Nick and Bambi Venetucci’s farm near Fountain holds a special place in our collective hearts and memories. For generations now, children load up into school buses and take the ride down Highway 85 to Venetucci Farm to collect their free pumpkin. For many families in the Pikes Peak region, this annual rite of passage marks the official start of Autumn. The Venetucci family entrusted their farm to Pikes Peak Community Foundation to continue their legacy. It has been our honor to preserve and celebrate this historic community gathering place since 2004.
Stewarding the Venetucci’s gift demonstrates the importance of U.S. community foundations, which are uniquely situated to improve their regions by enacting innovative solutions and creating powerful partnerships.
Monday, Nov. 15, is National Philanthropy Day, first declared in 1986 by then-president Ronald Reagan to recognize the great contributions of philanthropy — and those people active in the philanthropic community — to the betterment of our world.
It is also Community Foundation Week, a time when we can share and reflect on stories of local impact and human connection.
Pikes Peak Community Foundation and more than 750 other community foundations across the country help bring fundholders, nonprofits, government agencies and other community partners together to explore how philanthropy can improve lives. In a way that few other institutions can, community foundations work to support the efforts that will help the places we call home continue to flourish and grow. Locally, Pikes Peak Community Foundation has helped countless families with their philanthropy by making their charitable investments easy, enjoyable, and effective.
With the end of 2021 quickly approaching, many are looking at ways they can give back to the communities that have supported them. Participation in this “Season of Gratitude” can take many forms. Whether it’s supporting a favorite non-profit on Giving Tuesday, Nov. 30 or Colorado Gives Day on Tuesday, Dec. 7, or making a financial gift during El Pomar Foundation and Gazette Charities’ Empty Stocking Fund or the Give! Campaign, we encourage all who wish to make a difference to consider a gift of their time or money to the many worthy organizations in our community.
Pikes Peak Community Foundation has been investing for good since 1928, when a group of bankers pooled their money to create the Colorado Springs Community Trust. This noble partnership built a permanent charitable fund to improve the quality of life for the Pikes Peak region and is still giving back today. Since our founding, we have invested more than $125 million back into our community.
We continue this tradition of stewardship by building community through collaboration. Through our close relationships with a wide array of community partners, we can identify and understand our region’s critical issues and transformational opportunities.
Simply put, we are your community endowment, and we empower those who want to drive change in the Pikes Peak region now and for generations to come.
When the pandemic brought our community to a grinding halt, Pikes Peak Community Foundation launched the COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund, providing local non-profits vital financial support to keep their doors open and services flowing. Thanks to the generosity of our fundholders, community partners, and concerned citizens like you, we were able to grant more than $1.5 million to more than 70 local non-profits.
This is just one example how we can come together as a community to promote our collective good.
Pikes Peak Community Foundation is proud to serve our neighbors and direct dollars where they are most needed. We are working for the betterment of the Pikes Peak region and guiding us to our vision of a thriving, resilient, sustainable community with a vibrant quality of life for all.
As we reflect on this “Season of Gratitude,” know that there are people working in our community with an eye toward the future. We like to say that community foundations are “here for good.” At Pikes Peak Community Foundation, we don’t think about the next election or business cycle, we think about the next generation and the next after that.
That can seem like a daunting task, but it’s one that we all share. During National Philanthropy Day and Community Foundation Week, we hope you’ll join us in recognizing our collective impact and the difference we can make together.
Gary Butterworth is the CEO of Pikes Peak Community Foundation.