Colorado Grand awards more than $40K to Summit County nonprofits |

Colorado Grand awards more than $40K to Summit County nonprofits

The Colorado Grand, an annual 1,000-mile tour of classic sports and race cars across the Rocky Mountains, recently awarded more than $500,000 to various nonprofit groups across the state, including a handful that are based in Summit County. Colorado Grand community liaison Eddie O’Brien is shown here awarding money to the local groups, including CASA, FIRC, Flight for Life, LAPS and Colorado Mountain College.
Special to the Daily |

The Colorado Grand, an annual charitable tour of pre-1960 race and sports cars of distinction, recently doled out $535,000 in grant money to numerous groups across the state, including a handful based in Summit County.

To date, the event has generated more than $6 million in charitable donations since its creation in 1989, according to the nonprofit group.

Now, about 85 vintage cars are driven every year in the relaxed, non-competitive tour that covers 1,000 miles through the Rocky Mountains over the course of five days.

In Summit County, Flight for Life, Court Appointed Special Advocates of the Continental Divide, the League for Animals and People of the Summit, the Family and Intercultural Resource Center and Colorado Mountain College all got a boost this year.

According to Colorado Grand community liaison Eddie O’Brien, LAPS received $5,000 to help people with their veterinary bills. At the same time, with matching funds from the Strider Bike Race held last summer in Frisco, Flight for Life got a $15,000 grant from Colorado Grand to help pay for a new four-wheel drive ambulance

CASA also received $10,000, enough money to pay for five children to receive one year of service each, O’Brien said, and FIRC received $7,500 to support to working families.

CMC receives funds

Also, CMC got $5,000 to help students taking ESL, GED and family literacy courses with their tuition bills.

In addition to the grants, the Colorado Grand also gives towns that play host to the tour and serve lunch some grant money as well. Each town generally serves about 250 people, O’Brien said, and for it, the town receives a $10,000 donation to the charity of its choice. Each small town that hosts lunch for the Colorado Grand also receives an additional $8,500 earmarked for a local high school graduate who will be going on to attend college.

O’Brien said he remembers the first year, when the Colorado Grand rolled through Walden, one of the group’s first-ever stops.

At the time, he recalled, it was customary to give the hosting towns $1,000 each. The car enthusiasts would then ask if there were any other needs, and if there were, the town could receive an additional $1,000 to address it, he said, remembering that Walden requested the additional money so the town could advertise for a doctor.

“We decided right from the beginning that we wanted this to be a 501(c)(3) and we wanted to give money mostly to the Western Slope and those in need,” he said. “It’s really worked out fine, as you can imagine.”

The Colorado State Patrol Family Foundation also received $185,000 from Grand Colorado to help subside the foundation’s fallen officers, hardship and tuition-scholarship funds, according to O’Brien.

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