Operation 6035 hoped to raise as much as $100,000 yesterday.
Volunteer executive director Phil Lane said he expected between 150 and 200 locals to turn out for last night’s fundraising event on the UCCS campus.
The El Pomar Foundation provided the initial $100,000 of seed money, but has asked the Operation 6035 implementation committee and the community to match its donation going forward.
“In an effort to be completely transparent and to engender trust, we’re limiting contributions to $1,000,” Lane said, citing the need for “ broad-based community buy-in and participation.”
That participation will provide the chance for community residents from “all walks of life” to plug into subgroups that examine and assess the best ways to address Operation 6035’s seven target strategies.
“I will speak to the kind of fresh and successful platforms for community building that achieve high-impact results,” he said this afternoon. “An example would be further leveraging and growing your obvious asset – the University (of Colorado, Colorado Springs).”
Colorado Springs, like Austin, enjoys a beautiful natural location and is a popular center for recreation, sports, health and fitness.
Both are also home to people who care very deeply about their city, he said.
Among his long-range goals is to generate a call to action and to get community volunteers to rally around “big challenges” rather than to simply get distracted by those who see things as “glass-half-empty.”
“It’s better to invite in those who may not agree with you than to leave them out,” he said.