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Giving and Philanthropy : Development News

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Colorado Enterprise Fund to participate in CO Impact Days

Colorado Enterprise Fund is among the 100 social ventures seeking “impact investments” that was chosen to meet with investors at CO Impact Days Social Venture Showcase Nov. 17.

The 100 ventures will convene at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House for the second year of the “shark-tank for good” statewide marketplace for impact investing. The selected social ventures will showcase their investment opportunities to offer not only a financial return on the impact investor’s investment but also to offer solutions to some of the most pressing issues of our time.”

“We are so thrilled to again invite more than 200 investors and philanthropists to interact with these valuable social ventures,” says Dr. Stephanie Gripne, founder of the Impact Finance Center and creator of the CO Impact Days. “When these two groups of powerful movers and shakers share a room, there is no telling the good that will come. We’ve aimed to offer a diverse array of impact investments, with a goal that every investor will leave knowing that deal flow is not a Colorado impact investing problem.”

The goal of CO Impact Days is to catalyze $100 million in impact investments into Colorado social ventures in the next three years, and it is kicking off with CO Impact Days Nov. 15-17. The initiative is possible because Colorado is home to a number of national leaders in impact investing and a thriving and collaborative community of social venture entrepreneurs in both the for-profit and nonprofit sectors, as well as philanthropists and investors who are committed to growing Colorado’s economy and creating good jobs.

“Funding from these impact investors will enable us to serve more Colorado businesses, which in turn will ultimately advance economic opportunity and prosperity in our Colorado communities,” says Ceyl Prinster, president and CEO of Colorado Enterprise Fund.
 

Broker's buyer bonus: Helping to send a child to school in Uganda

Denver real estate broker Tenzin Gyaltsen is helping put Ugandan children through school one home sale at a time through a partnership with the S.O.U.L Foundation.

One child will be put through school for every home sale that’s over $300,000. It costs about $1,600 to put a child through all seven years of primary school.

“That gives them all of their school books and one meal per day,” said Gyaltsen, a broker associate with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Colorado. “It’s an added bonus to the house. It almost personifies it in a way.”

Gyaltsen, who formerly owned an eco-friendly clothing company, met representatives from S.O.U.L (Supporting Opportunities for Ugandans to Learn) at an event and fell in love with the organization. He had a desire to do something philanthropic, so he sponsored Rita Naigaga, the first of many students.

When he turned his attention to real estate he decided to expand his efforts by sponsoring a child with proceeds from every house he lists for more than $300,000.

Gyaltsen works with investors to buy houses, fix them up and resell them. When he has an upcoming listing he contacts S.O.U.L to pledge to sponsor a student, The organization then sends a child’s photo and bio, which will be framed and displayed in the house. If the new owners wish, the address of the newly sold home stays with the sponsorship, and all the letters and updates from the student are mailed to the house.

“Lack of education is one of the biggest problems in the world,” Gyaltsen said. “In this part of the world, most children don’t get an education. It’s important to equip children with knowledge so they can go out and better the world and their communities.”

Tiny homes village for homeless receives final donation

Denver’s first tiny home village has received the final donation it needs to close out funding for the project, which has been designed as an alternative solution to the problem of homelessness.

LivWell Cares, the philanthropic and community engagement arm of one of the country’s leading cannabis companies, provided $10,000 toward Beloved Community Village. The project is being developed by the Colorado Village Collaborative, a community organization founded by members of Denver Homeless Out Loud, The Interfaith Alliance of Colorado, Beloved Community Mennonite Church and residents of the Beloved Community Village.

“We are extremely grateful to LivWell Cares for stepping up to give us the finances to complete this much-needed project,” says Cole Chandler, organizer for Colorado Village Collaborative. “We need a solution to homelessness beyond shelters, emergency rooms and jails, and thanks to LivWell Cares, our Beloved Community Village residents can now take back their lives and their dignity.”

Designed to help address the twin crises of homelessness and an extreme housing shortage, Beloved Community Village includes 11 8-foot by 12-foot shelters, as well as a communal kitchen, bathroom and shower facilities on land leased from the Urban Land Conservancy at 38th and Walnut streets. In July, 14 previously homeless residents moved into the new village, where they have been able to rediscover talents, renew their purpose and restore their dignity.

“When I was told about this development, I immediately recognized its potential to help address a serious issue facing our communities,” says Michael Lord, LivWell Enlightened Health’s director of business development and founder of LivWell Cares. “LivWell Cares could not be prouder to be involved in such a worthy project.”
 

DAM work to begin in November

After five years of planning, design work and fundraising, the Denver Art Museum is preparing for the North Building renovation work on Nov. 20. 

The landmark building will be open to visitors through Sunday Nov. 19 and then will close to the public to remove collections and prepare the space for construction. Starting Monday, Nov. 20, the Hamilton Building, south of 13th Avenue, will be open to the public seven days a week to provide additional opportunities for visitor access during the renovation project.

The museum will host two free talks with the North Building project’s architecture team from Denver-based Fentress Architects and Boston-based Machado Silvetti. Curtis Fentress and Jorge Silvetti will share project design concepts and discuss the inspirations behind them at two presentations at 3 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. Oct. 6 in the DAM’s Ponti Hall. Free tickets will be available to the public beginning Aug. 22. 

Enhancements to the Gio Ponti-designed North building will enable the museum to better serve the community by putting education at the heart of the museum campus, presenting new and expanded art gallery spaces, improving all major systems throughout the 210,000-square-foot building and creating a central point of entry with a new Welcome Center. The project is expected to be completed by the building’s 50th anniversary at the end of 2021.

The DAM has been raising funds privately for the last five years, receiving generous support from many early donors. The museum also is participating in the City of Denver’s General Obligation Fund process to help fund compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, as well as life safety, mechanical, electrical, plumbing and outdoor-safety upgrades. The bond would help complete the DAM’s fundraising efforts by providing $35.5 million toward critical upgrades and enhancements within the North Project — about a quarter of the funds required to complete the estimated $150 million renovation. If the bond is approved, the DAM would match every public dollar with approximately three private dollars.

 

Elitch's donates tickets to North H.S. for fundraising

Elitch Gardens owner Rhys Duggan is donating $600,000 worth of tickets to the theme park to North High School to help with fundraising for capital improvement projects. 

Elitch’s also will provide North students with employment and internship opportunities at the amusement park.

“Elitch Gardens and Denver North High School have both been important institutions in our community for more than a century,” says Duggan, president and CEO of Revesco Properties, an owner and the managing member of Elitch Gardens. “North is our Speer Boulevard neighbor, and we are committed to doing our part to support the school, its students and its educators in the years ahead.”

At its original location at West 38th Avenue and Tennyson Street, Elitch Gardens was one of the first zoos west of Chicago and the home of Denver’s first symphony orchestra, first botanic garden and first Children’s Museum and activity center. It also was the site of Denver’s first motion picture theater and the Trocadero Ballroom, where most of Denver danced and romanced. 

Elitch Gardens opened in its current location next to the Pepsi Center in 1995.

JCC renamed Staenberg-Loup Jewish Community Center

In an effort to recognize the contributions real estate developer Michael Staenberg has made to support the Robert E. Loup Jewish Community Center (JCC Denver) over the last few years, the center has been renamed the Staenberg-Loup Jewish Community Center. 

Staenberg contributions to the JCC include thousands of hours of support and millions of dollars. He has provided the JCC with guidance to create cost savings and has also offered a vision for the JCC to work toward, positioning it for a successful future in the Denver community.

“It is an honor to be included in the JCC’s new name and, particularly, to have my name alongside Bob Loup’s, who was such an integral part of the JCC’s success for the past 47 years,” Staenberg says. “It is my belief that giving money is one way to provide support for an organization, but being generous with your knowledge, time and vision, like I have been fortunate enough to provide, can make a real difference. I am proud to support the JCC in these ways.”

The JCC is currently finishing up renovations to the interior and exterior of the building at 350 Dahlia St. and in the parking lots.

Cherry Creek gets new event space

Venue 221, Cherry Creek North’s premier event space, is launching the 2017 event season with special hourly rates, an invitation to preview the venue and a non-profit program dubbed The Great Giveback.

Venue 221 will donate the space to a non-profit organization quarterly. For more information about applying for the space visit Venue 221’s website

Venue 221 also is offering an hourly rate of $400 that includes tables, chairs, lounge furniture, in-house audio/visual and media wall.

Designed by Denver architect Michael Knorr, the 1,500-square-foot mid-century modern event space at 221 Detroit can accommodate receptions of up to 150 guests and seated dinners of up to 120 people. 

The modern decor offers warm walnut woods, artisitic wall coverings in a neutral palette, period-inspired lighting and state-of-the-art audio/visual equipment. The first floor Ashlar room features a built-in club-style bar adjacent to a cozy lounge area adorned with mid-mod furniture and a stone fireplace.

Venue 221 is hosting an open house at the venue from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. June 20.

Economic summit to address housing, food, entrepreneurship

Housing, food access, youth opportunities and entrepreneurship are among the issues that will be discussed at the inaugural Far Northeast Denver Economic Summit, a free event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 20 at the Evie Garrett Dennis E-12 campus, 4800 Telluride St. 

The collaborative, grassroots event is a joint project of the City and County of Denver and a range of stake holders from Montbello and surrounding neighborhoods. A keynote speech on economic mobility will be presented by Dr. Jared Bernstein, a former chief ecnomist in the Obama Administration. The day also will include a community resource fair. 

“Our goal for the summit is to spur a bold conversation about economic opportunity, inviting the voices and perspectives of area residents and business owners, and also provide information on available services and tools,” says Amy Edinger, interim executive director of Denver’s Office of Economic Development.

The event will include three breakout sessions and a complimentary lunch. Spanish translation will be available on site. Sign language, CART services or other disability-related accommodations may be requested at oed.milehigh@denvergov.org or (720) 913-1999.

Salt-N-Pepa to headline Urban Nights fashion show

The ’90s rap and fashion icons Salt-N-Pepa are the featured entertainment at this years Urban Nights Denver, the city’s largest outdoor urban fashion show and fundraiser that benefits at-risk youth.

Urban Nights celebrates its fifth annual fundraiser Aug. 5 at Mile HIgh Station. The event benefits Urban Peak, The Danny Dietz Foundation and La Academia at The Denver inner City Parish.

“On any given night in Denver, more than 900 youth are homeless or on the verge of becoming homeless,” says Donna Crafton Montgomery, 2017 Urban Nights chair. “This year, we are thrilled to add new beneficiaries that expand our reach into this vulnerable population providing a wide range of services to the at-risk youth that each organization serves.”

This year’s fashion show, designed at produced by Jenny Baker-Strasburg and Tobie Orr, will feature works from the Art Institute of Colorado and Suit Supply. The fashion show will be anchored by “Built from Scratch,” the 2017 fall/winter line created by New York Fashion Week darling Nicholas K.

Tickets for the event, under the canopy of the Colfax Avenue viaduct at Mile High Station, are on sale now. The VIP party starts at 6 p.m., with general admission opening at 7 p.m. Salt-N-Pepa hits the stage at 9 p.m. The show will be followed by an after party until midnight.

Arts & Venues partners with Meow Wolf on art space effort

Denver Arts & Venues is teaming up with Santa Fe's Meow Wolf to help with the compliance and safety needs of the city's Do-It-Yourself and alternative spaces.

Arts & Venues will contribute $20,000 toward funding the program organized by Meow Wolf, which previously announced plans to distribute $100,000 in annual funding to support safer DIY music and arts venues across the country. Arts & Venue's money will support infrastructural improvements, rent assistance, materials, equipment and other needs identified by Denver applicants. The fund also supports additional resources for legal, zoning and building code consulting services.

"Meow Wolf was an ideal partner for addressing short-term needs while we continue to explore more long-terms opportunities to support safe, creative spaces," says Kent Rice, executive director of Arts & Venuses. "As an artist collective, Meow Wolf has emerged as a leader in the region, working closely with Denver-based artists and reacting quickly to the acute space challenges of artists nationwide with the development of its funding program."

Meow Wolf is collecting applications for Denver-based funding until March 31. 

In addition to Arts & Venues' efforts, Denver Community Planning and Development and the Denver Fire Department have taken steps to support the needs of the arts community. For those seeking to turn an existing warehouse or commercial space into a live/work space, CPD launched a guide that outlines basic steps for establishing a safe and legal live/work space in an existing building. The fire department is offering free inspections for tenants and landlords, who can apply through March 31.

Contact Confluence Denver Development News Editor Margaret Jackson with tips and leads for future stories at margaret@confluence-denver.com.

Closetbox awards scholarship to student entrepreneur

College student Josh Doering was selected from 120 applicants to receive the $5,000 Closetbox Entrepreneur Scholarship, an award that recognizes the importance of those starting a business to stay in school through the end.

Denver-based Closetbox selected Doering, a student at Morningside College Sioux City, Iowa, for his ability to take an idea and turn it into something real and functioning. Doering saw the need to increase safety and efficiency on the farm where he grew up and created Seed Slide, a remote box opener that is useful for adding safety and convenience into any bulk seed tote operation. 

"In various startup communities, a negative view of college education has taken hold, and we take issue with this," says Marcus Mollmann, Closetbox founder and CEO. "We believe in keeping bright young people in school through the end, as these minds are starting the businesses of tomorrow."

Closetbox, a full-service storage company, has grown to more than 60 locations in two years. The company provides free pickup and handles the heavy lifting to move customers' belongings from their homes to secure storage facilities. the company inventories a customer's items, then provides them with a personalized dashboard so they can view their items online. From the dashboard, customers can request any or all items to be returned on demand.

Contact Confluence Denver Development News Editor Margaret Jackson with tips and leads for future stories at margaret@confluence-denver.com.

Rita and Navin Dimond Fellows named

Bridget "Birdie" Meyers has been named the second elite fellow of the Rita and Navin Dimond Fellows Program at Metropolitan State University of Denver's Department of Hospitality, Tourism and Events

Meyers, a senior with an events management concentration, received a $5,000 cash award. She was accepted into the program in the spring and has since been working at Stonebridge Companies' Hampton Inn and Homewood Suites property downtown as a front desk agent.

"After speaking with managers of the properties and faculty at MSU Denver, we felt that Birdie exceeded expectations," says Navin Dimond, founder, president and CEO of Stonebridge and a member of the MSU Denver Foundation board. "Our selection of Birdie was based on her exceptional work performance. Birdie is a role model for all students and embodies qualities that we hope to cultivate in the next generation of hospitality leaders."

Four other new fellows also have been announced: Marcus Bosco, Michallee Gallegos, Andrea Marin and Risa Wolffis.

The Dimond Fellows Program was established after Rita and Navin Dimond provided a generous donation to the Hospitality, Tourism and Events department to support the Hotel Management Program. A significant portion of the Dimonds' contribution was specifically reserved to endow the program as a shared commitment to excellence and passion for fostering future hospitality leaders. Fellows are provided with unique professional development opportunities, including a paid internship with the executive teams at Stonebridge hotels for one semester, which counts toward their senior experience.

Contact Confluence Denver Development News Editor Margaret Jackson with tips and leads for future stories at margaret@confluence-denver.com.

Gleam Car Wash opens in North Denver

North Denver has a shiny new car wash.

Gleam Car Wash, located on West 38th Avenue between Wolff and Xavier streets, features a state-of-the art car wash tunnel, an enclosed detail center and an upscale waiting area that offers coffee and goods from local businesses.

"I've been in the business of washing cars for over a decade," says Rob Madrid, co-manager of Gleam. "Gleam is going to brush off the image of car washes as dirty, smelly places you can't wait to get out of. We're going to provide a great environment for everyone who needs a clean car."

Gleam's 135-foot tunnel can wash a car in about three minutes, with prices starting at $6. It also uses less than 15 gallons of fresh water per car.

"If you wash your car yourself, you'll use 80 to 140 gallons of drinkable water, and your car won't be as clean," says Emilie Baratta, another Gleam co-manager. "Gleam will reclaim 90 percent of all the water used and treat 100 percent of that. If you are cleaning your car at home, you are pouring untreated toxic chemicals into our stormwater system. Untreated, these chemicals pollute our waters and kill fish and other wildlife."

Gleam also is giving back to the community by donating $1 of its top-end Gleam Interior washes to Groundwork Denver and $1 of its top-end Exterior Total to Children's Hospital Colorado. Gleam also offers fundraising opportunities to schools, churches, sports teams and other charitable groups, which can sell gift cards and keep 40 percent of the sales.

Contact Confluence Denver Development News Editor Margaret Jackson with tips and leads for future stories at margaret@confluence-denver.com.

First Unitarian building receives historic designation

The First Unitarian Society of Denver building at 1400 Lafayette St. received local historic landmark designation for its importance in the history of the LGBT rights movement.

The site, whose architecture and geography also meet the city's designation criteria, is the first in Colorado to be recognized at the local, state or national level for its importance in the LGBT rights movement.

"Preserving sites like this helps us tell our city's story -- the whole story," says Brad Buchanan, executive director of Denver Community Planning and Development. "While Denver's landmarks include buildings originally built by and for those with wealth and social status, they also include equally important places linked to people who may have been left out of the history textbooks."

The First Unitarian congregation has a long history of social justice work, including involvement in   women's rights and suffrage, civil rights and immigration justice. Over the years, it has welcomed social justice organizations that could find no other public venue for the meetings or presentations.

The congregation's involvement in the LGBT rights movement began as early as the 1950s. At a time when few were willing to open their doors to the gay community, First Unitarian offered support to the Mattachine Society, one of the first gay rights groups in the United States, by providing space to organize in. In the 1970s and 1980s, the Unitarian building was a de facto headquarters of the Gay Coalition of Denver, which is known today as The Center, an LGBT nonprofit located a block from First Unitarian on Colfax Avenue.

The building itself has been occupied by the First Unitarian Society of Denver since 1958. The Richardsonian Romanesque-style building, built in the 1890s, has retained its architectural integrity over the years. It has wide rounded arches, recessed entryways, a dramatic rose window and rough surface stone quarried in Castle Rock. 

Contact Confluence Denver Development News Editor Margaret Jackson with tips and leads for future stories at margaret@confluence-denver.com.

Two nonprofits receive grants under Healthy Eating Challenge

Two nonprofit organizations have received grants to support efforts to improve fresh food access and consumption in the Globeville and Elyria-Swansea neighborhoods under the Denver Office of Economic Development's Healthy Food Challenge.

Focus Points Family Resource Center received $76,720 to develop a new micro-food business support center for Globeville, Elyria-Swansea food businesses and entrepreneurs. The center will provide community-driven programs to help people with starting or expanding food-based micro-businesses in the surrounding areas.

OED awarded $66,213 to The GrowHaus to support the launch of a door-to-door community health worker program to educate residents on healthy eating habits, cooking methods and nutrition. The grant is tarted to provide outreach classes and education to at least 300 residents.

"Access to fresh and nutritious foods is a key component to building vibrant communities," says Paul Washington, executive director of the OED. "We're excited to fund these innovative, new programs in Globeville and Elyria-Swansea as part of our ongoing efforts to develop additional food retail options for local residents."

Globeville and Elyria-Swansea have a combined population of more than 10,000 residents but the area doesn't have even one full-service or limited-service grocery store. Studies have shown that many residents travel twice as far as the average Denver resident to grocery stores, most of which are outside of Denver.

Contact Confluence Denver Development News Editor Margaret Jackson with tips and leads for future stories at margaret@confluence-denver.com.
49 Giving and Philanthropy Articles | Page: | Show All
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