Steamboat Springs The exemplary work of three nonprofit organizations in Steamboat Springs has been recognized by one of the largest private foundations in the West.
The Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association, Strings in the Mountains Festival of Music and the Tribal Conservation Corps were recently named finalists in the El Pomar Foundation's Awards For Excellence program.
The program was established in 1989 to recognize and reward outstanding nonprofit organizations in Colorado. The awards pay tribute to Spencer and Julie Penrose's commitment to nonprofits.
The Awards For Excellence Selection Commission, a panel of prominent Colorado residents, named three finalists in each of the 11 categories.
Winners are announced Dec. 4 at the annual Awards for Excellence presentation banquet in Colorado Springs.
The Haven, Horizons Specialized Services and Steamboat Springs Health Care Association represented Routt County on the winners' stand last year.
The VNA, Strings in the Mountains and the Yampa Valley Land Trust were finalists in 2001.
The VNA, which provides public health, home health and hospice services to mothers, children and the elderly in Northwest Colorado, is a finalist in the health care category for large organizations.
VNA director Sue Birch said the public health organization was pleased to receive the recognition.
"It's a reflection of the high caliber staff that care for people in this community," Birch said.
Strings in the Mountains, one of the leading music festivals in the country, is a finalist in the arts and humanities category.
Kay Clagett, president of Strings, said the honor of winning an Award For Excellence in 1995 raised public awareness of the organization.
"The recognition of your work and your organization increases," Clagett said.
The Tribal Conservation Corps, a program of the Rocky Mountain Youth Corps, is a finalist in the environment category.
The organization employs indigenous youth from the Northern Ute, Northern Arapahoe and Eastern Shoshone tribes in projects that foster appreciation for the environment, their ancestral lands and themselves.
"We serve indigenous youth in a unique way," program director Angie Krall said.
The Awards in Excellence Selection Commission functions independently from the El Pomar Foundation in deciding finalists and winners in each of the categories.
El Pomar trustees select commission members who represent a broad base of interests and have held leadership roles in the state.
Winners in each category receive $15,000, and finalists receive $5,000.
More than 300 organizations in 90 communities in the state have received more than $2 million through the Awards For Excellence program.