Rock Ledge needs to keep making money, attracting donations

       Unlike the 2012 budget year, Rock Ledge Ranch won't have to come up with $50,000 on its own as an incentive to get $21,000 “extra” from the city general fund in 2013.

The nationally touring 23 String Band was one of four groups that performed at Rock Ledge Ranch's 2012 Fiddles, Vittles & Vino event, which sold out for the second straight year.
Westside Pioneer photo

       That much has already been put in the budget this year for the 230-acre historical site neighboring the Garden of the Gods that the El Pomar Fund purchased for the city in the 1960s.
       But to stay afloat, the facility still needs to earn close to $50,000 again - this year and in the foreseeable future - according to interviews with ranch manager Andy Morris and Ron Wright, president of the ranch's Living History Association (LHA).
       While the city has gradually increased the stipend it gives the ranch since the lean budget year of 2010, when Rock Ledge was nearly forced to close, the 2013 amount is still far less than it was in previous years. “We [ranch staff and supporters] have an obligation to come up with a certain amount,” Morris said.
       He doesn't see that as a negative, and is pleased with the growing popularity of such annual events as the Family Fourth, Fiddles, Vittles & Vino, the American Indian Powwow and the Labor Day Vintage Baseball Game. “I'm feeling pretty positive,” he said. “It's better than it's been. We're making money from what we do at the ranch.”
       Rock Ledge revenues consist of about 50 percent gate receipts and 30 percent memberships, plus 10 percent each from donations and outside events, Morris explained, adding that a separate fund handles earmarked contributions, such as the roughly $20,000 a year from the Holly Berry House's annual Folk Art Festival that is geared toward ranch restoration.
       Savings in Rock Ledge operations also come from LHA volunteers helping out as ranch docents, recruiting members and working in various ways at events.
       People wanting to help the ranch financially can send donations to the following address:
       Rock Ledge Ranch LHA P.O. Box #6299, CSC 80934.
       According to Wright, “they will be receipted and a letter showing their donations are deductible through our I.R.S. 501-c-3.”
       Another option is LHA membership (at varying levels) or sponsorship of the Rock Ledge horses and/or cow. For more information, call 578-6777.

Westside Pioneer article