10 Years of Impact

Lifelong Mesa County resident Ellen Jo Waldeck established a legacy fund in 2010 to provide nursing scholarships at Colorado Mesa University and grants to eight of her favorite nonprofit organizations. Her donation was unique; a company which holds mineral interests that provides regular monthly payments to our Community Foundation for disbursement.

The eight organizations benefiting from Jo Waldeck’s generosity are: Grand Valley Catholic Outreach, Habitat for Humanity, Hilltop’s Latimer House, HopeWest, HomewardBound, Marillac Clinic, Mesa County Partners, and Roice-Hurst Humane Society.

Jo Waldeck’s daughter, Susan Diaz, worked for 37 years in human services, administering public support and welfare programs for the economically disadvantaged.

Of her mother she notes, “Mom has always had a very large heart for those who don’t have very much…My mom is leaving the world a better place – helping people she doesn’t even know – now and 50 and 100 years from now. This is what she wants her gift to do.”

Click here to learn more about the organizations supported by Mrs. Waldeck’s generosity.

Real Lives, Real Change


Community Grants 2021: Recovery and Resilience for Youth

$110,000 in Grants Awarded for Recovery and Resilience for Youth

Funding to help youth build back skills after COVID

In 2021, Eighteen nonprofit organizations received a total of $110,000 in grants from the Western Colorado Community Foundation for projects that help youth regain skills and build resilience after more than a year of isolation and loss due to COVID. Projects range from after-school programming to behavioral and mental health support, to combining extracurricular activities with tutoring and academic skills to recover focus and study habits.

Notes Barb Chamberlin, WCCF grants selection committee chair, “These grants will support nonprofits across our region in helping our students recover and rebuild skills lost during the past year of disruption and isolation due to the pandemic. Our communities are seeing such a high need for these kinds of programs and WCCF was pleased to have the amount of funding to respond, thanks to our generous donors.” See below for a full list of funded projects.


Access AfterSchool – Accelerate After-School Program

All American Families – Explore and Engage Delta County

Andy Zanca Youth Empowerment Program – Classroom & Broadcast: Mental Health is Important to Me

Black Canyon Boys & Girls Club – Behavioral Health Curriculum for After- School Program

EUREKA! McConnell Science Museum – Gear Up! Mountain Biking and Science After School

Family Resource Center of the Roaring Fork Schools – Family and Youth Resilience

FocusedKids – FocusedKids for Rifle classrooms

Haven House of Montrose, Inc – Child Development program for homeless families

Hilltop Community Resources, Inc. – Youth and Family Connections

HopeWest – HopeWest Kids – EMDR Therapy

Mesa County Valley School District 51 – Elementary School Pilot: Regulation Station

Mesa Youth Services, Inc – Behavioral Health Support for Diversion Youth

Ouray Public Library – Learning Loss Recovery and Resilience Building

Riverside Educational Center – After-School Tutoring and Enrichment

Stepping Stones of the Roaring Fork Valley – Experiential Education to Build Resilience

The Buddy Program – Scholarships for Outdoor Leadership Programs

Voyager Youth Program – Peer Mentors for Youth Mental Health and Resiliency

YouthZone – Youth and Family Support

The Western Colorado Community Foundation serves seven counties in western Colorado, managing charitable funds for community good. Currently, the Community Foundation manages over 300 charitable funds totaling $100 million in assets and awards nearly $5 million in grants and scholarships annually. 

Summer Success


STEAM Across the Ages Program