There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that 2020 has been one of the most challenging years in memory. The arrival of COVID-19 earlier this year has upended everyone’s world. Most people know someone who has been impacted by the virus. Extended families haven’t been able to gather for months. Teachers and students have had to move to online learning while most workers have had to adapt to flexible (sometimes remote) working conditions. Local businesses have had to navigate state and county-wide public health orders while customers have grown scarce. The recent stay-at-home order has forced restaurants to close indoor dining, making it even more taxing for them to stay afloat. Meanwhile, health workers on the frontlines are nearing the point of exhaustion after working non-stop to save lives for the last nine months. To add to the anxiety of this ravaging virus, a wildfire threatened people’s homes on the outskirts of Lyons this past fall.
Despite all of these hardships, the community has come together time and time again to help those in need whether it was small businesses who needed help to reopen post lockdown or individuals who needed help staying in Lyons due to economic hardship. This year alone, the Lyons Community Foundation (LCF) was able to help both businesses and individuals affected by COVID-19 by granting $58,000 to local businesses and our local human services agency, the Lyons Emergency Assistance Fund (LEAF).
Thanks to the Lyons Share Fund, LCF was able to grant $1,000 to each of 43 local businesses post lockdown. You may recall, this fund was set up post COVID-19 lockdown in the Spring when Neil Sullivan of the St. Vrain Market reached out to LCF with $10,000 seed money that LCF matched. Then, the Town of Lyons chipped in another $5,000 from the Goodwill Fund. LCF donations made up the remaining $23,000.
Thanks to a special COVID-19 grant awarded to LEAF, LCF was able to support individuals such as artists, musicians, and gig-workers who needed financial assistance when the events they relied on for work were cancelled.
As a community foundation, LCF’s main purpose is to raise money to support a diverse range of projects and populations in order to improve the quality of life, build a culture of giving and encourage positive change in the greater Lyons area. By offering a centralized source for fundraising, nonprofits can focus on their projects.
Thanks to LCF’s two largest funds — the Scholarship Fund and the Community Support Grants — LCF has awarded almost a total of $40,000 to senior high school students and local non-profits. Seven graduating seniors received $9,500 in scholarships to attend a post-secondary institution. Eight local non-profits received over $31,000 in community support grants to put towards 14 separate projects which focus on four key areas: Community Connectivity, Human Services, Youth Investment and Local Ecology.
2020 has been an extraordinary year for giving. Typically, LCF grants $40,000 to local high school seniors and non-profits. This year alone, LCF has given over $100,000 to help local non-profits, businesses and families. This would not be possible if it weren’t for your generosity. The LCF Advisory Board joins me in extending their heartfelt thanks to all members of the community who have supported LCF in their endeavors this past year. Lyons never ceases to amaze us when it comes to the generosity and the compassion of its residents.
The Lyons Community Foundation had planned a Fun Color Run as a family-friendly fundraiser last spring. COVID-19 disrupted those plans. Since we are unable to hold a fundraiser this year, we are relying on our annual holiday appeal to raise enough money to award scholarships and grants next year. You have probably received a card like the one pictured here about a week before Thanksgiving. We are asking all residents who can afford to give this year to consider LCF in their year-end giving by making an online donation to the foundation at www.lyonscf.org. If you prefer to send a check, please address it to LCF, PO Box 546, Lyons, CO 80540.