El Pomar Foundation honors five local charities at annual event | VailDaily.com

El Pomar Foundation honors five local charities at annual event

Carolyn Pope
High Altitude Society
Vail, CO Colorado
Special to the Daily/William Beverly

Tuesday night, several charities in the Vail Valley made their mark in Colorado Springs.

The El Pomar Foundation held their annual “Awards for Excellence,” handing out more than $400,000 to outstanding non-profits in Colorado. Almost 1,000 people showed up from around the state to attend the event held at the Broadmoor Hotel.

Out of 11 categories, each with three finalists, five local organizations were represented in four different categories, and three of those walked away with a beautiful crystal bowl and a check for $15,000. The other finalists received $7,500.

The Charles L. Tutt Award for Excellence in Education was handed to The Youth Foundation of Edwards. Development Director Susan Milhoan, Executive Director Susie Davis and Marketing Director Katie Santambrogio were present to accept. The Youth Foundation provides opportunities for the most disadvantaged youth in the valley to develop character and gain necessary life skills to become successful adults. They topped the Literacy Project of Glenwood Springs and the Keystone Science School in their category.

Winning the award was meaningful to Susie Davis of the Youth Foundation.

“We are thrilled and surprised to be honored by El Pomar,” she said. “We owe our success in large part to generous support over the years of many generous community supporters. The diligent efforts of the high country regional steering committee highlighted multiple needs of our resort communities and we so appreciate their dedication.”

Recently, one of the founders of The Youth Foundation and an ardent support, Gerald Gallegos, passed away. Davis was nostalgic when accepting the award.

“Gerald Gallegos, served on the steering committee and we know he was pulling for us,” she said. “Our hope and promise is to live up to the expectations of our performance and to the difference we can all make in children’s lives.”

The Eagle Care Medical Clinic won the Joel A.H. Webb Award for excellence in Health Care (Small). This organization focuses on primary and preventative care for non-emergent conditions for low-income, uninsured or underinsured residents of Eagle County. Cheryl Lindstrom accepted the award.

Small Champions of Colorado walked away with the William Thayer Tutt Award for Sports and Recreation. Mike Connolly, Connie Miller and Kara Heide were present representing Small Champions. Small Champions provides opportunities for children with physical and multiple disabilities to be part of a group that meets to enjoy sports, grow, learn and have fun. This is accomplished through one-on-one coaching in skiing, snowboarding, tennis, horseback riding and rock climbing.

Also among the finalists were Walking Mountains (formerly Gore Range Natural Science School) and S.O.S. (Snowboard Outreach Society). Elaine Kelton, who has served on the regional board and was a part of the selection process, along with former Vail Daily Publisher Steve Pope, who currently runs the Colorado Springs Gazette.

The El Pomar Foundation is based out of Colorado Springs and was founded by Spencer and Julie Penrose. Their mission is to enhance, encourage and promote the current and future well-being of the people of Colorado through grants and programs. El Pomar Foundation is one of the largest and oldest private foundations in the Rocky Mountain West, with assets totaling approximately $450 million and contributes approximately $20 million annually through grants and programs.

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