Colorado Springs School District 11's extensive summer feeding program will continue this year.
Anyone ages 1 to 18 is invited to eat free at one of many locations — both in neighborhoods and schools. All locations will serve lunch, but only some will serve breakfast.
For a list of locations and hours, check out their press release here: News_Release-FNS-Summer_Program-5-13-13-1.pdf
——- ORIGINAL POST, MAY 7, 5:24 P.M. ——-
Who says there's no such thing as a free lunch? This summer, the meal's free to kids all season long in Harrison School District 2.
Such programs are vital in poorer areas, where children often rely on free school breakfasts and lunches for their nutrition. Expert organizations like Care and Share Food Bank for Southern Colorado have long called summer the hungriest time of the year, because kids can no longer rely on school meal programs.
Read on for more information on Harrison's program:
Any child under the age of 18 currently living in Harrison School District 2 will have access to free meals twice a day this summer.
The Harrison School District Nutrition Services announces the sponsorship of the Summer Food
Service Program. Free meals will be made available to children 18 years of age and younger.
Otero Elementary School
1650 Charmwood, Colorado Springs CO
Centennial Elementary School
1860 S Chelton, Colorado Springs CO
Session One: June 4- June 28, 2013
Session Two: July 9- August 2, 2013
Breakfast: 8:15 - 9:00am
Lunch: 12:15 - 12:45pm
Breakfast and Lunch will be served daily, Monday through Friday. Adult meals are available for
Yesterday the Pikes Peak Road Runners hosted a 5k to honor the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings. Stephanie Wurtz, coordinator of the quickly organized event, estimates that 400 to 500 runners came out. And though participation required no registration fee or purchase of any kind, they were able to raise approximately $500 for onefundboston.org, which financially assists those affected by the tragedy and, at the time of this blog, had raised more than $29 million.
Some local runners in attendance had actually participated in this year's Boston Marathon, and all runners were encouraged to sign a banner which will make its way to the Boston Athletic Association, which hosts the marathon.
Michael Hannigan sounded an alarm earlier this month, as the Pikes Peak Community Foundation’s executive director warned everyone that the storied Venetucci Farm might not have water for its crops, livestock or pumpkins in 2013.
“We have to do whatever we can to save this farm,” Hannigan said in the Between the Lines column of the Indy’s April 10 issue.
Friday, Hannigan announced that the crisis has been averted, allowing Venetucci to continue its normal farming operations in 2013.
We have a call in to Hannigan, but here are the details from a Facebook posting as well as a release:
We are thrilled to announce that the water needed to maintain Venetucci Farm for 2013 has been secured!
- File photo
- And with pumpkins comes ...
The community responded with a wonderful outpouring of donations and connections, which resulted in finding augmentation water to lease.
JV Ranches, which is owned by Sheila Venezia and her family, came to the rescue. Longtime residents of the Pikes Peak region, Sheila and her children, Dean, Kathleen, Rosemarie and other family members toured the Farm to learn what was needed. Almost immediately after the visit, they agreed to transfer some of their water to be converted to augmentation water and credited to Venetucci Farm.
Now, in 2013, the Farm will be able to grow healthy food for the community and lots of pumpkins for kids.
In addition, two other entities have since stepped up to lease additional water to the Farm. Special thanks are also in order for Al Testa and the Colorado Centre Metropolitan District, along with Perry Thompson of Osage Capital.
In March, Venetucci Farm faced a serious crisis when farm managers learned that there would be no “augmentation water” designated for the property during 2013. Under Colorado law, farms that rely on using their ground water rights to pump water for irrigating crops must purchase “augmentation water” — water that is allowed to flow back into the aquifer or down Fountain Creek.
Venetucci Farm is already looking at multiple options to secure water for 2014 and beyond. Farm manager Patrick Hamilton said: “We have identified several alternatives for a permanent source of augmentation water for the Farm. We look forward to working with the community to secure the augmentation water needed for the Farm’s future water needs, and to ensure Venetucci Farm is around for generations to come.”
Spring planting is already underway. And, most importantly, we can now gear up for the Summer 2013 “Raise The Barn” initiative to raise money for a beautiful, functional, multi-use (and much-needed) barn for the Farm. Stay tuned for more news about that important project in the near future!
"I am for the children who were originally adopted from a Russian orphanage, who were frightened and hurting because their adoptive parents abused and neglected them, " the woman on stage told the crowd of hundreds at the Antlers Hilton today.
"[They] were poorly fed, locked in a room and physically abused."
The woman — Judy Thompson — is a Court Appointed Special Advocate, or CASA, one of the many volunteers and employees of CASA of the Pikes Peak Region that together have helped over 9,000 kids in conflict over 23 years. Many of the kids were abused. CASA highlighted those achievements, and announced an initiative to help even more kids, at today's CASA Light of Hope luncheon.
Kristofer and Olivia, who are grade schoolers, were in dire straights when Thompson came along. She was able to get the kids important resources like therapy, and speak on their behalf in court. Because of her advocacy, the kids were permanently removed from their adoptive home, where it was discovered they had often been locked in a cold room with a plastic sheet on the floor for them to urinate and defecate on — a room the children dubbed "the nasty room."
Severely traumatized, Kristofer and Olivia were adopted by a couple that originally thought the kids would be too big a burden for them. After fostering the siblings, however, they fell in love.
The siblings also took the stage at the CASA luncheon, chattering on about normal kid stuff like sports and playing dress-up. There was barely a sign that the two had gone through so much, until Kristofer mentioned that he was highly impressed that all the kids at his new home had their own beds.
CASA executive director Trudy Strewler Hodges says she wants to create more happy endings for local kids. In many cases, that means helping parents to provide a safer environment for their children. In other cases, like Kristofer and Olivia's, it means finding them a new home.
"Without safety, seldom can children achieve the wishes and dreams that they have and reach their full potential," Hodges says. "These hopes and dreams ought not to be reserved for just some children. Every child is deserving of a chance to feel loved, and to be safe, and to be able to dream about their futures."
With that in mind, Hodges is launching an ambitious program to expand the organization's reach. The aim is to provide every local child in need with a CASA by 2020.
"I don't know when I've been more excited about a initiative," Hodges says. "I know that we can get there."
Still, the goal is a long way off. CASA volunteers generally represent only one child, and currently there are only enough volunteers to serve about 40 percent of area kids in need of the help.
Hodges says part of the initiative is switching to a more efficient model this year: Appointing long-term volunteers as "peer-coordinators," who can mentor and train new volunteers.
Of course, the other part of the puzzle is recruiting more volunteers and bringing in more funding. Those that want to help can go to www.casappr.org.
Citizens Project hopes a provocative new ad campaign will turn heads.
Executive director Kristy Milligan says the new ads were modeled after the "before and after" clues on Wheel of Fortune. The idea was to put a focus on the transformation of Colorado Springs from the center of the "hate state" to a more progressive and accepting place to live.
“It was actually a little bit controversial, even with our board,” Milligan says of the ads. “I think that it will be kind of provocative for many people, and kind of pull some strings for people, and we’re prepared for that.”
Some of the ads:
As the proud auntie of a baby nephew, I'm aware of how quickly tiny tikes move through merchandise. Those adorable overalls I bought him? Too small within a couple months. The toy he was fascinated with in March? So passe in April.
So I was actually sort of surprised to see that Springs Rescue Mission is hurting for baby and toddler gear. I see only two possible explanations:
1) Every parent has a garage packed down with thousands of dollars worth of baby gear they'll never use again.
2) People don't realize that ever since the recession, the growth in homelessness has really been in families. Sadly, foreclosures and unemployment have left many kids without a home.
So hey, if you've got a packed garage, this is the time to unload it.
Springs Rescue Mission (SRM) has launched a Baby and Toddler Supplies Drive to run through mid-June of this year. SRM President & CEO Rev. Joe Vazquez announced the drive Monday, April 22.
“Babies and toddlers clearly make up one of the most vulnerable groups in our community,” Rev. Vazquez said. “Add any challenge to a household budget — a medical bill, overdue utilities, a hike in gasoline or grocery prices — and vulnerable children become at-risk children.
“Supplies for this precious group of kids have proven to be crucial not only for the children but also for their families. The expenses to help ensure that a small child thrives can represent a significant part of a young family’s income. Any help that we can direct toward these children and their families will make a huge difference for them as they enter the summer months.”
Needed items include baby and toddler clothing, up-to-date car seats, baby food, baby wipes, baby soap and shampoo, baby and toddler toys, and diapers of all sizes. The community is invited to drop off these supplies on weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in front of the Springs Rescue Mission administration building, located at 5 West Las Vegas Street in Colorado Springs. The supplies will then be taken to the Mission’s Supportive Family Services for distribution.
Today, the Bee Vradenburg Foundation announced its new executive director, David Siegel, a Manitou Springs native who many already know from his music gigs about town either solo or with the jazz group Mango Fan Django.
Siegel, 23, will take up the job vacated by Susan Edmondson, who left earlier this year to lead the Downtown Partnership. Currently, Siegel works as a program associate for the El Pomar Foundation, and will work only part-time at Bee Vradenburg and El Pomar until January 2014, when he'll go full-time at the former.
Siegel was chosen over 50 other applicants, says the press release, adding that his local knowledge helped him land the job. Said board president Phil Kendall, "David brings a lifelong passion for the arts and commitment to this region."
Get Involved didn't make it into the paper this week, so here it is — a trio of ways you can help your community.
• Sign up for a one-day workshop on the First Amendment and religious freedom in public schools. The event is designed for teachers, students, administrators and school staff and board members, however it is open to the public.
Citizens’ Religious Freedom Institute
Saturday, April 6, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
University of the Rockies, 555 E. Pikes Peak Ave., $25
Contact: 520-9899, citizensproject.org
• Attend a two-day conference focused on “issues of citizen science, water-friendly futures and winter recreation,” with keynote speaker former Colorado governor Richard Lamm, who will discuss the 1976 Winter Olympics controversy and the roots of environmentalism in the state. Go online for full agenda.
State of the Rockies Conference
Colorado College’s Cornerstone Arts Center, 825 N. Nevada Ave., free
• Learn more about what you can do for CASA, which works as child advocates in the court system.
CASA of the Pikes Peak Region volunteer call
Contact: 447-9898, ext. 1033, casappr.org
Get Involved didn't make it into the paper this week, but here are the three ways you can help out the community:
Attend this fun run or walk to help raise money for pediatric brain tumor research. Runners will be timed, but this is also a family event, with vendors, music and food. You can also donate and run remotely, go online for more information.
Annual Running for Rachael Brain Booster 5K
Saturday, March 30, 10 a.m. (9 a.m. for same-day registration)
United States Air Force Academy Cadet Field House, 2169 Field House Drive, $25-$30
Contact: 646-2234, rroh.org
Learn the particulars of the NeuStream-S scrubber proposed for the Martin Drake Power Plant by Neumann Systems Group, Inc., which says that its product will help remove toxic metals and chemicals from the air that can later be used for fertilizer or building materials. RSVP by April 8 to attend.
“Heritage Lecture: Converting Pollutants to Products from Coal-Fired Power Plants”
Thursday, April 11, 6 p.m.
Western Museum of Mining & Industry, 225 Northgate Blvd., free
Contact: 488-0880, wmmi.org
Sign up to host Olympic-hopeful distance runners relocating to Colorado to train with ADP, a local nonproft. Call or go online for more information.
American Distance Project volunteer call
Contact: 704/408-6258, americandistanceproject.com
We’re pleased to announce that applications for nonprofits interested in participating in the 2013 Give! campaign are available from tomorrow, March 1, through March 31.
Any 501(c)3 that serves the Pikes Peak region is encouraged to apply online here. (Please note this link will only be live during the application period.)
Over the last four years, Give! has funneled $2.3 million directly to 96 local nonprofits while giving them access to matching grants, media exposure and dozens of hands-on training opportunities from local and regional experts.
March 7 at noon: Bring brown bag lunch; drinks provided
March 19 at 8:30 a.m.: Coffee provided
Check the Independent and csindy.com for updates, or watch FOX 21 News TONIGHT at 6:30 p.m. to get the details. Questions? Reach the entire Give! team at email@example.com.
Big thanks to our friends at Luce Research for developing and hosting the application again this year, and to our friends at the Independent, the Colorado Springs Business Journal and FOX 21 News, for helping spread the word!
Reposted by permission of indygive.com.
But get your mind out of the truck stop for a second, because the "Hot Chicks of Waldo Canyon Calendar" isn't likely to be hidden under anyone's mattress anytime soon.
The subject of this calendar is real chicks — as in chickens. And though they felt the heat from the Waldo Canyon Fire, they are quite comfortable these days (and grateful not to be coated in oil) thanks to the heroic actions of some friendly out-of-state firefighters.
Joy Love tells the story of how firefighters kept her family's chickens safe during Colorado Springs' darkest hour here.
Love has gone on to create a calendar featuring the lucky birds. A portion of the proceeds from the sales will go the charity.
“Hot Chicks” of Waldo Canyon release 2013 calendar
Calendar features — and benefits — local heroes
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (February 25, 2013) - Chickens that were rescued during the Waldo Canyon Fire have emerged as local celebrities yet again, this time as models in a 2013 calendar.
Waldo Canyon’s “Hot Chicks” were rescued by local and national firefighters, who kept the chickens alive while battling the blaze in Mountain Shadows.
“These courageous firefighters saved our home — and then they went beyond their call of duty. They took the time to feed and water our chickens for days as the firefighting continued,” explains Joy Love, owner of the “Hot Chicks” and founder of From the Ashes Media. “When we returned to our home, we were overwhelmed by the incredible first responders, military and volunteers who showed humanity by taking care of a few lowly chickens.”
The 2013 calendar features photographs of the “Hot Chicks” with first responders and other heroes of the Waldo Canyon Fire, including Colorado Springs Utilities, The Red Cross and the Mining Exchange Hotel.
A portion of proceeds will be used to support victims of the Waldo Canyon Fire, as well as organizations that responded with support during Colorado Springs’ worst natural disaster.
Get Involved didn't make it into the paper this week, so here we're posting three ways you can get active in the community:
• A luncheon with local sustainability specialists who will discuss economic, environmental and social benefits for the region. RSVPs recommended.
“Achieving Sustainable Development in Colorado Springs”
Friday, Feb. 15, 11:30 a.m.
Colorado Springs Utilities Conservation and Environmental Center, 2855 Mesa Road, free
Contact: 471-0910 ext. 106, firstname.lastname@example.org, catamountinstitute.org/events
• Register for this kid-focused conference for educators, social workers, counselors and others.
Standing Up to Bullying
RSVP by Feb. 19 for the Feb. 27-28 conference
Sundance Mountain Lodge, 1865 Woodmoor Drive, Monument, $35
Contact: 866/544-4075, standinguptobullyingconference.com
• Attend this gathering hosted by Mayor Steve Bach.
Town Hall 2013
Tuesday, Feb. 19, 6:30 p.m.
Old Colorado City Historic Center, 1 S. 24th St.
Contact: 385-5906, tinyurl.com/a5wobyo
With your help, the 58 mostly very small, local nonprofits participating in the 2012 Give! campaign raised more than $980,000 via 8,000 individual donations and 183 matching and challenge grants in just 60 days.
Thanks to everyone’s effort, we smashed what we thought would be an ambitious goal to break $800,000!
Totals raised by individual groups were released in the Wednesday, Jan. 30 issue of the Independent and then celebrated that evening at an applause- and laughter-filled check ceremony at Penrose House's El Pomar Pavilion. Pictures of the event are courtesy of Cayton Photography.
We are grateful to the 22 outstanding media outlets that partnered with Give! to allow our Class of 2012 to reap the benefits of appearing in more than 250 TV, radio and print stories during November and December 2012.
All small nonprofits serving the Pikes Peak Region are encouraged to apply to participate in Give! 2013. Application information will be published in the Indy in early March.
For complete numbers, pictures, and things to celebrate, download the four-page Give! 2012 report to the community here!
Get Involved didn't make it into the paper this week, so here we're posting two ways you can get active in the community:
• Attend this community lunch discussing Latino leadership and other issues, including the “fiscal cliff,” with keynote speaker David Armijo, lead multicultural business development manager for H&R Block. RSVP to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Latino Community Luncheon
Wednesday, Jan. 9, 11:30 a.m.
Clarion Hotel, 314 W. Bijou St., $18 (before noon, Jan. 7), $20 (after noon Jan. 7)
• Sign up to help local kids learn to read in this one-on-one tutoring program. Volunteers must be 14 or older and be able to commit to two hours per week of tutoring. Call or go online for orientation information and more.
Children’s Literacy Center call for volunteers
New tutor training, Tuesday, Jan. 22
Contact: 471-8672, childrensliteracycenter.org
A note from Indy general manager Carrie Simison-Bitz:
As we prepared to close the Indy offices today at 5:30 p.m., Give! had raised $659,543 from 7,362 unique donors. However, the Give! countdown continues until midnight tonight*, New Year's Eve. The goal is to raise $800,000 for 58 deserving Pikes Peak-area nonprofits.
If you have a little extra money to spare, an impassioned itch you need scratched, or you just want to be one of the 7,000-plus people who helped make Give! 2012 an enormous success, please visit indygive.com before MIDNIGHT tonight. The minimum donation is $10, and $50 or more lets you select a package of great rewards for yourself or to give away.
Just make sure you are at the donation page before MIDNIGHT so your donation counts!
And please accept our thanks. The Pikes Peak region has again shown great generosity and caring in supporting the amazing nonprofits that make our village a better place to live and play.
*When indygive.com freezes at midnight, the numbers will not quite be final. We still have to apply any mailed donations that were postmarked by today, and around $300,000 in earned matching and challenge grants. By early next week, we should have a complete accounting of Give! 2012.