 70 each year, Gregory said.

“Although we live in a city with a wide range of resources, Golden does not have as many resources targeted for these youth as we might find in downtown Denver,” Gregory said. “It is difficult for youth to navigate the system, and few understand how to utilize Jeffco’s opportunities.
The Colorado Teen Project helps them on their pathway to education, housing, employment and independence.”

Golden Giddyup

Coloradoans take advantage of the outdoors all year round in various capacities.

But for the Golden Giddyup Trails Team, the timing couldn’t be better to receive a grant from the Golden Civic Foundation — the group had an on-the-trail training on March 14, and trail building and restoration projects will continue through the first week of November.

The Golden Giddyup will use the $1,500 it received to purchase trail-building tools.

“We can’t do the work that we do without good tools,” said Al Head, the stewardship coordinator and co-founder of the Golden Giddyup. “The tools will help us complete jobs more efficiently in a way that is less jarring to the human body.”

Following the September 2013 floods, a small group of volunteers got together to figure out a way to reopen Apex Park’s trails. Apex Park is located in Golden with trailheads off Highway 93 and Lookout Mountain Road. The floods forced the entire park to close — all 700 acres, including its nearly 10 miles of trails.

This is the third year for the Golden Giddyup Trails Team to be formally organized and now focuses its efforts at Windy Saddle and North Table Mountain parks, in addition to Apex. The group now consists of about 270 volunteers, and in 2017, they worked 116 days on the trails, totaling more than 3,000 combined work hours.

Along with the trail stewardship program, the Golden Giddyup also puts on an annual mountain bike event in conjunction with a community expo featuring bike demos, live music, beer and food trucks. It takes place this year on Sept. 16 in Lions Park.

“The outdoor pursuits are so much of why people choose to live in Golden,” Head said. “It’s a value that the majority of the people in this town have in common.”


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