The Denver Foundation Connects Community at Annual Celebration
Despite Down Economy the Generous Spirit of Giving is Up!
Before the doors opened to guests at the Belmar Event Center on May 12, 2009, five individuals hung suspended from the ceiling by ropes. No, they were not in distress. Taking part in The Denver Foundation's Annual Celebration, performers from Frequent Flyers were simply doing what they do best--preparing to wow an audience of over 650 community leaders, grantees, neighbors, and volunteers with their aerial acrobatics.
In accordance with the theme of Connecting Community Piece by Piece, Foundation Board Chair Rich Lopez stated: "We're celebrating how each of us is linked to one another - through professional associations, family, friends, volunteer commitments and the causes we celebrate. All of these connections come together to make up the complete puzzle that is our community."
Two of the Foundation's hundreds of stories were highlighted to illustrate this interconnectedness. First was the story of Blanca Trejo, an energetic high school student who became engaged in community organizing through Metropolitan Organization for People (MOP), an organization that The Foundation's Strengthening Neighborhood Program supports. Blanca now works for MOP as Organizer and Youth Leader while attending college full time at University of Denver. The second story described how the community has joined with The Denver Foundation in the fight against hunger. Donors like Lisa Negri have, to date, contributed over $700,000 to the Hunger Relief Fund, which supports food programs throughout Metro Denver during times of great need.
Despite the economic downturn, Foundation president David Miller recognized the fact that generous donors gave $61 million to The Foundation last year. Donors also recommended a record-setting number of grants (at a rate of more than $1 million dollars a week) from over 800 funds.
Youth from a number of nonprofit art programs, including Downtown Aurora Visual Arts, Denver Art Museum, and Butterfly Hope developed pieces highlighting the theme of Connecting Community. Harmony Chorale, a local nonprofit performance organization, capped off a hopeful evening with a rendition of "Everybody Rejoice" from the Broadway musical The Wiz.
To watch the video shown at the Annual Celebration, click here.
Foundation Board member Penfield Tate, Mary DeGroot of Community Health Charities of Colorado, Catherine Bedell of Frequent Flyers and David Miller, President of The Denver Foundation
A member of Frequent Flyers dances in mid-air
Rich Lopez, Board Chair and David Miller, President of The Denver Foundation
Mike Kromrey and Blanca Trejo of Metro Organizations for People along with Elsa Holguín of Rose Community Foundation
Youth from a number of nonprofit art programs, including Downtown Aurora Visual Arts, Denver Art Museum and Butterfly Hope, developed pieces in the theme of Connecting Community