Lone Cone Legacy Trust (LCLT), the local endowment created to preserve and support the Wright’s Mesa area, recently received a $5,000 donation to be used for programming and projects benefitting youth in the communities of Norwood, Redvale and the greater Wright’s Mesa area. The donation is a dollar-for-dollar “challenge match,” meaning it is up to the trust, or rather the community, to raise at least another $5,000 to match the funds, according to a news release.

Dr. Mark Vandenberg, a long-time Norwood local, has provided the matching grant in honor of his son, the late Aaron Vandenberg, and first wife, Donna Vandenberg. Aaron Vandenberg grew up in Norwood and passed away in 2011. Donna Vandenberg passed away from cancer in 1996.

The $5,000 donation will be used specifically to fund grants for nonprofits and community organizations that provide programs for local children and teens. Youth programs make up a large portion of the community grants that the trust funds through its annual application process. The funds raised to match the $5,000 donation will also be used to fund the 2021 community grants cycle, planned for September.

The trust’s board said this is an excellent opportunity to build the community grant pool, thus awarding a greater number of nonprofits and community organizations that positively impact Wright’s Mesa. The board has previously had success with matching grants — those in 2015, 2016 and 2017 raised $25,000 — and now it’s presented with another opportunity to raise funds for the area’s youth. 

The LCLT board asks the Norwood community to consider donating to help it meet the new challenge match, while honoring Aaron Vandenburg who grew up in the Norwood community and participated in many local youth programs.

The board has said any amount that folks can donate will be helpful. Those interested in contributing can go to loneconelegacy.org and click on the “donate now” tab displayed on the site’s homepage. People can opt to make a one-time donation, or sign up for automatic monthly payments. Donations can also be mailed to the trust at P.O. Box 565, Norwood, CO 81423.

Since the LCLT was founded in 2013 by local visionary citizens with technical assistance from the Telluride Foundation, it has raised more than $100,000 through local donations and events, including the Harvest Celebration, the Pioneer Day Car Show, Telluride Gives, matching grants, monthly automatic deposit donations and also general donations.

Last year, the trust gave out $9,175 in community grants.

To keep the overhead expenses of the endowment to a minimum, a local volunteer board manages all donations, 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, free of charge, by the Telluride Foundation’s 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.

Current Lone Cone Legacy Trust board members are Andrew Kauffmann (chair), Bob Grossman, Sheila Grother, Emily Haight, George Lewis, Sue Reynolds, Lisa Foxwell and Gretchen Wells. April Montgomery and Robin Kondracki of the Telluride Foundation serve as ex-officio board members. Anyone who would like more information about the trust or to learn more about applying for grants should visit loneconelegacy.org.