GOCO awards nearly $700,000 to El Paso County outdoor recreation projects
DENVER – The Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) Board awarded three grants totaling $699,413 Thursday to El Paso County communities. The City of Manitou Springs received $80,500 for the reconstruction of the public baby pool. El Paso County was awarded a $343,913 grant on behalf of the Ellicott School District to expand sports fields and a $275,000 grant for the county fairgrounds.
In Manitou, the existing pool for the city’s youngest swimmers is 44 years old, with unsafe and grossly inefficient structural issues. The pool, which is part of the larger community aquatic center, currently leaks beyond what yearly patching can fix. The pool was also designed with a hole built into one end that presents additional safety issues.
After having to turn away half of the families wanting to use the pool, GOCO funding will allow Manitou to accommodate up to 40 children. The larger pool also means new swimming classes for babies and preschool children. The GOCO grant will also build a kid-sized entry to the pool and update plumbing.
Manitou aims to have the project finished in fall 2016, aided by the local swim team that raised $1,000 for the new pool and will assist with minor construction and clean-up. Troop 18 of the Boy Scouts of America has also offered their support, including an Eagle Scout hopeful interested in the project.
In Ellicott, the school district partnered with El Paso County to receive funding for new sports fields. The current fields are at capacity, with football, baseball, and soccer all sharing fields. Expanding the athletic fields will impact the more than 1,000 students at the shared elementary, middle, and high school campus.
The school district site also serves as a community gathering place in this rural, unincorporated area of El Paso County. Many families of students come from nearby Schriever Air Force Base, and the school district serves a diverse, low-income population; 70 percent of students are on free and reduced lunch.
In addition to accommodating more student athletes, the new fields will also create the opportunity for outdoor science classes and will be used by Ellicott Metro District sports leagues. Sports fields at the school district site are the only public fields in the community.
Students will help with fundraising efforts for soccer nets and bleachers, with the school district hoping to have the project finished by September 2016.
In another rural El Paso community, the county fairgrounds will be getting a facelift to incorporate more outdoor recreation options. Located just south of Calhan, the fairgrounds support a variety of programming including El Paso County 4H, Calhan Schools, Eastern El Paso County Senior Services, and more.
Existing facilities at the fairgrounds are geared primarily toward agricultural and equestrian programming and the county fair, but the county intends to create a year-round hub for residents across the county. GOCO funding will construct an open-air pavilion, playground, splash pad, shade and landscaping, and picnic tables in addition to bringing electricity to the fairgrounds campground, fixing drainage issues on the dirt race track, and improving accessibility to the entrance.
The new pavilion will host events, including environmental educational programming, for up to 400 people, and the new playground and splash pad will be ADA-compliant. The county anticipates finishing the upgrades in September 2017 with the help of local boy scouts and 4-H members.
To date, GOCO has invested nearly $51 million in El Paso County has conserved more than 8,000 acres of land. GOCO funding has supported the reconstruction of the Manitou Incline, flood restoration at Harlan Wolf Park , and recovery from the Black Forest Fire. The Pikes Peak Region was also recently named a GOCO Inspire pilot community and will be part of a $25 million initiative to get kids outside.
Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) invests a portion of Colorado Lottery proceeds to help preserve and enhance the state’s parks, trails, wildlife, rivers and open spaces. GOCO’s independent board awards competitive grants to local governments and land trusts, and makes investments through Colorado Parks and Wildlife. Created when voters approved a Constitutional Amendment in 1992, GOCO has since funded more than 4,700 projects in urban and rural areas in all 64 counties without any tax dollar support. Visit goco.org for more information.
Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) is a leader in nonprofit transparency and the public reporting of the organization's independent financial audits. We are an open book. We owe that to those who support us and to those we serve - wounded warriors.—————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————
The chair of Wounded Warrior Project's Audit Committee, Richard M. Jones, a prominent tax attorney and certified public accountant, is the Executive Vice President, General Tax Counsel, and Chief Veteran Officer at CBS Corporation. Mr. Jones stands by our financial statements, our reporting methods, our public filings, and our independent audits.
CBS News did not reach out to Mr. Jones prior to airing a story with false information about our finances.
Wounded Warrior Project provides more than 20 needs-specific, free programs and services to more than 83,000 wounded veterans, who we call Alumni, and more than 15,000 family support members. We are constantly expanding our services to better support warriors. We just launched the Warrior Care NetworkT to help provide world-class mental health care for wounded veterans. Warrior Care Network represents a $100 million investment to ensure warriors struggling with the hidden wounds of war get the help they need. We have already committed $110 million to our long-term support initiatives - the Independence Program and Long-Term Support Trust - two programs that directly help the most severely injured veterans.
To be clear, Wounded Warrior Project is trusted by nearly 100,000 veterans, their caregivers, and families, to provide them with critical care programs and services every day. Alumni regularly praise our organization for making a life-altering impact. The demand for our services continues to grow as evidenced by the more than 1,200 new registrations we receive from the wounded each month. And, we are proud to welcome so many of our Alumni as WWP staff. Their belief in - and passion for - who we are, what we do, and why it matters, is evidenced in their very lives.
Many people like to talk about the need to support wounded warriors - Wounded Warrior Project is actually doing it - every day and in record numbers.
As for the Daily Beast, I am not familiar with any new reporting from them.
Former employees say spending has skyrocketed since Steven Nardizzi took over as CEO in 2009. Many point to the 2014 annual meeting at a luxury resort in Colorado Springs as typical of his style.The story is accompanied by a photo of The Broadmoor.
"He rappelled down the side of a building at one of the all hands events. He's come in on a Segway, he's come in on a horse."
About 500 staff members attended the four-day conference in Colorado. The price tag? About $3 million.
"Donors don't want you to have a $2,500 bar tab. Donors don't want you to fly every staff member once a year to some five-star resort and whoop it up and call it team building," said Millette.
Wounded Warrior USA, a small Colorado charity with a $15,000 operating budget, had a Wounded Warrior Project lawyer reach out to them to demand they change the free clip art they were using as a label on coffee packages they were using for fundraising. “They got really nasty with us,” said Wounded Warrior USA founder Dave Bryant.According to the WWP tax report for the most recent year available, the only Colorado entity receiving money from the parent organization was the Vail Veterans Foundation, which received $100,000.
For more than 10 years prior to joining WWP, Steve worked as an attorney representing disabled veterans for several veterans service organizations. He spent nine years with the Eastern Paralyzed Veterans Association (EPVA), taking on increasingly responsible roles. He eventually became director of EPVA’s benefits service department and subsequently served as associate executive director of member services.Read the 990 tax form here:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 40+ People Choose to Sleep Out in the Cold Thursday To Bring Youth in from the Cold This Winter
November 9, 2015, Colorado Springs, Colorado – Between 40 to 50 people are volunteering to sleep outside in freezing weather on November 12 in order to bring attention to the issue of youth homelessness. Urban Peak Colorado Springs’ Night Out to End Youth Homelessness happens during November, National Runaway and Homeless Youth Month.
Volunteers sponsor their “night out” by raising money and taking part in a learning experience aimed at creating awareness about some of the challenges youth face when trying to exit homelessness. Among those sleeping out include the Manitou Springs High School’s Gay Straight and Transgender Alliance, the youth pastor from First United Methodist Church, and the CEO of the Colorado Springs Downtown Partnership.
Night Out To End Youth Homelessness 2015 — Event Details
What Urban Peak Colorado Springs Night Out to End Youth Homelessness
Between 40 to 50 people sleep outside in freezing weather to raise awareness
about youth homelessness and to raise money for Urban Peak’s youth shelter.
When Thursday November 12th at 6pm to Friday November 13th at 6am
(Sleepers head outside for the night at approx. 9pm Thursday)
Where First United Methodist Church
420 North Nevada Avenue, Colorado Springs, CO 80903
Why To help hundreds of youth experiencing homelessness in our community by supporting Urban Peak Colorado Springs shelter program. Donations can be made at https://www.coloradogives.org/UPCS
No tents are allowed during the night out, so people will use sleeping bags, cardboard boxes, and tarps to weather the night in the elements. “We know youth in the experience of homelessness do not have the fancy sleeping bags and warm clothes that we’ll have,” says Shawna Kemppainen, executive director of Urban Peak. “We don’t pretend it’s just like spending a night in the shoes of one of our youth. Instead, our goal is to raise awareness that in our community on any given night there are close to 100 young people sleeping in alleys, parking garages, abandoned buildings, or staying in the few shelter and housing programs available to them. This one night out for volunteers in the cold brings youth in from the cold this winter.”
The group’s collective goal is to raise $50,000 in support of Urban Peak Colorado Springs’ 20-bed shelter for youth ages 15 through 20. It costs about $50 per night to provide youth shelter at Urban Peak, so if the group reaches its goal it will mean 1,000 nights of shelter for youth in our community.
About Urban Peak Colorado Springs
Urban Peak Colorado Springs helps youth experiencing homelessness to get off the street and build a better future. Our programs include a 20-bed shelter with meals and support programs, street outreach for youth living on the streets, and housing assistance so youth can move off the street. All youth can access job-readiness training to create stability, support to further educational goals, life skills and case management, as well as access to healthcare. In fiscal year 2015, Urban Peak Colorado Springs assisted 528 young people. For more information, visit www.urbanpeak.org.
Last year over 3,100 participants dressed as Where's Waldo to raise money for Waldo Canyon restoration and trails and open space maintenance in Colorado Springs. The event has raised more than $100,000 since 2012!
This year, the 4th annual Waldo Waldo 5k Walk & Run will be in the heart of downtown Colorado Springs. Join thousands of Waldos and Wendas on October 17th at the Pioneers Museum where the walk and fun run starts and finishes. Exhibitors, food trucks, Bristol beer garden and music will add to the festivities.
Day of event registration opens at 7:30 a.m., huge group photo at 9:30 a.m. and first wave starts at 9:45 am. The $35 registration fee ($40 morning of event), includes a "Where's Waldo?" costume kit with Waldo glasses, beanie and long sleeve shirt. Wenda costume kits and mini-Waldo kits for kids ages 6-12 are also available. Kids 5 and under are free (but do not receive a costume.) The Waldo Waldo 5K is open to all ages and all abilities.
The Waldo Waldo 5K was set up as a response to the Waldo Canyon Fire in 2012. The 5K raises money for The Waldo Waldo Fund, a fund of the Pikes Peak Community Foundation, which supports natural disaster and fire recovery efforts, and trails and open space maintenance in Colorado Springs and the surrounding community. Money is granted from this fund to the primary event beneficiaries Trails and Open Space Coalition and Rocky Mountain Field Institute.
“With thanks to the Downtown Partnership and the City of Colorado Springs, we’ve got a new course that stretches from the Pioneers Museum to Colorado College and back, and this will be the biggest, best, and most red-and-white-striped fun run yet” said Chelise Foster, event creator and organizer.
elope, Inc., a leading designer and distributor of costumes and accessories, has held the DreamWorks “Where’s Waldo” license since 2008. “The Waldo costume has been one of our best sellers for years,” said CEO Kevin Johnson. “We love contributing our passion and support to The Waldo Waldo 5K, and watching a sea of Waldos running together is an incredible experience for our team. It’s become a signature event, and it’s definitely one of our favorite ways to give back to our community here in Colorado Springs.”
This event has been made possible due to gracious support from presenting sponsor elope, inc., platinum sponsors Downtown Partnership and Whole Foods Market, and a whole host of other very generous sponsors, contributors and volunteers.
Online registration and more information is available at the waldowaldo.com.
Worksites for cadets will range in location from Peyton to Florissant, and from Monument to Widefield. Start times vary depending on the distance the work location is from the Air Force Academy, with cadets arriving at most El Paso County sites by 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. for other locations. Work will continue until 4 p.m., or until the work at each site is completed, unless otherwise noted.
Organizations the cadets will be working for include:
* American Red Cross, Southeastern Colorado Chapter, for its one-day Home Fire Campaign event, sending teams of cadets and other volunteers door-to-door to test, repair and install fire alarms at homes in El Paso, Douglas, Chaffee, Teller, Pueblo and Otero counties.
* Black Forest Together, helping with fire recovery and mitigation work at several homes within the area affected by the Black Forest wildfire.
* Coalition for the Upper South Platte, thinning overgrown trees and brush near Woodland Park to be used as firewood for the needy, as well as trail maintenance at the Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., for both events.
* City of Manitou Springs, removing debris from Fountain Creek and Williams Canyon to aid the city's continuing flood recovery and mitigation efforts.
* City of Colorado Springs Parks and Recreation Department, building a hiking trail at Ute Valley Park; clearing and maintaining Promonitory Point Open Space, and working at two other sites.
* National Dog Mill Rescue kennels in Peyton to clean, prep the kennel play yards for artificial turn, make blankets for adopted dogs, as well as socializing and walking some severely traumatized dogs.
* The Salvation Army in downtown Colorado Springs, cleaning and painting its Winter Warming Shelter, performing upkeep on its mobile canteen that provides meals to the homeless, and performing labor and setup for a senior citizens lunch.
Other organizations the cadets will work with include: Rocky Mountain Field Institute, Venetucci Farm, The Marian House, Rocky Mountain Veterans Village Foundation, Colorado Springs Utilities, Colorado Partnership for Child Development, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, Flying W Ranch, Pikes Peak Urban Gardens, Al Kali Shriners Mule Team, and several elementary and middle schools across the region.
This cadet volunteer work is organized by the Air Force Academy's Center for Character and Leadership Development center, via its Cadet Service Leadership program, which connects community organizations with cadet volunteers. Cadets performed more than 30,000 hours of community service during the 2013-2014 academic year. Academy cadets have averaged more than 30,000 hours of community service work each academic year, for the past decade.
Organizations that wish to request cadet volunteers for future community service efforts can request cadet volunteers online at: http://www.usafa.edu/Commandant/cwc/cwcx/csl/csl_inputform.cfm?catname=csl
Colorado Springs School District 11 Summer Food Service Program
Just as learning does not end when school lets out, neither does the need for good nutrition. Children who aren't hungry learn better, act better and feel better. During the school year, more than 18 million children receive free and reduced-price meals at school. During the summer, that number drops to about three million. Summer food programs provide nutritious meals to children.
Colorado Springs School District 11 will again offer an “open” summer food service program for children 1-18 years of age.
The program will provide free breakfast and lunch during the summer at the locations, dates, and times shown below. Please note: All sites will be closed Friday, July 3, in observance of the Independence Day holiday.
Please call District 11 Food and Nutrition Services, 520-2924, or go to http://www.d11.org/FNS/Pages/SummerMeals.aspx for more information.