2014 Highlights

2014 was another great year for our regional community foundation.  Highlights from our year include: 


$3.3 million in new donations


$1.8 million in grants and scholarships awarded

17 new funds established


7 new planned gifts documented


Holy Family

Catholic School  

Catholic education and the local Holy Family Catholic School were near and dear to Joe and Del Prinsters' hearts.  The Prinsters were long-time champions of Catholic education, providing regular and generous financial support to allow children of modest means to attend the school and providing leadership and resources to build the new school building and campus on 26   Road.  Joe and Del Prinster's charitable legacy fund will provide tuition support and funds for retirement benefits for the many fine teachers who teach at Holy Family. 


The retirement benefits are an unusual but large-hearted legacy.  Julie Prinster explains, "Joe and Del held all educators in high esteem but they recognized that Catholic school teachers did not have the same access to retirement benefits as public school teachers.  They felt it was important to help Holy Family Catholic School support their teachers by helping fund retirement benefits."


"Holy Family owes a debt of gratitude to the invest- ment of time, talent, and treasure by Joe Prinster and his wife, Del, over the years...he did so much for so many people and wanted no recognition. Holy Family stands as a living legacy of this spirit.  The school continues to thrive, enhancing the lives of all who are members of the Holy Family Catholic School community."


         -- Jake Aubert


             Holy Family School



WCCF's Revamped Website Now Offers Online Applications for Scholarships
Check out our easy online scholarship application today!
Deadline is March 15, 2015.



The Western Colorado Community Foundation is confirmed in compliance with National Standards for U.S. Community Foundations.

Joe Prinster's Legacy

of Philanthropy and Community Development

Lifelong Grand Junction resident Joe Prinster passed away on Christmas Eve

at the age of 89.  In western Colorado, the Prinster family name and City Market are synonymous.  Joe worked his entire career in the grocery business, serving as president of City Markets from 1978 to 1987.  Through his business enterprise he provided food and jobs in our community, but he also did so through his extensive philanthropy.  


Joe was an avid supporter of Grand Valley Catholic Outreach and was instrumental in the Prinster family donation of the old City Market warehouse at 1st and Main Streets so the growing organization could provide a larger soup kitchen and serve more people through a range of social services.  In terms of jobs, he was a founder and leader in the Mesa County Economic Development Council (now the Grand Junction Economic Partnership) and the Chamber of Commerce - both organizations which generate jobs and employment in Mesa County.  He was a man of deep faith, known for his daily Mass attendance at St. Joseph Catholic Church and great generosity to his parish and Holy Family Catholic School.


Joe was a founding board member of our Community Foundation, a long-time donor and leader.  During our start-up years, our organization received a matching challenge from the Boettcher Foundation; if we could raise a certain amount of funds each year over a three-year period, Boettcher would give us $500,000 for our fledgling Community Grants Fund.  We struggle to meet the match during the first year of the challenge.  Joe stepped in and wrote a large check, allowing us to meet our challenge and, frankly, continue to operate.  Joe was known for doing this - stepping up and helping nonprofits achieve their plans - quietly, modestly, regularly.  We were a small $1 million foundation then; we are now $45 million in total assets, awarding almost $2 million in grants and scholarships each year.  Joe Prinster was instrumental in our organization achieving this potential.


Joe and his wife Del were very involved in their church and the Holy Family Catholic School.  A decade ago they established a designated endowment at our Community Foundation to support the school.  A generous estate gift will increase that fund, providing a permanent revenue stream to the Catholic school for tuition assistance and retirement support for teachers, something that mattered a lot to Joe and the Prinster family.


Our Community Foundation has a favorite Winston Churchill quote:


"You make a living by what you do, you make a life by what you give." 


City Market and the grocery business is what Joe Prinster did to make his living; caring about Grand Junction, his church and his community was his life.

Reflections from the Executive Director

As might be expected, the memorial Mass and service for Joe Prinster was packed full of family and friends gathered to honor and pay tribute to a very special man.  One of the themes of the service was the impact his wartime experiences had on Joe.  Drafted at the age of 18 to serve in the Army, Joe fought oversees during World War II.  Joe fought in the Battle of the Bulge where 75% of his unit was killed.  His best friend died in his arms.  Those difficult experiences at war deepened Joe's faith and very much shaped his philanthropy.  He vowed if he got back to America alive, he would lead a life of faith and service to others.  That is very much who Joe Prinster became - a highly accomplished but humble man, of deep faith and conviction, who gave generously and selflessly to others, all of his life.


Like so many other organizations and causes he supported and strengthened to make our community better, Joe Prinster had the commitment and generous heart to get our Community Foundation launched.  Our community will benefit for years to come from his generosity and support.  Rest in Peace, Joe Prinster.


                           -- Anne Wenzel