If you attended any special events this year, such as the Plein Air Arts Celebration or Burro Days in Fairplay, chances are you saw some smiling people from the Friends of Fairplay Community organization serving roasted pig, ice cream and peaches or serving up pizza and game nights. The pennies, nickels and dimes have been counted and tallied into the grand total of $64,000 from your donations.

And now the $64,000 question: what happens with the money?

This past Monday, the FFC presented local nonprofit organizations with grants at the Town of Fairplay office.

The FFC has two types of grants, community and building, and they gave $64,000 to a variety of charitable organizations within these categories.

“The funds were given in accordance with the FFC’s mission of improving the lives of local citizens plus provide new learning and technology opportunities to the community,” Linda Twiehaus, president of the FFC said.

“The community grants were given to local organizations who support the community by helping area residents.

“These funds were raised by the FFC in numerous fundraising events throughout the year, especially our involvement with the Town Of Fairplay in serving food and drinks at the annual summer concerts and assisting with the Plein Air event. For those events alone, the Friends volunteered over 300 hours.”

Awards were given to The Boys and Girls Club of the High Rockies, South Park Food Bank, Mosquito Range Heritage Initiative, South Park Recreation Center and Destination Imagination.

“The Building Fund Awards were based on requests from 501(c)(3) organizations who demonstrated they are improving the learning and technology opportunities in our community.

“These funds were raised throughout the years during building fundraisers as the FFC worked towards the building of a learning and technology center.

“Grants were awarded to Alma Foundation, Mountain Area Land Trust, Rocky Mountain Land Library, South Park Historical Foundation and the Town of Fairplay,” Twiehaus added.

Lily Carpenter, age ten, member of Destination Imagination said, “Last year we had an engineering challenge to build a light structure that can hold hundreds of pounds.”

Destination Imagination is run by the children, and parents even sign a clause stating they will not interfere.

Destination Imagination plans to use the money awarded for teams when they go to the global competition.

Lynn Caligiuiri, development director of the Mountain Area Land Trust said, “We acquired the land which was the Beaver Pond Environmental Education Center and is now called Sacramento Creek Ranch.”

“We will use these funds to refurbish the barn and turn it into an educational center,” Caligiuiri added.

The Boys and Girls Club will use funds received for scholarships for South Park. One of the activities they did this year was a one-week wilderness survival program.

The Mosquito Range Heritage Initiative will use their award money to further their natural resource education and exploration work.

The South Park Food Bank will use funds for fresh fruit and vegetables for 12 months of distribution.

The South Park Recreation Center will provide memberships and scholarships for football and soccer with their grant.

The Alma Foundation will use their award funds for the business and learning center at the Alma Town Hall.

The Rocky Mountain Land Library will develop a children’s library at Buffalo Peaks Ranch.

The South Park Historical Foundation will use the award dollars for educational information of the Snowstorm Dredge and archive building expansion.

The Town of Fairplay will use funds for remodeling of the future building at 501 Main Street.

For more information about the FFC, visit their website at www.fairplaycommunityfriends.org or their Facebook page.

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