Hospitality & Tourism

The total amount raised for flood recovery through the Community Foundation of Northern Colorado’s three flood-relief funds has been awarded in full. The final round of grant checks is being prepared for mailing.

As of Tuesday, Jan. 20, $1.827 million in donations had been received, including the $750,000 match from Bohemian Foundation.

In response to the devastating September floods, the Community Foundation created three charitable funds to address intermediate and long-term flood recovery needs within Larimer County. These funds were designed to support the areas of Estes Park and its canyon communities, Loveland and its canyon communities, and the Poudre River communities.

In early October, the Community Foundation released guidelines for grant requests to assist in flood relief efforts in Larimer County and asked nonprofit and governmental entities to submit applications. The third and final funding cycle deadline was Dec. 17. Funding recommendations were made by local committees in the impacted areas. Funding guidelines, while flexible to meet varying community needs, prioritized projects designed to either meet human needs or rebuild communities.

Grants were awarded to a total of 29 organizations; nearly $1 million was distributed to organizations assisting individuals in the recovery process. Grants included:

* $481,300 to Serve 6.8 in support of its case management program providing support to individuals and families affected by the flood through education, case management and direct services.
* $200,000 to United Way of Larimer County for the Long Term Recovery Group’s efforts in assisting flood survivors throughout Larimer County and providing direct support to individuals lacking adequate personal resources due to the disaster.

“These agencies have the daunting task of conducting a case-management process to determine which individuals are most in need and how to most effectively serve them in both the intermediate and long-term,´ said Ray Caraway, Community Foundation president. “Considering the complexities involved with differing levels of insurance coverage, household income differences and many other factors, this is challenging work.”

Other grants are supporting the physical and economic rebuilding in the affected communities. As one example, Glen Haven Area Volunteer Fire Department received $183,100 for road and bridge repair, the purchase of a fire engine capable of navigating devastated roads, and the purchase of an emergency generator to ensure access to vital services.

The grantmaking process also revealed the tremendous impact of the floods on the economic well-being of the region. Estes Park has been particularly affected because of its heavy reliance on tourism. Grants to organizations such as the Estes Valley Recreation and Parks District and Visit Estes Park will aid the community in restoring important local landmarks and attracting visitors to help counteract a projected $1.5 million loss in sales tax revenue and loss of nearly 800 jobs.

“The flood-related devastation experienced by the Big Thompson Valley up to and including Estes Park was extreme,´ said Chuck Levine, member of the Estes Park grantmaking committee and former town board member. “Properties were lost, entire infrastructures compromised, lives severely impacted, and the very ecology of the entire area dramatically changed. The economic backbone of this area has been significantly threatened as a result. These infrastructure-based grants were aimed at the broader area’s recovery, for the benefit of all residents.”

Organizations that have been awarded flood relief funding in the third funding cycle have been notified. The foundation will work closely with grant recipients to keep informed of project status and ensure that final reporting requirements are met.

The Community Foundation’s website,, has a full list of grants awarded as well as more information on the grantmaking guidelines and process.

The Community Foundation is a nonprofit, public foundation working to build permanent endowments for the benefit of charitable causes and organizations in Northern Colorado. It manages more than 350 individual charitable funds and $80 million in assets. It serves a unique leadership role by bringing people and resources together around important local issues. More than 40 local nonprofit organizations have their endowments housed with the Community Foundation, and many individuals and businesses have established donor advised funds.