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Efforts to help kids earns CRP El Pomar 'Award for Excellence'

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Center for Restorative Programs, 2017 Recipient of Award for Excellence

By: Keith R. Cerney, Alamosa Valley Courier

BLACK HAWK – As the old saying goes, “kids will be kids.” However, when those actions result in bad decisions, Center for Restorative Programs (CRP) is there to help get them back on track.

Those efforts were recognized here last night at El Pomar Foundation’s Awards for Excellence presentation ceremony as CRP was one of three Colorado non-profits recognized as 2017 recipients of that honor.

Center for Restorative Programs promotes a system of restorative justice in the San Luis Valley. Executive Director Luke Yoder, pictured above, commented “Kids are making decisions, like they often do, that aren’t necessarily the best. They’re expanding their horizons, exploring their boundaries, and making mistakes.

“And when they make those mistakes, we’re providing an opportunity for youth to really own those decisions and those behaviors, and understand their impact.”

The mission statement for CRP is “Strengthening community in the San Luis Valley by bridging conflict and restoring relationships.”

El Pomar Foundation, based in Colorado Springs, awarded a $25,000 contribution to each of the three recipients “for their commitment to bettering the lives of Coloradans.”

According to a press release from El Pomar, also honored were Kit Carson Rural Development, that engages in a wide variety of projects to benefit Kit Carson and Wild Horse communities, and Project Angel Heart that provides nutritious meals to individuals battling life-threatening illnesses in Denver and Colorado Springs.

Two individuals were also acknowledged for their distinguished service to the nonprofit sector and the state of Colorado. Adam Meyerson, President of Philanthropy Roundtable, received the Ben S. Wendelken Special Trustees Award in recognition of his extraordinary commitment to the nonprofit sector, demonstrated by his work to promote philanthropic efforts across the nation.

Earlier in the day, Chuck McAfee was recognized as the inaugural recipient of El Pomar’s Award for Leadership and Service for his commitment to Lewis, Colorado and the Southwest region of the state, demonstrated by his volunteer and board service and his role in launching the TeamUP Initiative, a collaboration focused on cradle-to-career education.

“Every day, communities across Colorado depend on the engagement of dedicated individuals and nonprofits,” said William J. Hybl, Chairman and CEO of El Pomar Foundation. “The organizations and individuals recognized today are wonderful examples of this engagement. We are proud to support them and look forward to their continued excellence, leadership, and innovation.”

Awards for Excellence annually recognizes the state’s highest performing nonprofit organizations. Since 1989, the program has provided over $6.2 million in grants to more than 450 nonprofit organizations throughout Colorado. Organizations are selected by a dedicated group of community leaders, Council members from El Pomar’s Regional Partnerships program, and El Pomar Fellowship Alumni.  

Members of the El Pomar San Luis Valley council were present at Monday’s award ceremony to help honor CRP.