The Lyons Community Foundation (LCF) is marking its tenth anniversary this year. What started as a passion project led by several local residents, the impact it has had on the Lyons Community is quite remarkable. LCF was established in 2007 and the first grants were awarded in 2008. Since
then, LCF has awarded nearly $400,000 in “community support grants” for a wide range of inspired work that seeks to Improve the quality of life, Build a culture of giving, and Encourage positive change in the Greater Lyons Area.
The reasons for having a local-based nonprofit included among others, the ability to address the unique needs of a small and diverse community. There are a myriad of projects that otherwise could not occur, given the budget and constraints of a small town. Also, the foundation gives local businesses and individuals a go-to centralized resource to help and enhance their community.
Top Programs funded since 2008:
- $102,669 - LEAF/Food Pantry/Basic Needs Fund
- $72,812 - Youth/School Enrichment/Educational programming: scientific equipment, after prom, marching band, tech equipment, field trips, youth sports, youth volunteer programs
- $50,310 - Public Arts and Music: Lyons Art Walk, Sounds of Lyons, Clarifier project
- $45,350 - Town of Lyons/Parks and Recreation: Sandstone Summer Concert series, Parade of Lights, Lyons Outdoor Games, Good old Days, Youth and Senior Programming
- $26,000 - Youth Scholarships for area college-bound students
- $24,350 - Health and Human Services: 9Health Fair, parent education, help resource guide
- $23,750 - Ecology Projects, landscape beautification and environmental sustainability
- $21,800 - Historical Preservation: Lyons History and Lyons Museum
- $17,250 - Senior services and programming; Meals on Wheels
- $7000 - Lyons Library
- $6000 - Animal Welfare: Humane society and Greenwood Wildlife rehab
- $2850 - Economic Development: business support, Lyons Economic Gardening Group, Lyons Chamber of Commerce.
At no time was the need for a local foundation more critical than during the 2013 flood. Because LCF existed, the “Rebuild Lyons One life at a Time” grant program was able to spring into action, awarding over $1M to local residents and businesses when they needed it most. While regional and national aid programs exist, their impact would not have been as direct or swift. Funds were given out within three months of the flood to address critical needs. In addition, the Rebuild Lyons Fund continued to address longer term and persistent needs of those affected by the flood.
Since 2013, the “Rebuild Lyons” fund has awarded over $410,000 to support everything from Lyons Volunteers who help residents in their clean up, rebuild, and recovery process, landscape and ecology restoration including reseeding, ditch restoration, and landscape recovery, and the Lyons Fire Department rebuild of station #2, which was lost in the flood. The Larimer County Long Term Recovery Group utilized Rebuild funds to help with construction and volunteer management, and LEAF programs including the hiring of housing advocates, emergency client services, and assistance in buying a van for the food pantry were all made possible by Rebuild funds that have assisted Lyons area residents with their long term recovery.