Lyons Community Foundation
LaVern Johnson has always been a true friend of the Lyons Community Foundation since its founding in 2007. She, above all, embodied our mission to improve the quality of life, build a culture of giving and encourage positive change in the greater Lyons area. LaVern understood the importance of our work and whole heartedly endorsed our campaigns to raise donations to fund the projects of our local non-profits, as well as the scholarships for our high school seniors.
She supported us by attending all our events throughout the years. She and her son Jerry were regular attendees at the Sandstone Summer Concerts, always giving a generous donation for popcorn, brownies and lemonade. When we passed around our “boot” to collect donations for future concerts, LaVern gave generously with a big smile on her face. She often reminded our speakers to include current information about her beloved Lyons Redstone Museum during our intermission talks. On several occasions, she jumped right up to join us at the microphone to make her own announcements! LaVern and Jerry also came to the Winter Wonderland concerts, all bundled up for the winter weather and always ordered hot cocoa and cookies, leaving a nice donation for LCF.
But no fundraising event was more enjoyable to LaVern than our annual LCF Gala at Lionscrest Manor. She thoroughly enjoyed socializing with all the Lyons attendees in a beautiful atmosphere with music and delicious food, and enthusiastically participating in the auction to raise funds for LCF. Every year Jerry generously donated his season tickets to a Rockies game, which were a popular item in our silent auction. As the matriarch of our town, every year we made it a priority to be sure LaVern had a special place to sit with her friends to enjoy the evening. She expressed her sincere disappointment when we announced in 2019 we were going to discontinue the Gala for a while. But she happily supported our decision to team with Lyons Emergency Assistance Fund (LEAF) to bring a free and family-friendly Hootenanny to the beautiful outdoors at River Bend.
LaVern’s family, going back to her great grandfather John Reese, was an important part of the development and growth of Lyons, and it was essential to her to maintain and share the town’s history with its citizens. The Lyons Community Foundation has proudly acknowledged the tireless work of LaVern and her team of volunteers to restore the former Lyons School building on High Street, and transform it into the wonderful historical museum it is today. LCF has been honored to support and fund the various projects of the Lyons Historical Society and the Lyons Redstone Museum through its community support grants since 2009. The Lyons area residents are fortunate to have such an amazing “collective memory” of the community’s rich past to share with its future generations, which we owe to the inspiration and leadership of our beloved Mrs. LaVern.
LaVern Johnson has been a shining example to all of us for what it means to commit one’s time, energy, and love to our community. She has left a tremendous legacy for us to continue well into the future. The Lyons Community Foundation is prepared to do its best to follow in her footsteps. Thank you LaVern for giving your absolute best to this wonderful Lyons community. You will live on in our hearts, and especially in our commitment to following your example of leadership and philanthropy to better this town you loved so much.
………………Jeanne Moore, Chairperson of LCF, …. as seen through the eyes of the LCF Advisory Board members.
Lyons Emergency & Assistance Fund
At LEAF, we like to say that we’re growing healthy community. However, I think Lavern was the original “healthy community grower” in Lyons. This amazing powerhouse of a woman was everywhere, impacting everything with good, for good.
Lavern cared about people, and she knew the best way to support people here in Lyons was to support LEAF’s work. And support she did — with her words, her pocketbook, and even her time. She even attended our Rave To The Grave bash – every year!
Lavern Johnson leaves both a legacy and a cornerstone that all of us can build upon. Making her proud seems a most fitting tribute. As a community, I can think of no better way to honor Lavern’s memory than to continue together, growing healthy community here in Lyons. She would be proud.
……………..Lory Barton, LEAF Executive Director