Left Hand Valley Courier - All Local, All The Time

By Bruce Warren

Life in the Left Hand Valley: Community Organizations


This month’s progress issue features several area groups, clubs and organizations that are all about volunteerism.

Though they may range in variety — such as the Niwot Historical Society, the Niwot Community Association or the Longmont Foundation — they have one common goal, and that is to make the community a better place to live, work and play.

The next six pages of this issue feature several of the organizations, what they’re about and ways to get involved.

We hope you enjoy learning about the many groups that make this community tick.

Niwot Community Association (NCA) – Formed originally to oppose development of a regional shopping center on land at the northeast corner of Highway 52 and the Diagonal Highway in the 1980s, the organization now serves as the primary referral agency for Niwot community matters involving Boulder County. Its purpose is to “promote the general welfare of the Niwot Community, preserve its semi-rural character, to disseminate information to residents of the community and respond to issues of concern in the community, and to promote and encourage charitable, social, cultural, civic and educational activities within the community.”

Original incorporators in 1988 included Howard Morton, Selene Hall, Bruce Warren, Jerry Sinor, Mary Kay Cialone, James Martinsen and Donald Reeb. Current board members include President Dick Piland, Vice-President David Limbach, Treasurer Terry Larsen, Secretary Lance Goff, Johnny Barrett, Liz Schmidt, Kim Hawksworth, Laura Skaggs, Hossein Tolooee, Craig Rahenkamp, Pat Murphy and Tom Sesnic, John Barto, David Manting, Scott Brown, Kathy Koehler and Nicholas Whitaker.

The NCA sponsors the July 4th Pancake Breakfast and Parade, the Niwot Road underpass murals, and Niwot Clean-Up Day in May. Notable achievements include negotiating an agreement with Boulder County to participate in the Transferable Development Rights Program which allowed transfer of a limited number of development rights to vacant property adjacent to existing subdivisions, in exchange for Boulder County Open Space and conservation easements which protect Niwot from encroachment by the cities of Boulder and Longmont. www.niwot.org.

Niwot Cultural Arts Association (NCAA) – Formed in 2009 to purchase Whistle Stop Park, the organization operates the Rock & Rails summer concert series with the Niwot Business Association, sponsors the First Friday Art Walk, Let’s Wine About Winter, the Niwot Community Semi-Marching Free Grange Band, and the Why Not Niwot? juried art show. Its purpose is “to provides support, encouragement and funding for cultural arts and all mediums of artistic expression in the Niwot area, including performance art, painting, sculpture, weaving, quilting, music, dance, movement, drama, oral interpretation, storytelling, oral expression, creative writing, local cultural history, Native American cultural history, and western American cultural history.” Original incorporators were Tim Wise, Bruce Warren and Mike Anfinson. Current board members include President Bruce Warren, Vice-President Anne Postle, Secretary Vicki Maurer, Treasurer Michelle Henzel, Alyson Bell, Satir DeMarco, and Holly Saia. Notable achievements include development and management of Niwot Children’s Park in conjunction with Boulder County. www.niwotchildrenspark.com.

Niwot Historical Society – Formed in 1994 to preserve Niwot’s history, the organization sponsors the Niwot Now & Then Lecture Series and the Niwot Firehouse Museum in addition to collecting and archiving historical artifacts, photos and oral histories concerning the Niwot area. Its purpose is “to preserve, collect, and protect the history of Niwot, the surrounding area, and Chief Niwot through the preservation of artifacts, documents, and photographs relating to their history.” Original incorporators were Blanche Atkinson, Kellie Beran, Lisa Kauffman, Idell Leinweber, Patricia Mannos, Ann Mills and Howard Morton. Current board members include President Kathy Koehler, Secretary Mary Claire Collins, Treasurer Darwin Herbst, Vivian Knaus, Diane Zimmermann, Joan Grunzweig, Rob Gordon, Leonard Sitongia, Donlyn Arbuthnot and Joe Betts. Notable achievements include assistance with publication of historian Anne Q. Dyni’s 3-volume series of books about Niwot’s history and a Niwot exhibit at the Longmont Museum. www.niwothistoricalsociety.org.

 Niwot Cemetery Association – Formed to maintain and oversee the Niwot Cemetery, which dates to 1881, the organization provides maintenance and grave-opening services for the community cemetery on Nimbus Road west of Niwot. The organization was incorporated in 1999 to obtain legal title to the cemetery and apply for grants to assist with record-keeping and repairs. Its purpose is “to own, manage and maintain the Niwot Cemetery.” Though the organization dates back over a century, the 1999 incorporators were Nancy Hindman, Elmina Iams, JoAnn Bell, Naomi Tilbury, Marjorie Cito, Beverly Scobee and Ernest Simkins. Current board members include Nancy Hindman and JoAnn Bell. Notable achievements include obtaining title to the cemetery, which was originally deeded to “the Town of Niwot and the inhabitants of the vicinity thereof.”

The Rotary Club of Niwot – Formed in 2008 to provide a local morning meeting club, the organization provides a local service club to support local and international projects. The Niwot Rotary Club sponsors a Student of the Month at Niwot High School, installation of a Little Free Library at Niwot Children’s Park, and the Wine, Cheese & Chocolate Event every May. Its purpose is to develop a focus of service consistent with the values of Rotary International, which include club service, community service projects focused on Niwot and the surrounding areas, vocational & educational service through local schools, education and leadership training, and international service supporting an array of Rotary and cooperative projects to improve health, water, safety and living standards in underdeveloped areas. Current board members include President Pat Engstrom, President-Elect Ron Grunzweig, Secretary Dennis Daly, Treasurer Jo Kirkenaer, Scott Stockert, Dan Kapsak, Mary Colwell, Tim Connaro and Doug Montgomery. Notable achievements include sponsoring the Niwot Oktoberfest event in the fall, and maintaining websites for other non-profits in the Niwot area. www.niwotrotary.org.

Left Hand Grange No. 9 – Formed in 1873 as part of the country’s largest national agricultural organization, the Grange is an active part of the Niwot community, and part of the enduring rural and small-town tradition. Its purpose is to “help preserve the agricultural heritage of the area, and honor the spirit of those who came before.” As the oldest Colorado Grange still operating, it has evolved into a community service organization, including non-farm rural families and communities, and seeks to Cultivate a strong community spirit and enhance local culture. The Grange building provides a community center in the heart of downtown Niwot, which serves as a meeting place for many other organizations and activities, including Boy Scout Troop 161, which it sponsors. Current board members include President Christine Washington, Vice-President Rosemary Bruce, Secretary Bruce Johnson, Treasurer Sue Wilson, Red Southern and Kellie Beran. Notable achievements include a major building reconstruction effort in 2009, periodic used book sales, and providing much-needed storage space for other non-profit organizations. www.lefthandgrange.org.

OUR Center – Formed in 1986 out of the Longmont Ministerial Association, the organization focuses helping people move toward self-sufficiency by unifying community resources. Its purpose is to create a welcoming, supportive and inclusive place for greater Longmont residents to seek an array of services to regain or begin their road to self-sufficiency. The organization provides personalized plans to assist those in need with food, resources and development of life-long skills to enable self-sufficiency. The board of directors includes President Ryan Mason, Vice-President Julia Rush, Secretary Steve Johnson, Treasurer Rick Burdick, Darrin Anson, Dwight Hill, Anahid Katchian, Art Palm and Nancy Rezac. Notable achievements include establishment of a food bank, a child care center for working parents, and a culinary arts training program. www.ourcenter.org.

Longmont Community Foundation – Formed in 1994, the organization is focused on “expanding its ability to improve life in the St. Vrain Valley – for now and forever.” Its purpose includes three grant programs: (1) To support projects that help break down barriers among people of all ages, ethnic origins, and gender; (2) To support nonprofit organizations that benefit residents of the St. Vrain Valley, including Longmont and surrounding areas, in Arts and Culture, Health, Human Services, and Civic & Education; and (3) To support issues and causes related to youth and education. The board of directors includes President Matt Zavala, Vice-President Dale Bernard, Secretary Sonia Marrero, Treasurer Sam Napp, Roy White, Don Alspaugh, Monica Baldwin, John Caldwell, Virginia Dutkin, Lynne Harkness, Jan Kanemoto, Kris Koval, Jeff Nading, Susan Shirley and Susan Wiser. Notable achievements include awarding over $9 million in grants to nonprofit organizations that serve residents of Longmont and the St. Vrain Valley since its inception. www.longmontfoundation.org.


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