HOPE Coalition Reviewing Strategic Plan


The Partners for HOPE Center at Lincoln School will review the four main goals of the strategic plan during their monthly meetings this summer.  Several strategies are built into each of the goals which include:  Increase HOPE Center Capacity and Build Infrastructure; Provide Healthy Lifestyle and Wellness Choices; Become the Gathering Place for the Community and Increase Educational Support.

HOPE Coalition members have developed and submitted their 501C3 application and are waiting to be awarded a non-profit status.  The creation of the Master Plan, according to HOPE director, Lori Hammer, will help the Center in its continuing goal to seek on-going funding.  The JAGG grant, which has kept the Center alive for the past four years, is expiring at the end of September and is not renewable.  Without sustainable funding, the future for the HOPE Center in Lamar, which has served about a hundred or more students each day of the school year, is bleak.

Members of the El Pomar Group were given a tour of the operation on April 30 by Coalition members, outlining some past events, everyday activities and future goals of the facility.  Hammer said the El Pomar representatives can help the Center create future partnerships for grant funding, as well as a donation from the group as well.  The steering committee for the Philanthropy Day event was also shown the HOPE Center activities when they came to Lamar last Thursday, May 15.  Philanthropy Days are held in a community every four years, most recently in Otero County and this September’s meeting is set for 24-26th in Trinidad.  The meetings help local organizations connect with corporations and organizations that contribute funding for projects they deem worthwhile.  It’s hoped that Lamar could host a future meeting during which from 300 to 350 persons attend the sessions.

The HOPE Center has plans for several summer field trips for students in June, including a visit to Big Timbers Museum on the 4th and Camp Amache on the 18th.  Plans are also underway for honor the invitation given to the Center’s Leadership students from the Center for American Values in Pueblo.  A visit to the Center also includes lunch and a trip to Pueblo’s Riverwalk.  No specific date was set for the trip.  It was mentioned that Granada teacher, John Hopper was honored with a proclamation from the Japanese Consulate for his restoration work on the Camp Amache Internment Camp.  His work is scheduled to be highlighted this Thursday evening, May 22 at 9pm on channel 20, KTVD and at 10pm on KUSA, channel 9.

Susan Hansen reported that Wal-mart in Lamar donated 10 big bags of potting soil and some seeds which will be planted in the HOPE Center’s community Garden this week and Prowers County Commissioners, Wendy Buxton-Andrade said she’d check on the progress for the drip irrigation system being installed.

Byron Hall said of the 250 kite making kits that were available during Fiesta Days/Cinco de Mayo at Willow Creek Park, almost all were given out, but 80 are still left for use.  He said the volunteers who helped assemble them for the kids, especially the students from the Mormon Church did an excellent job and ‘hung in’ there all through the day for them.  The kites were flown over the weekend at Escondido Park for the Mother’s Day picnic.  There are some tentative plans to schedule another kite flying day for the remainder of the kit kites and any other kites that kids or adults want to take part.  The meeting closed with more funding developments, including a $2,000 donation from Eric Farmer and loose plans to hold a dodgeball fundraising event, perhaps at the Lamar Community Building.   The next meeting is set for June 16 at Lincoln School.

By Russ Baldwin

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