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St. Vrain Flooding Relief Fund seeks nonprofits to receive remaining funds

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By Ben Wiebesiek

LONGMONT — The St. Vrain Flooding Relief Fund has moved quickly to distribute more than half a million dollars of flood relief to Longmont, the Carbon Valley and surrounding communities since last fall’s severe floods.

Now, the St. Vrain Flooding Relief Fund has received $47,000 in additional contributions, and Eric Hozempa, executive director for the fund, said his organization would like to quickly act on the remaining funds.

“We received some generous donations in December. And even well into January, so we’re just far exceeded our expectations,” Hozempa said. “So we’re looking to get this money into the foundation and out of the foundation and to the organizations that need the help.”

Hozempa said the fund has received approximately $543,000, and he credits the community for a strong desire to help those affected by the floods.

“I think initially it was just concerned individuals right off the bat. Right after we opened the fund, it was Sept. 13 about, so you see a lot of individuals who were interested in making some sort of contribution to the community and after that you saw some businesses and perhaps other foundation support come in,” Hozempa said. “the bulk of donations was really raised in the middle of october and it’s kind of like a bell curve, so you see it consistently go up and then trails off as we go along. that’s pretty much the trend any sort of disaster or emergency need.”

The deadline for qualifying organizations to apply for the additional funds is Feb. 18.

“We have received funding from all over. It’s pretty amazing to me within the state and our neighbors out-of-state and across the nation. It’s been pretty amazing to see the influx of caring for Longmont and the Carbon Valley,” Hozempa said.“We purposefully fund non-profit organizations and not individuals because we felt that with a small staff, we didn’t have the screening mechanisms in place.” 

Hozempa said 100 percent of the funds received will be distributed, and he thanked the organizations dispersing the funds to the community.

“It’s really the non-profits that are doing the work and have the screening mechanisms to figure out whose needs are valid,” Hozempa said.

Although final grant amounts will depend on the number of applications received, those organizations that are approved for funding could expect amounts ranging from $5,000 to $10,000.

“We want to give an enormous thank you to the grant committee that came together. And that was comprised of individuals from different communities who came together, viewed the proposals and made recommendations. They signed a pledge to act in fairness and to expedite the process. We published their names to let the community know who was going to be working on these proposals.”

The 12-member selection committee will review each request and make its recommendations quickly.  The grant application is purposely brief because our intent is to not make it burdensome for those organizations that are helping our community recover.  

“It really took a lot of community support to make this happen, and we are very grateful for that,” Hozempa said.

 

Contact Ben Wiebesiek at 303-659-2522, ext. 205, or email bwiebesiek@metrowestnewspapers.com.