The elephants need to roam. And thanks in part to the Inasmuch Foundation, they'll be able to do that soon.
As part of the $320,968 total the foundation is donating to various groups in Colorado Springs, a $250,000 grant has been presented to the Cheyenne Mountain Zoological Society to help with its Encounter Africa campaign.
The foundation has donated to the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in the past for projects such as Rocky Mountain Wild, an exhibit that showcases wildlife in its natural setting, but this donation is the most substantial it's made to the zoo so far.
"This grant is one of the largest grants made in the Colorado Springs community by the foundation," said Barbara Yalich, Inasmuch Foundation advisory board member, in a press release from the Inasmuch Foundation. "It is our belief that the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is one of our most important community assets and is an extremely well-managed nonprofit organization with dedicated volunteers and an excellent staff."
The zoo is opening something new every year for the next few years, like the new barn this summer and the exhibit yard next year. Cheyenne Mountain Zoo public relations manager Katie Borremans says that with this grant, the zoo has raised $10.2 million in its $13.5 million capital campaign. (For more information on the project, visit the zoo's http://www.cmzoo.org/exhibitsAttractions/encounterAfrica/" TARGET="_blank">website, or this previous blog entry.)
"A gift like this just means so much to the zoo family and all the animals as well," says Borremans.
Along with the grant to the Cheyenne Mountain Zoological Society, the following grants were also awarded, according to a release from the foundation:
* $10,000 to Kidpower of Colorado for an empowerment program for children attending low-income, at-risk elementary schools in Colorado Springs and the Pikes Peak Region.
* $10,000 to Partners in Housing for the Homeless Self-Sufficiency Program, a two-year program to help homeless families attain permanent housing, education, employment and family stability.
* $10,000 to Women's Resource Agency for the Dress for Success program, providing women with job resources and training; and for InterCept, a school-based prevention program for at-risk girls.
* $6,000 to Chamber Orchestra of the Springs for community outreach projects.
* $5,000 to Community Partnership for Child Development for support of comprehensive services for 3-5 year-old children and their families in the Colorado Preschool Program.
* $5,000 to Greccio Housing for Resident Enrichment Services, providing a comprehensive network of individualized support to residents.
* $5,000 to Mental Health America of Pikes Peak Region for recruitment of licensed behavioral health professionals who volunteer their time to provide mental health services to children.
* $5,000 to Open Bible Baptist Church for purchase of medical supplies, pharmaceuticals, software and volunteer recruitment.
* $5,000 to Ronald McDonald House Charities of Southern Colorado for the Care Mobile in collaboration with Peak Vista Community Health Centers. The 40-foot mobile clinic provides both primary medical and dental care to underserved children.
* $5,000 to Rocky Mountain Field Institute for Garden of the Gods Community Stewardship and Restoration Program, a community-based volunteer program to involve the community directly in the park's stewardship.
* $4,968 to El Paso County Public Health for the Cribs for Kids program. Pack-N-Play portable cribs will be provided to low-income parents who cannot afford to purchase a crib as a safe sleep environment for their infants.
The Inasmuch Foundation was founded in 1982 by Edith Kinney Gaylord, a Colorado College graduate, journalist and philanthropist from Oklahoma City. Around here, Gaylord has been known as a CC trustee and one of the college's greatest benefactors, and her generosity was celebrated when CC inaugurated the Edith Kinney Gaylord Cornerstone Arts Center a few years ago. (Inasmuch gave $10 million for the project.)
But she was also known as Oklahoma's "quiet philanthropist," since she often made anonymous donations to those in need, according to the Inasmuch Foundation website. In establishing the foundation, Gaylord chose the word "inasmuch" from the Gospel of Saint Matthew in the King James version of the Bible, in which Jesus says, "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these, my brethren, ye have done it unto me." She felt that the word embodied the purpose of the foundation — "an institution created to aid in the betterment of our communities," according to the website.