Over 36 years, The Gazette/El Pomar Foundation Empty Stocking Fund has raised more than $23 million for local health and human services partner agencies.

The 20 recipient agencies for 2019, along with donors, volunteers and sponsors, celebrated at a Penrose House reception Feb. 11 where they heard the record-breaking final numbers from the latest drive: $1,226,725.

The Gazette and El Pomar Foundation partner for Empty Stocking Fund, and matching funds come from both El Pomar and The Bruni Foundation.

Agency representatives left the catered reception with envelopes carrying checks that altogether totaled the full amount raised. There are no administrative costs, with 100% going to the nonprofits for unrestricted use, said Gazette Charities Executive Director Deb Mahan.

During the holiday season drive, the partner agencies put together a variety of creative fundraisers raising more than $100,000, and there were $30,000 in-kind donations, Mahan told guests.

Partner agencies were American Red Cross of Southeastern Colorado; Care and Share Food Bank; Catholic Charities of Central Colorado; CPCD…giving children a head start; Ecumenical Social Ministries; Griffith Centers for Children Chins Up; The Home Front Cares; Lutheran Family Services Rocky Mountains; Mercy’s Gate; Partners In Housing; Peak Vista Community Health Centers; Pikes Peak Hospice & Palliative Care; Salvation Army of El Paso County; Silver Key Senior Services;TESSA; The Place; The Resource Exchange; Tri-Lakes Cares; Westside CARES; YMCA of the Pikes Peak Region.

Photo gallery: gazette.com/life/around-town

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