Helping youths, fighting drugs

El Pomar contributes $20,000 to groups


One is dedicated to ending the poisonous influx of drugs. Another was founded to instill in local youths a sense of competence, usefulness and belonging.

Two local groups -- Communities Overcoming Methamphetamine Abuse of Moffat County and the Boys & Girls Club of Craig -- may have polar opposite missions, but they share the same goal of bettering the community.

Such a worthwhile aspiration has attracted the attention from one of the largest and oldest private foundations in Colorado.

El Pomar, a nonprofit group founded in 1937 and based in Colorado Springs, announced last week that it has awarded a series of grants totaling $100,000 to 13 organizations statewide.

"(The grants) were based off what groups provide needed services in the community. ... Basically, they are organizations that serve pressing needs right now," said Kristen Reed, an El Pomar program associate.

COMA and the Boys & Girls Club will receive their funding during a reception Thursday. The groups will receive a combined $20,000.

The El Pomar grant awarded to COMA is a matching-funds contribution of $5,000. It is the first grant the 2-year-old volunteer service has received.

COMA leaders said the grant money would enable the organization to continue its battle to rid the area of meth.

"We're tired of seeing the same people in jail," said Buddy Grinstead, Moffat County sheriff and a member of the group's executive committee. "It's tearing the community apart."

COMA chairwoman Annette Dunckley added, "We want to keep educating the people who want to be educated."

Grinstead said the money would allow the group to continue paying for programs designed to highlight its three-pronged strategy against meth use -- education, prevention and rehabilitation.

"Jail is not the only answer," he said.

One of those programs, established in the fall, is a support group for family and friends of meth users.

"It lets people know they're not the only ones out there facing this monster," the sheriff said.

Reed said the Boys & Girls Club of Craig will receive $15,000 in grant money. This year is the second consecutive year the organization will receive El Pomar contributions.

"For El Pomar to think we're good enough to fund makes us very proud," said Jonathan Godes, executive director of the Boys & Girls Club of Craig.

A third of the grant money, or $5,000, will go toward general operations, Reed said. The remaining $10,000 will be used for the SMART (Skills Mastery and Resistance Training) Moves program, one of the largest programs offered by the Boys & Girls Club.

According to the organization's Web site,, SMART Moves is a program with a goal of promoting "abstinence from substance abuse and adolescent sexual involvement through the practice of responsible behavior."

The site states the program is a proven method in teaching youths how to avoid destructive activity by involving them in discussion, role playing, analyzing peer influence and practicing good decision-making skills.

El Pomar contributes $20 million annually through grants and programs to support non-profit organizations involved in health, human services, education, arts, humanities and civic and community initiatives.

Joshua Roberts can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 210 or

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