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Eastern Colorado Bank Begins 4th Year of the "Giving Back, Looking Forward" Grants

By Betsy Barnett

June 1, 2022

The Eastern Colorado Bank with their founding branch in Cheyenne Wells has announced they have begun to collect grant applications for the fourth round of the Giving Back-Looking Forward Community grants.

The Giving Back-Looking Forward webpage states the purpose for the grant, “For over 75 years, we have made it a priority to give back to our community, and this shines brightly in everything that we do. From donating to local schools, giving back to charities and volunteering our time, we display our dedication to building future growth and prosperity.”

Angie Weed, Senior Marketing Director at Eastern Colorado Bank stated, “Since we began our ECB Giving Back–Looking Forward grant in 2019, we have been able to donate over $200,000. You must be a non-profit, school or community minded organization to apply. The application window is August 1, 2022.”

In essence, the bank is again funding a new community orientated program designed to assist small community organizations in special projects designed to enhance their services that contributes to the community as a whole.

In its maiden grant-giving season in 2019 the Eastern Colorado Bank provided funding for 16 projects going to organizations across five counties. The grants went to groups from food pantries, to schools, to rural development groups, social enterprises and recreational needs for children. Some of the more unique projects included a splash pad addition to the Cheyenne Wells pool, a copy center for small businesses in Limon, a dental service for underserved children in Colorado Springs and replacement trees at the Weskan, KS cemetery that were destroyed by fire.

To the bank’s credit the project never slowed down in 2020 during the first year of the pandemic as $60,600 was granted to 18 organizations. Some of the projects helped the organizations stay open during the pandemic, other projects continued to give back to the community in the form of providing much needed fire fighting equipment in Limon, to providing space for the children of Cheyenne Wells to continue going a community gym and lifting weights when the pandemic closed the school facilities. (That particular move seemed to pay off in big ways as both the boys’ and girls’ sports teams the next year have enjoyed impressive success in the preps sports scene.) Other grant funding went to a handful of childcare facilities who struggled to meet mandates and lost income because of the pandemic. Those grants, too, had a long-term affect as they played a role in allowing the childcare centers as well as nursing homes to stay open into the future.

Finally, in 2021 the Eastern Colorado generously provided grants to 26 organizations, across 8 counties, in the amount of $65,000.

Following is a list of grantees from the 2021 Giving Back-Looking Forward grant funding season:

ECB donated $2,500 to the Catholic Charities of Central Colorado to help provide emergency support for families and parents with children who are engaged with Life Coaching a.k.a. family-strengthening case management.

ECB donated $5,000 to the Cheyenne County School District to help purchase the new LED lights for the Tigers football field.

ECB donated $5,000 to help pave the parking lot and replace the sewer line for the Burlington Senior Center.

ECB donated $2,000 to Dynamic Dimensions to help keep up the tradition of the Thanksgiving Baskets for those in need.

ECB donated $2,000 to Prairie Family Center to help provide and deliver food boxes to senior citizens in Kit Carson County Colorado.

Eastern Colorado Bank has donated $2,000 to the Burlington Community Ballfield Project with our 2021 Giving Back–Looking Forward Grant. The Burlington Community Ballfield Project is building a sun shelter over the bleachers and dugouts of the middle school fields.

ECB donated $2,500 to Share the Spirit Foundation to help them purchase new shoes and socks for disadvantaged children who reside in the areas of Sheridan Lake, Cheyenne Wells, Kit Carson and Burlington.

ECB donated $4,500 to the Colorado East Community Action Agency to help them to continue to offer stabilizing services to families with low income in Elbert, Lincoln, Kit Carson and Cheyenne counties.

ECB donated $4,500 to the Hugo Fire Protection District to help them purchase 2 sets of turnout gear to help keep the fire fighters safe while fighting fires.

ECB donated $500 to the Hugo Public Library to help expand their children’s reading section.

ECB donated $500 to help the Your Community Foundation of Limon, CO to help them preserve the old fashioned theater marquee for generations to come.

ECB donated $500 to the CASA of the Pikes Peak Region to help in funding to recruit, train and manage volunteers to serve the influx of abused and neglected children entering the child welfare program.

ECB donated $2,500 to Dream Centers to help provide homeless women and women with children to get housing and to learn how to move on with their lives and provide for themselves and their children.

ECB has donated $1,000 to Forge Evolution (formerly CS Teen Court) to help provide early intervention education and restorative justice options to low-income youth/families who are referred to this program.

ECB has donated $1,000 to Junior Achievement of Southern Colorado to support it’s mission to ‘empower youth to own their own economic success’ through programming focused on financial literacy, career readiness and entrepreneurship.

ECB has donated $1,000 to Partners in Housing to help provide transitional housing an supportive services to help homeless families with children locate employment improve their education, income and personal well-being.

ECB has donated $2,500 to Springs Rescue Mission to help provide hunger relief and addiction recovery services.

ECB has donated $2,500 to THE Place to help provide services for runaway and homeless street youth in El Paso County.

ECB has donated $2,000 to the Sharon Springs Kansas Golf course to help them rebuild their buildings from the tornado damage earlier this summer.

ECB donated $3,000 to the Weskan Schools to help start a new Career and Technical Education (CTE) for Health Science CTE pathway.

ECB has donated $5,000 to the Wallace County Schools in Sharon Springs, KS to help fund a Computer Numerical Controlled Plasma Cutter for their welding program.

ECB has donated $2,000 to the Kit Carson Chamber of Commerce to replace 2 upper windows on the east side of the Kit Carson Pool Hall, which is listed on the National and State Historical Registries.

ECB has donated $2,000 to the Kit Carson Historical Society to help fund the exterior painting of the Old Rail Road Depot and Signal Maintenance House

ECB has donated $2,000 to the Kit Carson School District to help students design, create and implement a community facing, student led CTE store in Kit Carson

ECB has donated $2,000 to help the Kit Carson Fire Department fix their commercial style freezer that the entire community uses

Our donation of $5,000 to Prairie View Health Resources will be used to help pay the expenses for one applicant to attend the Registered Nursing program at Lamar Community College and come back to work at Keefe Memorial Hospital.

As of last week, the Eastern Colorado Bank has announced their 2022 round of grant opportunities. If you are a non-profit organization working to improve your community within the bank’s business area you can apply for funding for a particular project for your organization that is designed to enhance not only the organization itself but provide positive opportunity for the community as a whole.

To apply go to yourfriendlybank/community/giving-back/ and fill out the short application form provided. Grant recipients for the 2022 Giving Back-Looking Forward season will be announced in August.

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