BY DON BENJAMIN
Wednesday, July 21, 2021
In November 2020, the newly established Surface Creek Community Fund (SCCF) awarded grants to eight local nonprofits. A total of $10,500 was distributed to support community activities which took place in 2020 and 2021. Grants were awarded to a variety of organizations ranging from a community radio station to a local animal shelter. The Western Colorado Community Foundation (WCCF) has partnered with SCCF to create what they describe as a “community-wide funding vehicle.” In a news release, the WCCF describes the Surface Creek fund as “a charitable investment account to benefit the people of Austin, Cedaredge, Cory, Eckert and Orchard City.” The fund relies on monetary contributions from those communities. Individuals as well as organizations can contribute. The Cedaredge Rotary Club is a major donor.
According to the WCCF news release: “Community-minded donors can make contributions of any size. Funds are used to support local nonprofit organizations and community improvement projects through a competitive grants’ application process. A local steering committee made up of community leaders reviews grant applications and makes decisions once a year. Funds are distributed by November and can be used for projects the following year. “Donors of the Surface Creek Community Fund share a connection to the place they live and a commitment to make their community better.
The Surface Creek community does not have a community-wide funding vehicle like a United Way. The Western Colorado Community Foundation has partnered with SCCF to create such a vehicle. It is also a permanent charitable endowment that distributes its earnings each year into the community and will continue for generations to come.” Those wishing to donate to the fund can contribute at any time. According to a Surface Creek Community Fund brochure, donations to the fund are tax deductible. Donors can write a check, donate appreciated stock or use the charitable IRA rollover technique. The brochure also encourages individuals to leave a gift as part of their will or estate plans.
The SCCF brochure is available online at the WCCF website: wc-cf.org For further information, contact the Western Colorado Community Fund at 970-243-3767 or email KLynch@wc-cf.org.
In 2020, Surface Creek Community Fund grants were awarded to:
- All American Families
- Cedaredge Community
- Gardens Association
- Cedaredge Community United Methodist Church
- Grand Mesa Arts and Events Center
- Little Sprouts Community Preschool
- North Fork Valley Public Radio, Inc.
- Surface Creek Animal Shelter
- Surface Creek Valley Historical Society
The Cedaredge Community Gardens Association used its grant money to service all its mechanical equipment and construct new “hoop houses” for seasonal growing of greens and frost hardy crops. The Surface Creek Animal Shelter created a summer intern position to assist kennel technicians with front desk and animal care services. The Surface Creek Valley Historical Society used its grant to increase handicapped accessibility including adding sidewalks to historic Pioneer Town.
The Grand Mesa Arts and Events Center used its grant to produce online content by hiring a videographer to film live presentations and making those images available on its YouTube channel, thereby expanding the center’s regional audience. Cedaredge Community United Methodist Church used the grant to help serve weekly meals to folks isolated in their homes due to COVID. North Fork Valley Public Radio used its grant to match the investments of small businesses in underwriting advertising on KVNF Community Radio. Little Sprouts Community Preschool and All American Families used its grant funds to benefit youngsters and families.