Summer Activities, Fundraising Planned at Project HOPE

Lincoln Elementary School, Teen Center Headquarters

Lincoln Elementary School, Teen Center Headquarters

Members of the HOPE Center Coalition in Lamar attended what they thought would be the final monthly meeting before the summer break.  However, members agreed that there were too many projects that needed attention connecting the spring to the fall, so the monthly meetings will continue. 

The Coalition, which serves to benefit the Project HOPE Teen Center at the former Lincoln Elementary School in Lamar, is in the process of receiving their 501C3, non-profit status.  There is still the need to finalize who will be the fiscal agent for future funding, which will probably be the RE-2 School Board although final details and an attorney’s signature are still pending.  The Coalition is waiting to learn if the application for the $81,000 JAG grant has been approved.  In an effort to facilitate future grant funding, Lori Hammer, Connie Jacobson and Byron Hall said they will attend the May 15 Philanthropy Day at Lamar Community College. 

Summer activities were discussed for the students, including a trip to the zoo in Garden City, KS and to John Martin Dam.  Emily Nieschburg from LiveWell outlined plans for a full day of activities on June 22 at Willow Creek Park.  Participants can run or walk around a planned route beginning on 9am that Saturday morning.  Live music has been planned during the lunch hour at the park with free swimming between 1pm and 5pm.  Some health oriented snacks and meals, as well as smoothies have been discussed, but donations will be gratefully accepted.  Various simple games are planned for 7pm to be followed by an outdoor movie at dusk, around 9pm.  The Coalition is searching for a popcorn machine to supply some snacks.  Other suggestions for the summer include a dance night and various games at the Teen Center at Lincoln School. 

Coalition members discussed ways in which students could become involved in fundraising events during the September 20, Pedal the Plains event which will be in Lamar that evening.  The organizing group is hoping the community will develop food booths for the cyclists, perhaps as many as 1,200 to 1,500 who will be in town for dinner and breakfast on the 21st.   

One main summer activity will be development of the community garden just north of the school on Maple Street.  Students have been monitoring bedding plants which will be planted shortly, but the final irrigation system will have to be laid in. 

Seedlings for Garden

Seedlings for Garden

$250 is available to place a hydrant to water the garden and Wiley Work from the City of Lamar, as well as Keith Nidey, city councilman has been volunteering their time to complete the project.  The Coalition hopes to have that complete before the end of May. 

Emily Nieschburg briefed Coalition members on the progress being made by the Urban Land Institute and Colorado Health Foundation to fund as much as $1million based on a master plan developed from suggestions from Lamar residents.  The ULI was in Lamar for a weeklong needs study to help improve healthy lifestyles and prevent obesity.  Nieschburg said the interview group was very impressed with the suggestions made by local students, particularly the need for a replacement skateboard park.  Nieschburg said the application process is being fast-tracked to a June 15 deadline which could have the funds granted by October.

By Russ Baldwin  


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