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Publish Date: 8/25/2005

Man gives $28K to city youth center


LONGMONT — A man walked into the Longmont Youth Center offices recently, said he wanted to make an anonymous donation to local youth, handed over a white envelope and walked out.

Susan Zimmerman, who was covering the front desk at the time, gladly accepted the envelope.

She opened it after the man left to find a check for nearly $28,000.

“I was just excited,” said Zimmerman, a program staffer for Longmont’s Children and Youth Resources division. “It’s just exciting because of the opportunity for Friends (of the Longmont Youth Center).”

All donations to the youth center go to the Friends group, managed by a four-member volunteer board that organizes fundraising events for Longmont’s youth services.

The $28,000 is by far the largest donation the group has had in its four years of existence.

“This is very big in terms of the Friends of the Youth Center budget,” said Amy Ogilvie, Longmont’s children and youth resources manager.

In fact, it’s the most money the group has ever had at one time.

“Most of what we’ve gotten donated before were smaller amounts,” Friends treasurer Leisl Athen said.

Having the money now gives the group a chance to more actively help youth in Longmont, she said.

“It gives us a great opportunity for us to get off the ground,” Athen said.

For example, the board can now put up matching dollars for grants, she said.

The board met Monday night and decided it would look into investing a large portion of the money so it can have funds down the road. It will also set aside some cash to possibly fund programs that come out the city’s community planning process, which is going on right now, Athen said.

Longmont’s youth services works with as many as 600 children annually, from youth and early childhood development to community problem-solving and connecting families with other resources.

Douglas Crowl can be reached at 303-684-5253, or by e-mail at dcrowl@times-call.com.

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