Licensed professional counselor Michelle Kaye pets Pumpkin the horse at Dream Catcher Therapy Center in Olathe in 2013. The equine therapy and rescue center is a beneficiary of an El Pomar Foundation grant for this year. 

When it comes to nonprofits, many depend on donations to do the work they do, but in some cases they are able to apply for grants, such as those from the El Pomar Foundation.

“In my opinion, ... they are the most generous foundation on the Western Slope as far as their outreach and how many people they help,” Dream Catcher Therapy Barn Manager Jody Nixon said. “Year after year, they support us so we keep (applying).”

During the El Pomar Foundation September and December El Pomar Trustees meeting, it was announced the trustees approved $93,750, which was given to seven nonprofits in the San Juan region. Montrose nonprofits included Midwestern Colorado Mental Health Center, Inc. (Center for Mental Health), which received $37,500; Montrose County Senior Citizens Transportation (DBA All Points Transit); and Dream Catcher Therapy Center, Inc. $6,250.

Founded in 1937 by Spencer and Julie Penrose, El Pomar is a general purpose foundation. According to the organization's website, through its competitive process, organizations of a wide range — arts and culture, civic and community initiatives, education, health and human services — have the opportunity to apply for funding for general operating, program, and capital support. Applications are accepted through the year.

Those who have been awarded through the competitive process must wait three years to apply again. Those who have applied and have been declined must wait one year to reapply.

Dream Catcher Therapy Center, one of the grant recipients, is a horse rescue, sanctuary and therapy center, Nixon explained. The organization’s sanctuary takes in horses that are no longer wanted by their owners because they are unrideable and allows them to live out the rest of their lives there. The organization also rescues abused, abandoned or neglected horses.

The therapy side brings in children and adults for a variety of purposes, Nixon said.

Having applied, and received, funding from El Pomar multiple times over the years. Nixon said the foundation has helped with its hay bank, which is open to horse owners who can’t afford feed, and the rehab of horses. This funding came from the Beck Fund.

Nixon said it is expensive to feed and care for horses, and they have 55 of them.

Dream Catcher Therapy Center is able to do what they do through funding like the grants form El Pomar, Nixon said.

“We rely highly on the public and our community to help us out,” Nixon said.

For All Points Transit to provide services, generally, foundation funds are an important piece of the income in and there is always a need for funding, All Points Executive Director Sarah Curtis said of applying for this grant.

All Points Transit has been been working with El Pomar Foundation since 1994, having received nine awards from the foundation over the past 25 years. Curtis said in the beginning of the organization, the foundation helped to purchase vans, and since 2004 funds from the foundation have gone to general operating, specifically the door-to-door dial ride program. This round of funding is no different funding the door-to-door dial ride program which mostly serves seniors and people with disabilities.

In most cases those individuals don’t have any way of getting out of the house, Curtis said adding the rides can be used for such things as medical appointments, to meal sites and other basic services.

“We work with many different foundations, but El Pomar has certainly been a very important partner in making sure that we can continue to provide that door-to-door service,” Curtis said.

The $10,000 grant is substantial for All Points Transit, Curtis said, adding it’s an important piece of their budget goals for 2019. The organization has some lofty fundraising goals this year and this helps to start off on the right foot.

“We’re very grateful for their support and their partnership,” Curtis said. “We’ve had a really great ongoing relationship with the foundation and we’re just very thankful for their continued support and that they value transit as a an important piece of the community.”

To donate to Dream Catcher Therapy, visit its Facebook page or website — — or volunteer. If you would like to help All Points Transit, visit For more information on the El Pomar Foundation, visit

Monica Garcia is the news editor at the Montrose Daily Press.

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