Foundation sets goal of restoring train depot

Community Foundation hosts fund-raising dinner, silent auction, election of officers

The Community Foundation of Northwest Colorado held its first fund-raiser since changing its name and mission.

The Foundation sponsored a silent auction while those attending enjoyed a catered buffet from Bad to the Bone.

After dinner, four private preservation projects were recognized, followed by a presentation on preservation and revitalization projects.

"As a business person, I appreciate the business's generosity in our community, because I know how frequently businesses are hit up for donations, and we're very thankful for their contributions," said Pam Foster, President of the Community Foundation.

"The biggest thing this year is our name change and new focus," said Dona Shue, executive director of the Foundation. "Our big project, and what you are supporting tonight is the train depot; the money we collect tonight will build towards matching the grant we received from the National Historic Preservation Society."

Foster talked about what the Foundation is looking to do in the community.

"Organizations or individuals that need donations, come to talk to us. For a small fee, we will organize drives and donation efforts. We want to follow in the footsteps of the Yampa Valley Foundation in Steamboat," Foster said. "They originally got money for the college, became dormant for a while, and now do a lot of work for several entities in the community."

Four local sites, and the people responsible for them, were recognized by the Foundation for their preservation efforts.

The old Oriental Filling Station at 40 E. Victory Way, and Doug Frazier owner of the Cigarette Store Corp., was the first recognized. Frazier said he was pleased to be a new part of the community, and that a "smoker niche" store will hopefully be opening next week.

Other projects honored include the cabin restored by William and Susan Irvin at 143 N. Highway 3, the ranch at 3701 Highway 394 reclaimed by Gary and Judy Schnurr, and the house at 650 Yampa Ave., that Robert and Eddie Jean Quillen and their daughter, Pam Young, worked to revitalize.

The keynote speaker was John Schler, Western Slope director of the Colorado Center of Community Development and a member of the Board of the Colorado Historical Society. A slide presentation on some of the projects and programs that have helped to restore and revitalize Fruita, Colo., and Grand Junction, Colo., was presented by Schler.

"The main idea in Fruita as that the Circle area of downtown was unique, and it could draw people into the downtown area," Schler said. "New towns are building small, unique spaces, investing in the community's uniqueness and history, and the sites that represent that.

"The Main Street Foundation Revitalization Project is not just fixing up the main drag, repairing the buildings and improving the area. It is a whole package of issues, a comprehensive strategy tailored to the local needs and desires," Schler said.

"John has shown that it's very much a cooperative effort between a Foundation, the city, the county, and the Chamber of Commerce," Foster said. "It's evident that when these projects are put together, cooperation is a major component of their success."

Elected to serve on the Foundation's board was John Husband, Eddie Jean Quillen, Gail Severson, Lynn Villard, Bernie Rose and Bill Muldoon.

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