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Osborne Fund gives grants to 13 nonprofits that help low-income folks

Representatives of the entities that received awards from the Osborne Trust in 2014 are (from left), SEATED: Janet Hutchinson, Catholic Charities; Nikki Pfeiffer, Multiple Sclerosis Alliance; Cathy Skiler, Children's Literacy - Woodland Park; Tiffiny Pieper, Diakonia; Kathy Fortner, Assistance League of Colorado Springs. MIDDLE ROW: Paula Munger, Dolly Parton Imagination Library; Janie Child and Dawn Burris, Community Cupboard of Woodland Park; Ted Borden, Community of Caring. BACK ROW: Ken Hesselberg, Little Chapel Food Pantry; Vince Scarlata and Eileen Zytka, Help the Needy; Nikki McComsey, Kids on Bikes; Mike Wolf Catholic Charities; Steve Brown, Westside CARES.
Westside Pioneer photo
       Thirteen area agencies received a total of $115,900 this year in the 30th year of the Osborne Trust Fund.
       Based on the criteria established by William and Betty Osborne before their deaths in 1985, the fund helps charitable nonprofits west of I-25, north to the El Paso County line, south across part of the Broadmoor area and west into Teller County. Mr. Osborne, a successful Old Colorado City businessman, had helped found the club in 1947.
       The recipient entities were announced at the annual Osborne Trust luncheon by the Garden of the Gods Rotary Oct. 28. They were chosen from applications submitted to the trust fund's Board of Trustees, which is composed of past GoG Rotary presidents.
       Three of this year's recipients are from the Westside. They are (with stated Osborne-funding purpose in parentheses):
       - Westside CARES, 2808 W. Colorado Ave., $35,000 (rent and pharmaceutical help). It offers emergency help to families. It was started in 1983 by a number of area churches, moving last year from a church basement to its own building on the avenue.
       - Diakonia, located in the Westside Community Center, 1628 W. Bijou St., $2,500 (general program support). It's a preschool that reaches out to working-class low-income families.
       - Kids on Bikes, located in the Roundhouse, 600 S. 21st St., $1,500 (education incentive). It makes bicycles and rider info available to low-income youths.
       Other Osborne recipients with clear ties to the Westside are:
       - Boys and Girls Club of the Pikes Peak Region, $5,000 (healthy snacks). Its El Pomar Unit has offered after-school activities since 1970.
       - Dolly Parton Imagination Library, $2,500 (school-age books). It has expanded since last year - when the Westside's 80904 was one of just five zip codes offering the program under the name of Early Books Early Reading - to 75 now, according to its director, Paula Munger.
       Other selections (Colorado Springs-based except where noted) are the following:
       - Assistance League, $6,000 (clothing for needy schoolchildren).
       - Catholic Charities, $12,000 in two grants (soup kitchen and emergency services).
       - Children's Literacy - Woodland Park, $1,200 (program providing one-on-one tutoring).
       - Community of Caring, Cripple Creek, $14,000 (food and shelter).
       - Help the Needy, Woodland Park, $6,200 (emergency lodging).
       - Little Chapel Food Pantry, Divide, $8,000 (food products).
       - Multiple Sclerosis Alliance, $8,000 (medication and exercise).
       - Community Cupboard of Woodland Park, $14,000 (food assistance).
       Missing this year are a few entities that have been major Osborne aid recipients in the past. According to Cliff Johnson, a past Rotary president on the fund's board of trustees, this was the result of a trustee decision to lower the percentage that recipients could receive from government funds and still be eligible for fund money. It had been 25 percent; the board changed it this year to 15 percent, he said.
       Two past Westside-based recipients, which receive varying amounts of government help and were not selected this year are the Westside Community Center and Silver Key.
       Martha Beatty, the fund administrator, said the percentage-lowering decision “was primarily driven by a lower total dollars available. There were several very worthwhile organizations who were not eligible for funding. While there are no promises, we expect to re-address this for next year - and expect a larger total amount available for distribution.”
       The original Osborne Trust Fund amount was about $1 million. Bank investments have raised it to about $3 million. The grant awards are taken from interest earnings on the fund.

Westside Pioneer article
(Posted 11/13/14; Community: Charitable)

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