Forty years ago, there were five people sitting in a living room in downtown Greeley trying to figure out how they could help the community with donated funds from First National Bank. That’s how Norm Noe remembers the beginning of the Greeley Area Foundation. He said he couldn’t have imagined what it would grow to become The Community Foundation Serving Greeley and Weld County today.
“It’s fantastic,” Noe said. “The varieties of things that can be done through the setup of a foundation is so broad ... that is the real great part of it. It is remarkable to look at the magnitude of this organization.”
The foundation hosted it’s annual profiles luncheon for about 350 people to celebrate 15 years as a community foundation and its volunteers, committee members, donors and recipients with a theme of “Together, we realize dreams.”
“If you haven’t found your dream yet, or you have one and you can’t remember where you put it, it’s out there and there are people who are willing to help you achieve it,” said Charmaine Coppom, a past board chair for the foundation.
Since the merger of the Greeley Area Foundation and the Community Foundation Serving Greeley and Weld County, there have been 125 funds created, and $12.2 million in grants awarded.
“A community foundation helps nonprofits in propelling them and working with them. It’s the philanthropic infrastructure of a community,” said Renny Fagan, the keynote speaker and president and CEO of Colorado Nonprofit Association said. “The community foundation here is doing a fantastic job. ... The community foundation will be a key player in bringing people together to realize dreams together.”
Windsor resident Theresa Henry saw the impact the foundation had after the 2008 tornado. She has volunteered on service boards for the many years and joined the community foundation board in Windsor this year.
“I’ve seen what the Greeley Community Foundation can do, and I’d like to try to do some of the same things in Windsor,” Henry said. “There has been a lot of great impact on a lot of people.”