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.
At last count, Indy Give! had raised $566,063, but $233,937 was still needed by midnight Dec. 31 to meet the goal of $800,000 for our nonprofit community partners. The campaign will help 58 small, local nonprofits that represent eight major categories of philanthropy, including: animals, arts and culture, a hand up, community building, family, the great outdoors, wellness and youth.
The best way to do your last-minute giving is on our website, but you can also hand-deliver donations or mail them. All donations must be delivered or postmarked no later than Dec. 31.
It's a daisy-chain of giving. Mountain Equipment Recyclers now has a mural in its shop, thanks to local artist Douglas Rouse. But instead of simply paying Rouse for the work, MER will donate $500 to the Trails and Open Space Coalition, an Indy Give! participant.
From the press release:
We met Douglas through mutual friends and asked if he’d create a mural in our store. He knew MER had a greater cause contributing regularly to local non-profits. He quickly agreed to donate his time. Our store is very excited to showcase his work and Trails and Open Space Coalition is appreciative of the $500 boost to their Indy Give efforts.
Rouse, meanwhile, has also just finished a mural on the ceiling of Gasoline Alley, adding another notch to downtown's impressive mural count. See next week's Indy for more on that.
The Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest LGBT civil rights organization, has given Colorado Springs 45 out of 100 points for protecting LGBT rights.
The scorecard is a part of a study of 137 U.S. cities called the Municipal Equality Index. Only one other Colorado city — Denver — was scored. It received 97 points.
The scores were based largely on the presence of friendly laws and policies. For instance, whether the local police department had an LGBT liaison, whether there was a nondiscrimination policy for city employment, and whether the city had a Human Rights Commission. A pdf of the scorecard can be accessed here.
HRC’s New Municipal Equality Index Details the State of LGBT Equality in Two Colorado Cities
First of its kind nationwide evaluation of LGBT inclusion in municipal law and policy finds cities need to do more to protect LGBT employees and citizens
WASHINGTON — A new report on lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) equality in America’s cities by the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest LGBT civil rights organization, rated 137 cities across the nation, including Colorado Springs and Denver. The Municipal Equality Index (MEI), the first ever rating system of LGBT inclusion in municipal law, finds that while many U.S. cities lag behind in protections for LGBT people, some of the most LGBT-friendly policies in the country have been innovated and implemented at the municipal level, including in states with laws that are unfriendly to the LGBT community. The MEI was issued in partnership with the Equality Federation Institute and the Gay and Lesbian Victory Institute. The average score for cities in Colorado is 71 out of 100 points, which exceeds the national average. Colorado Springs earned 45 points and Denver scored 97 points.
Key findings from the MEI create a snapshot of LGBT equality in 137 municipalities of varying sizes drawn from every state in the nation — these include the 50 state capitals, the 50 most populous cities in the country, and the 25 large, 25 mid-size, and 25 small municipalities with the highest proportion of same-sex couples.
The 100-point cities in the MEI serve as shining examples of LGBT inclusivity, with excellent policies ranging from non-discrimination laws, equal employee benefits, and cutting-edge city services. As America moves forward in support of LGBT equality, cities across the country are on the forefront of this movement. Cities in every region of the country are fighting for equality at the most intimate level of government. At the same time, cities across the country also have room for improvement. The MEI articulates a path forward and celebrates the success of cities doing this important work.
MEI at a glance:
Eleven of the 137 cities surveyed earned a perfect score of 100 points — these cities came from both coasts and in between, were of varying sizes, and not all are in states with favorable laws for LGBT people;
A quarter of the cities rated scored over 80 points;
45 percent of cities surveyed obtained a score of 60 or higher;
Nearly a third of cites scored between 40 and 60 points, showing good intentions on behalf of municipal governments but also opportunity for improvement; and
Just under a quarter of the cities scored less than 20 points, including eight cities that scored under ten points and three that scored zero.
The MEI rates cities based on 47 criteria falling under six broad categories:
The municipality’s employment practices;
Inclusiveness of city services;
Law enforcement; and
In today’s world, cities must compete for business and brain power. Research shows that to do this, they must treat their LGBT citizens with dignity and respect. Acclaimed Professor Richard Florida authored the forward for the MEI. Professor Florida is a pioneer in research into how the nurturing of a “creative class” (entrepreneurs, artists and architects, researchers, scientists, engineers, and other professionals) creates prosperous, economically competitive cities.
“State and city leaders in Colorado have taken critical steps to protect gay and transgender people,” said Brad Clark, Executive Director of One Colorado, the state’s leading LGBT advocacy organization. “But more can be done to ensure that LGBT Coloradans have the same chance as anyone else to pursue health and happiness, earn a living free, be safe in their communities, and take care of the ones they love.”
“Our nation is on an irreversible path forward in LGBT equality and local and state-level advocacy ensures our voices are heard in public squares across the country,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “This index gives advocates and municipal lawmakers a potent tool to improve the lives of LGBT people.”
"Advances at the local level are often unheralded, but they are critical to building the momentum we need for statewide and federal victories," said Rebecca Isaacs, Executive Director of Equality Federation Institute. "The Municipal Equality Index not only recognizes the remarkable progress that state equality groups and local partners have made in cities and towns across the country, but is a powerful tool to help push local governments to do better."
"The freedom to be ourselves is most important where we live, work and raise our families. That's why it's so crucial that local and municipal governments understand the need to make life better for LGBT people. We work hard to make sure openly LGBT people participate in government as elected and appointed officials, and the MEI will be a great resource for them," said Chuck Wolfe, president and CEO of the Gay & Lesbian Victory Institute.
The full report, including long form scorecards for every city and a searchable database, is available online at www.hrc.org/mei.
The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.
Each year during the preparation for our Best Of Colorado Springs issues, we ask our writers to suggest "IndyPicks." The idea is to highlight a local business, person or event that deserves recognition in an area that our ballot doesn't cover.
This year, Kendall Kullman suggested we write about Happy Cats Haven, a young nonprofit on 21st Street. We said it sounded great, Kendall wrote up a little something for our "Services" section ... and then we failed to include it in today's print edition.
In hopes of getting Happy Cats the attention that we agreed it deserves, we've added it to our online edition. We're also highlighting it below. If you've got room in your house for a cat, this looks like an excellent place to seek one out.
Happy Cats Haven
1412 S. 21st St., 635-5000, happycatshaven.org
Happy Cats Haven is a no-kill shelter that, in less than a year, has rescued about 180 cats and kittens — while welcoming locals who just need their “cat fix,” as board secretary and volunteer program manager Sherri Albertson puts it. Even if you can’t adopt one, Albertson says, you can come in to pet and snuggle the felines during office hours, four days a week. "It's good for the cats and for the people to have that interaction," she says. Happy Cats will celebrate its first birthday from 2 to 5 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 4, with a party/fundraiser at the Old Colorado City Historic Center. The event is free, but your bids in a silent auction will help keep Albertson and her half-dozen other volunteers in business for 2013 and, hopefully, beyond. — Kendall Kullman
Today, as Facebook and other social media forums are turning their national pages purple in support of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and questioning youth for Spirit Day, Inside Out Youth Services is cheering the local support it received at its annual Ally Up Breakfast yesterday morning — to the tune of $45,000.
More than 350 people gathered Thursday at the Freedom Financial Services Expo Center to raise money for the local advocacy group that provides a safe space and acceptance for LGBTIQ youth. Community members in attendance included City Councilor Jan Martin, firefighter Juliet Draper and House Rep. Pete Lee.
A diverse group of people spoke, including Kelsii, a youth who attends Inside Out; former teacher and Inside Out volunteer Tom Jacobs; and D-11 School Board member Nora Brown. Then Shawna Rae Kemppainen, executive director of Inside Out, introduced Dallas resident David McCrory.
In September 2011, McCrory saw something on Facebook that changed the course of his current life: a comment from A.J., Colorado Springs area-teen, on professional rugby player Ben Cohen's Facebook post about gay teen Jamey Rodemeyer's suicide. A.J. wrote he was sad about Rodomeyer, and that after having been kicked out of his house because of his sexual orientation, he himself felt that he had no other choice except for suicide.
A.J. had been living on the streets for several days and had not eaten anything in two. Many other Facebook users suggested that A.J. call the Trevor Project, billed as "the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning youth." The Trevor Project's main resource is a hotline young people can call if they're considering suicide and need immediate support. As McCrory says, "The Trevor Hotline is great ... but their focus is on immediate psychological help. There was nothing they could do immediately to help get A.J. to a safe place." Instead of idly standing by, McCrory jumped in action.
Immediately McCrory added A.J. on Facebook, obtained his phone number, and assured the teen that he would help him. After calling many services in the Colorado Springs area, McCrory had experienced little luck in finding a safe place for A.J. to spend the night. So he took a different route.
McCrory called a local hotel and used his own points to book a room and get some food vouchers for A.J. The next problem was that A.J. was nowhere near that hospital. Multiple cab services refused to accept McCrory's credit card from over the phone, the police escort was busy that evening, and McCrory didn't know anyone he could call in Colorado Springs to give A.J. a ride.
By this point it was around 10 or 11 in the evening, and McCrory had told many of his friends and family what was happening with this teen from Colorado. McCrory's cousin in Washington state offered to pay for a car service to pick A.J. up and deliver him to the hotel. Once A.J. was there, everyone relaxed for the evening, but McCrory knew that the next day would bring more obstacles.
"When I woke up, I immediately thought: What can I do now?" McCrory remembers. He called an openly gay-friendly church in Colorado Springs and was directed to Inside Out Youth Services. Kemppainen offered to pick A.J. up from the Hilton and take him to Inside Out so they could begin creating a plan for the immediate future.
However, McCrory was still not done. Teaming up with friends and family, McCrory raised more than $300 in gift cards for A.J., since "he didn't have anything except for the clothes on his back." During the next month, the skincare company where McCrory worked found out about A.J. and donated $1,500-plus to last year's Ally Up Breakfast. When matched by the Gill Foundation, it resulted in greater than $3,000 for Inside Out.
When asked today about what caused him to act, it's difficult for McCrory to answer.
"I really believe in the law of attraction and cause-effect," he says. "I think it was a combination of everything that was happening. I had recently started practicing Kabbalah, gone to my first Gay Pride parade in Dallas, and read about Jamey Rodemeyer's suicide. I had to do something."
It's an emotional topic for McCrory especially because he "can't even imagine what A.J. went through, and all without the support of his parents." A.J., now 20, and McCrory remain in contact, but they only met in person yesterday when McCrory arrived in Colorado Springs. "A.J. keeps asking me how he can pay me back, and I just tell him to take care of yourself and one day pay it forward, too."
McCrory's advice to other teens in similar situations is to "trust and know that there are people that want to help you. But you have to make that first step and realize that they are there."
In McCrory's opinion, "our society needs to step up to the plate and help these kids." More than 1.6 million kids/teens are homeless in the United States, and suicide is now the third-largest killer of teens nationally.
Big numbers — but on the flipside, as McCrory says, "Never underestimate what one small act of kindness can do."
In an e-newsletter, the Colorado Springs Pride Center confirmed today that it was burgled on Sept. 11.
The newsletter said that Center employees could not give details about the robbery, because it was an open investigation, but it said that the crime happened in the morning hours before it was open and that the Center was also vandalized. No one was hurt.
The Indy has contacted the police for further information, but has not received a return phone call thus far. This blog will be updated if police provide more information.
The Center did share pictures of the crime:
Pikes Peak Urban Gardens held its first large-scale Garlic Fest fundraiser this past weekend.
There's been garlic classes and garlic ice cream in years past, but nothing of this size — around 300 people at the Harlan Wolfe Ranch.
I've sat on PPUG's advisory board since around the time the nonprofit formed, so I do this blog post with full disclosure that I'm wearing two hats here: reporter and PPUG member.
Wearing the PPUG hat first, I can share that this fundraiser, the nonprofit's largest behind its Indy Give campaign, raised a little over $2,700 this year, which director Larry Stebbins says will go toward the group's next community garden.
That garden will be at the intersection of Mill Street and Cascade Avenue, breaking ground around October's end and serving up to 35 families in that neighborhood.
PPUG's gardening classes continue into the fall, with "How We Had Our Most Successful Garden in Record Heat and Drought" taking place from 10 to 11:30 a.m., Saturday, Oct. 20 at the Horace Mann Middle School Auditorium. The cost is $5.
If you're up for an expansive slideshow of the fest, visit PPUG's Facebook page here and scroll down for my posting.
Now, as a reporter, who co-judged the salsa contest and master chef contest of the fest with Craig Coffey from Fox 21, Teresa Farney from the Gazette, chef Jay Gust from TAPAteria and Hethyr Pletsch from Everyday Gourmet, I'll share some foodie details from the day.
For the master chef competition (utilizing Ranch Foods Direct steaks), I'll borrow Pletsch's wonderful description (from her Facebook page) of the plates and outcome:
Chef Kevin Campbell from Full Circle Cuisine won with an amazing plate of seared NY strip steak drizzled with raspberries reduced in butter and topped with garlic and bone marrow and a side of fingerling potatoes cooked in olive oil and topped with cherry tomatoes and fresh herbs. The other incredible chef, Nate [Dirnberger] from Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, also made an unbelievable plate of tomato-raspberry-rhubarb coulis topped with diced, sautéed potatoes, beets and summer squash, NY strip medallion and edible flowers.
Cheyenne Mountain Zoo's plate is pictured above, and if you watch the slideshow, you'll get a glimpse of Full Circle Cuisine's as well.
What was personally exciting to me was how engaged the crowd was, watching the chefs prepare their dishes. Between the time the secret ingredients were revealed and the clock timed out (around 45 minutes), fest guests were huddled around each chef's station, asking questions and observing the prep work.
No doubt, this was a foodie crowd. And that makes sense, since PPUG's support base (in terms of class attendance, etc.) is a bunch of local people who want to maximize their annual food yields in their own backyards.
To some extent, lots of these folks didn't need the offered video and hands-on tutorial on planting garlic that was offered. But it never hurts to review one's notes and catch up on Stebbins' latest fixation (from cotton bur mulch to bone or blood meal).
Bristol Brewing Co. provided Laughing Lab, Red Rocket and a house root beer, to be paired with a variety of garlic pizzas from Pizzeria Rustica.
UpaDowna provided some kids activities as well as a frisbee golf hole, and it was all set to music powered by the Pikes Peak Community Foundation's Mobile Music Project.
Outside of those groups, a number of cottage industry vendors and growers like A Joyful Noise Farm were present to sell homemade or homegrown goodies.
And once again, The Blue Star chefs prepared a batch of garlic ice cream, which some folks topped with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar from The Olive Tap. In my opinion, this year's batch was more balanced and pleasing to the average eater than last year's more garlic-y concoction, which I still loved for its oddity.
There was also a salsa contest, in which 15 locals entered salsas that had to contain garlic as one ingredient. That was another tough contest for us to judge, with a broad variety of interpretations bearing everything from avocados, peaches and lavender honey to serrano chiles and habañero chiles.
I apologize that amid the activity I was not able to take down the names of the winners, but each is pictured in the slideshow, should they or someone who knows them care to comment to this post with the information.
Tentatively, look for next year's Garlic Fest to move into the new Ivywild community hub, where the attendance will be allowed to grow significantly.
If you are still thinking about planting garlic this year, now's the time, and here's a link on PPUG's website with tips.
Tim Sweeney, president and CEO of the Gill Foundation (which is the parent organization of the Gay and Lesbian Fund for Colorado) will depart at the end of 2013. The Gill Foundation is a big player in Colorado Springs, where it gives to gay-friendly media outlets, and sponsors many events and nonprofits. Through philanthropy and education, the Gill Foundation hopes to increase equality and acceptance of LGBT people.
The Gay and Lesbian Fund headquarters were located on the eastern edge of downtown Colorado Springs until recently, when the Denver-based Gill Foundation shut that office down and turned the building over to Rocky Mountain PBS.
According to staff, Sweeney's decision to leave is personal, and he plans to return to his home in San Francisco. Sweeney is keeping his commitment to Gill's board to provide a year of notice before leaving. The Gill Foundation released the following statement on his departure:
Denver — (September 14, 2012) — Gill Foundation Founder and Board Chair Tim Gill announced today that Tim Sweeney has informed the board he will end his term as president and CEO of the foundation before the end of 2013. The board will lead a search process to identify Sweeney’s replacement.
“Tim Sweeney’s excellent stewardship has placed the Gill Foundation in the strongest position in its history, and we’re grateful for his service to the foundation, the LGBT movement, and our home state of Colorado,” said Gill.
“Leading the Gill Foundation and working with Tim Gill has been a privilege,” said Sweeney. “I have been humbled by Tim’s generosity, and I am proud of what our staff and our board have accomplished together in the past five years. We were leaders in focusing resources on education and advocacy in the states to build national momentum for equality. We helped reimagine federal advocacy to ensure that agencies include LGBT concerns in administrative decisions. We increased the range and depth of non-gay ally organizations working to advance equality. In Colorado, we revitalized LGBT advocacy and helped build a national model for progressive infrastructure.”
“The foundation is positioned well to continue having a tremendous impact on the LGBT movement and on Colorado, and it’s the right time for me, personally, to return to my home in San Francisco and take on new challenges,” said Sweeney.
“Tim Sweeney is a true pioneer in the LGBT movement and not easy to replace,” said Gill. “From working with Harvey Milk in the ‘No on 6’ campaign, to leading organizations like Lambda Legal and Gay Men’s Health Crisis, to his service in philanthropy at the Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund and the Gill Foundation, Tim’s 35 years of exemplary service in the movement has changed the lives of millions of Americans. We asked him to give us a year of transition when he decided to move on, and we appreciate that he has done that.”
“We’re confident that through this transition we will find the right person to lead the foundation into its next phase,” said Gill.
The Gill Foundation is one of the nation’s largest funders of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equal rights work. The foundation has invested more than $220 Million since inception in organizations and programs to achieve its mission of equal opportunity for all Americans, regardless of sexual orientation or gender expression.
Gill Foundation founder Tim Gill also sent this message in regards to Sweeney:
I’d like to share with you an announcement, which I have included below, regarding Tim Sweeney’s planned departure from his post as President and CEO of the Gill Foundation by the end of 2013.
Since creating the Gill Foundation in 1994, I’ve had the privilege to work with a number of outstanding leaders in the movement for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. Tim Sweeney is not only one of the strongest leaders, but also one of the finest people, with whom I have worked.
We’re grateful for his exemplary service, and for his integrity and generosity in helping the foundation through a very deliberate and thoughtful process to identify his replacement.
Thank you, Tim!
Tim Gill, Founder and Chair