Osborne Trust divvies out $111,900 to nonprofits

       Fourteen nonprofit agencies on the Westside and up Ute Pass joined for lunch Oct. 25 at the Westside Community Center. They were grant recipients from an available total of $111,900 this year in interest earnings from the William and Betty Osborne Trust Fund.
       The annual occasion was organized by the Garden of the Gods Rotary, which awards the grants based on stipulations in the will left by William Osborne, who died in 1985, shortly after his wife did. The main intent, as described by Rotary members, is to help people in tough financial straits living within the Westside/Ute Pass area that's designated in the will.

Representatives of the Osborne Trust Fund's 2011 grant recipients are shown at the Westside Community Center after the annual banquet Oct. 26 with the award-administrating Garden of the Gods Rotary. SEATED (from left): Kelly Hargrave and Lauren Weaver, Boys & Girls Club; Melissa Walker, Friends of Garden of the Gods (FOGG); Leslie Wirpsa, Catamount Institute; Stella O'Leary, Pikes Peak Community Action Agency (PPCAA); Lorri Orwig, Silver Key Senior Services; Charles Schroeder, Help the Needy; Janie Child, Woodland Park Community Cupboard; Judi Hesselberg, Little Chapel Food Pantry; and Jean Foran, outgoing Rotary Club fund administrator. STANDING (from left): Nancy Chapparo, Assistance League; Josie Rodriguez, PPCAA; Darlene Jensen, Catamount Institute; Pat Ellis, Silver Key; Barbara Peterson, PPCAA; Lee Patke, Greccio Housing; Patti Barton, FOGG; Dick Siever, Westside Community Center; Mary Bielz, Community of Caring; Donna Sawaya, Rotary Osborne Trust chair; Steve Brown, Westside CARES; Nikki McComsey, Kids on Bikes; Wil Panilo, Woodland Park Community Cupboard; Ken Hesselberg, Little Chapel Food Pantry.
Westside Pioneer photo

       There were two first-time Osborne Fund recipients this year. One was Kids on Bikes, which received $4,000 to buy bikes for 50 students at Bristol Elementary, according to spokesperson Nikki McComsey, under a program that's tied in with good grades and behavior. “These are kids who [otherwise] might not ever get a bike,” she said.
       Another first-timer is the Catamount Institute, which will use its $3,500 to cover the costs of Title 1 (lower-income students) joining its after-school Young Environmental Stewards (YES) club in science-related field trips, Catamount Director Darlene Jensen said.
       The Osbornes operated a Rexall drug store for many years at the southeast corner of Colorado Avenue and 25th Street (now the Chocolate Factory), and in the 1950s William helped start what is now Pikes Peak National Bank.
       Also in keeping with the will, a committee consisting of the 10 past presidents of the Garden of the Gods Rotary each year reviews applications and decides how to disburse the funds.
       Returning Osborne recipients this year are:
  • Assistance League of Colorado Springs ($5,000), whose Operation School Bell focuses on getting new clothes for poor kids.
  • Boys & Girls Club of the Pikes Peak Region ($2,500). It operates several clubs with activities for youths, including one on the Westside.
  • Community of Caring - Cripple Creek ($10,000), which administrates 16 programs for the needy.
  • Friends of Garden of the Gods ($3,500), which offers educational programs about the Garden to students in the region, including hundreds on the Westside. A primary goal is to “educate and inspire young people so they will be stewards of this park,” said spokesperson Melissa Walker.
  • Greccio Housing ($4,800), which provides affordable housing for the working poor, explained its director, Lee Patke.
  • Help the Needy ($6,000), a Woodland Park agency that does exactly what it name means, according to its representative, Charles Schroeder. But it's also counseling-based: “We don't just hand them a check,” he said.
  • Little Chapel Food Pantry ($4,000), in Divide. It provides food to “hundreds of families in Teller County,” said spokesperson Judy Hesselberg.
  • Pikes Peak Community Action Agency ($8,000), which offers varying programs including emergency aid, with the goal of helping struggling families stay off welfare. The agency's Billie Spielman Center is part of the Westside Community Center.
  • Silver Key Senior Services ($8,000). Director Pat Ellis detailed $67,000 worth of services for the elderly (including meal, trip, medicine, housing and utility assistance) in the Osborne-designated Westside area this year.
  • Westside CARES ($28,000), a church-supported charity that provides food pantry and emergency food or medical help for the indigent.
  • Westside Community Center ($14,600). The grant will pay for the recently opened nurse center on site.
  • Woodland Park Community Cupboard ($10,000), which helps the working poor in that town.

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