Glenwood Springs nonprofit YouthZone a finalist for one of El Pomar’s Awards for Excellence |

Glenwood Springs nonprofit YouthZone a finalist for one of El Pomar’s Awards for Excellence

John Gardner
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado ” Glenwood Springs based YouthZone is a finalist for the El Pomar Awards for Excellence. The local nonprofit is one of three finalists in the Youth Development category along with Koshare Indian Dancers from La Junta and Urban Peak-Denver.

Just to be a finalist for the award is very exciting news for YouthZone Executive Director Debbie Wilde.

“I think one of the biggest things with this award is that it confirms what we are doing is working and it says that what we are doing is of excellent quality,” Wilde said. “It gives us credibility in the community and with members and clients, too.”

Each year the El Pomar Foundation recognizes 33 outstanding Colorado non-profit organizations, singling out the very best nonprofits in the state for their work through the Award for Excellence. All finalists receive $7,500, winners receive $15,000.

Finalists and winners are selected by a statewide panel of community leaders that meets several times throughout the year in different locations. Wilde will attend an award ceremony on Nov. 19 in Colorado Springs. Awards are presented in 11 different categories with one nonprofit presented with the Spencer and Julie Penrose Award.

In 2007, Glenwood Springs Based Computers 4 Kids was a finalist for these awards and ended up bringing home the Spencer and Julie Penrose Award as outstanding nonprofit of the year, along with $50,000.

Just being a finalist is enough for Wilde to proud of.

“It does feel nice,” she said. “I think that clearly, in our work, kudos are when a kid does well. When a kid or parent can recognize that we made a difference in their lives, that is the award that we get. But it’s a great piece for the hard-working staff, board members and volunteers, and the El Pomar Foundation realizes that a pat on the back goes a long way.”

In 32 years of operating, YouthZone tracks success rates ranging from 75 percent to 95 percent, and continues to engage youth in making positive, healthy life choices.

YouthZone was also an Awards for Excellence finalist in 2004, and received $5,000. In total, the organization has received eight grants from the El Pomar Foundation totaling nearly $60,000.

The Awards for Excellence program was established in 1989 and has since awarded more than $4.4 million to nearly 400 nonprofits across the state of Colorado.

Contact John Gardner: 384-9114

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