In early 2010, our Community Foundation received a special legacy gift from the Waldeck Family - an LLC with gold and other mineral royalty interests. Ellen Jo Waldeck's legacy is to support one annual full-ride nursing scholarship to Colorado Mesa University and provide ongoing funding support to eight Mesa County organizations. These organizations are: Grand Valley Catholic Outreach, Habitat for Humanity, Hilltop's Latimer House, HomewardBound, HopeWest, Marillac Clinic, Mesa County Partners, and Roice-Hurst Humane Society. A portion of the monthly royalty income is distributed immediately to the designated organizations and the remaining income is building up a permanent endowment to fund these same eight organizations. At the end of 2014, the Waldeck Endowment Fund had a balance of $5.5 million.
Over the past five years, hundreds of thousands of dollars have been distributed to these organizations feeding the hungry, providing shelter, providing end-of-life support and grief counseling, helping at-risk youth and supporting abandoned pets. The Waldeck funding began at a critical time for many of the organizations who were facing cutbacks in government funding and shrinking private donations due to the recession. It stabilized operations for many of these groups.
An independent evaluation concluded that this funding allowed most of the supported organizations to expand their services greatly over the five-year period. For example, thanks to the Waldeck funding, HomewardBound has watched the number of deaths related to outdoor winter exposure shrink from 23 cases in 2010 to none over the past four years. They have been planning and are now breaking ground on a new family housing facility for women with children.
Roice-Hurst Humane Society reports they would not be here today without the Waldeck support five years ago. They are now housed in a renovated shelter and have doubled the number of pets they shelter and foster.
"At least 150 youth would not have been served over the past five years in our mentoring and Conservation Corps training programs if the Waldeck funding had not been available."
-- Joe Higgins
Mesa County Partners