Announcing National Philanthropy Day winners

National Philanthropy Day (NPD) was celebrated with 250 volunteers, donors, and philanthropists this week at the YMCA of the Rockies. Pretty safe to say that everyone left well-fed and full of warm fuzzies for all the amazing philanthropic work being done in this community. The Estes Park Nonprofit Resource Center is thrilled with all the nominations by community members who raised a hand to recognize their friends, fellow volunteers, and colleagues who contribute to the culture of philanthropy in Estes Park; it feels good, it’s value-driven work, and it makes our mountain town healthy and strong.

The Estes Park Nonprofit Resource Center is grateful for the ongoing contribution to this event from the YMCA of the Rockies (including setting up their Assembly Hall to welcome and feed yummy food to 250 people).

We are also impressed by all the businesses that raised a hand to support the production of this event. It couldn’t happen without these partnerships. Thank you to all the people coming together to fold napkins, greet community members, contribute financially, and give time their time to make things shine.

David Hemphill (EPNRC/Courtesy photo)

Enduring Service Award

David Hemphill

David has served on many boards: Estes Valley Crisis Advocates, Pet Association, the Nonprofit Resource Center, Bella Fortuna Center, and the Estes Valley Library. He has provided accounting services for these organizations as well as the Estes Park Learning Place. His work and wisdom goes far beyond the financial support he provides to these and other nonprofits in Town. And, with out a doubt, his wife Mary works with David and supports all that he does.

Business Philanthropist of the Year

You Need Pie!

You Need Pie! (EPNRC/Courtesy photo)

Val Thompson, owner of You Need Pie!, is always there to donate to any cause in town. She actively supports the clubs and teams at the school, the Rotary, the Car Club, the Quota Club, the Library, the Rec Center, the American Legion, the Chamber, the Rodeo and likely…more?! She alsosupports the business sector by organizing the Dine Around Town event every year. She is truly a person who gives selflessly. She rarely self-promotes, preferring to just donate quietly and not expect anything in return. I can’t say what her monetary contributions might be because she doesn’t really talk about it. It just seems to me that she leads her business in a way that exemplifies the spirit of this award.

“At You Need Pie, community involvement is an important part of our business model. In all we do, the pie we make from scratch, the way we treat our guests and the way our team interacts, along with how we support our community – we ask, “Would Grandma Be Proud?” We support multiple causes in Estes Park because it’s the right thing to do.” – Val Thompson

Katie Speer Philanthropist of the Year

Mary Banken (EPNRC/Courtesy photo)

Mary Banken (nominated twice and also nominated for Enduring Service)

Mary is the bookkeeper for The American Legion, Post 119 in Estes Park. That’s what she volunteered to do, but what she actually does is serve as Administrative Director. She manages the whole show, including the tavern, kitchen, and events. She puts in anywhere from 8 to 12 hrs per day, 7 days per week. Prior to her investment of time and talents—the Legion was an eyesore situated at the entrance of our town. Mary’s efforts have taken the Legion from surviving to thriving. I hope she understands the immense value of her role in this community!

“Our community is surviving–some days even thriving–because so many of our people live in service to the values that they hold dear.  It is an honor to be a part of that energy; we are all very Estes-blessed!” – Mary Banken

Youth Philanthropist of the Year

Valentyna (Valya) Trydukh (EPNRC/Courtesy photo)

Valentyna (Valya) Trydukh

Valya, who is from Ukraine, wanted to do something last year that would have an impact on the many families and friends trying to survive the conflict. In talking with folks back home, she found two immediate needs; medical supplies and money. From there, Valya created beautifully decorated boxes for both collecting money and medical supplies. She promoted the collection of supplies and money through Schoology (our district’s Learning Management System), morning announcements at the high school, and awareness/fundraiser through the high school’s BAM (Business and Management) class. Student and staff across the district were very supportive of the idea! She quickly discovered that it was easier to send money than medical supplies. She switched gears to fundraising through Venmo and Western Union. Valya’s godmother in Ukraine helped run a large food packing center where the donations from students and staff made an immediate impact. Her godmother sent a video which was shared with staff. Valya should be recognized for taking action, adapting along the way, and letting her heart lead the pursuit of positive impact.

Shavlik Nonprofit of the Year

Crossroads Ministry of Estes Park (EPNRC/Courtesy photo)

Crossroads Ministry of Estes Park

Crossroads is the safety net for those who need it the most in the Estes Valley. In the last two years alone, it has assisted 1,296 adults and 616 children (962 families–433 of which were new to Crossroads) in meeting urgent needs. Some highlights of assistance include 296 mortgage payments, 139 utility bills, 12,535 meals on wheels delivered, 255,155 pounds of food distributed, and 360 Thanksgiving dinner boxes. And Crossroads collaborates whenever beneficial to “make the magic happen”. They have partnered with Bright Christmas, providing 225 Christmases to families, and 240 backpacks of school supplies to local kids. Their partnership with Village Thrift Shop has provided 914 coats. These vital needs of our community were met only through the efforts of nearly 15,000 volunteer hours, demonstrating the widespread support of this vital mission. This organization helps those who need it most in our community, through our floods, fires, the pandemic, and our individual times of need.

Crossroads not only serves clients from its location, but it also took over and operates the local Meals on Wheels program, delivering meals to those who are unable to come and pick them up. Bilingual services are available on-site and are frequently utilized, with other multi-lingual capacities available when needed.

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About Pep Dekekr

Pep loves Estes Park, he lives here with his family and hopes to bring people to Estes Park and Estes Park to the people. Along with his wife Paige, they own EstesPark.com.

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