Rand M. Thoughts: Concluding our Anniversary Year

The Community Foundation Serving Greeley and Weld County is closing out its 20th year.  2017 has been a good one, celebrating how far the Foundation has come in that span of time.

Through the 20th Anniversary Wish Grants provided by the Foundation, Weld County communities have allowed us to enjoy many celebrations. Sponsored events included a free weekend at the Colorado Model Railroad Museum in Greeley, free Friday nights at the Fort Lupton Recreation Center, and Sunday Mead Farmers Markets.

As the year progressed, nonprofits in Weld’s cities and towns provided opportunities for partnering with them on honest, thought-provoking discussions such as United Way’s focus on homelessness, Free Our Girls week of awareness on Human Trafficking, and
Windsor/Severance Schools’ frank discussions on mental and emotional health. We celebrated Heritage Day with the City of Evans. We also got to re-live local music history with Greeley’s Historic PreservationOffice and Historic Greeley, Inc. and WWI history with Colorado Humanities’ annual Chautauqua events.

We experienced a sensory film festival with Arc of Weld County’s clients and their families, and we partnered with Life Stories Child and Family Advocacy Center to hold a children’s carnival. We honored our local law enforcement personnel with an event hosted by Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP), and admired the art of Envision’s talented artists. Most recently, Soccer Without Borders spiced things up by hosting an International Food Festival, the Colorado Dance Collective held a “Hot Chocolate Collective” December program, and Centennial Village hosted a Homesteader’s Holiday Event.

Some enjoy the past. It is solid and concrete. However, it is not healthy to dwell on the past. Moving forward is the only option we’re given. Yet, constantly looking forward without occasionally looking back does not give the reward of an appreciation for progress for how far one has come. Looking back provides context. Looking forward provides hope. Both are important.

The future does hold an element of uncertainty, but it is also fuel for the engine of hope. Something new, something different, improved. Better. Exciting.

Community Foundations are ideal vehicles for bringing the past, present, and future into one philanthropic organization. Donors from the past have provided the ability to respond to current needs. While past donors’ gifts continue funding projects into perpetuity, current donors establishing new funds provide additional resources for the future – and unknown – needs of our growing county.

As we move into the years to come, we look forward to working with community-minded philanthropists to recognize Weld County’s past and “Weld” it to its future. If we can help you, let us know.