Christmas came early to Wright’s Mesa as the Lone Cone Legacy Trust, a local endowment created to preserve and support the area, distributed $8,675 in grants to help community organizations hurt by the COVID-19 pandemic and the downturn in the economy.

The trust held a ceremony to present the awards on Oct. 1 in Norwood Town Park. As she handed out checks to the recipients, Legacy Trust board member Emily Haight said, “The board is glad to do this, and we’re happy to support so many worthy causes.”

One of those checks went to the San Miguel Basin Fair and Rodeo.

“One of our goals is to come back in 2021, and this will really help us,” fair board president Regan Snyder said.

Another grant was awarded to the San Miguel Resource Center for its work in supporting survivors of domestic violence and sexual abuse.

“This money will help us hire a full-time victim’s advocate in the West End,” said Ellie Greene, manager of grants and communications for the center.

That advocate will serve an area that extends as far west as Egnar.

Other grants benefited a wide variety of other activities — from the Divide Restaurant’s “Soups for Seniors” meal program to Norwood’s Dark Sky Advocates to setting up a program that will enable winter sports enthusiasts to check out cross-country skis from the Lone Cone Library in Norwood.

A complete list of grant recipient follows:

Grants in the amount of $1,000 were awarded to the Divide Restaurant, Norwood Nordic Association, Prime Time Early Learning Center’s recovery fund (the Wright’s Stuff Community Foundation), the San Miguel Basin Fair Board and West End Victim Services Program (San Miguel Resource Center).

Grants of $750 went out to the Norwood Dark Sky Advocates, One to One Mentoring, Community Foods Advocacy Enhancement (the FRESH Food Hub) and the Welding Work Area (Norwood Public School’s agricultural education program).

A grant for $675 also went to the Norwood Community Garden.

Since the Lone Cone Legacy Trust (LCLT) was founded in 2013 by local visionary citizens, with technical assistance from the Telluride Foundation, it has raised more than $77,000 through local donations and events. These events include the Harvest Celebration, the Pioneer Day Car Show, Telluride Gives, various match grants, monthly automatic deposit donations and general donations. Three match grants in 2015, 2016 and 2017 were successfully met and raised $25,000 alone.

To keep the overhead expenses of the LCLT endowment to a minimum, all donations are managed by a local volunteer board, and all funds are invested in a separate fund managed by the Telluride Foundation. This maximizes the investment pool and allows the endowment to benefit from the portfolio management provided by the Telluride Foundation’s expert investment committee.

The fund management services used by the Telluride Foundation are the same as those used by major nonprofit foundations, universities, hospitals and municipalities for long-term investments.

Those interested in making donations to the Lone Cone Legacy Trust may visit loneconelegacy.org and click on the “donate now” button displayed on the site’s front page. Donations can also be mailed to the trust at P.O. box 565, Norwood, CO 81423.

Lone Cone Legacy Trust current board members are Andrew Kauffman (chair), Bob Grossman, Sheila Grother, Emily Haight, George Lewis, Sue Reynolds and Gretchen Wells. April Montgomery of the Telluride Foundation serves as an ex-officio board member.