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Introducing the Independence Community Fund

Give someone a fish

you feed them for a day.

Teach someone to fish

they can feed their families.

Empower people to make their own fishnets

they can transform their lives.

Today the Pikes Peak region is America's 18th fastest-growing urban area and El Paso County will soon surpass Denver as Colorado's most populous county. Our region now increasingly deals with big-city challenges.

Fortunately, the generosity provided by local philanthropists, the United Way campaign, our region's vibrant business community, as well as local, state and federal government resources offers an ongoing stream of support for many worthy direct service providers.

Where Colorado Springs lags behind other comparable regions is in its support of organizations devoted to long-term, systemic change. By increasing support to such nonprofit organizations, our community will be better positioned to move beyond problem management to true problem solving.

Given its current infrastructure and resources, Colorado Springs is poised to make the transition to a more sustainable, empowered community. To help catalyze this transformation, we are launching the Independence Community Fund to provide additional financial backing to worthwhile projects as well as to showcase their good works to the greater Colorado Springs community. Every year, we will select up to 12 organizations to benefit from the fund's resources.

Selection Criteria

The fund's Community Board has established the following criteria for evaluating applicants seeking resources and publicity from the Independence Community Fund:

1. Projects should strengthen our community's ability to help people toward independence and our community toward sustainability.

2. Projects should be able to benefit from our financial contributions as well as the public exposure that they will receive.

3. Projects are encouraged in, but not limited to, the following areas: arts civic participation community building criminal justice education reform environmental awareness housing access literacy youth empowerment.

4. In addition, projects that will help bring new programs or concepts to our community are particularly encouraged.

For application material, see page 2 of this week's paper.

Applications are due by 4 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 13, 2001.

This year's recipients will be announced by October 1.

A question-and-answer session for potential applicants will be held on Wed., August 29, from 4 to 5 p.m. in the community room of the Penrose Public Library, 20 N. Cascade Ave.

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