EPYCS Club helps students learn the gift of giving | PostIndependent.com

EPYCS Club helps students learn the gift of giving

Students at Glenwood Springs High School have given $8,800 to local charities. The students, members of the El Pomar Youth in Community Service (EPYCS) Club, match a $7,500 grant from El Pomar each year. Although they are required to raise only $500 in matching funds, this year the EPYCS Club raised $1,300.El Pomar named GSHS the outstanding EPYCS school in the region this year for its fundraising efforts at a grant award ceremonies at the Hotel Colorado Saturday. El Pomar is a charitable foundation in Colorado Springs that established the EPYCS clubs 15 years ago as a way to get students involved in philanthropy.Club members take applications for grants and decide on the awards. They also raise matching funds during the school year. GSHS raised its funds through bake sales, selling lunch items, helping with a haunted house at the Glenwood Springs Community Center and hosting a winter dance.The Lake County High School EPYCS Club donated DJ music at the dance and the two schools split the profits.EPYCS club members Haley Carmer and Shauna McWilliams, both seniors at GSHS, were recognized as outstanding students at the awards ceremony.The Glenwood club chose to concentrate giving to nonprofits concerned with families, health, animals and the environment.Grants went to the Colorado Mountain Club ($2,500) to help protect the White River National Forest, to Planned Parenthood of Glenwood Springs ($1,000) for reproductive services, to Advocate Safehouse Project ($1,300) for a 24-hour help line, YouthZone ($2,500) for parent and youth programs and to Catholic Charities ($1,500) for transitional housing and immigration services.This year the seven schools in the western Colorado region, including GSHS, Aspen High School, Colorado Rocky Mountain School, Eagle Valley High School, Lake County High School, Summit High School and Vail Mountain School, gave out $60,000 in grants to nonprofits, said El Pomar spokesman Alan Frosh.A total of $1.1 million will be given out by EPYCS clubs in schools statewide.Keynote speaker Susie Davis, director of the Youth Foundation in Eagle County, said EPYCS teaches valuable lessons.”Through EPYCS you’re learning critical life lessons, you’re learning about giving,” she told the students at the Saturday awards ceremony.Glenwood Springs High School EPYCS advisor Mike Wilde applauded his student’s involvement in the club.”It’s in giving back that you truly form a community,” he said. “This community is so good that way. The kids learn the importance of giving.”He said the club members are very invested in the club, and he has only to step back and let them do their work.While many of those involved are active in other school clubs, “this is the club they feel really good about,” he said. “They feel they have a huge impact on the community.”Contact Donna Gray: 945-8515, ext. 510dgray@postindependent.com

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