The purpose of the Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo Foundation is to "preserve our Western heritage and sense of community while providing recreation, education and exciting opportunities to residents and visitors alike," its IRS tax filing states.
Its sister organization, the Colorado Springs Rodeo Association (CSRA), actually runs the Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo to raise funds for local military charities. Foundation board member Gary Markle says the support for military charities lies with the rodeo itself, because it existed long before the Foundation was formed in 2001.
"The rodeo proceeds are funneled up to the Foundation," Markle says via email. "In essence, the Foundation acts as the distribution vehicle." (The foundation's treasurer Rick Powell notes the rodeo foundation has created some of its own events, such as the Ride for the Brand Ranch Rodeo, Cowgirls & Cocktails and Blue Jeans & Brass.)
According to its IRS Form 990s, CSRA revenues for calendar years 2012 through 2015 fell $27,308 short of expenses, and it ended the year with net assets of negative $22,767.
The foundation has made contributions to military charities on behalf of CSRA during the last four fiscal years, with the most recent ending Jan. 31, 2016. (Donations to health care organizations are designated for military members and their families, a foundation official says.) Here are the four-year totals of those donations:
• Penrose St. Francis Healthcare Foundation, $59,372.
• Peak Vista Community Health Centers, $44,729.
• Project Angel Heart (a meals program for people living with serious illnesses), $62,400.
• Memorial Health Systems Foundation, $22,500.
• Army Community Services, Fort Carson, $87,000.
• Evans Army Hospital, $12,600.
• Enlisted Fund, $8,000.
• NORAD/Northcom Recognition Fund, $5,500.
• Enlisted Fund SWC Air Force, $6,500.
• 50th Space Wing Enlisted Recognition Fund, Schriever, $21,500.
• Air Force Academy Command Enlisted Fund, $21,500.
• 21st Space Wing Enlisted Fund, $8,000.