In the year 2000, long-time Telluride resident, entrepreneur and philanthropist Bill Carstens created the vision, which today is Just For Kids. He challenged community members to create a low-overhead, grassroots, not-for-profit foundation that would just serve kids in the San Miguel watershed and, he offered to make a significant contribution to this endeavor.
For the better part of two years, members of the founding board of directors: Erik Fallenius, Kimberly Kirkendoll, Stephen Wald, Cheryl Carstens Miller, John Mansfield, Wendy Brooks, and attorney Doug Tueller , worked to form a new foundation that both considered Carstens' historic funding priorities and also challenged organizations in the region to imagine new opportunities to serve and empower regional youth.
After completing its preliminary work, the board became a funding tool that has awarded $560,000 to over 125 deserving organizations and individuals. JFK is unique in having a spring and fall granting cycle, in interviewing all applicants each cycle, in networking grant recipients, in having a six week turnaround from application to award, and in providing mini-grants out of cycle.
Carstens annual $50,000 bequeath to JFK is awarded via a 100% pass-through from the Denver Foundation. By law, the amount Carstens gifts JFK must be matched, dollar for dollar, and thus the Mountains to the Desert Bike Race was born. The brainchild of Erik and Josephine Fallenius, this race is quickly becoming the course of the full other half of the foundation’s annual fund.
JFK is decidedly homegrown: its board of 8 reside in Telluride, Norwood and the West End. Grants are solicited; technical assistance is provided; site visits are made; students and staff are networked within and between funded programs. As we look toward our 6th anniversary, we see a solid framework for a proud amodest community foundation.
Our Mission Statement
Just For Kids will empower the youth of the San Miguel Watershed region and assist the organizations that serve our youth through financial and moral support.
2008 BOARD OF DIRECTORS
* Wendy Brooks
* Lindsey Walker
* Kimberly Kirkendoll
* Cheryl Carstens Miller
* Steve Siegel
* Eric Saunders
* Karine Webb
* Elaine Demas
* Doug Tueller, Attorney for the corporation