Former Littleton Mayor Susan Thornton has announced that a new community foundation has been established for the south metro area. The mission of the South Metro Community Foundation, she said, is to enhance and improve the quality of life for all people living in the South Denver Metro area.
The SMCF will support programs and projects that enhance educational, civic, environmental, artistic, and other quality-of-life-promoting projects and activities within the South Denver Metro area. Other areas of focus may include improving intercultural relationships, housing and health equity, and transportation options for seniors and people with disabilities.
The role of the South Metro Community Foundation includes:
- Accepting donations and providing grant opportunities to initiate projects and programs to enhance the quality of life for all people in the area.
- Serving as a fiscal agent for smaller community organizations that do not have nonprofit status, but that support one or more of the Foundation’s programs or projects.
Founding Board members of the Foundation are:
- Board Chair – Susan Thornton, former Littleton Mayor; founder and chair of Immigrant Pathways Colorado and the Littleton Leadership Academy; former Denver Post columnist
- Vice Chair – Bebe Kleinman, CEO and Executive Director of Doctors Care
- Secretary/Treasurer – Paul Parish, Retired Managing Partner, Management Consulting, Grant Thornton LLP; Board member, Break Bread.
- Beth Best – Executive Director, Littleton Public Schools Foundation
- Sandra Blythe-Perry – Executive Director, Integrated Family Community Services
- Dave Ferrill – Former regional affairs director in the Office of Mayor Hickenlooper, and a similar role in the Governor’s economic development office; public affairs, economic development and international development positions in the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce; Past President, LoDo Rotary Club; Board of Trustees, YMCA of Metropolitan Denver
- Linda Haley – Division Manager, Housing, Community Develop and Senior Resources, Arapahoe County
- David Henninger – Board President, Caring for Colorado Health Foundation, and former CEO/Executive Director of Bayaud Industries
- Linda Olson, Ph.D. – Mayor, City of Englewood; and Executive Director of the Pioneer Leadership Program at Denver University
- Corey Reitz – Executive Director, South Metro Housing Options
- Rev. Mike Sandgren, Assistant Pastor, Wellspring Church, and leader of Change The Trend
The Foundation is also establishing an Advisory Council. Members currently include:
- Tara Beiter-Fluhr, Mayor, City of Sheridan
- Mike Braaten, Deputy Executive Director, South Suburban Park & Recreation District
- Tom Brooks, President/CEO, Denver South Economic Development Council
- Donald Burns, Ph.D., founder and Senior Adviser, Burnes Insitute of Poverty Research, Colorado Center on Law and Policy
- Shirlaine Castellino, Director, Spring International Language Center
- Diana Doyle, President, Arapahoe Community College
- Zach Frederick, Littleton business owner, Frederick Export; leader of the Littleton Rotary Foundation’s International Group
- Bob Golden, former President, South Metro Denver Chamber; President-Elect Littleton Public Schools Foundation; Member of the Colorado Society; immediate Past President, Colorado Society of Association Executives
- LaDonna Jurgensen, retired CPA; Treasurer, Littleton Rotary Foundation; former Littleton City Councilwoman
- Jeff Keener, president and CEO, South Metro Chamber of Commerce
- Jillyan McKinney, CEO, Littleton Adventist Hospital
- Rev. Tom Melton, founding pastor, Greenwood Village Community Church (retired); Principal, Melton Leadership
- Randy Pye, former Mayor, City of Centennial
- Brian Vogt, former President of the South Metro Chamber of Commerce; CEO of the Denver Botanic Gardens
- Carrie Warren-Gully, Arapahoe County Commissioner
Thornton said that after months of careful study, the Foundation has decided that its first project will be to help raise funds for a Homeless Services Navigation Center for people experiencing homelessness, to be located in Englewood. The state-of-the-art Navigation Center will provide information about services to people who are unhoused, and will track their progress. The Foundation will also educate the community about homelessness, including its causes, its impact on children, families and the community, and possible solutions.
To make a tax-deductible donation to the Foundation, go to the Foundation’s website at www.SMCFinfo.org or send a check made out to SMCF, P.O Box 401, Littleton, CO 80160.