By Chrystal DeCoster
The Lyons Community Foundation’s focus, as well that of the entire Lyons community, took a sharp turn on September 12.
With chairperson Dr. Liz Erley’s direction, the organization quickly shifted into urgent fundraising mode. Through the “Donate Now” button on their website, the LCF has gleaned over $200,000 to date.
The presently postponed 2013 LCF Gala and Grants Dinner, originally slated to be Hawaiian-themed and held at Lionscrest Manor on November 8th, was
off to a great start thanks to the combined energy of co-chairs Alison Jennings and Debbie Simms, their committee, and a responsive as ever Lyons community. Details about the future of the annual Gala will be released as they become known.
The LCF is also assisting Mintze Wu with “Celebrating Lyons,” a musical benefit concert to be held on Oct 12 from 2-5 pm at First United Methodist Church, 1421 Spruce St Boulder, CO 80302. In discussion for this event is the kickstart of a fundraising with bricks campaign toward possibly constructing a “Flood of Memories” wall, sidewalk or plaza somewhere central in town, with proceeds potentially going toward specifically helping fund affordable housing in Lyons. Supporters would be able to order personalized bricks engraved with their names as donors, as memorial bricks for someone else, with an image/logo, or perhaps a single word or simple phrase representing a personal memory of the flood event. For more information, or to make a donation now, please visit our website or find us on Facebook.
In addition, a new LCF bridge has been built in Lyons, Colorado, one that will serve as a major artery leading into the future toward routing aid to local residents caught in emergency straits of this unprecedented natural disaster.
Seven members of the Lyons Community Foundation (LCF) and Lyons Community Basic Needs and Emergency Fund (LCBNEF) boards recently converged in Boulder to lay the foundation of this community-bridging assistance organization, “Rebuild Lyons - One Life at a Time.” “It is prudent to be proactive and gain solid footing as soon as possible,” said Emily Flemming, pastor of Lyons Community Church.
To swiftly and efficiently get down to the business of rebuilding, the assembled volunteers collaboratively architected the mission statement for Rebuild Lyons: “to offer emergency relief and long-term recovery assistance to rebuild Lyons, one life at a time.” A logo has been created with web presence and donation administration plans soon to follow.
The new joint flood relief project, the duration of which is indeterminable at this time, will be directed by a temporary board of nine community representatives who have proven to be flexible, confidential, passionate, and deliberate decision makers. They include Christy Cope, Chrystal DeCoster, Liz Erley, Emily Flemming, Roger Flynn, Peter Maves, Nancy Reckling, Monique Sawyer-Lang, and Casey Whisenhunt.
Structurally, Rebuild Lyons will be under LCBNEF operations with two separate offerings, at least at the onset. The first program is Emergency Assistance issued via gift cards for prescriptions, food, clothing, and provisions for baby needs and childcare. These small increment allocations are planned to be immediate.
The second is Long-Term Recovery Assistance for those unable to get their recovery needs met at an official Red Cross shelter or through the Salvation Army. Required will be proof of a FEMA registration’s confirmation number. Distribution of funds will be prioritized as follows: individuals, small business owners, and community needs. An official application and point system process is already in development for evaluating requests and disseminating funds.
The Front Range region’s catastrophic flooding has dramatically impacted innumerable lives in Lyons and throughout the front range community. “Our little community needs now and will continue to need financial assistance to get back on its knees and then feet,” reflected LCF chair, Liz Erley.
The time for Rebuild Lyons is now. The LCF exists to improve the quality of life, build a culture of giving and encourage positive change for the Greater Lyons Area. Helping out Lyons community members in urgent situations is the BNEF’s goal. The groups’ mutual core concern is at the heart of the matter at hand: to rebuild Lyons - one life at a time.