Climax Fund Grants $600,000 to Area Non-Profits
There was no shortage of big smiles and gratitude in Room 701 at Colorado Mountain College in Leadville on Tuesday, April 29, as over $600,000 in grant monies were distributed to area nonprofits by the Freeport-McMoRan Foundation.
Now in its third year since the fund was established to benefit the four county region of Lake, Summit, Chaffee, and Eagle Counties, the Climax Area Community Investment Fund was granted a total of $1.6 million dollars in funding to local non-profit entities.
Recognizing organizations with a vision for a sustainable future in the areas of education, economic development, environmental stewardship, health and wellness, citizen involvement and transportation, the foundation announced the 2014 grant recipients on Tuesday.
“Over the past three years, the Community Investment Fund has provided the opportunity for the community members to be directly involved in the decision making process to award funds for projects that help shape the future of the region”, said Tracy Bame, President of the Freeport-McMoRan Foundation.
The Climax Area Community Investment Fund was established in 2011 to focus on programs and projects that create a sustainable community benefit. It is administered by a committee comprised of community leaders selected by the Climax Area Community Partnership Panel. This Panel was established by Freeport-McMoRan in 2008 to foster open and ongoing dialogue with the community, allowing the company and the community to work together to develop thoughtful solutions that address community issues.
“We have been so pleased that the Investment Committee members have embraced the role of seeking, cultivating and supporting projects that will create lasting benefits that lead to sustainability. We thank them for their leadership, dedication and suggestions that have further strengthened the process. Our primary goal for the Investment Fund is to empower the community to determine the projects that yield the results of greatest value for the citizens in the region.”
The 2014 grant recipients include (Leadville/Lake County listed first):
Cloud City Conservation Center – $37,500 Funds will be used in an effort to promote awareness and increase public access to the recycling capacity in Lake County. Two additional recycling drop-sites will be added, allowing for easier access to both trash and recycling disposal. In addition the purchase of a storage structure and baler with a conveyer belt will allow for more effective processing and will increase the amount of storage for material. The increase in recycling revenue will help cover maintenance and transportation costs and help create a sustainable funding stream for the Lake County recycling program.
Full Circle of Lake County – $20,000 Funds will allow the organization to expand prevention strategies to reduce childhood obesity. The program will engage with multiple partners to increase physical activity opportunities and healthy food options for Lake County youth and families. Through increased awareness about healthy living, nutrition and physical activity programs the overall health of the community can be improved with the goal of reducing the burden on healthcare in the longer term.
Lake County Middle School – $100,000 Grant funds will assist the Lake County Middle School in renovating its playground, contributing to Leadville’s ongoing revitalization by providing Lake County students, citizens and visitors with a new, safer, ADA-compliant recreational amenity and outdoor classroom. The new playground will help to increase opportunities for physical activity and recreation leading to improved educational and economic activity in the County.
Blue River Watershed Group – $50,000 Funds will provide for continued restoration activity on 1,200 feet of the Tenmile Creek in Summit County. The improvements will help to sustain long-term benefits to the stream as well as downstream users through stream flow improvement, additional wetlands and increased floodplain connectivity enhancing the overall habitat, scenery and recreational opportunities on this portion of Tenmile Creek. This grant continues a commitment previously made by Climax Molybdenum to support the ongoing improvement and management of water quality in Tenmile Creek, representing a long-term partnership within the Tenmile Basin.
Boys & Girls Club of Chaffee County – $20,000 Program funding will assist in expanding the Healthy Summer Foods Program in Chaffee County. The program will provide local youth with free, nutritious lunches and support working families during the summer of 2014. By providing access to healthy meals and physical activity during the summer months, the health and well-being of the community improves.
Bright Futures Foundation – $15,000 Funding will support core emergency services at the Freedom Ranch Safehouse in Eagle County through the Advocates Against Assault program. These funds provide protection for victims as well as additional services to facilitate long-term recovery and ultimately self-sufficiency for clients.
Bristlecone Foundation – $10,000 The grant will fund the implementation of a Meditech Electronic Health Record System (HER) which will improve patient care and safety, reduce hospital re-admissions and provide health care resources in under-served rural areas that lack access to care. The new system will support medical visits to home-bound patients, increasing their ability to remain in their homes through access to basic healthcare needs.
Town of Buena Vista – $40,000 Program funding will allow the Town of Buena Vista to access and leverage additional dollars for the “Gateway Plaza” project, a multi-partnered community effort to revitalize the business corridor. The project’s goal is to serve as a catalyst for future sustainable economic development opportunities, helping to increase future tax base through new and expanded local businesses.
CASA of the Continental Divide – $10,000 Program funding will support CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) in creating a social media strategy to improve the organization’s overall web and social media presence. The increased presence will provide opportunities to promote the mission and vision of the organization, while encouraging volunteerism in the region and ultimately protection and advocacy for children that supports their productive growth and development.
Chaffee County Habitat for Humanity – $60,000 The grant will provide additional financial resources needed to build affordable, quality homes to qualified families as they transition into sustainable, community built housing units, along with increasing their financial literacy and understanding of home ownership. Additionally, civic engagement will be increased by the involvement of community members, low-income families, interns and vocational participants as they volunteer in constructing homes to help address the issue of affordable housing in Chaffee County.
Colorado Fourteeners – $10,000 The grant will support the ongoing efforts of the Colorado Fourteeners Initiative’s “Adopt a Peak” program which seeks to engage volunteers in the maintenance of hiking trails on Colorado’s 14,000 foot peaks located in Lake, Summit, Chaffee and Eagle Counties. The resulting trail reconstruction, restoration and maintenance allow the thousands of hikers to enjoy these trails providing increased economic activities and improved environmental sustainability.
Easter Seals Colorado – $10,000 This grant will help with continued support of Camp Summit and its effort to serve children with disabilities and their families through a specialized summer camp. The program will also provide continued workforce skills training for Summit County educators and recreational staff to improve their ability to serve this population.
High Country Conservation Center – $40,000 Funds will support the expansion of a student-run farm share program. Working with students from the Colorado Mountain College, the project will include building a new community greenhouse at the Breckenridge campus, while engaging students in local food production. The project meets a need for fresh, healthy food grown sustainably, locally and readily available in Summit County, particularly for low-income families.
Junior Achievement of Colorado – $15,000 The grant will provide funding for Junior Achievement to expand its program in Eagle County to train students to be prepared to meet 21st Century skills and industry demands by teaching the relevance of academic subjects and workplace skills necessary for success.
Keystone Science School – $30,000 The Coordinated Approach to Children’s Health (CATCH) Kids Club will be funded to assist Keystone Science School in providing affordable, quality afterschool care for elementary age children. This afterschool program is designed to promote healthy physical activity and educate program participants in the areas of health and nutrition. In addition, this program allows working parents the opportunity to improve their job security by increasing the capacity to work full days and reduce the stress of finding consistent afterschool care.
Land Trust of the Upper Arkansas – $35,000 The program funding will allow the organization to provide public fishing access on 550 acres of conservation easement on the Arkansas River public fishing area. The Protecting Headwaters Ranch project facilitates the conservation of important wildlife habitat on the Arkansas River at the Headwaters while also providing a public recreation activity important to the area.
Summit Community Care Clinic – $87,500 The grant will assist in the development of an electronic application process to help enhance insurance outreach by providing staff to assist uninsured patients to enroll in Medicaid or to purchase Marketplace Insurance products. This will help to improve the efficiency and long-term sustainability of the clinic by reducing the backlog of patients. Staff will also receive additional training allowing for more cross-coverage of positions, providing further efficiencies and stability for the clinic and in turn, improvement in health care for the patients.
Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado – $10,000 Funds will be used to support the 2014 Central Mountains Outdoor Stewardship Projects and the effort to engage local citizens in environmental stewardship projects in Lake, Summit, Chaffee and Eagle Counties.
More information about the Community Investment Fund and other Freeport-McMoRan community projects may be obtained by contacting Tara Hosick at Tara_Hosick@fmi.com or 303-960-8048.