El Pomar sets up $1 million COVID-19 fund

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It’s almost impossible to cover the COVID-19 scare adequately, because things change so fast.

Take, for example, the announcement, just out, that the El Pomar Foundation, among the largest nonprofits in the state, has set up a $1 million fund to offer “immediate aid” to nonprofits that help communities in Colorado deal with the coronavirus fallout.

Here’s another: City Councilor Bill Murray, obviously frustrated, sent a message to his fellow Council members wondering who’s calling the shots on whether the St. Patrick’s Day parade and Space Symposium will or will not be held.

His message:

When will we have enough information in order to make a decision on the St Pady’s day march and the Symposium? Or are we going to make a decision at all? Ask for a decision? Either the Council is value added or it is not! Mayor was in our face the other day and we sat quietly. Maybe we should just all wash our hands of this. Blame line is always someone else like the El Paso Health Dept. A fitting tribute to the seniority, in both serving years and actual years, of this Council. Leadership is not only for the good times. Why do we call ourselves the Olympic City? The public has been asking.

The symposium draws and international audience, so there’s fairly good chance someone who’s been exposed to the virus will land at the host site, The Broadmoor, if the symposium opens as scheduled March 29.

The host, the Colorado Springs-based Space Foundation, has this statement on its website:

The Space Foundation team continues to move forward with 36th Space Symposium, March 30th – April 2nd, 2020 at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, CO. Working with all of our partners, we continue to closely monitor the unfolding situation with Coronavirus/COVID-19 and are following all available public health guidance to assure a safe and successful program. To address many of the questions that have been shared with us, we have prepared the following Frequently Asked Questions, with responses to provide all of our attendees, participants, and exhibitors with the most accurate information possible. When, and as circumstances change, additional guidance and direction will be offered via postings on our websites, social media outlets and other public releases. We look forward to welcoming everyone to Colorado Springs for another safe and successful Space Symposium!

It’s followed by some Q&A, found here.

Here’s El Pomar’s news release.

El Pomar Foundation announced today the establishment of the Colorado Assistance Fund (CAF). CAF is a $1 million fund offering immediate aid to nonprofit organizations supporting Colorado communities, organizations and individuals affected by the recent outbreak of COVID-19.

Grants from the fund will be distributed to 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations or government entities supporting access to appropriate healthcare and meeting basic human needs such as food access, rent and utilities assistance, and emergency services for individuals and communities impacted by the virus.

“We are closely monitoring the COVID-19 outbreak and its impact particularly in the state of Colorado, and we hope the Colorado Assistance Fund will provide some relief to those individuals and organizations most affected,” said Kyle Hybl, President & CEO of El Pomar Foundation.

“Since 1937, El Pomar’s mission has been to enhance and promote the well-being of the people of Colorado, and the Trustees’ establishment of this fund in this time of need is emblematic of that commitment.”

El Pomar staff will determine need through three primary avenues. In addition to coordinating with county public health departments and nonprofit organizations around the state, the Foundation will rely on input from several advisory councils of local leaders to identify the specific needs within Colorado’s rural communities. These regional councils are part of El Pomar’s Regional Partnerships program and regularly provide grant recommendations to El Pomar Trustees.

“We feel very fortunate to have a strong network of advisers, nonprofit organizations and public health organizations throughout the state,” Hybl said. “Their expertise and local knowledge will enable us to get these funds in the hands of those people and organizations which will make an immediate difference in communities across Colorado.”

This is the sixth time El Pomar Foundation has dedicated a Colorado Assistance Fund. The five previous funds were established during and in the immediate aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis and distributed more than $5 million between 2008 and 2012.